Can You Put Fake Plants in a Leopard Gecko Tank?

*This post contains affiliate links, if you buy through a link on this post we may receive a commission.

leopard gecko hiding behind fake plants in its tank

You can put fake plants in a leopard gecko tank. Fake plants provide your leopard gecko with hiding places and help make their enclosure look more natural.

When selecting fake plants for your leopard gecko’s tank, it’s important to pick those that are safe for reptiles and don’t have any small parts that could be swallowed.

Additionally, ensure the plants are made from non-toxic materials and have no sharp edges that could injure your lizard. Regularly clean the plants to prevent bacteria build-up.

While fake plants are a great option, you can also consider adding real plants to your leopard gecko’s tank. Adding live plants can create a more natural and attractive terrarium setup.

Just remember to choose the right type of plants that can thrive in your gecko’s habitat and keep a balance between natural and artificial elements to create the most comfortable and visually appealing environment for your pet.

Benefits of Fake Plants

Easy Maintenance

One of the main benefits of using fake plants in your leopard gecko tank is the ease of maintenance. Unlike live plants, artificial plants don’t require watering, fertilizing, or trimming. This gives you more time to focus on caring for your leopard gecko and less time worrying about the plants.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Artificial plants come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, allowing you to create a visually appealing environment for your gecko. These plants can add a natural feel to your leopard gecko’s habitat without the hassle of maintaining live plants. They won’t wilt or die, ensuring your tank always looks fresh and vibrant.

Reduced Risk of Ingestion

Finally, using fake plants in a leopard gecko tank can reduce the risk of your gecko accidentally ingesting plant matter. Although leopard geckos are primarily insectivores, they may nibble on plants out of curiosity.

By opting for artificial plants, you can control the materials used, helping to keep your reptile safe from potential ingestion hazards.

How to Choose the Right Fake Plants

When it comes to selecting the right fake plants for your leopard gecko tank, there are a few key factors to consider, such as material, size, and color. With these criteria in mind, you’ll create an ideal environment for your leopard gecko while maintaining the overall appearance of the enclosure.


Choose fake plants made of non-toxic, durable materials that are safe for your leopard gecko. Avoid materials that can easily break or shed parts, as they may cause injury or pose a choking hazard. Opt for high-quality, soft plastic or fabric plants that are easy to clean and won’t harm your gecko.


Consider the size of the fake plants in relation to the size of your leopard gecko tank. Smaller plants are suitable for highlighting specific areas within the enclosure, while larger plants can provide cover and additional hiding spots for your gecko.

Leave enough space in the tank for your leopard gecko to roam freely and find comfortable spots for basking and sleeping.

  • Use small to medium-sized fake plants for small tanks (10-20 gallons).
  • For medium-sized tanks (20-40 gallons), use a mix of small, medium, and large plants.
  • For large tanks (40+ gallons), use a mix of sizes and consider adding larger plants, such as artificial trees or topiaries.


When selecting fake plants, choose colors that mimic the natural environment of a leopard gecko. Natural greens, browns, and earth tones help create a realistic and visually appealing habitat.

Avoid plants with overly bright or unnatural colors, as they can detract from the overall aesthetic of your reptile’s environment.

Setting Up the Tank

In this section, we will explore how to incorporate fake plants in the tank while maintaining a safe and natural environment for your gecko.

Placement of Fake Plants

Optimal locations should provide your gecko with plenty of hiding spots and mimic their natural environment. Prioritize placing plants near their hides or around the edges of the enclosure, so your gecko can seek refuge in the foliage. Be sure to choose fake plants that are safe for reptiles and do not have small, detachable parts.

Creating a Natural Environment

To create a visually appealing and realistic setup, choose plants with varying colors, shapes, and sizes. Consider selecting plants that resemble those found in a leopard gecko’s natural habitat, like desert grasses or succulents, to enhance the authenticity of the enclosure.

Safety Precautions

1. Select plants that are specifically designed for reptile use and avoid those that could potentially be toxic or harmful.

2. Don’t use plants with small, detachable parts that could be swallowed or cause injury to your gecko.

3. Ensure that the plants you choose won’t obstruct any heat sources, like a heat lamp or heating pad, which could lead to potential fire hazards.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly cleaning your fake plants helps prevent bacteria build-up. Use dishwashing detergent or soap meant for gecko cages. Rinse the plants thoroughly to remove any soap residue, and let them dry completely before returning them to the tank.

Aside from cleaning the plants themselves, it’s important to maintain the cleanliness of the entire tank. Regularly remove any organic debris, such as feces or leftover food, from the terrarium.

When arranging the fake plants in your leopard gecko’s tank, be mindful of sharp edges that could injure your pet. Position the plants so your gecko can move around comfortably and easily access their hides and other accessories.

By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure a healthy and visually appealing environment for your leopard gecko without the added challenges of maintaining live plants in their tank.

Alternatives to Fake Plants

While fake plants might be convenient, there are other options to consider for your leopard gecko’s tank. In this section, we’ll explore live plants and natural decorations that can create a more realistic and beneficial environment for your gecko.

Live Plants

Although leopard geckos don’t require plants in their tanks, live plants can enhance the natural look of the habitat and help regulate humidity levels. Some suitable plant options for a leopard gecko tank include Elephant Bush, Tillandsia (Air Plants), and Christmas/Easter Cactus.

Keep in mind that most plants may struggle to thrive in a leopard gecko habitat due to the lack of light and humidity, so choose plants that can tolerate these conditions.

When selecting live plants, research their specific care requirements and ensure they’re safe for your gecko. It’s essential to maintain proper hygiene and monitor the plants’ health to prevent the spread of bacteria or pests.

Natural Decorations

Besides plants, you can incorporate natural decorations to create an engaging and visually appealing habitat for your leopard gecko. Some options include:

  • Rock formations: Arrange rocks in the tank to create hiding spots and basking areas. Ensure the rocks are stable and cannot collapse on your gecko.
  • Wood branches: Choose reptile-safe driftwood or cork bark pieces as additional climbing and hiding spaces. Avoid using branches from outside that could introduce pests or toxins.
  • Leaf litter: Add a layer of clean, dry leaves to enhance the natural look and provide a comfortable substrate for your gecko. Choose non-toxic, organic leaves free of pesticides or chemicals.

By using a combination of live plants and natural decorations, you can create a visually appealing and engaging home for your leopard gecko, promoting its overall health and well-being.

Leave a Comment