Is Pothos Reptile Safe?

When you think about decorating your reptile tank or terrarium, the first idea that comes to mind is a beautiful plant that can serve to decorate the tank and feed your pet. Many plants can make your terrarium aesthetically pleasing, and pothos is one of them. In fact, pothos is not only nice looking but also an easy-to-grow plant that can support the terrarium environment without any problem. But before growing pothos or any other plant in your reptile tank, you need to ask yourself the following question: is this plant safe for your pet?

In this article, we will see if pothos is reptile safe. Then, we will give you a list of plants you can grow in your reptile tank and an exhaustive list of plants that are toxic to reptiles.

Table of Contents

Is Pothos Reptile Safe?

Reptile lying on a plant

Pothos is safe for most reptiles. The pothos plant is the staple diet of the monkey-tailed shink and Solomon island skink. These reptiles can eat as many pothoses as they can without ill effects.

At this point, you may be wondering why people worry a lot about the safety of pothos. Well, pothos is known for being poisonous to humans, cats, dogs, and other mammals but not reptiles. In fact, the molecular structure of pothos has a little crystal structure inside of its cells that can hurt mammalian animals. But for some reason, reptiles have no issues with it at all.

If you are concerned about whether or not your reptiles can eat pothos, then you could always yield in the direction of caution and not give it to them. I’ve seen many people giving it to reptiles like cherry heads and monkey-tailed shink without any problem.

I found this youtube short of a chameleon climbing up a golden pothos, check it out if you want:

A chameleon climbing up a golden pothos

Can Pothos Grow without Drainage? Here is the answer.

What Plants Are Toxic to Reptiles?

Example of a plant this not safe for reptiles

Growing live plants in a reptile tank is lots of fun as it makes it look more natural and aesthetically pleasing, but you should know which plants are suitable for your reptiles and which ones can hurt them.

For example, even though many reptiles like to eat fruit, it’s not a good idea to plant any fruit tree in your reptile’s enclosure. In fact, the bark and leaves of most fruit trees are actually toxic to snakes. Also, many fruit tree pits, seeds, and stems are poisonous to pet reptiles. This includes fruit trees like avocados, apricots, apples, etc.

Avocados, for example, have a toxic chemical called persin in their stem and leaves. So, you want to never plant anything that has to do with avocado in your reptile’s tank.

Many people decorate a reptile tank by growing flowers around it. But there are a lot of flowers that can be toxic to your reptile. Especially if you’ve got a herbivore that likes to eat greens or flowers around it.

The most common flowers that are not reptile safe are clematis, delphinium, Elephant’s ear, holly, and mistletoe. You don’t want to plant any of those inside or around your animal’s tank. For example, if your reptile digests leaves and berries of mistletoe, he can immediately experience digestive distress. In some cases, consuming holly and mistletoe can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, possibly killing your reptiles.

Not all flowers are toxic for reptiles. So, If you’re interested in planting a particular flower in your animal’s tank, do your research and look it up and see if it is safe for them.

When we talk about reptile-safe plants, we should also think about grass. Generally, many reptile owners choose to grow grass around or inside their pet’s tanks. So, if you want to grow grass inside or outside your reptile’s tank, stay away from Johnson Grass. This grass is dangerous because reptiles can build up toxic amounts of cyanide and nitrate in their system if they eat it.

In the paragraphs above, we tried to go through different plant categories that you should not grow inside or around a reptile tank. But if you want an exhaustive list of plants that are toxic to reptiles, you can use the following list:

  • Azaleas
  •  Belladonnas
  •  Buttercup
  •  Calla Lily
  •  Easter Lily
  •  Daffodil
  •  Hyacinth
  •  Poppies
  •  Tulips
  •  Wisteria
  •  Ragwort

Click Here to Learn Exactly how Often You Should Water Pothos Plant.

What Types of Plants Are Safe for Reptiles?

Example of a Plant that is safe Safe for Reptiles

First on our list is pothos, a reptile-safe plant and a very easy-to-cultivate plant that can grow in soil or water without requiring a lot of light or nutrients. Pothos also have broad leaves that can be used by frogs and geckos as a large surface to climb on.

The only thing you may not like about pothos if you grow them in a reptile tank is their size. In fact, pothos is a large plant; even the individual leaves are big and overgrown. As a result, they can soon overwhelm more miniature terrariums, especially if you’re not ready to prune them back reasonably often.

Next on our list is the spiderwort, a weird name for this plant, but more commonly, you will hear them referred to by their less culturally sensitive name of wandering Jews. In addition to being not toxic for pets and reptiles, spiderwort is very easy to cultivate. Just stick a cutting of this plant in water, and it’ll start growing roots within a few days.

Spiderwort is also the kind of plant that will do OK if you let them dry out, probably not quite as OK as pothos, but it can grow on neglect with no problem. They also have relatively low light requirements, which makes them the perfect fit for a terrarium.

Another reptile-friendly plant is the creeping fig. I like this plant because it has much smaller leaves than other plants like pothos and the philodendron. Therefore, you can grow creeping figs inside your reptile tank without thinking of pruning them every now and then.

What I like the most about the Creeping fig is that it can hold on and grow on any stick or rock, making it the perfect plant for reptile tanks and terrariums.

Last on our list is the peperomia, Rosso. There are many peperomias out there, and many of them can be perfect for reptiles as they are not toxic and extensive, so they can be used as climbing support. But this one has many other advantages over the different variants.

The main advantage of Peperomia Rosso is its capacity to adapt to the terrarium environment. In fact, this plant can survive easily with the amount of light and humidity available in terrariums. Also, this plant is very decorative as it has little red stems that make reptile tanks look astonishing.

Are you dealing with a Leggy pothos? Here are 5 Reasons why this could be happening.


So, as we mentioned above, pothos is a reptile-safe plant, but many plants can be toxic to your reptiles or amphibian. As a result, before growing a plant in your terrarium, ensure you stay away from the poisonous plants mentioned in the list above.

If you want to grow some plants inside your reptile tank, some safe plants can be used as food or climbing support for your reptiles. The best reptile-safe plants include spiderwort, creeping fig, and peperomia Rosso.

Are you dealing with a Leggy pothos? Here are 5 Reasons why this could be happening.

Diana Cox

I'm Diana from I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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