Please see Part I of this article for information regarding specific types of reptiles and the growing of native plants.
Nearly all fruits and berries, and many flowers and grasses, can be put to good use in feeding tortoises, herbivorous lizards, and certain aquatic turtles. Try also adding grass clumps and leafy branches to your insectivorous pets’ terrariums…frogs, day geckos and others will enjoy poking through them in search of tasty insects.
Fruit Trees and Bushes
Apple and Crab Apple
Most berries, including natives such as elderberry and juniper
Seeds, Grains and Grasses
Seeds of most native grasses (“weeds”)
A small pond, or even an unfiltered, water-filled container set out in a sunny location, will support duckweed, Anachris and other hearty aquatic plants, many of which are important natural foods for aquatic turtles. Keep a few minnows in the pond to consume mosquito larvae.
You can also easily (almost too easily!) grow water hyacinth and water lettuce – both look great in terrariums housing frogs, newts and small turtles. They require very bright light, but you can always rotate individual plants back out to the pond, where they will perk up very quickly.
Next time I’ll highlight some interesting insect visitors that you can expect in your reptile garden.
Fruit and other trees attract cicadas…a mixed blessing for “real gardeners” but a bonanza for herp enthusiasts. For my take on using these chunky summer songsters as reptile food, please see Cicadas, an End of Summer Treat.