Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat Greens (Reasons and Solutions)

As bearded dragon owner, we worry when our scaly friend refuses to eat their greens. To help you address this common issue, we’ll explore the reasons behind their reluctance and provide solutions to encourage healthier eating habits.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Not Eating Vegetables

There are a number of reasons why a bearded dragon may refuse to eat greens. But as long as they are eating their insects, it’s easy to fix.

1. Age and Changing Nutritional Needs

Bearded dragons’ dietary preferences and nutritional requirements change as they grow. Young beardies need more protein, which they get from insects, while adult bearded dragons require a higher percentage of greens in their diet.

If your bearded dragon is still young, their preference for insects may overshadow their interest in greens. However, as they age, gradually introducing more greens into their diet can help them develop a taste for these nutritious foods.

2. Overfeeding Insects

One common reason bearded dragons refuse greens is due to overfeeding insects. Insects, like crickets and mealworms, are high in protein and can be more enticing than greens.

If your bearded dragon consumes too many insects, they may develop a preference for them and become less interested in their greens.

3. Basking Temperatures and UVB Exposure

Basking temperatures and UVB exposure play a critical role in your bearded dragon’s overall health, appetite, and digestion.

If their basking area is too cold or they lack adequate UVB exposure, they may not have the energy or appetite to eat their greens.

Ensure their basking spot reaches an appropriate temperature (95-110°F for adults, 105-110°F for juveniles) and provide a quality UVB light to help maintain healthy digestion and appetite.

4. Limited or Unappealing Varieties of Greens

Offering a limited variety of greens or presenting them in an unappetizing way may discourage your bearded dragon from eating them.

To make greens more appealing, offer a diverse selection of leafy greens, vegetables, and occasional fruits. Rotate their options to keep their diet interesting and visually appealing. Chop or shred the greens into bite-sized pieces to make them easier to eat and more enticing.

5. Inexperience or Lack of Exposure to Greens

If your bearded dragon is new to greens or hasn’t had much exposure to them, they may be hesitant to try them.

Be patient and persistent in offering greens, and try different methods to entice them. Hand-feeding or placing a small amount of greens near their favorite basking spot may encourage them to give the greens a try.

How to Get a Bearded Dragon to Eat Their Greens 


1. Offering a Variety of Greens and Vegetables

Sometimes the only reason bearded dragons are not eating their greens is that they just don’t like the selection.

To spark your bearded dragon’s interest in greens, try mixing and adding new vegetables to their diet. This not only provides a change in taste and texture but also ensures they receive a range of nutrients.

Some safe and nutritious options for bearded dragons include collard greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens, bell peppers, and squash.

2. Making Greens More Appealing

Another great way to get your beardie to eat greens is to enhance the visual appeal of greens by arranging them in a colorful and eye-catching manner.

Bearded dragons are more likely to eat greens that look interesting and enticing.

Consider using small pieces of fruit, such as berries or thinly sliced apples, to make the greens more appealing. However, use fruit sparingly as it can be high in sugar.

3. Properly Preparing and Presenting the Greens

Wash, dry, and chop the greens into bite-sized pieces for your bearded dragon. Remove any tough stems or thick veins that might be difficult for them to eat.

Use a designated dish for greens, placed in an easily accessible location within the enclosure. This will help your bearded dragon associate the dish with food and encourage them to eat their greens.

4. Mixing Greens with Insects

Combining greens with live insects can be an effective strategy to encourage your bearded dragon to eat their greens. The movement of the insects can attract your pet’s attention and entice them to eat the greens as well.

By mixing greens with insects, your bearded dragon will begin to associate the taste and texture of greens with a positive feeding experience, making them more likely to consume greens on their own in the future.

5. Add a Pinch of Bee Pollen to the Beardie’s Salad

Bearded dragons love the flavor of bee pollen. This nutrient won’t just assist in improving the taste of tedious and dull veggies but will also fuel your bearded dragons with additional nutrients!

We suggest adding only a pinch of bee pollen because you don’t want to overdose the beardie with excessive nutrients.

