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Best Plants for Leopard Gecko Enclosures

Best Plants for Leopard Gecko Enclosures

Best Plants for Leopard Gecko Enclosures

Leopard geckos are wonderful reptilian companions known for their bright colors, charming faces, and low-maintenance care requirements. Bioactive and naturalistic enclosure setups are on the rise as reptile keepers move away from more sterile, simplistic setups. Not only are these enclosures more aesthetically pleasing to look at, but they also provide a wonderful, enriching environment for your reptile. Here are five plants you can consider adding to your leopard gecko's enclosure:

1. Haworthia: 

Haworthia is an ideal choice for leopard gecko enclosures because it thrives in arid conditions similar to their natural habitat. These small, rosette-shaped succulents add a touch of the desert with very minimal upkeep. They are one of the most hardy succulents and can tolerate long periods of drought. 

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2. Aloe:

You may be familiar with aloe vera for its medicinal properties like soothing sunburn and hydrating skin, but did you know it also makes a wonderful terrarium plant? Aloe comes in many different shapes and sizes, and is adaptable to many different environments. Small, compact varieties grow similar to succulents and are a wonderful addition to leopard gecko habitats. 

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3. Thornless Cactus Pad: 

Cacti add an authentic desert feel to your leopard gecko's enclosure, and varieties of cacti that boast broad, spineless pads are a wonderful touch to an arid habitat. They provide the aesthetics of a cactus, while eliminating the risk of injury to your reptile. These plants require minimal water and are well-suited to grow in the dry conditions your gecko prefers.

thornless cactus pad cacti best plants for leopard gecko bioactive naturalistic enclosures

4. Echeveria: 

Echeverias are a popular choice to grow on windowsills and in gardens during the summertime. They come in a wide variety of colors and shapes, allowing you to customize the look of your gecko’s enclosure. Echeveria are hardy plants that are easy to come by at local hardware stores and garden centers. 

echeveria best plants for leopard gecko bioactive naturalistic enclosures

5. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata):

Jade plants are not only attractive but are also believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Their fleshy leaves store water, making them an excellent choice for leopard gecko enclosures. These hardy succulents can withstand occasional nibbling and provide a cozy hideout for your gecko.

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Planting Tips for Leopard Gecko Enclosures:

  1. Well-Draining Soil: Use a well-draining, sand heavy substrate suitable for desert-dwelling reptiles to ensure water does not sit around the roots of your arid plants and cause root rot.
  1. Appropriate Lighting: Arid plants enjoy bright, full spectrum lighting. Use a bright LED grow light, such as the Arcadia JungleDawn to ensure your plants can grow adequately. Succulents not receiving bright enough light will become leggy/spindley and grow towards the light source. Since leopard geckos are crepuscular, ensure they have plenty of hiding areas to get out of the bright light during the day.
  1. Infrequent Watering: Succulents and desert plants require infrequent watering to prevent overhydration. Water sparingly and allow the substrate to dry out between waterings. When watering arid plants, water them heavily and then allow to completely dry before watering again. Make sure you are using a well draining soil that doesn’t hold excess saturation to avoid rotting your plants.

Incorporating these arid plant varieties into your leopard gecko's enclosure will not only create an aesthetically pleasing habitat but also provide enrichment to your pet. 

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