Bearded Dragons Can Eat Dandelion – But Should They?
In this post we show the advantages and disadvantages of bearded dragons eating dandelion greens, including vital nutritional information
Tortoise or Bearded Dragon, Dandelion Greens Are Fine
July 22nd, 2022
Table of Contents
Can bearded dragons eat Dandelion Greens? Are dandelion greens for bearded dragons OK?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat dandelion leaves ( and the flowers ) regularly.
What Are Dandelion Greens For Bearded Dragons?
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinalis) are generally considered a weed in most of the world. They’re a nuisance in a lawn, but they do contain a good nutrient content for some animals when eaten and they’re a good source of nectar for insects.
They’re very easily recognisable when they’re in flower as the flower is a bright yellow with tightly integrated long petals. Of course, as they go to seed they’re very recognisable too – often being called the dandelion clock as children pretend to tell them time by counting how many times they have to blow to remove all the seeds from the head.
Dandelions are a perennial weed, which means they last from one year to the next (technically more than 2 years qualifies as a perennial). They can be found most commonly in lawns or green areas and even on hard surfaces. They grow a deep tap root and this can make them really quite difficult to eradicate.
There are over 200 subspecies in Britain.
Information sourced from the Royal Horticultural Society
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Greens?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat dandelion greens as part of a staple, balanced diet. That is to say that dandelion leaves can be eaten by bearded dragons every day, but should be mixed with other vegetables to provide a good balance and plenty of variety.
Bearded dragons can also eat the flowers of dandelions. Indeed, ours love them. Our old girl loves dandelion greens too – in fact it’s pretty much the only green leafy vegetable she’ll eat.
Dandelion greens are a good source of calcium, with 9.2% carbohydrate and almost no fat. They do contain less water content than things like collard greens or spring greens.
Advantages Of Dandelion Greens For Bearded Dragons
Disadvantages Of Dandelion Greens For Bearded Dragons
How Should I Feed Dandelion Greens To A Bearded Dragon
Dandelion greens can be picked from your own garden if you haven’t used any pesticides or herbicides. We’d caution against wild picked leaves unless you know for certain they haven’t been sprayed with something untoward – but if you are sure then wild grown dandelion leaves can be picked and used for your bearded dragon. Avoid roadside dandelion leaves as the chemicals from car engines, rubber and brake dust is not a good idea for your little buddy.
The dandelion leaves themselves can be placed whole, in a dish along with other vegetables to produce a nice tasty salad. Our bearded dragon prefer whole leaves instead of having them shredded. She also prefers them to be sticking up and natural looking. But she is fussy…
If you struggle to get your bearded dragon to eat any greens you can sprinkle some bee pollen over the leaves to make them more attractive.
The dish can be left in the vivarium until the contents are either eaten or become too dry or limp. At which point they should be replaced. You’ll most likely find that you need to replace them at least once throughout the day.
Place the dish with the salad at the cool end of the vivarium, and sprinkle with some water droplets to help maintain the freshness. You should also sprinkle some calcium supplement on them twice a week.
Dandelion leaves can be given every day as part of a mixed salad.
How Much Dandelion Green Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon?
You can feed as much dandelion green leaves as your bearded dragon will eat. They’ll not over indulge on vegetables or leafy greens. Indeed, you’ll likely have the opposite problem whereby you can’t get them to eat enough.
You can feed dandelion leafy greens every day as part of a mixed salad balanced diet.
Nutritional Data For Dandelion Greens For Bearded Dragons
|Water Content (%)||85.6|
|Dietary Fibre (%)||3.5%|
|Calcium (mg/100g)||187 (0.201%)|
|Potassium (mg/100g)||397 (0.397%)|
|Phosphorous (mg/100g)||66 (0.066%)|
|Vitamin A (ug/100g)||508|
|Vitamin C (ug/100g)||35|
Can I Grow My Own Dandelion Greens?
Dandelion seeds are readily available from various places including Amazon (which is where any links in this article will go). We’ve been told that Dandelions are easy to grow from seed – and given how prolific they are in our lawn you would think they would be very easy. For some reason we never had any luck though. Perhaps we had a bad batch of seeds?
Nevertheless dandelion seeds are allegedly easy to grow and should be sown in any soil type on open ground at any time of the year. None of the manufacturers we looked at suggested any particular type of growing environment but given that Dandelions grow a fairly large and deep tap-root we suspect they’d benefit from being potted in fairly deep pots once germinated.
We probably wouldn’t recommend planting them out in your garden if you value a nice grassy lawn as they’ll no doubt spread prolifically and are very difficult to get rid of once established. Indoors or in a greenhouse in controlled conditions should be fine of course.
So, can bearded dragons eat dandelion greens and are dandelion greens for bearded dragons OK? The answer is yes, as part of a mixed vegetable diet, dandelion leaves are a good staple diet item. This means they can be fed in as large quantity as your bearded dragon wants, as often as they want.
For more information on other vegetables that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?’
1: Royal Horticultural Society, sourced on 1st February 2021 at https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=1012
2: US Department of Agriculture, fetched on 1st February 2021 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103104/nutrients
3: Oxalate data sourced from St Josephs Healthcare, Hamilton, Canada fetched on 1st February 2021 from https://www.stjoes.ca/patients-visitors/patient-education/patient-education-k-o/pd-9447-oxalate-in-food.pdf
Featured Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay