Preying Mantis

As you may already know, praying mantises are predators. They eat other bugs including flies, mosquitoes, and caterpillars. Given this, it’s important to provide them with an enclosure that offers plenty of prey. But what are the best plants for a praying mantis enclosure? In this article, we will explore some of the best plants to include in a praying mantis enclosure. We will also discuss the benefits of each plant and why they make good additions to your mantis habitat. So, whether you’re just starting out with praying mantises or are looking for new ideas for your enclosure, keep reading for some helpful advice!

Is it Best to Have Live Plants or Replicas in a Praying Mantis Enclosure?

Mantises make interesting pets for beginners, but whether or not to have live plants in your enclosure is debatable, in my opinion, it is best to have live plants in a praying mantis enclosure. The reason it is best to have live plants is that replicas do not provide the same level of environmental enrichment that living plants do. In nature, praying mantises live in habitats that include trees, shrubs, and other vegetation. By providing live plants in your pet enclosure, you are replicating their natural environment and providing them with the necessary stimulation for optimal health.

Note: Many people have a mixture of both live and replica plants in their mantis habitat which provides both enrichment to your insect and can be more aesthetically pleasing for the owner.

Best Plants for Praying Mantis Enclosure

When you get a praying mantis as a pet, you need to provide it with an enclosure that is perfect for its needs. Different plants make great additions to the enclosure and can help to create a natural environment that the praying mantis will enjoy. Here are some of the best plants to use in your praying mantis habitat.

Philodendron Hederaceum

Philodendron Hederaceum is often called the “heart leaf” due to its shape. It grows as a vine and this plant would be perfect for your rainforest-style vivarium! The variety found in Central America means it’s not just useful but attractive too.

Platycerium Bifurcatum

The staghorn fern, Platycerium bifurcatum is native to Indonesia and Australia. A very common species offered in home improvement stores or nurseries that typically grows as an epiphyte high above the forest floor – perfect for mantises who live there!

Epipremnum Aureum

The common name for this plant is golden pothos, which thrives in the most humid vivaria. It can tolerate low light conditions and grows on a damp substrate that would kill many other species of plants. Some can be grown as a ground cover; some can be left in pots as shrubs and others can be wrapped around branches as vines if desired! (amazon link – opens in a new tab).

Tradescantia Zebrina

Tradescantia zebrina – also known as the inch plant goes very well in your mantis habitat! It typically grows near water, which makes it perfect to be grown in humid environments. You can use this as ground cover or even hang your container up on hooks if you want something more decorative than simple dirt floors.

Important! Mantises need a fair bit of space and like to walk and climb about. It is important to not overload the tank with too many plants with a lot of foliage and make sure to include some twigs and branches for the mantis to hang from – this will also help with molting.

What to Think About When Adding Plants to Your Mantis Tank

When adding plants to your mantis tank, it is important to consider which plants are best for your pet. Some factors to consider include whether the plant is poisonous, whether the plant is too big or small for your pet, and how much care the plant may need above and beyond that of your pet. Other factors to think about when choosing plants for your mantis tank are whether the plant will replicate wild living conditions and whether the plant can live in the same environment as your pet. While some mantises may not mind living in an artificial environment, others may prefer a more natural habitat.


If you’re considering adding plants to your mantis habitat, be sure to take into account the space available, how much foliage is too much, branches and twigs for climbing, and plants that replicate their natural living conditions. With a little bit of research and some careful planning, you can create an attractive and functional mantis habitat with plants!

Plants for Praying Mantis Enclosure Infographic

Reptile Wrestler Tips!

“Provide plenty of branches and twigs for your mantis to climb!”

“Do not overload the mantis enclosure with too much dense foliage!”

“Ensure that the plants you provide will survive in the mantis’s environment!”

“Be sure to care for the plants to prevent them from wilting and dying as this will not be good for your pet!”


Do praying mantises like artificial plants?

It is widely believed that praying mantises are fine in an artificial environment and as long as they have plenty of space and branches to climb, they will be fine. Personally, I like to have real plants with all of my pets.

Is pothos poisonous to praying mantis?

No, pothos is not poisonous to praying mantis. In fact, it can be a great addition to a mantis enclosure! Pothos is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it easy to care for. Plus, the leaves provide ample hiding places for your mantis to stay hidden and safe

Do praying mantises eat plants?

No, praying mantises do not consume plants as part of their diet. While mantises are generalist predators, capable of eating a wide variety of prey items, their diet generally consists mostly of insects and other small invertebrates. Some species of praying mantis may nibble on plant material from time to time, but this is not a significant part of their diet.

About Me

Hi, I’m Stuart and I’ve had reptiles for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I studied for a master’s in Herpetology. Over the years I have worked at several zoos before opening my very own reptile sanctuary. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their little beasties.

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