Are you searching for a complete rundown on what vegetables your bearded dragon can enjoy?
You’ve come to the right place!
This ultimate guide will give you the lowdown on all the veggies your bearded dragon can relish. We’re here to make sure your little friend stays happy, healthy, and satisfied. In fact, feeding them the right veggies means you’re taking good care of them, and that’s what matters most.
So, come along, and let’s explore the vibrant menu that Mother Nature has to offer for your bearded pal. From the best leafy greens to the yummiest non-leafy options, let’s dig right into the world of beardie-approved veggies!
- Bearded dragons need a balanced diet including leafy greens, non-leafy veggies, and insects.
- Dark leafy greens, like dandelion greens, mustard greens, and collard greens, are an excellent choice for beardies.
- Squashes and bell peppers are great non-leafy vegetables for your bearded dragon’s diet.
- Introduce new vegetables gradually to monitor your beardie’s reaction and identify allergies if any.
- Stick to a healthy ratio of 80% vegetables and 20% insects for adult bearded dragons.
The best leafy greens and non-leafy vegetables that your beardie would eat
Getting the right mix of leafy greens and non-leafy vegetables for your bearded dragon is essential to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet. These veggies not only contribute valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber required for your beardie’s overall health but also add variety and excitement to their daily meals.
Top leafy greens your bearded dragon will love
Leafy greens are a must for bearded dragons, and they should make up a significant portion of their diet. Below are some top-notch choices for your little buddy:
- Collard Greens: A powerhouse of fiber, calcium, and vitamins, collard greens top the list for beardie leafy greens. Make sure to remove the woody stems!
- Dandelion Greens: These nutrient-rich greens contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium. Plus, beardies go bonkers for them!
- Mustard Greens: A great choice for your beardie, mustard greens are high in vitamins A & K, and also provide calcium.
- Turnip Greens: These calcium-loaded greens check all the boxes for vitamins A & C, while also being low in phosphorous.
- Endive: This mild-flavored, crunchy green is a wonderful source of fiber and is low in oxalates, making it a nutritious addition to your beardie’s meal plan.
- Escarole: Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and also carrying calcium, escarole can be a delightful choice that supports your bearded dragon’s overall health.
- Watercress: Watercress is a nutrient-dense green, packed with vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and calcium – an ideal pick for your beardie’s leafy lineup.
- Bok choy: Also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is high in vitamins A and K and provides a good amount of calcium for healthy bones and metabolism.
Nutritious non-leafy veggies your bearded dragon adores
As important as leafy greens are, your beardie will appreciate an assortment of non-leafy veggies, too! They add variety, color, and essential nutrients to your scaly buddy’s diet.
Here are some solid options you can try:
- Squashes: Butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squashes are all excellent choices, jam-packed with nutrients like vitamins A & C, B-complex vitamins, and beta-carotene.
- Bell Peppers: Colorful and vitamin-rich, bell peppers – green, yellow, red, or orange – are a tasty addition to your beardie’s diet. They also provide vitamin K and antioxidants.
- Green Beans: Providing ample vitamins A, C, and K, and being low in oxalates, green beans make an excellent addition to your bearded dragon’s veggie mix.
- Snap Peas: These crunchy veggies are rich in vitamins A and C, and also contain moderate levels of calcium, making them a great treat for your beardie.
- Carrots: Packed with vitamins A and K, fiber, and beta-carotene, carrots should be fed sparingly, as they have a higher sugar content compared to other non-leafy vegetables.
- Parsnips: Similar to carrots but with a more distinct flavor, parsnips are high in essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as offering fiber and calcium.
- Sweet Potatoes (cooked): These starchy vegetables are best served cooked and offer a rich source of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants for your bearded dragon.
- Zucchini: Loaded with nutrients like vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium, zucchini adds variety and a healthy punch to your beardie’s veggie offerings.
Always thoroughly wash and peel the veggies to remove any traces of pesticides or chemicals. Chop them up into appropriate sizes based on your beardie’s age and mouth size.
Additionally, for a more in-depth look at the full diet of bearded dragons, including not just vegetables but also fruits, insects, and supplements, check out our comprehensive guide: ‘What Do Bearded Dragons Eat‘.