6. Make Them a Slurry

Drinking or consuming the juice of vegetables is far easier for us than actually eating or chewing them down. The same is the case with bearded dragons; the bearded dragons are more likely to consume the slurry of vegetables than to munch on the vegetables.

Here is a post on how to make a slurry for a bearded dragon.

7. Tempting with Flavours

If your pet dragon has inclinations towards a particular food item, squeeze it, squash it, or finely cut it and spread it over the other vegetation.

Berries, apples, and other organic products are frequently top choices. Try feeding a portion of the flavored food by hand or leave it with your beardie. Observe to see which works the best.

8. Introducing Greens to Young Bearded Dragons

It’s important to start young bearded dragons on a diet that includes greens early on, as it can be more challenging to change their eating habits as they grow older.

Introduce greens to young bearded dragons by offering finely chopped, soft vegetables such as squash or zucchini.

Gradually increase the variety of greens as they grow and become accustomed to the taste and texture.

9. Hand Feeding Your Bearded Dragon

Hand feeding can be a useful technique to build trust with your bearded dragon and encourage them to eat greens. However, be aware that it can also lead to over-dependence on hand feeding if done excessively.

To hand feed safely and effectively, offer a small piece of green using tweezers or your fingers (if you’re comfortable).

Make sure to be patient and gentle, as your bearded dragon may need some time to accept the greens.

10. Stand Firm on Offering Greens

Persistence is key when offering greens to your bearded dragon. Consistently include greens in their diet, even if they show initial resistance.

As a strategy, you can withhold insects for a short period to encourage greens consumption. However, it’s crucial not to starve your bearded dragon.

11. Monitoring Basking Temperatures and UVB Lighting

Proper basking temperatures and UVB lighting play a significant role in your bearded dragon’s appetite.

Ensure their environment supports healthy eating habits by maintaining the correct temperature gradient and providing adequate UVB exposure.

Regularly check your bearded dragon’s basking area temperature and the UVB bulb’s output. Replace the bulb as recommended by the manufacturer or when the output drops below the optimal level.

Safe Vegetables, Fruits and Greens for Bearded Dragons


  • Arugula/Rocket
  • Cactus pads
  • Bok choy
  • Collard greens/Spring greens
  • Endive/Chicory
  • Pea shots
  • Escarole
  • Spring mix
  • Mustard cress
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

Vegetables/Occasional Mixers

  • Artichoke heart
  • Basil
  • Asparagus
  • Beet leaves
  • Bell pepper
  • Fennel
  • Cilantro
  • Carrot greens
  • Carnations
  • Carrot, grated raw
  • Clover (pesticide- and herbicide-free)
  • Cucumber, peeled
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon balm
  • Dandelion greens/flowers
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Parsley
  • Radicchio
  • Rosemary
  • Rose petals
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Swiss chard
  • Thyme
  • Yam, grated raw
  • Squash, raw

Fruits (to be used as occasional treats)

  • Banana
  • Cactus fruit
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Apples

For a full list of food you can feed your bearded dragon, read our post on bearded dragon diet.


Getting your bearded dragon to eat greens can be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. By following the strategies we’ve discussed in this article, you can help ensure that your bearded dragon receives the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Remember, patience and persistence are key when it comes to introducing greens to your pet’s diet. Just like with any new habit, it may take time for your bearded dragon to adapt to eating greens, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away.

We’ve covered several methods to entice your bearded dragon to eat their greens, including varying their diet, improving the presentation, maintaining optimal basking conditions, and using feeding tricks to make the greens more appealing. Keep in mind that every bearded dragon is unique, so you may need to try a combination of these methods to find what works best for your pet.

As a fellow bearded dragon enthusiast, I understand the importance of providing a well-rounded diet for your pet. When your bearded dragon starts to eat their greens consistently, not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment, but you’ll also be contributing to your pet’s overall health and happiness. So, keep experimenting and refining your approach until you find the perfect balance that works for both you and your bearded dragon. Happy feeding!

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