Ball pythons are the kind of snake who like to stay hidden and covered by foliage. This is why placing plants in their tanks can be a great way to make them feel right at home. But what are the best plants for ball pythons?
Wart Fern, Creamsicle, Golden Pothos, Boston Fern, Blue Star Fern and Snake plant are some of the best plants to decorate your ball python terrarium.
In this article, I will be talking about these plants in great detail to help you determine which plant or plants would be best to decorate your ball python terrarium. So, let’s begin.
Best Plants for Ball Python
There are several requirements that a plant needs to fulfill in order to be considered as a good plant for a ball python terrarium. Therefore, now, I am going to provide you with a list of the best plants and also important pieces of information about them to help you decide which one suits you and your ball python the most.
1. Microsorum Scolopendrium (Wart Fern)
The plant Microsorum Scolopendrium is commonly known as wart fern, Musk fern, Kangaroo fern, Serpent fern or Monarch fern. It is quite wide and has lobed fronds. These fronds can be used in making coconut oils and perfumes as they provide fragrance when crushed. So, this plant can also be used for commercial purposes.
The way of differentiating Microsorum Scolopendrium from other plants is by the leaves it possesses as they are not only smooth but also the texture is leatherlike. This is one of the reasons why this plant can be placed in a ball python tank. Because of its ruggedness, it can easily face the abuse ball pythons tend to cause to their tank plants.
As ball pythons require a specific temperature and humidity in their tank, not all plants are therefore suitable. But this plant, however, can survive in a highly humid environment and also requires a temperature of 65-80 degrees, which matches the ball python’s temperature need as well.
Another reason why this plant is an excellent choice for placing in a ball python tank is they can survive in full shade, partial shade, and also in full sun. So, as it is suggested to keep your ball pythons away from windows because too much heat can cause stress for them, this plant can easily survive.
Also, the growth rate of this plant is quite slow so it can stay in the tank for a long time without having to cut it or place it out of the tank.
Now how is this plant going to help your ball python to stay healthy? Well, this plant is highly pest resistant and disease resistant. So, it will prevent your ball python from facing this kind of stress as well.
Watering Needed: Everyday
Hardiness Zone: 7-10
2. Syngonium Podophyllum (Arrowhead Vine)
Syngonium Podophyllum is a very famous plant that requires minimum maintenance. Even though it is mostly known by its genus name- Syngonium, it is also known as Arrowhead plant and Arrowhead Philodendron because the shape of its leaves is arrow-like.
This plant can be easily differentiated from other plants with its smooth green leaves that also have veins. These veins are of a touch of pink, making the plant more attractive. Another thing that makes this plant more eye-catching and wanted is the wide range of color varieties that it comes in.
Syngonium is a great choice for your ball python’s tank as it is not only attractive but also can survive in a highly moisturized environment, so it will be able to manage in the humid environment of your ball python.
Even though the growth rate of this plant is not that slow, it can still easily be kept in the tank for a year. After a year you’ll definitely have to take it out and provide it a bigger space. But it’s still one of the best plants for ball python tanks.
Watering Needed: Moderate to heavy
Hardiness Zone: 9-10
3. Epipremnum Aureum (Golden Pothos)
Most people know it as golden pothos, hunter’s robe, Ceylon creeper, etc. In the Araceae family, it is an herbaceous perennial. It is by far the better plant for use in snake enclosures. This plant is hardy and also has the capability of thriving in dimly lit and damp conditions.
These plants prefer rainforest-style and tropical vivariums. There are various types of golden pothos. Some of them have variegated leaves and others have leaves uniformly colored.
Epipremnum Aureum cannot stand temperatures below 50 or 10. Typically, it can grow up to 20 meters in height. But it is most suitable for houseplants and ball python tanks.
This plant is going to help your ball python by giving proper shelter. They do not need any air circulation to thrive which is perfect for a tank. It is also a great plant for providing an egg-laying site.
Watering Needed: Every 1-2 weeks.
Hardiness Zone: 11
4. Nephrolepis Exaltata (Boston Fern)
The Nephrolepis Exaltata is commonly known as Boston fern, Green fantasy, or Emerald vase Fern. It is one of the most popular house plants. It is also popularly used for snake habitats such as ball pythons.
They can live in dim lighting but they need sufficient natural sunlight to grow well. Also, they can filter xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde from the air. They are also compact. So, you can easily use them in ball python tanks.
The required temperature for them is above 65 and they like 70-100% humidity. They are quite beneficial to ball pythons. And they provide lots of hiding places and egg laying shelter for snakes. They are more robust and are also capable of taking the beating of a ball python. But you have to trim them to fit in an enclosure.
Watering Needed: Regular. Do not let the soil dry out in between watering.
Hardiness zone: 10-12
5. Polypodium Aureum (Blue Star Fern)
The Blue Star Fern is an epiphytic fern and native to subtropical and tropical regions of America.
They are great for container gardening and ball python tanks. This type of plant requires above 65 temperature and 70-100% humidity. They can survive in full shade and partial shade. They generally grow to 12” to 36” in height. So, if you want to use it in an enclosure, you have to trim them to fit.
They are good for ball pythons. They can take the beating of ball pythons and can also provide great shelter to ball pythons.
Watering Needed: Regular watering is needed. Do not let the soil dry out
Hardiness Zone: 9-11
6. Sansevieria Laurentii (Snake Plant)
The Sansevieria Laurentii or snake plants are native to the drier part of Sri Lanka. They are uniquely shaped. It is commonly seen in houses and offices as houseplants. But you can also use them in the ball python tanks.
They have a shallow root system. In lower light, they need less water and can survive longer. They grow slowly so you can keep them in tanks and do not need to trim frequently.
They require a drier condition. And also capable of surviving the beating of ball pythons. They help to filter indoor air and also can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Watering needed: Every 2-8 weeks is recommended. You have to be very careful while watering the snake plant. Do not overdo watering then it will rot out. You have to make sure that the soil is completely dry before you water the plant again.
Hardiness Zone: 10-11
Ball pythons tend to flourish more in enclosures that are spruced up. And the best thing to use for such decoration are plants that can not only provide your ball python with a healthy environment but also the feeling of being unseen. Something snakes in general are fond of.
In this article, I have mentioned the best plants for ball pythons and also talked about how they should be maintained and how they can help your ball python. I hope this article was of help to you. Thanks for stopping by.