Can You Use Outside Branches For Chameleons? {A Complete Guide To Branches And Decorations}

Would you like to use branches from outside in your chameleon’s enclosure? Are there any risks and how can you reduce them to make sure the branches are safe? In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of using outside branches for your chameleon.

Can You Use Outside Branches For Chameleons? Yes. Try to bring in old,  broken branches that are free of sap and insects. Rinse and bake the branches and the option of soaking them in bleach first is also an added safety measure. 

How Do I Pick The Right Branches For My Chameleon?

Are you looking to find the best branches for your chameleon’s enclosure? There is no need to make it a complicated procedure. Most branches that you find outside are fine to use.

Look for branches that have been dead for a year or 2 if you can. This will make sure that the sap is dried out inside. Any fruit trees or birch trees are great. Here are a few tips to help make them safe for your chameleon:

  • Strip off dry bark.
  • Disinfect them with reptile friendly disinfectant.
  • Rinse them out thoroughly.
  • Dry them under the sun.
  • Bake them.
  • Soak in bleach and water in the bathtub.
  • Rinse and bake again.

You don’t need to perform all of the tips above. They are simply here to help you decide from the safety measures that are available to you.

Can I Put Tree Branches In My Chameleon Cage?

Yes! Try to treat the branches first. You can use bleach if you wish. Baking the branches for 30 minutes or so under 200-250°F heat will help kill off any harmful particles or bacteria.

Make sure the branch isn’t too wide for your chameleon’s grip. Branches make great decorations for your chameleon’s enclosure.

Crisscross the branches to create highways for your chameleon to explore without encouraging screen wire climbing where it’s easy to get nails or limbs stuck.

What Tree Branches Are Safe For Chameleons?

We prefer to use silver birch tree branches, but there are many other options. You should add plants as well, some of which contain their own branches that will live and grow with your chameleon.

The following plants and branches work well for more enclosures:

  • Weeping fig
  • Dragon tree
  • Parlor Palm
  • Areca Palm
  • Corn Plant
  • Rubber Plant
  • Hibiscus
  • Ti Plant
  • Shefflera Tree

Any dead branch you see while you are out in nature may work once you treat it. Wash, rinse, bake, dry and strip off any loose bark to make your branch safe for your chameleon.

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Why Are Plants Good For Chameleons?

Live plants help to mimic the natural environment of your chameleon. Instead of simply laying out branches, you can create an ecosystem for your plants and chameleon to thrive together.

Plants are great at:

  • providing cover to hide and feel safe
  • reduce stress levels
  • drink water droplets off their leaves
  • maintaining humidity
  • foliage to nibble on 
  • oxygenation

The most important note here is that chameleons live their life on trees and plants. They are arboreal and you are doing your best to recreate a space that encourages movement and exploration.

How Should I Decorate My Chameleon’s Enclosure?

You can decorate this enclosure for your chameleon in many ways. Keep in mind that you are trying to encourage climbing on natural branches, plants or artificial decorations like ladders or statues.

You do not want your chameleon climbing the screen walls too often because they can get their limbs or nails stuck in the holes. Here are some suggestions for decorating your chameleon’s enclosure:

  • Branches
  • Vines
  • Plants
  • Logs
  • Ladders


You should definitely start with branches. Use zip ties to build perpendicularly connected branch highways for your chameleon to enjoy. Try to treat the branches by washing or bleaching them, then rinsing and baking.


Vines are also prevalent in a chameleon’s natural setting. Your chameleon will climb on them if they are sturdy enough and will find it soothing to hide between them.


Plants provide shelter and foliage. They will help encourage your chameleon’s bright color to come out. The residue or droplets from the mist you spray in the enclosure may fall on the leaves and your chameleon will lick them for hydration.


Bamboo is durable, easy to grow or display and a great way for your chameleon to climb. Thicker bamboo will be too difficult to climb. Real bamboo is safe, but look for thinner options.


Logs are nice to place at the bottom of the enclosure. They might not be great to climb, but thicker logs are great for your chameleon to walk across to reach another plant or branch.


Get creative with wooden ladders. They might not be a natural part of a chameleon’s outdoor life, but this is your enclosure too and you can make it fun for your chameleon. They can look nice and stimulate your chameleon to climb up and down.


Outside tree branches are safe with the right amount of treatment. Sometimes it’s as easy as a quick rinse and sun dry.

Other times, you may wish to take more precautions by using bleach or baking the branches first. You do not want the branches to contain sap or insects.

Your chameleon will appreciate the effort you make to put together a comfortable enclosure that promotes movements and exploration.


Thank you for visiting for all your informational needs surrounding chameleons and other reptiles. We invite you to stick around and check out many of our articles concerning any pets that you are interested in. Your chameleon is one of our favorites! See you soon!