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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im looking for some plant ideas.
Specifically, large, hardy, and easy to grow plants. Im putting together a new viv, but will be housing geckos in it, instead of frogs. The geckos will be substantially larger than pdf's are. So what are some plants that can handle a 50 gram gecko climbing on them and would strive/ survive in a viv ?

6,110 Posts
Ficus benjamina and Anthuriums work well, too. Here's a picture of a large viv I did for a client - it houses a pair of crested geckos.


8,328 Posts
asplenium ferns ("birdsnest ferns") There are many species, some dwarf, others huge.
A. goudeyi is a cool dwarf, A. japonicum gets a bit bigger, but still bigger viv suitable

255 Posts
Wooot Im good with this one! ;)

Made a list a while back for anther forum I'm a member of Keep in mind I dont have experience with every plant on this list but take a look at each. It also matters what sp of geckos your getting.


*Aechmea fasciata (Urn plants/Silver Vase Bromeliad) – Large

*Billbergia nutans – (queens Tears) partial shade to bright indirect light

*Cryptanthus zonatus (Earth stars) – warm, humid, bright light

*Guzmania lingulata – warm, humid, bright light

*Nidularium – 12-15 inches, low to Med. Light

*Tillandsia – Air plant, warm & humid

*Vrisea splendens (sword bromeliads) Light shade

~Other Plants:

*Acalphya (copperleafs, chenille plants)

*Adiantum (maidenhair ferns) – cool and dry in winter

*Aglaonema (Chinese evergreens) – do well in low lights, highly recommended

*Alocasia (elephant ears) – must be kept moist, humid and warm, will either not do well or overgrow everything

*Asplenium (Bird’s nest fern) – moist soil, up to 3 feet high

*Bamboo - (live or dry) please the the Wikipedia article, way to much intresting info to list! Clippings will produice.

*Beaucarnea recurvata - (Ponytail Palms)

*Calathea zebrine - (Zebra plant) – moist moderate temps, moderate light

*Ceropegia woodii - (Rosary Vine,Hearts entangled, or String of hearts) Water thoroughly, and then allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again.

*Chlorophytum (spider plants) – average humidity, moderate light, should be allowed to get almost dry before watering

*Cissus (kangaroo vines, grape ivys) – no moist soil
--- Cissus discolor- (rex begonia vine) colors on these leaves are gorgeous

*Codiaeum variegatum (often confused for Croton, because of this it is often labeled "croton" as a common name)

*Crassula ovata - (Jade Plant, Friendship tree or Money plant)Clippings will produice.

*Cyrtomium - (Holly ferns)

*Dracaena - (Dragon plants)

*Ficus (rubber trees, ornamental figs) should be washed of when dirty, do wellin spotlight, Use caution with any plant of the ficus family that has a "milky sap" when leafs/stems are broken, it is a skin and eye irratant.
---Ficus pumila var. quercifolia - Oak Leaf Creeping Fig
creeping figs in general are good, there's a couple different varieties.

*Gynura aurantiaca - (purple passion) Medium light, good drainage. Sort of delicate.

*Maranta - (prayer plant) warm temps, high humidity

*Monolina primuliflora (Monolena)

*Pilea cadieri- creeping mass of tiny silver leaves 1/4" across. Easy to grow in terrarium conditions with well drained substrates.

*Peperomia - (radiator plant) some in this family are an epiphyte or air plant. Clippings will generally produice.

*Radermachera sinica - (China Doll)very difficult to root, Growth slowers used by nurserys will grow fast and less bushy.

*Sanseveria - (Snake Plants)aethiopica,caniculata,kirkii pulchra, parva, pinguicula, sinularis, thyrsiflora & trifasciata

*Scindapsus (Pothos) - looks like philodendron, very hardy. Clippings will produice.

*Schefflera arboricola - (Umbrella Plant)

*Seemania sylvatica- beautiful red fuzzy 1" flowers. Plants grow up to 12" tall and spread readily

*Spathiphyllum - (peace lilies) all lilys are toxic to cats *uses caution in tanks.

*Tradescantia zebrina - (wandering Jew/ spiderwart) Can cause skin iritation in humans when handeld frequently. Clippings will produice. Called inch plant because it can grow up to an inch a day!

*Pillow Moss- Moss is notoriously hard to keep alive and spread and requires a lot of light and water (probably too much than a Rhac would receive in the wild).

These plants have been claimed by some to be harmful in tanks with live animals. Some have been use with little to no problems, others are dangerous. Please use with caution or not at all.

*Hedera helix - (Ivy, English Ivy) This plant is nontoxic to birds but is toxic to humans. It is unknown what would happen when and if a feeder insect were to eat it then a reptile were to eat it in exchange.

*Philodendron- All parts of the plant are poisonous, due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. Make sure to double check this vs. Pothos, they look alike and are generally mix together at most plant stores. Some say that this plant is safe but from my reading I do not agree they are for all herps.

*Dieffenbachia - (Dumbcane) All parts of the plant are poisonous, due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. . It has been known to cause the death of cats, dogs, and small children. This plant is considered a neurotoxin.

*Codiaeum variegatum and Croton look the same accept Croton (genus) Croton Oil is used as an active ingredient in facial chemical peels. Also in the past Croton oil was used in herbal medicine as a violent purgative. Some have claimed is has killed their pets.

*Dracunculus vulgaris (aka Arum dracunculus) aslo Voodoo Lily. Roots and other parts of the plant are listed as toxic.

*Begonia's-they are known to be poisonous to cats and dogs, but the roots are the main danger. This plant is used in tons of Dart frog tanks and have not been noticed as any danger. Since the root is the dangerous part is maybe best not to use them in with females that may look to lay eggs (good or duds) in the roots.

* Hemigraphis alternata - (purple waffle) Medium light, high water great for some herps BUT Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction in some people. Not known how it will affect Rhacs.

Even if a plant is listed as 'toxic if eaten' don't believe for a moment your animal won't lick the plant or eat an insect that's eaten the plant. Be very careful with them.

Note on store bought plants: Make sure to wash any plant you bring into your home. Remove all soil and wash with room temp to cool water and a drop of dawn dish soap. This will remove any pesticides and/or bugs that could cause problems with your herps. is one of the suppliers for lowes and some home depots. If you see a plant on the web page that you would like most times if you ask at the store they will order it for you.

the list and some plants people have asked me to ad are at this location...
Plants master list (rhac safe) - The Pangea Forums - Crested Geckos & More

255 Posts
Oh and that list above is a mix list for baby and adult geckos so google and look at pictures for how well you think they will hold up.

I would like to add my top 3 simple plant to keep with geckos. Pothos, mother-in-laws tongue and Dracaena. All seem to do really well in crested gecko and gargoyle gecko tanks. Since you said '50 gram gecko' Im thinking thats the ones you are talking about? They will use each of them and each tends to put up with the weight well. Piece Lilly while great for smaller geckos gets trampled by adults. Ficus plants do good as well, I cant remember what the name of the kind I use is, brain fart, but the one that looks like a pineapple top. :)
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