13 Best Plants for Snake Habitat (With Pictures)

Maybe you’re in the market for your first snake and you’re not sure how to decorate its habitat, or maybe you’re a seasoned snake fan looking to bring your pet’s vivarium to life.

Finding the right plants for your pet snake’s home is very important because you don’t want to choose anything that could harm your snake, and caring for plants isn’t that difficult either.

We support you. We’ve listed 13 plants that will do well in your snake cage. The list has been divided into two sections—plants that grow well in humid conditions and those that can survive in dry, desert-like environments.

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Best Plants for a Damp Vivarium

If you have a vivarium set up to mimic a tropical rainforest, the environment will be quite warm and humid. This type of environment is obviously important if you have tropical snakes but will also affect the types of plants you will use in the cage.

1. Bromeliads

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This plant has nearly 3,500 species in the genus, and they have special cup-like leaves (usually called urns) that collect rainwater.

You can investigate which species might work best in your own snake habitat, but some of the more popular species include:

  • Tillandsia pseudobaileyi: This is an “air plant” that needs to be anchored to a rock or tree and does not need soil. They only need the occasional drizzle but are very vigorous and will thrive with little intervention.

  • Neoregelia: This beautiful, bright plant needs to have a jar filled about a quarter full of water and needs lots of light. Otherwise, they do well when left alone for the most part.


2. fern

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There are a number of ferns you can consider that are not only safe and easy to care for, but will also look beautiful in your vivarium. There are more than 10,000 species of ferns, and they are one of the oldest plants in the world.

Some types of ferns that are suitable for your snake’s habitat are:

  • Bird’s nest fern: This fern requires a well-lit vivarium, needs room to grow, and regular misting.

  • Boston Fern: This fern is quite hardy as long as it doesn’t get too much water. It is excellent as a hanging plant.

  • Staghorn Fern: Named for its unusual appearance, this fern grows well in dim light and can grow on other plants such as bromeliads.


3. ficus

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There are also a number of ficus plants to consider. These plants are also known as figs, and while they are known to be edible, they also make beautiful houseplants for the vivarium.

Some of the more popular species are:

  • Propagating Fig (Ficus pumila): This fig grows like a vine, so it may need occasional pruning and pruning, or it may take over your vivarium. The Creeping Fig requires light, moist soil.

  • Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica): This Ficus can grow into a fine tree, but will become a small tree within the confines of a cage. It also requires moderate moisture, moist soil, and good light.

  • Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina): Similar to the Rubber Plant, it can also grow into a large tree but will settle into a small tree in your snake’s habitat. Like the other two ficus plants, it needs moderate moisture with moist soil and good light.


4. Golden Pothos

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Easy to care for and great for beginners, Golden Pothos can tolerate low light and will grow horizontally rather than vertically. They do well in moist conditions and are very hardy plants. This may require occasional pruning as it may try to take over the floor of your habitat.


5. inch plant

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This plant is given the name Inch Plant because of its tendency to grow quite quickly. It has pretty green and purple leaves and requires bright but indirect light. This is a vine, so you will need to prune it occasionally, or it will try to take over the coop.


6. Orchid

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Orchids are known as delicate flowers that are difficult to cultivate. However, there are a number of orchids that are primarily evergreen plants and are fairly easy to grow. Plus, they will do well in your vivarium.

  • Gem Orchid: With striking dark green leaves with pink streaks, it has tall white flowers that bloom once a year. It does well with moist soil and can handle lower light conditions, and thrives in moisture. This is one of the easiest orchids to grow.

  • Pink Rock Orchid: These orchids bloom with pretty pink flowers and can grow from rocks. It requires bright, indirect light and works well in hot and humid conditions.

  • Zootrophion dayanum: Named for its unusual flowers (from the side, they resemble a mammal’s head), this orchid grows well in cool to warm temperatures, with low to moderate light and moist soil.


7. spider plant

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This plant tends to be a very popular houseplant, especially for beginners, because it is easy to care for. They would probably do best if they were hung in the vivarium. Make sure they stay moist but can also be dried. These plants can grow quite large, so be prepared to dispose of them in the future—unless you have a very large vivarium!

