Dragon's Diet

What Herbs Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Potted fresh herbs

Bearded dragons need greens to stay healthy and happy. While you may already be familiar with your dragon’s favorite staple greens — collard greens and mustard greens, for example — you may be less sure of what herbs bearded dragons can eat (if any). So, are herbs safe for bearded dragons? If so, what are the best herbs for bearded dragons? 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Herbs? 

The answer is yes and no! There are many herbs that bearded dragons can eat frequently, as well as some they can eat a little less often, and some they should avoid altogether. We’ve compiled three quick lists for your reference so you know which herbs you can safely add to your bearded dragon’s salad and which ones you can't.  

Best Herbs for Bearded Dragons

Here is a list of herbs bearded dragons can eat once a week (unless otherwise noted). The calcium to phosphorus ratio is included in parentheses for each herb.

  • Basil (2.2:1). Basil has Vitamins A, C, E, and K, plus antioxidants and antibacterial properties, so it’s great for your dragon’s vision and immune system.  
  • Chicory (2:1). Chicory is high in calcium and fiber along with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and iron, which promotes healthy blood.  
  • Cilantro (1.4:1). Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and an antimicrobial property that can help prevent food poisoning, this herb is excellent for bearded dragons. Every other day, you can sprinkle cilantro in with your dragon’s greens.  
  • Fennel (1:1). Fennel has calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins B and C, among other nutrients.    
  • Lemongrass (1:1.5). Lemongrass is high in fiber and antioxidants, plus it has antimicrobial properties and can help fight inflammation. It can also boost your dragon’s immune system. 
  • Rosemary (4.8:1). This herb has an excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio. In addition to being high in calcium, it also has a lot of fiber, so it’s good for digestion.  

Pro Tip: Choose fresh herbs instead of dried for your dragon. Dried herbs are more concentrated and therefore more acidic than fresh herbs, so they can upset your bearded dragon’s stomach.

Occasional Herbs for Bearded Dragons 

There are a few herbs that are safe on occasion for your bearded dragon (you can sprinkle them in a salad every three or four weeks): 

  • Fresh parsley (2.4:1). Although parsley has calcium, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K, it’s also high in oxalates, so it can’t be eaten too often.
  • Peppermint & spearmint (3.3:1). This fragrant herb is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. It can be used as an incentive to get your dragon to eat their greens.
  • Thyme (3.8:1). With Vitamin C and antibacterial properties, thyme can boost your dragon’s immune system.   
pots of herbs 

    Toxic Herbs for Bearded Dragons 

    There are some herbs that are not good for bearded dragons at all: 

    • Bay leaves. Bay leaves are in the laurel family of plants, which are toxic to bearded dragons. 
    • Garlic, dill leaves, onion, and chives. These are all too acidic for bearded dragons to the point where they could be toxic.

    Can You Grow Herbs in Your Bearded Dragon’s Tank?

    Yes, you can grow herbs in your bearded dragon’s tank

    Live herbs (and other plants, such as aloe vera) can be a nice way to accent your dragon’s tank. They are often a safer alternative to plastic plants, which can cause impaction if accidentally ingested. 

    If you decide to try out your green thumb by growing herbs in your dragon’s terrarium, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

    • You’ll need to monitor humidity levels frequently. Plants can alter the humidity levels so you may need to mist the tank or remove some of the plants to regulate the humidity.
    • Herbs tend to wilt quickly in the heat of the terrarium, so you’ll need to replace them when they start to get yucky. 
    • Since dragons will most likely nibble on plants in their terrarium, you should only grow herbs and plants that are safe for them to eat. 

    Do you grow herbs in your bearded dragon’s terrarium? What are your bearded dragon’s favorite herbs? Let us know! And if you have questions or would like to give feedback, please email us at [email protected]

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