En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - May 14, 2012

From: Walkerton, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Poisonous Plants
Title: Plants for exotic pets
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need to know what are some good native non-toxic plants for these species: Porcelain roach (Gyna lurida) from Kenya, Africa. Giant cave roach (Blaberus giganteus) from Central and South America. Death's Head Cockroach (Blaberus craniifer) found in S.Florida,U.S., Mexico, and Central America. Madagascan hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) from Madagascar. European Green Toad from central, southern and Eastern Europe, North Africa and into Arabia. Malaysian (erroneous) Golden Gecko from Vietnam. Also I'll need to know what kind of substrate to use for the plants.

ANSWER:

First of all, you don't say whether you want the plants for food for these animals or for habitat in a terrarium or other container.   Either way, we don't know what the native food plants are for these animals nor what sort of vegetation one would find in their native habitat. If you are looking for plants only for habitat for these animals, you need to research their native habitat and determine if it's moist, dry, sand, clay, loam, etc.  You can then do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database for plants native to Indiana by choosing "Indiana" from Select State or Province option and then entering other choices that would reflect the size and habitat characteristics for appropriate plants.  If you are looking for food for these animals, you need to do your research to find out what they eat in their native location.  If they do eat plants and you find the botanical names of the plants, you can search in our Native Plant Database for plants in the same botanical family and perhaps you can even find ones in the same genus. 

Determining if any of these plants would be toxic for your animals is going to be more difficult. There are many databases that list plants toxic for humans, agricultural animals and pets; but there are few, if any, sites that discuss plants that are possibly toxic for insects—especially with the view to keeping the insects safe.  Here is one that talks about ways that plants defend themselves against insect pests:

Plant-Insect Interactions from Cornell University, Department of Entomology

There is more information about toxic plants for reptiles and amphibians.  Here are several that list toxic and non-toxic plants for reptiles and amphibians: 

Reptiles - Toxic Plants from ReptileChannel.com

Herp Safety:  Poisonous Plants for Reptiles and Amphibians from Drs. Foster & Smith PetEducation.com

Edible and Harmful Plants from Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection

Non-Toxic Plants for Lizards from The Lizard Lounge

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Is Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) poisonous to pets? Probaly not.
September 08, 2008 - Is Spanish Moss poisonous to pets? I have a dog which will eat anything.
view the full question and answer

Wisteria and Non-Poisonous Native Vines
February 15, 2012 - I'm from central Texas and I'm wanting to plant a native vine that will work well around the public, mainly kids. It's a mostly sunny trellis that makes an arch. I'd like to plant the native Wiste...
view the full question and answer

Are wild cherry trees poisonous for horses?
October 31, 2010 - I have just purchased a pony and have been told that wild cherry trees could cause harm or even kill her. Is this true and where can I go to get a list of all the poisonous plants, shrubs and trees fo...
view the full question and answer

Is any part of flowering peach (Prunus persica) toxic to dogs
April 26, 2009 - I know that peach pits and wilting leaves are poisonous to dogs, but can you tell me if any part of the Red Flowering Peach Tree (no fruit) is toxic?
view the full question and answer

Controlling Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle)
July 18, 2013 - Hello,I need your help to control some nasty weeds in my yard/pasture. I am an old timer and do not have a picture to include—haven't figured out that part of the camera/phone yet. This weed is a pri...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center