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Posted by charm_paradise on April 27, 2003 at 17:20:56:
In Reply to: Plant quarantine? posted by charm_paradise on April 27, 2003 at 13:20:34:
:Hi- I use ficus trees in all my panther cages, I have 1-3 trees in each cage, amoung other plants with them. For the sap to cause a problem, your chameleon would have to rub his eye directly on the fresh sap, getting it into the eye. It is very unlikly he would do this. All stores who sell plants, have pesticides on them, unless they are organic, which is not the case for almost all stores. When you buy the plants make sure there is not a white film on the leaves, this is pesticides. As for fertilizer, they will be little green balls in the soil. When you buy the plant, you will want to rinse it off for 10-15min. Then either repot it and cover the top of the soil, or just cover the top of the soil. Ficus trees are know for as leaf droppers, but this can be avoided if you do a few simple things. One if you are keeping it inside, buy the plants that are inside the store. There are a few different types of ficus trees. The midnight ficus (dark dark green leaves, and glossy) are much hardier then the Benjamin, and look allot better. With all ficus trees the more you mess with there roots the more leaves they are going to drop! So I do not recommend removing all the dirt and replacing it with new. What I do is buy another pot that has a collection cup at the bottom of the pot for water, the same size that the plant is in or the next size up, remove the bottom 2" of roots and dirt, put it in the new pot add any extra potting soil, then put green moss of over the dirt, and large stones on top of the moss. This will prevent the chameleon from eating the dirt, fertilizer, and prelite balls in the soil. It also hold in water and humidity. This is done to every plant I put in the cages! Ficus trees and Hibiscus plants will hold in the most humidity, the other non toxic plants are more of a vine or open plant, but will be much better then fake. Also the veiled will love eating the plant leaves, and flowers on the hibiscus.
:Veiled chameleons will reach sexual maturity at the age of 6 months. As they age they want more space to romp around in. I already said what I think down the forum, so I am not going to repeat it! Let us know when the cage is done, and post some pics. Have Fun!
::Today's the day we finally get to work on Frasier's new cage. Yeay! He really does look depressed in his 'tank', I'm really looking forward to getting him out of it! I mentioned a few times that "he was fine until now" -- I wonder if his reaching sexual maturity also has something to do with him wanting more space? Does this make sense?
::Anyway, I'll get to the point. My husband (Justin) and I and trying to decide on the best plant(s) for Frasier's new cage. Justin really likes the idea of putting a ficus in there because of the dense foliage, but I had steered him away from that idea because of the white sap these plants put out whenever they lose their leaves, which they seem to do a lot. I had imagined that with a chameleon trampling in it all day long -- especially one the size of a veiled -- would cause a lot of leaves to fall off and sap would end up on the cham, but I'm noticing that ficuses are recommended in this forum, as well as in some caresheets. I'm assuming no one has had any trouble with sap?
::Also, a concern we have are the chemicals horticulturists usually use on plants grown for ornamental use. When I first started keeping iguanas and wanted to get live plants for them (we're talking nearly 10 years ago) and inquired with several florists and such, it seemed like every supplier out there used chemicals on their plants, so I had pretty much dismissed them. But everyone recommends them for chams, so...
::We're wondering how that came to be: did you manage to find store-bought plants that were chemical-free? If so, were they easy to find? Or did you quarantine the plant for several months (including repotting, pruning and waiting for new growth)?
::Julie, Justin and Frasier. :-)