List of 44 vegetables ideal for bearded dragons’ nutrition
This comprehensive list of vegetables is designed to help you provide optimal nutrition for your bearded dragon. Each vegetable on this list has been chosen based on their nutritional value, digestibility, and suitability for bearded dragons.
|Vegetable||Type||Frequency||Preparation Requirements||In-Season Availability||Ease of Digestion|
|Collard Greens||Leafy||Daily||Remove woody stems||Late fall/winter||Easy|
|Dandelion Greens||Leafy||Daily||Wash thoroughly||Spring/summer||Easy|
|Mustard Greens||Leafy||Daily||Wash thoroughly||Fall/winter||Easy|
|Turnip Greens||Leafy||Daily||Wash thoroughly||Fall/winter||Easy|
|Bok Choy||Leafy||Daily||Wash thoroughly, chop into small pieces||Fall/winter||Easy|
|Bell Peppers||Non-Leafy||Daily||Slice, remove seeds and stem||Summer||Moderate|
|Green Beans||Non-Leafy||Daily||Slice or chop into smaller pieces||Summer||Moderate|
|Squash||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, peel, and remove seeds, then chop||Fall||Moderate|
|Zucchini||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, peel, and chop into small pieces||Summer||Moderate|
|Cucumber||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash and slice||Summer||Easy|
|Escarole||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Spring/Fall||Easy|
|Watercress||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Spring||Easy|
|Endive||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Fall/Winter||Easy|
|Radish Greens||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Spring/Summer||Easy|
|Asparagus||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash and snap off woody ends||Spring||Moderate|
|Pumpkin||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, peel, remove seeds, and chop||Fall||Moderate|
|Cauliflower||Non-Leafy||Daily||Remove leaves and cut florets||Fall||Moderate|
|Sweet Potatoes (cooked)||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, peel, cook, and chop into small pieces||Fall||Easy|
|Butternut Squash||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, peel, remove seeds, and chop||Fall/winter||Moderate|
|Yellow Squash||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, remove seeds, and chop into small pieces||Summer||Moderate|
|Parsnips||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, peel, and slice or chop||Fall/winter||Moderate|
|Snow Peas||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, remove stems, and chop if necessary||Spring/Summer||Moderate|
|Fennel Leaves||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop the leaves||Spring/Fall||Easy|
|Pea Shoots||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop shoots||Spring/Summer||Easy|
|Acorn Squash||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, peel, remove seeds, and chop||Fall/winter||Moderate|
|Jicama||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, peel, and finely chop||Late spring/summer||Moderate|
|Kohlrabi Greens||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Spring/Fall||Easy|
|Red Cabbage||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Remove outer leaves and shred finely||Late fall/winter||Moderate|
|Celery (stalks)||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash and finely dice||Year-round||Moderate|
|Broccoli||Non-Leafy||Daily||Separate florets, wash and chop into small pieces||Year-round||Moderate|
|Brussel Sprout Leaves||Leafy||Daily||Remove from sprout, wash, and chop||Late fall/winter||Easy|
|Wheatgrass||Leafy||Occasionally||Rinse, chop into small pieces||Year-round||Moderate|
|Spaghetti Squash||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, halve, remove seeds, and chop||Fall/winter||Moderate|
|Peppers (sweet, non-spicy)||Non-Leafy||Daily||Wash, remove stem and seeds, and chop||Summer||Moderate|
|Radish||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, remove leaves, and finely slice||Spring/Summer||Moderate|
|Beet Greens||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Spring/Summer/Fall||Easy|
|Cabbage (green)||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Remove outer leaves and shred finely||Late fall/winter||Moderate|
|Cauliflower Leaves||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Fall||Easy|
|Eggplant||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, remove stem, and chop into small pieces||Summer/early fall||Moderate|
|Artichoke Leaves||Leafy||Daily||Wash and remove edible parts||Spring/Summer||Moderate|
|Sugar Snap Peas||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash and remove stem and string||Spring/Summer||Moderate|
|Oak Leaf Lettuce||Leafy||Daily||Wash and chop into small pieces||Year-round||Easy|
|Olives (pitted)||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Remove pits if necessary||Year-round||Easy|
|Okra||Non-Leafy||Occasionally||Wash, remove stem, and slice lengthwise||Summer||Moderate|
Remember to always maintain a balanced and varied diet for your bearded dragon. This list serves as a guideline, but it is essential to research specific requirements and consult with a vet or reptile specialist if you have concerns about feeding any particular items.
Characteristics of the best greens
To understand which greens are ideal for bearded dragons, keep an eye on the following factors that influence their suitability:
- Overall Nutritional Value: The ideal greens are those with the highest nutrient density, providing essential vitamins and minerals for your beardie’s health.
- Calcium Content: Bearded dragons need calcium for proper growth and maintenance, so greens rich in calcium should be a staple of their diet.
- Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio: Phosphorus hinders calcium absorption, so a good calcium-phosphorus balance is crucial. Calcium deficiency may lead to metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons.
- Oxalates: Similar to phosphorus, oxalates disrupt calcium absorption. A diet overloaded with oxalates can also result in metabolic bone disease.
- Goitrogens: Excessive goitrogens in your beardie’s diet might cause thyroid issues.
