Snake terrarium decor ideas

Snake Terrarium Decor Ideas

Snakes need lots of hiding places in their homes. Let’s cover some snake terrarium decor ideas that are functional for them and esthetically pleasing for us…

Last updated on February 1st, 2023 at 09:24 am

Why do you need to decorate your pet snake’s habitat? At first glance, most people would say it is to enhance the esthetics of the enclosure. But that would be looking at it from an outsider’s perspective. A well decorated snake terrarium will provide cover and hiding places that will make your snake feel safer and happier. 

While planning your snake’s living place you should take into account what its natural habitat looks like or how to ensure they can maintain their natural behavior as they do in the wild. Apart from maintaining their eating or drinking habits, it ensures that they are happy and engaged in their environment. 

In this article, we’ll look at some terrarium decor ideas that not only look good, but will help your pet feel safe by cluttering up the enclosure. Before we get into it though, let’s just remind ourselves of a few guidelines to keep our pets safe:

  • always check decorations for rough bits, and sand them off
  • never place heavy decorations in a way that they could fall on your pet
  • always sterilise branches brought in from outdoors – either with boiling water or baking
  • always sterilise decorations you buy from a pet store, whether they’ve been used or not
  • never use any products that contain cedar
Snake terrarium decor ideas

5 Snake terrarium accessories for a natural look 

There are many ways in which you can enhance the look of your reptilian shelter. Remember that the primary motive is to give your pet a proper home. Therefore, it is best to keep the décor as close to its natural habitat as possible. 

    To ensure a safe and healthy home for your snake you could consider implementing the following snake tank decor ideas: 

    1. Hiding places

    snake terrarium decor ideas
    This Stinking Goddess Snake (Elaphe carinata) is clearly enjoying having a piece of wood to hide under. It can keep its body safer underneath it, while poking its head out to have a look around

    The foremost requirement for your pet’s habitat is shelter. This should be available as much as possible. This lets your pet explore and not get bored easily. Reptiles as a group do not like to be disturbed much. So even in their natural habitats they do not roam around all the time.

    How often do you come across a python or a corn snake even when you visit their natural habitats? Not very often.

    This is because they prefer to stay hidden in their own burrows. This lets them escape much interaction and is also a way of protecting themselves against natural phenomenon or predators.

    This is a big reason you should plan the shelter with enough hiding places – they would feel exposed otherwise. 

    There are many ideas which you can explore while decorating the snake terrarium. Remember that you have to ensure ample shelter and hiding places for your pet. The more creative you get with it, the more appealing the terrarium would be to your pet as well as to observers.

    Use different types of decor to create hiding places

    You could try using as many plants as you can to give it a wilder look. It would ensure plenty of shade and covered places for your snake to use as a hiding spot.

    You could use natural or artificial plants depending on what you like. Another option you can use is creating hollows or caves in the shelter where the snake can nest.

    There are plenty of options available in the market while choosing hollow tree barks or small artificial caves. But you could also get innovative and try to make these modifications yourself.

    You could use hollow pots and cover them with artificial or natural plants, leaves and vines. These could be used as caves in the enclosure

    If you do not provide enough hiding places and give your pet a barren dwelling, they would tend to feel exposed and even bored after a point. This could seriously affect their well-being and even their life span.

    snake terrarium decor ideas
    A naturalistic enclosure for a Corn Snake, with ample hiding places. Notice the cave in the back-left corner

    2.Water dishes 

    You need to place water dishes at certain points inside your snake’s habitat as they would require a drink every now and then. You could either keep it in plain sight or conceal it with vegetation or other decorations to give it a natural look.

    snake terrarium decor ideas
    Nuevo Leon King Snake with resin water bowl. These come in a variety of sizes and can complement a naturalistic enclosure by mimicking a rock formation.
    snake terrarium decor ideas
    Corn Snakes with a terra cotta plant dish for a water bowl. This is a cheap option that actually looks pretty good!


    Branches will be a great addition to your pet’s home as they provide a climbing option for them, which is a must for snakes. You can use natural branches that you acquire yourself.

    But you would have to ensure that they are clean and free of pets. It is better to get readymade pet-friendly branches that have already been processed. 

    snake terrarium decor ideas
    Mangrove Snake (Boiga dendrophila) resting on a branch. Arboreal snakes like this need either branches or other elevated resting perches. They should NOT be kept in racks!


    The background you choose for your terrarium determines a lot of what your pet’s home looks like to an observer. The pet itself won’t be much affected by the background you choose. 

    There are a lot of readymade backdrops available for snake tanks that you can explore. There are many realistic painted backgrounds that would give the terrarium a natural look.    

