Thirsty Garden Lizards: Everything You Need to Know About Their Water Needs

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Garden lizards are fascinating creatures that can be found in many backyards around the world. They need food and water to survive. Many people need clarification on whether do garden lizards drink water or how to care for them properly. We will provide a comprehensive guide on garden lizards’ water consumption, diet, and everything you need to know to keep your backyard residents healthy.

Types of Garden Lizards

Types of Garden Lizards
Types of Garden Lizards

Before discussing water consumption and diet, it is essential to understand the different species of garden lizards. While there are many types of lizards worldwide, we will focus on the most common backyard lizards in the United States, including:

  1. Anole Lizard
  2. Eastern Fence Lizard
  3. Mediterranean Gecko
  4. Green Iguana
  5. Gila Monster
  6. Chameleon

Each species has unique requirements regarding food, water, and habitat. Understanding these needs is essential for providing proper care for your backyard lizards.

Anole Lizard

The Anole lizard is one of the most common garden lizards in the southeastern United States. They are also known as American chameleons due to their ability to change color. These small lizards typically grow to around 5-8 inches and prefer to live in trees, bushes, and other vegetation.

Eastern Fence Lizard

Eastern fence lizards are native to the eastern United States and can be found in forested areas, fields, and gardens. These lizards can grow up to 7 inches long and are commonly brownish-gray with black markings.

Mediterranean Gecko

Mediterranean geckos are non-native to the United States and are usually found in warm regions such as Florida, Texas, and California. These lizards are nocturnal and have a distinctive chirping sound. They typically grow to around 5 inches long and are usually grey or tan with spots.

Green Iguana

Green iguanas are giant garden lizards that can reach 6 feet long. They are native to Central and South America but are often kept as pets in the United States. These lizards are herbivores and require a diet rich in leafy greens.

Gila Monster

Gila monsters are venomous lizards found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are slow-moving and can grow up to 2 feet long.


Chameleons are known for their unique ability to change color and their long, sticky tongues used to catch prey. They are native to Africa and Madagascar but are also commonly kept as pets in the United States.

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Fruits as Food for Garden Lizards

Fruits as Food for Garden Lizards
Fruits as Food for Garden Lizards

Fruit is an essential component of many garden lizards’ diets. Most backyard lizards enjoy fruits such as:

  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries

Fruits are high in vitamins and minerals that benefit a lizard’s health. Some fruits also contain a high water content, which can provide hydration if your lizard needs more water.

Flowers as Food for Garden Lizards

Flowers as Food for Garden Lizards
Flowers as Food for Garden Lizards

Flowers can also be a great addition to your garden lizard’s diet. Many backyard lizards enjoy eating flowers such as:

  • Hibiscus
  • Dandelions
  • Marigolds
  • Roses

Flowers are not only tasty but can also provide a variety of nutrients. For example, hibiscus flowers are high in vitamin C, while dandelions are an excellent source of calcium.

Supplements for Garden Lizards

Supplements for Garden Lizards
Supplements for Garden Lizards

In addition to fruits and flowers, it may be necessary to supplement your garden lizards’ diet with additional vitamins and minerals. Supplements can benefit captive lizards, who may not have access to the same variety of foods as wild lizards.

Joint supplements for garden lizards include:

  1. Calcium: Garden lizards require calcium for healthy bone growth and development. Calcium supplements can be added to your lizard’s food or water.
  2. Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is essential for calcium absorption. Without enough vitamin D3, your lizard may develop metabolic bone disease.
  3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes a healthy immune system.

Foods to Avoid for Garden Lizards

Foods to Avoid for Garden Lizards
Foods to Avoid for Garden Lizards

While many fruits and flowers are safe for garden lizards, there are some foods that you should avoid feeding them. These include:

  • Avocado
  • Rhubarb
  • Nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, etc.)
  • Persimmons

These foods contain toxins that can be harmful or even fatal to garden lizards.

Frequently Asked Questions on Feeding Backyard Lizards

How often should I feed my garden lizards?

The frequency of feeding your garden lizards depends on their age and species. Generally, juvenile lizards must be fed more often than adults. For example, anole lizards should be fed daily, while adult green iguanas must only be provided once every few days.

How much should I feed my garden lizards?

Again, the amount of food your garden lizards should be fed depends on their species and age. Generally, you should offer enough food to satisfy your lizard’s hunger without overfeeding. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause health problems.

Can garden lizards eat insects?

Many garden lizards enjoy eating insects. Insects are a great source of protein for lizards and help to keep them healthy. Some common insects that garden lizards like to eat include:

  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Grasshoppers

Just make sure that any insects you feed your lizard are gut-loaded or well-fed themselves. This means they have been given a nutritious diet before being offered to your lizard.

Do garden lizards drink water?

Yes, garden lizards do drink water. While some lizards get most of their water from their food, all lizards require access to fresh, clean water. You should provide a shallow dish or bowl of water in your lizard’s enclosure and change it regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.


Garden lizards require proper care to thrive. A balanced diet with fruits, flowers, insects, and supplements is essential for keeping your backyard residents healthy. Avoid feeding your lizards foods that are toxic and provide fresh, clean water. Enjoy watching your garden lizards grow and flourish.

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