Live Plants for Chameleons

Updated February 21, 2017

Chameleons are a family of colourful arboreal reptiles that are commonly kept as pets. There are many different species of chameleon, but veiled chameleons, panther chameleons and flap-neck chameleons are among the more common species that are kept. Live plants in a chameleon's habitat help regulate the humidity, but care should be taken to to ensure that the plants introduced are not harmful for the lizard itself.

Weeping Fig

The weeping fig is known scientifically as the Ficus benjamina. It produces thick evergreen leaves that cover the long, drooping branches. This forms a canopy that the chameleon can hide in. It also produces tiny red figs, which the omnivorous chameleon can eat.

Dwarf Umbrella Tree

The dwarf umbrella tree, or Schefflera arboricola, is a small tree that can tolerate full sun to partial shade. More light is better, and occasional pruning will keep the plant sturdy for a climbing chameleon. Do not worry about over-pruning this plant, because it is relatively tough and can take a lot of stress. Do not confuse with the umbrella plant that goes by the name, Cyperus involucratus, which is poisonous.


Pothos is a hardy vine that may also be called devil's ivy or variegated philodendron. They are a climbing plant that can give your chameleon's habitat some visual variety, and the greener varieties can subsist on low light. They cannot take direct sun and they can dry out between watering. Like the chameleon, they like a light misting of water from time to time.


Hibiscus produce highly colourful tropical flowers that require a great deal of natural light. Until they are established, they require a great deal of water as well. They are excellent plants for chameleon enclosures as they are fast growers and they can provide some colour to the otherwise green cage.

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