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Best Plants for Dried Vivarium

Next up are plants that will grow quite well in a vivarium set up to mimic a desert-like environment. In this case, you will need a plant that requires a dry habitat that does not require a lot of water. Many of these plants are succulents, which also makes them much lower maintenance.

8. Aloe vera

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Aloe vera is a succulent renowned for its soothing and healing properties but can also be an excellent plant for your snake’s vivarium. Some varieties do have small spines, so be sure to choose the right type for your cage.

They grow straight to at least 1 foot, so make sure you have the right amount of height to accommodate them. They can be planted into the substrate and only need watering if the soil is dry and avoid placing them in direct light.


9. Echeveria

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Echeveria is a succulent that comes in a variety of colors—from purple to green to blue. Some Echeveria can grow to be a foot tall and a foot wide, so double check the type of Echeveria you’re considering before buying. This beautiful succulent is quite low maintenance and safe for your snake.


10. Haworthia

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There are a number of species that belong to the genus Haworthia. They are small succulents native to South Africa and share the same family as aloe. They should be watered every 2 to 3 weeks, and they do well in both direct and indirect light.


11. Mother-in-law’s tongue

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This plant is also called the Snake Plant, so it probably is. It grows tall, so again, you have to make sure that you have a tall vivarium. It requires bright light but is quite tolerant of drought conditions and should really only be watered every 3 weeks or so.


12. Ponytail Palm

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It can grow into a large tree, but grows quite slowly, and perhaps leaving it in a pot will make it easier to uproot once it grows larger than your vivarium. They do well in low light, and they store water in their stems and therefore don’t need a lot of water.


13. pearl strand

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This succulent is unique, thanks to its quite attractive appearance. It acts like a vine by growing and taking root in different places, and if you cut some shoots and plant them, you can grow new plants. It does require bright light and prefers dry, arid conditions. This succulent can also grow well in higher humidity levels but prefers dry conditions.

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Things to Consider

Luckily, snakes don’t eat plants, so you don’t have to worry about harming your pet’s health with plants. But it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.

Buy the Right Plant

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You’ll want to make sure you buy the type of plant that will thrive with your snake. For example, choose a succulent with a Gopher Snake and ferns and orchids for your Red Tailed Boa. You’ll want to research the best plants for their habitat and consider how much or how little effort you want to put into caring for them.

Think About Placements

You’ll want to think about the sturdiness of your plant and where is the best place to mount it. If you’re worried that your snake will accidentally drop something, make sure they get out of your snake’s path. Also, make sure you have easy access to the plant for watering and pruning (if necessary).

Think About Installation

Some of your plants may do better if you leave them in their containers and pots. If they grow too large, you can easily remove them. Some plants can be planted directly into the substrate or in other installations mounted on the vivarium, such as rocks and bark.

Prepare the Plants in Advance

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Before you place your new plant in the vivarium, you should wash it thoroughly with water to remove any chemicals, pesticides, or pests that may have hitch a ride. You may also want to consider removing the potting soil and replacing it with your own so you know it is safe for your snake.

Pruning and Maintenance

You will find that some plants will require occasional pruning, or they will begin to take over the habitat. This can be achieved quite easily and quickly. When in doubt, look online for pruning advice for any specific plant.

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Conclusion

We all know plants are going to be extra work, so why would you consider adding plants to your snake’s habitat? Most snakes will do just fine without additional plants, but there are definitely some advantages.

Plants add extra oxygen to the cage, help turn waste into fertilizer, and add nutrients to the substrate. They also give your snake some extra places to rest and hide, and let’s face it, a vivarium full of beautiful plants will show off your lovely snake.

Yes, plants are extra work, but if you do your research and choose the right plants, you may find that they don’t actually require much work at all, but you and your snake will surely reap the benefits.

READ ALSO: How To Take Care Of A Pet Snake (Greeting Sheet & Guide 2021)


Featured Image Credit: Maria Babikova, Shutterstock

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