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Best Plants to Keep with Your Reptile or Amphibian

Dart frog near plant

Want to create a natural, bioactive setup for your reptile or amphibian, but don’t know which plants are suitable? No problem.

It’s true that some plants are not safe for keeping with your exotic pet (and some plants are not safe from your pet!), but there are plenty of good options.

Here’s a list of the best plants to keep with your reptile or amphibian…


Potted pothos plants

It’s probably no surprise that the pothos is on this list. It’s a nice-looking plant that is hardy and easy to take care of. If you’re a beginner at keeping live plants, it’s a perfect option.

The pothos is pretty hard to kill, which means it’s unlikely that your snake, lizard, or frog is going to take it down. It grows quickly, and you can replant it from cuttings, which is perfect if you have multiple terrariums to plant.

The pothos plant also has pretty low light requirements. You may be aware that lighting can be a challenge in keeping plants with animals. The animals don’t always need (or want) as much lighting as a plant might require. Keeping pothos can make it easier to surpass this particular challenge.

Another great thing about pothos is that they form vines, which can provide climbing enrichment for the animals.

Additionally, they tolerate both very wet conditions and getting quite dry. That makes them good for either amphibian tanks or desert-dwelling lizard tanks.


Closeup of purple and green spiderwort leaves

Like pothos, spiderwort is also a vining plant that can be grown from cuttings and are super easy to take care of. If you want something that looks a little different, spiderwort can be nice because of its purple coloring, unlike the pothos which is green.

One of the things that new plant caretakers find out is that it’s easy to kill plants with too much water (surprising when you’re worried they might not get enough water!). Fortunately, spiderwort is more tolerant of very wet conditions, as is the pothos.

Spiderwort also has a relatively low lighting requirement, which is a valuable feature in terrarium plants since it can be difficult to install enough lighting in a small space for plants that require more.

Note that the lower the lighting you grow a spiderwort plant in, the less purple the leaves may be.


Heart-leaf philodendron

Philodendrons are easy to find at plant stores and nurseries, and they come in many different varieties. The one pictured above is a heart-leaf philodendron. Most types of philodendron have similar preferred growing conditions, but it’s important to check the specific requirements for each plant species.

Like pothos, philodendrons tend to be tolerant of wet and dry conditions, so they are versatile for a variety of bioactive setups.

Philodendrons are also another low light plant, so as with the other plants on this list, it is easy to grow in reptile and amphibian habitats. Philodendrons can be slightly less hardy than pothos, but they still tend to be pretty easy to keep alive with your exotic pets.

If you’re interested in adding live plants to your bioactive terrarium, feel free to come by The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights and check out our collections of plants.