Doyle's Dart Den


Plants for the Vivarium
(Last update 02/04/99)

If you have a plant that has worked well for you, please let me know. 

The following is a list of plants that people on FrogNet have had success with in a vivarium.  I would recommend picking up a good book on plants that you can use for reference.  I have The House Plant Expert and it has been very useful.  Also check out Ken Uy's plant page at:  If any of you have other plants that have worked well, or good photos of the ones listed below, please contact me by clicking here.

Check out the Plant Source page for suppliers.

Cryptanthus spp. "earth stars"- if I can't kill them, no one can.
Guzmania sp.
Vriesa sp. (A bromeliad that will LIVE in terrariums!)

Davallia canariensis Rabbit foot, Hare's foot, or Squirrel's foot.   Nice fern that has thick rhizomes that look like "rabbit feet." Keep it in an area that is well drained.

House Plants
  "I have had success with planting the small 'turnips' of Archimedes in a vivarium back wall and let them grow and flower. After half a year, they dwindle and needing a strict rest, they normally never return.   But I grow this plant in my greenhouse as well and I always have a few spare turnips." Quote from Frognet subsciber.
Begonia Begonia
Cissus discolor
Episcia cupreata
Flame violet.   An attractive trailing plant which requires high humidity and bright light.  Has red flowers and the leaves are large and quilted with silvery or pale green veins.
Episcia dianthifiora
Lace flower.  An attractive trailing plant which requires high humidity                  and bright light.
Ruellia devosiana

Java moss-
Grow it on wet wood, it actually
does (for moss, it's all relative...)!

Aerangis biloba and other Aerangis
Notylia barkeri
Maxillaria uncata
Masdevallia lata

Ficus pumilus Creeping fig -
Can be hard to start, but once it takes off it will cover the back wall and will have to be trimmed (the kudzu of vivariums).  Peter Muddle has stated that he has seen the roots even grow down and through the sealant that seals the tank causing leaks.
   Creeping fig on the ground.

Hedera Ground Ivy, English Ivy, German Ivy, ect.,   A great vine that will do well under all kind of conditions.
species will grow as weeds
Philodendron scandens
heartleaf Philodendron
Pilea nummularilfolia 
Creeping Charlie - Once you get this started it goes and goes and goes.  My wife had some in her tank at work and we had to trim it about once a month so you could find the frogs.
(Very easy to grow)
Tradescantia Wandering Jew
(Grows great but not very attractive in most setups because of the large distance between leaves.)
Zebrina Wandering Jew
(Grows great but not very attractive in most setups because of the large distance between leaves.)

The following are ones I could not find in my book
Vanilla planifolia (?)
Betal leaf
If your vivarium is large enough and you have some shop dealing
with exotic foodstuff nearby.. Try ginger and some allied roots. They look
well, I have found many a treefrog on these plants in Costa Rica and
they smell exotic too. And taroo and such looks nice as well and in a
confined container will not grow very big.
If it does well, it looks like moss with little white flowers.
Look at aquarium plants.. a lot of them are actually marsh plants
mistreated... You can grow Anubias, Bacopa, Echinodorus, Ludwigia etc as
land-plants with a preference for a wet bottom.


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