Best Plants for Ball Pythons (What’s Safe)

Ball pythons are one of the breeds of snakes that thrives in a more decorated cage– preferably filled with plants, but what plants should someone get for their python habitat? I have studied up and am here to answer that question for you.

Best Plants for Ball Pythons

So, what are the best plants to get for ball pythons?

Anything they can slither around or particularly they can huddle under to feel safe. Ball pythons are not typically a climbing species of snake, but having a branch or a log in their terrarium can really go a long way.

It’s crazy to think that plants help a ball python feel safe, but they really do! There are some specific plants that work great for ball pythons as well as reasons why a ball python needs plants and how its quality of life is better off when it lives around plants. There are so many cool thing about ball pythons and plants so I added this information down below.

What Plants are the Best Plants for a Ball Python?

I researched this topic a lot and made a list of the best-reviewed plants that I could find below. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right plants all in the same place, so I added links to these plants so that it would be easier to find them all together.

  • weeping fig trees
  • episcia cupreata (Flame Violet or Silver Skies)
  • neoregelia (Tiger Cub)
  • neoregelia (Zoe)
  • fresh moss
  • neoregelia (Fireball)
  • philodendron cordatum 
  • ficus elastica (Tineke Rubber Plant)

These are a few of the most common plants that are recommended for ball pythons. These plants will help your snake to live a more active and happy life, leading to it becoming healthier as well.

This is especially ideal if you plan to breed your snakes because if the snakes are happier and healthier you may get better results and the snake will just overall be more cooperative and happy in captivity.

Why Do Ball Pythons Need Plants in Their Tanks?

Ball Pythons need plants in their tanks for multiple reasons. Ball Pythons are from all over Africa, specifically in the rainforest areas where there is lots of cover for them to hide in and a moist environment. 

Having these types of plants in their natural habitat helps your ball python to feel at home resulting in it being a much happier and healthier snake. 

When you fill your terrarium with these plants you will also notice that your snake will be more active. Ball pythons enjoy feeling undercover and unseen.

By adding these plants, you are giving them more space in which they feel hidden. This is what makes them feel more comfortable with roaming about more and becoming more active.

With your snake being more active and happier, it will help it with breeding too. A happier, more active snake will be more apt to breeding because it is not in a depressed state of mind. Kinda like humans!

If a person is depressed, they aren’t going to want to do anything fun or even have a great attitude about much, however, if the person is healthier and happier, they will be more up to doing things and especially cooperating with things they may not like.

Along with helping with breeding, a happier and healthier snake will also just be happier in general in captivity and more cooperative. It helps immensely to keep your snake happy because not only does it thrive in its natural atmosphere, but it makes the snake much happier and less likely to get agitated or strike. A happier snake is a calmer and less aggressive snake. That can help lots!

Could a Ball Python Survive Without Plants in Its Habitat?

A ball python technically could survive within a habitat that has the bare minimum essentials for it to survive, but it wouldn’t be a happy snake. Only having the bare essentials for your snake will ensure its survival, but not a healthy lifestyle at all.

Your snake will be depressed, resulting in it being much less active. It will also cause the snake to be more agitated and more likely to strike if it isn’t happy about something or it gets startled.

 A sad and depressed snake is less fun and safe than on that you have taken great care of and ensured its content state of being.

Making sure your snake is happy and thriving in its environment can not only keep it in good mental and physical health, but it can help make it safer for everyone for your scaly friend to stick around.

Also, a happy snake makes a much better inhabitant and friend while you own it and it will be much happier in captivity with a flourishing environment to match its natural habitat.

piedbald python Best Plants for Ball Pythons (What's Safe)

Did you know that the Best Bedding for Ball Pythons is actually made from plants?

The best bedding for a ball python is moist bark or mulch. The best things to use for this are pulverized coconut husks, cypress mulch, or a mixture of both.

Not only do ball pythons need plants to decorate their terrariums, but the substrate they use should be made from plants as well!

You need to ensure your python’s bedding stays moist because they are used to the moist ground of their natural habitats. Using a dry bedding such as sand or paper or even pine shavings will hurt your snake. It is not healthy for them at all!

NOTE: You never want to have or use cedar bark or mulch for your snake’s terrarium habitat! This is because cedar is toxic for all snakes!

Related Questions:

What size tank do I need for my ball python?

Ball pythons need at least a 20-30 gallon tank. Get one with all glass sides and enough room to have two separate temperature areas (a warm side for basking and a cool area).

Does a ball python need a heat lamp?

Ball pythons require belly heat, but not basking heat. You do not need to get a heat lamp. However, you should not use a heating rock for your ball python, either. Both will hurt it. Read our full article on heat lamps.

You might also want to think about a snake heating pad that you can read about in our snake heating pad buyer’s guide.

What temperature do I need to keep my ball pythons enclosure at?

Keep your tank at two temperatures. One side needs a nice basking heat of 88-96 degrees Fahrenheit. The other side needs to be at a cool 78-80 degrees.

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