Crested Gecko Decorations

Since crested geckos are a tropical species, their terrariums are a lot of fun to design! However, as you select and arrange decorations for your gecko, keep in mind these 3 basic requirements for crested gecko terrarium decorations:

  1. Hiding places
  2. Jumping/climbing potential
  3. Water accumulation
Crested gecko terrarium ideas
Crested geckos will use the foliage in their enclosures as makeshift hides, often picking one or two favorite spots.

Here are some items that work well for making your crested gecko’s home both functional and beautiful:

  • branches
  • vines (learn how to make your own with this tutorial)
  • live plants
  • artificial plants/flowers
  • cork bark/tubes
  • birdhouse hides
  • PVC pipes
  • bamboo, free from paint or dyes
  • moss
  • magnetic ledges

Given that crested geckos are arboreal (tree-dwelling), climbing opportunities are especially important. Wild crested geckos are known to spend time among thin branches in particular. This may not make sense at first glance, but it helps them evade one of their predators: the larger and heavier leachie gecko. In addition to providing protection, this habit also exposes them to sunlight!

And here are some ideas on how to put your crested gecko terrarium together:

Live Plants vs Artificial Plants

When it comes to decorating your crested gecko terrarium, plants are a must. They’re attractive and provide great hiding and climbing opportunities for your pet. But does it matter whether you provide live or artificial plants?

Artificial plants are great because if you don’t have a green thumb or you don’t have the lighting necessary to keep a live plant, well, live, then you have an attractive terrarium decoration that requires no maintenance except an occasional wipedown. The best artificial plants for crested gecko enclosures are either outdoor-safe or manufactured specifically for reptile enclosures.

Live plants are great because they add to the realism of your crested gecko terrarium. They help keep humidity up and can even increase circulation and oxygen concentrations inside the enclosure. And like artificial plants, the foliage and stems provide hiding and climbing opportunities. Although they need full-spectrum 6500K lighting and specific amounts of water, they can be a great addition to your crested gecko terrarium. One of the biggest benefits is that live plants are fantastic at collecting water, which creates a natural source of water that your gecko can drink from. If you want to try live, here’s a list of gecko-safe options:

  • Aechmea fasciata (Urn plant)
  • Billbergia nutans (Queens Tears)
  • Cryptanthus zonatus (Earth Stars)
  • Guzmania lingulata
  • Nidularium
  • Tillandsia
  • Vrisea splendens (Sword Bromeliad)
  • Acalphya (Copperleaf)
  • Adiantum (Maidenhair fern)
  • Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
  • Alocasia (Elephant Ears)
  • Asplenium (Bird’s Nest fern)
  • Bamboo
  • Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm)
  • Calathea zebrine (Zebra Plant)
  • Ceropegia woodii (Rosary Vine)
  • Chlorophytum (Spider Plant)
  • Cissus 
  • Codiaeum variegatum
  • Crassula ovata (Jade Plant)
  • Cyrtomium (Holly Fern)
  • Dracaena (Dragon Plant)
  • Ficus
  • Gynura aurantiaca
  • Maranta (Prayer Plant)
  • Monolina primuliflora (Monolena)
  • Pilea cadieri
  • Peperomia (Radiator Plant)
  • Radermachera sinica (China Doll)
  • Sanseveria (Snake Plant)
  • Scindapsus (Pothos)
  • Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Plant)
  • Seemania sylvatica-
  • Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)
  • Tradescantia zebrina (Wandering Jew/Spiderwort)
  • Pillow Moss

Still stumped? Often it helps to see the reptile's native habitat:

Terrarium decorations are more than just another way to waste your money and/or make your gecko’s space look prettier. While they can serve an aesthetic function, they also enhance a reptile’s quality of life by mimicking their natural environment and providing mental stimulation. The best zoos do this all the time — it’s called environmental enrichment. A common misconception is that reptiles are stupid creatures that don’t need “toys” or decorations beyond their keeper’s fancy, so modern reptile husbandry experts are working to disprove this. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Just remember: everything in the terrarium will eventually need to be cleaned!

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