Leopard Geckos and Their Vegetable Diet: What You Need to Know

Can leopard geckos eat vegetables

Contrary to popular belief, leopard geckos are not strict carnivores. In the wild, they have been observed eating a variety of plants and fruits in addition to their usual insect diet. This may come as a surprise to some, as geckos are often considered to be insectivores.

So what vegetables do leopard geckos eat? Well, they enjoy a range of leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens. They also like to nibble on vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and squash. These foods provide essential nutrients and vitamins that are important for the geckos’ overall health and well-being.

Basic Facts about Leopard Geckos


  • Leopard geckos have a small, streamlined body with a head that is wider than their neck.
  • They have large, lidless eyes with vertically elliptical pupils, which they use for excellent night vision.
  • Their skin is covered in small, soft scales that give them a unique texture.
  • Their coloration can vary, but they commonly have a background color of yellow, orange, or brown with dark markings resembling leopard spots.


  • Leopard geckos are ground-dwelling reptiles that prefer dry, rocky habitats.
  • They are often found hiding in crevices or burrows during the day and become active at night.
  • Leopard geckos are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature.


  • Leopard geckos are insectivores, which means they primarily eat insects.
  • They have a voracious appetite and can consume a variety of small invertebrates, including crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and roaches.
  • In the wild, leopard geckos also eat occasional small lizards and spiders.


  • They are generally solitary animals, except during breeding season.
  • Leopard geckos communicate through body language, such as tail waving, head bobbing, and color changes.
  • They have a unique ability to lose and regenerate their tail, which they can use as a defense mechanism against predators.

Overall, leopard geckos are fascinating creatures with unique adaptations. Their vegetable diet is not a natural part of their diet, but it can be beneficial when properly balanced with their insect intake. Providing a suitable habitat and appropriate diet will ensure the health and well-being of these wonderful reptiles.

Natural Diet of Leopard Geckos

Varied Insect Diet

The Importance of Calcium

Calcium is a vital mineral for leopard geckos, as it plays a critical role in their bone health and egg production in females. In the wild, leopard geckos obtain calcium through the exoskeletons of the insects they consume. To replicate this natural calcium intake in captivity, it is essential to dust the insects with a calcium supplement powder before feeding them to your leopard gecko. This will ensure that they receive an adequate amount of calcium in their diet.

Note: Persistent calcium deficiency in leopard geckos can lead to metabolic bone disease, a condition that weakens their bones and negatively impacts their overall health.

Limited Plant Matter

Benefits of Including Vegetables in Leopard Geckos’ Diet

Promotes Overall Health

Vegetables offer important vitamins and minerals that are essential for leopard geckos’ overall health. These nutrients help support their immune system, promote proper growth and development, and contribute to their overall well-being.

Aids Digestion

Vegetables contain fiber that aids digestion in leopard geckos. This can help prevent digestive issues, such as constipation, and ensure proper nutrient absorption from their food.

Adds Variety and Enrichment

Introducing vegetables into leopard geckos’ diet adds variety and enrichment to their meals. This can help prevent boredom and encourage natural foraging behaviors, keeping them mentally stimulated and engaged.

Promotes Hydration

Some vegetables, such as leafy greens, have high water content, which can help keep leopard geckos hydrated. This is especially important in arid environments or during warmer months when geckos may require additional hydration.

Prevents Nutritional Deficiencies

Including vegetables in leopard geckos’ diet helps prevent nutritional deficiencies. While insects provide important protein and fats, they may lack certain vitamins and minerals that are abundant in vegetables. By offering a varied diet, you can ensure that your leopard gecko receives all the necessary nutrients.

Important Considerations

Safe Vegetables for Leopard Geckos Unsafe Vegetables for Leopard Geckos
Carrots Onions
Zucchini Garlic
Squash Tomatoes
Kale Eggplant

Overall, including vegetables in leopard geckos’ diet is important for their health and well-being. It is essential to provide a balanced and varied diet that includes both insects and vegetables to ensure optimal nutrition and prevent any deficiencies. Consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced reptile keeper for specific dietary recommendations for your leopard gecko.

How to Prepare Vegetable Diet for Leopard Geckos

1. Choose the Right Vegetables

2. Prepare the Vegetables

Before feeding vegetables to your leopard gecko, make sure to prepare them properly. Wash the vegetables thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides. Cut them into small, bite-sized pieces to make it easier for your gecko to eat.

3. Introduce Vegetables Gradually

4. Offer a Balanced Diet

While vegetables can be a healthy addition to your leopard gecko’s diet, it is still essential to provide a balanced diet. Insects should still make up the majority of their meals, with vegetables being offered as a supplement.

5. Monitor Your Gecko’s Health

After introducing vegetables into your leopard gecko’s diet, closely monitor their health and digestion. Observe any changes in their appetite, stool consistency, or overall behavior. If any issues arise, consult a veterinarian specializing in reptiles.


Although leopard geckos are primarily insectivores, incorporating vegetables into their diet can provide additional nutrients and enrich their feeding experience. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your gecko receives a balanced and nutritious diet.

Caution: Inappropriate Vegetables for Leopard Geckos

The following are some vegetables that should never be included in a leopard gecko’s diet:

1. Onions and garlic: These vegetables contain compounds that can be toxic to geckos and may lead to digestive issues or even organ damage if consumed in large quantities.

2. Avocados: Avocados contain a substance called persin, which is toxic to many animals, including leopard geckos. Consumption of avocados can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Rhubarb: Rhubarb leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be toxic to leopard geckos if ingested. Symptoms of oxalic acid poisoning may include drooling, lethargy, and kidney problems.

4. Mushrooms: While some mushrooms may be safe for human consumption, they can be toxic to leopard geckos. The toxins found in mushrooms can cause digestive upset, liver damage, and even death in geckos.

Although leopard geckos can eat vegetables as part of their diet, it is essential to be cautious and knowledgeable about which vegetables are safe for them. Avoid feeding geckos onions, garlic, avocados, rhubarb, and mushrooms to prevent any potential harm to your gecko’s health. Always consult with a reptile veterinarian or do thorough research to ensure the safety of the vegetables you plan to feed your geckos.