Vegetables and plants to exclude from diet
Here are the vegetables to avoid or limit in your bearded dragon’s diet. Being aware of these potentially harmful foods and plants will help maintain a healthy and safe diet plan for your pet.
|Vegetable||Reason to Avoid||Negative Impact on Bearded Dragons|
|Lettuce (Iceberg)||Low nutritional value||Poor nutrition, dietary imbalance|
|Avocado||High in oxalic acid and fat||Kidney damage, potential toxicity|
|Onions||Contain toxic compounds||Digestive upset, anemia, potential toxicity|
|Rhubarb||High in oxalic acid||Kidney damage, potential toxicity|
|Spinach||High in oxalic acid||Hinders calcium absorption|
|Beet Tops||High in oxalic acid||Hinders calcium absorption|
|Swiss Chard||High in oxalic acid||Hinders calcium absorption|
|Potato||High in sugars, alkaloids||Digestive issues, potential toxicity|
|Tomato leaves||Contains toxic compounds||Digestive upset, potential toxicity|
|Spicy peppers||Contains capsaicin||Digestive upset, potential irritation|
Tips to establish a feeding schedule
To ensure that your bearded dragon’s diet remains both healthy and enjoyable, consistency is crucial. Establish a feeding schedule to keep their appetite satiated, their nutritional needs met, and their mealtimes predictable.
A few tips to help you maintain consistency:
- Provide veggies first thing in the morning, when beardies are most active.
- Remember to maintain the 80% veggies, 20% insects ratio for adult bearded dragons (adjust accordingly for younger ones).
- Stick to your chosen feeding schedule, but feel free to make a little room for variety in the form of new veggies, fruits, or insects.
Vegetable distributions for different age groups
This table shows the percentage distribution of vegetables in the diet of bearded dragons at different age groups. Including a variety of vegetables ensures balanced nutrition across essential vitamins and minerals.
|Age Group||Vegetable Diet Proportion||Suggested Vegetables|
|Hatchlings (0-2 months)||10-20%||Collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, squash|
|Juveniles (3-12 months)||20-30%||Collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, squash, bell peppers, pea shoots, kale|
|Sub-adults (12-20 months)||50-60%||Collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, squash, bell peppers, pea shoots, kale, carrots, cucumber|
|Adults (20+ months)||70-80%||Collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, squash, bell peppers, pea shoots, kale, carrots, cucumber, endive|
What are the most nutritious vegetables suitable for a bearded dragon’s diet?
Some of the most nutritious vegetables for bearded dragons include collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and butternut squash. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that promote a bearded dragon’s good health.
How often should I feed my bearded dragon vegetables, and how much is recommended?
Adult bearded dragons should receive vegetables daily, making up 70-80% of their diet. Juveniles under a year old should receive vegetables daily as well, but these should make up about 20-30% of their diet, with the remaining balance being a protein source, such as insects. As a general rule, offer an amount that can fit within the space between the bearded dragon’s eyes.
Are there any vegetables or plants that are unsafe and must be avoided for bearded dragons?
Yes, some vegetables and plants can be harmful to bearded dragons. These include avocados, onions, rhubarb, spinach, beet tops, Swiss chard, potatoes, and tomato leaves. Feeding these items can result in toxicity, digestive upset, or imbalanced nutrition.
Why is my bearded dragon not eating vegetables?
A bearded dragon may refuse to eat vegetables for several reasons, such as illness, stress, improper habitat conditions, or simply preference for live insects. To encourage vegetable consumption, try offering a wider variety of veggies, gradually introducing new options, and mixing in live insects with the vegetables to create interest. If the problem persists, consult a reptile specialist or veterinarian for assistance.
Now, with all this newfound knowledge on bearded dragon nutrition, you’re one step closer to being the best beardie parent out there.
Remember, it’s all about balance, variety, and consistency when feeding your little scaly buddy. Of course, feel free to consult your reptile veterinarian whenever you’re in doubt about diet or supplementation.
Armed with commitment and love, you’ll ensure your bearded dragon enjoys a long, healthy, and vibrant life. After all, a well-fed and happy beardie is truly a sight to behold!
Cheers to a lifetime of happy, healthy bearded dragons!
- Elliott, Pippa. “How to Feed a Bearded Dragon: 11 Steps (with Pictures) – WikiHow.” WikiHow, 20 Sept. 2022, https://www.wikihow.com/Feed-a-Bearded-Dragon.
- Oonincx, D G A B et al. “The diet of free-roaming Australian Central Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps).” Zoo biology vol. 34,3 (2015): 271-7. doi:10.1002/zoo.21209
- “The Best Veggies for Your Bearded Dragon.” Josh’s Frogs, https://new.joshsfrogs.com/blog/the-best-veggies-for-your-bearded-dragon. Accessed 6 Sept. 2023.
- Cannon, Michael. (2003). Husbandry and veterinary aspects of the Bearded Dragon (Pogona spp.) in Australia. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine – SEMIN AVIAN EXOTIC PET MED. 12. 205-214. 10.1053/S1055-937X(03)00036-7.
- “Feeding and Caring for Bearded Dragons.” Cummings School of Veterinary Medicinetwitterfacebookinstagramyoutubelinkedin, 22 Aug. 2022, https://vet.tufts.edu/news-events/news/feeding-and-caring-bearded-dragons.