    DIY Backgrounds

    There is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to the backdrop of the terrarium. What can you do instead of buying readymade backgrounds?

    You can choose to build one yourself using natural or artificial options that replicate the snake’s natural habitat or simply goes well with the setup you have inside. You could go for a natural rocky background or try to create a waterfall.

    Another innovative option could be the use of mirrors at certain points. You can make backgrounds for you snake terrarium yourself.

    Use the spare things that are lying around in your attic or garage. Bring out the hardwood and cut it up to resemble a rocky enclosure. Bring in pebbles from the garden.

    Get some small saplings and plant them inside the terrarium. Get creative and add trinkets your pet might like.

    5.Fake plants

    The vegetation you choose for your snake’s dwelling is very important. Snakes typically enjoy shady places with a lot of cover and warmth. 

    You can choose a lot of artificial plants or vines that would do that exact job. But if you choose artificial plants that resemble the vegetation of the creature’s natural habitat you can give your pet a comfortable at-home feeling. 

    You can use artificial plants for decorating the terrarium and covering other equipment inside the terrarium as well. 

    Large snake tank accessories 

    The size of your snake enclosure would vary with species of your scaly friend. For very large snakes, we would need bigger tanks. 

    There are many accessories that would go well to fill up large tanks. Hollow logs or rocky structures would fill up a lot of space. Driftwoods and Exo Terra caves would also be a good option. 


    Driftwood is a great option to decorate any reptile tank with. Snakes specially like this kind of wooden features as they get a lot of options like nesting or climbing. 

    The natural build of these features ensure a safe and comfortable home for your pet, giving it a feel of its natural habitat. 

    snake terrarium decor ideas
    Driftwood is great for reptile enclosures. Just make sure you sand off any rough bits before adding it

    Ball python tank decor 

    Having a ball python as a pet can be a great experiment as they are beautiful creatures with a good temperament. To give your scaly friend a good home you need to ensure that you keep the conditions of the enclosure as close to its natural habitat as you can. 

    You first need to ensure that the snake enclosure is big enough for it to live in. They typically live in African ecosystems so you should ideally have burrows or caves for the snake to nest in. 

    You should also get a thermal gradient to provide the reptile with an optimal temperature range to live in. Apart from this you would need to take care of the bedding.

    You can use paper towels or newspapers, coco chips or cypress mulch as per your choice. 

    Do ball pythons like to climb?
    Setup with climbing accessories for a baby Ball Python. Ball Python enclosures can be simple, but they MUST have hiding places!

    Exo Terra Reptile Caves 

    Exo Terra reptile caves are an excellent option for you to explore if you are looking to give your pet’s home a natural and attractive look. They are easily available and are very easy to install.

    Made from natural substances it is a safe shelter for your snake to nest in. Since snakes prefer dark hiding spots anyway, you should consider using these products and make your snake a comfortable home. 

    Ball Python hides
    Exo Terra Reptile Caves, like the one pictured on the left, are heavy and make shy snakes feel safer

    FAQ relating to Snake terrarium decor ideas 

    How do you decorate a snake enclosure? 

    There are many ideas you can explore while decorating your pet reptile’s home. You need to understand what its natural home looks like or what would make it happy and comfortable. Always prioritise hiding places for terrestrial snakes, and resting perches for arboreal snakes.

    The first thing you should do is provide a lot of shady covered places for the snake to rest in. You can try using a lot of vegetation, be it natural or artificial. 

    There are features you can add to mimic its natural habitat like a swamp or a small waterfall of stream-like feature. You could also buy artificial caves made of plastic to give it a better look.

    What do snakes like in their tank? 

    You would first need to choose a tank of appropriate size for your snake terrarium. Once you have done that you need to do thorough research on the species of snake you have adopted.

    This means you need to know what the conditions in its natural habitat are. This will help you recreate it as best as you can.

    These conditions would vary from species to species but there are a few common things to maintain for all snakes. For instance all snakes would require a dwelling with plenty of shade and hiding spots as well as climbable terrain. 

    Another thing to maintain is the heat gradient. It is very important to give a carefully controlled heat environment as snakes are cold-blooded creatures that depend on their surroundings to maintain their body heat.

    Do snakes like clutter?

    Yes, snakes do like clutter as this provide them shelter and a hiding option and also keeps them warm. If you want to give your snake tank a naturally wild and untidy look you can try creating artificial clutters in the setup. 

    You could try creating tunnels or burrows across the place or you could use compost piles or wooden piles to give the place a rustic look. It would make the terrain cozy and habitable for your pet reptile. 

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