Bearded Dragons: Can Bonsai Live in a Reptile Cage

  • By: Josh Koop
  • Date: July 10, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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If you are a reptile lover, the best pet you can have is a bearded dragon. These fascinating reptiles are easy to tame, and they can be social. When you decorate the cage for them with plants, you have several options. Bonsai trees are a small and attractive piece of art to consider. So, can bearded dragons have bonsai trees?

Bonsai trees can be placed in reptile cages as long as they are not toxic to your bearded dragon. Since the dragons prefer warm, desert, or subtropical woodlands, you can choose a bonsai that matches the conditions. Also, consider if you can care for both your pet and bonsai

In this article, I will discuss bonsai trees in a bearded dragon tank. You will learn which bonsai types are dangerous for your reptile and which ones are not. You also have to consider whether you are ready to take risks with your bonsai. 

Can Bearded Dragons Live With Bonsai?

You can place live plants in a bearded dragon’s cage. So, depending on the size of the tank, you can also place a bonsai tree in the habitat to make it attractive. However, you have to consider some important factors before keeping a bonsai near your bearded dragon. 

Almost any kind of tree or shrub can be turned into a bonsai. You may already have a bonsai in your collection that you want to put in the reptile cage. But is it safe for your bearded dragon? Some plants and trees have poisonous properties. Thus, it can harm your little beardie’s health. 

Bearded dragons eat insects and plant leaves. There is a high chance that your pet will eat the leaves, flowers, or fruits of the bonsai. If the tree is poisonous, the dragon can get an allergic reaction or an upset stomach. 

Therefore, you must always research your bonsai’s properties before placing it near a bearded dragon. Make sure the tree leaves or fruits are not poisonous.

Avoid bonsai trees like Juniper, Azalea, Oak, Wisteria, Red Maple, Snowdrop, Boxwood, and other trees with toxic leaves, fruits, and wood.

Can Bonsai Trees Live In Reptile Cage?

It is not just the bearded dragon you have to be concerned about. You also have to think about the bonsai you are going to place in the cage. Can bonsai survive in the habitat of a bearded dragon?

Well, the answer is that not all bonsai can live in a reptile tank. So, get a bonsai that can survive in the conditions where your reptile friend can. 

Besides, your bonsai will be exposed to the dragon. Bearded dragons are curious animals. Naturally, your pet will be drawn to the bonsai. It may climb on the bonsai and eat some of its leaves.

Hence, you should get a bonsai that can endure the behavior of the reptile. 

How To Choose Bonsai For Bearded Dragons

Now that you know that not all bonsai trees are for bearded dragons, you must choose a bonsai tree wisely. You may even have a bonsai tree that you want to add to the cage, but always check if the bonsai species is safe. 

Here is how you can choose a bonsai plant for your bearded dragon:

Check the Species of Your Bonsai Tree for Toxicity 

You may have gotten your bonsai as a gift or bought it from a store. In that case, find out the species of the bonsai plant. It may come with a card with details. If not, ask the seller or the person who gave you the bonsai. You can also search the internet to find out. 

It is important to know the bonsai species to find out if it is toxic for your precious dragon. Since your pet may eat the leaves or any parts of the tree, make sure the bonsai is not toxic.

Choose a Bonsai According to the Size of the Reptile Cage or Tank

The cage is a habitat for your bearded dragon. Also, it is for display. Your friends and guests can watch your reptile through the glass barrier.

Therefore, your bonsai should not get more attention than your reptile. It should have an ideal size that fits in your reptile cage. 

Make sure your bonsai has passed its growing period before putting it in the reptile cage. Also, prune and trim the bonsai to keep it in shape and size.

You do not want an overgrown bonsai in a small tank. So, there should be ample space for the reptile and other elements. 

Get A Bonsai That Can Survive In A Reptile Tank

Not all bonsai trees can survive indoors, especially in an enclosed reptile cage. Your bearded dragon will need a special environment to survive. The conditions have to be like the semi-arid environment in Australia. 

The temperature in the cage has to be 75 to 80 degrees F (31-38°C) during the day and 70 to 75 degrees F (21-24°C) at night. So, pick a bonsai that can survive at such a temperature.

Also, the bonsai trees should be able to live under artificial UVA and UVB light because bearded dragons need to stay away from direct natural sunlight. 

Bonsai trees that can survive in a desert, savanna, and subtropical areas are best for placing in a bearded dragon tank as they can survive in similar conditions. 

Some of the best bonsai trees for reptile cages are:

  • Parlor Palm: These indoor bonsai trees are non-toxic. They can live in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It requires low to medium humidity. 
  • Bamboo Palm: Bamboo Palm has foliage similar to the parlor palm. They also require high temperature and moderate humidity. 
  • Dwarf Jade Plants: Jade can be turned into a great indoor bonsai plant, as its growth can be easily controlled. They are also non-toxic to bearded dragons. Besides, it does not take too much water to survive. 
  • Ficus Trees: Another amazing bonsai for a reptile cage. However, make sure the temperature remains below 85 degrees F. 

So, Should You Have A Bonsai Tree For Your Bearded Dragon?

So, there are a good number of bonsai trees that can coexist with your bearded dragon. Reptile tanks need plants for various reasons. A bonsai will increase the decorative value of your bearded dragon’s cage. But it can also work as a shelter for the reptile. 

Bearded dragons love bonsai. They can sleep on it, hide from prying eyes, and even nibble on the leaves. Besides, bonsai trees can help regulate the temperature and air inside the cage. Thus, it helps keep the environment clean and comfortable. 

But should you really place a Bonsai in the cage? Yes, they look really attractive and provide many benefits. However, regular plants for a reptile cage can give the same benefits at a low cost. Bonsai trees are expensive. 

On top of that, they require extensive care. The bearded dragon can break branches and eat plenty of foliage, causing harm to the bonsai. 

So, if you are ready to take care of both your reptile and bonsai in one enclosed tank, you can place a living bonsai in the tank. To keep the bonsai safe, you can place other plants that your bearded dragon loves to eat. 

If you are worried about risking an alive bonsai, consider getting artificial bonsai trees for your bearded dragon’s cage. They look nice, and you do not have to water them every day like a live bonsai.

Your pet can climb on the artificial bonsai without incurring any significant costs. These bonsai are easy to move around and clean. 

Buy high-quality artificial bonsai trees, as cheap plastic can be toxic. Also, make sure your reptile does not end up eating broken plastic pieces from the bonsai. 

Conclusion

Can bearded dragons have bonsai trees? Yes, they can. Your bearded dragon will love having a bonsai tree in its cage. But you have to work harder to maintain the bonsai in the reptile cage. 

So, choose a non-toxic bonsai to decorate the cage and enhance the living quality of your bearded dragon cage.