Whether you are just starting to care for reptiles or want to provide them with some different kinds of food, using live plants to supplement their diet is an excellent way to do it. If you have wondered what plants are safe for your reptile, it may surprise you to learn there are some common plants they like that you may already know about.
The carnation (Dianthus) is a hardy perennial flower that grows from 10 to 20 inches in height and originates from Europe and Asia. It produces pink flowers in late spring through summer and is a favorite flower for use in floral arrangements. The carnation is safe for reptiles and its pink petals are considered a tasty treat. Do not, however give flowers used in floral arrangements to reptiles since there is no way to know what types of pesticides or fungicides were used while they were growing at the nursery.
The dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows from 2 to 18 inches tall and is a common lawn weed in almost all parts of the U.S. Both the green lance-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers of the dandelion are edible for reptiles. Only remove dandelions from yards where chemical applications have not been applied. To avoid transmitting mites and other small bugs to reptile enclosures, wash all parts of the plant with water and inspect them before offering them as food.
The hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a tropical shrub native to Asia that can reach a height of 30 feet when grown outside as a tree. It comes in a wide variety of colors, and plant blooms may come in singles or doubles. The leaves and colorful blooms of the hibiscus plant are edible for reptiles and are a particular favorite to iguanas. When grown indoors, hibiscus are prone to bug infestations or may drop their leaves if climate conditions are not favorable. Don't allow roaming reptiles to forage on hibiscus plants that have been treated for bug problems. Removing the plant's fallen leaves or blossoms helps to avoid digestive issues.