It’s natural for budgies to explore foliage and greenery, so you can put certain plants in your budgie’s cage. That way, budgies can eat the leaves, flowers, and stems for nourishment and enrichment.
The best plants for a budgie’s cage are money plants, snake plants, or hens and chicks.
If you want plants for a budgie to eat, offer them alfalfa, aloe vera, dill, sage, lemon balm, or grass grains. For native Australian plants, you can provide eucalyptus, acacia, or tea trees.
Source houseplants from nurseries and avoid harmful pesticides. Also, consider how much space you have to devote to plants to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to behavioral issues.
The soil must be protected with small stones or mesh to prevent a build-up of poop. Also, getting 2-3 budgie-safe plants and swapping them out is highly recommended.
Can Budgies Eat Plants?
Plants are a natural part of a budgie’s diet. Budgies are omnivores, so they can digest plant and animal-based proteins. It’s healthy to provide leafy greens and vegetables to budgies regularly.
Even houseplants can make a valuable addition to a budgie’s diet. As long as the plant is non-toxic, it’s safe for a budgie to eat or interact with them.
Many owners grow plants to round out their budgies’ meals, such as:
Traditional houseplants can be put inside the cage for your budgie to play with and eat. Although the plant won’t last forever under a budgie’s eager munching, it can still:
- Provide enrichment to stave off boredom
- Help channel some of your budgie’s chewing or shredding energy
- Give your budgie extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
Plants budgies like include those that:
- Are leafy
- Have interesting textures
- Provide resistance to tearing
- Are brightly colored or have various shades
- Have a juicy or slightly sweet flavor
If the houseplant is within reach and non-toxic, budgies will enjoy their new food and toy.
What Plants Are Good For Budgies?
Many houseplants are safe for budgies, but some are extremely healthy. The following options are ideal for chewing, shredding, and perching in:
Is a money plant safe for budgies? As a common houseplant, it’s easy to find at retail stores or even home décor shops. There are three main types of money plants:
Coin Plant (Chinese Money Plant)
The coin plant has medium-sized, round, shiny leaves resembling coins.
This plant isn’t very hardy, but it’s safe for budgies. As one of the most popular money plants, you can get several cheaply and exchange them as the budgie wears them down.
Jade Plant (Money Tree)
A jade plant’s leaves are similar to a coin plant’s, but it’s a tree. So, it’s more resilient to a budgie’s chewing. However, it needs sunlight and space to grow, so it’s more suited to large bird cages or aviaries.
This money plant has longer leaves and an intricate, woven stem.
The stem represents longevity, interconnection, and the five elements in some cultures. For this reason, it’s easy to find in home décor shops and garden departments at a low cost.
This plant is the best choice since it’s hardy and thrives in low light.
Are snake plants safe for budgies? They’re ideal for new owners of houseplants since they’re one of the hardiest available. This succulent can go days without being watered.
NASA found that it effectively removes formaldehyde and benzene from the air. So, a snake plant has air-purifying qualities.
Snake plants need space as their long leaves snake upward. If you own a larger cage, it’s a good choice. Not only will its hardy leaves withstand a nibbling budgie, but they’ll keep the air clean.
Hens And Chicks
Hens and chicks is a succulent; this name is due to their rosette shape. The largest rosette is the hen, while the smaller buds that grow off it are the chicks.
This succulent is named due to its ability to grow many chicks, making it easy to propagate. Because it’s a succulent, it’s hardy and requires minimal upkeep.
What Plants Are Safe for Budgies To Eat?
Perhaps you want a plant as a long-term meal source for your budgie. If so, many sprouts, flowers, herbs, and leaves can fulfill this purpose.
Budgies shouldn’t eat houseplants or herbs alone, as they still need a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, pellets, seeds, grains, and other foods.
Based on their health benefits, these are good plants budgies can eat:
Alfalfa is rich in minerals and is easy to grow. For this reason, it’s a common plant used to feed livestock and has been used as a medicinal herb throughout history.
Alfalfa seeds can be fed to your budgie as a seed spray. You can grow it inside or around the cage as a sprout to encourage foraging behavior.
Can budgies eat aloe vera plants? The texture will be enticing to budgies, as the leaves are fun to tug on and shred through. Aloe vera is non-toxic to budgies, and when a regular treat, it can:
- Optimize digestion
- Treat illnesses triggered by bad or infected food
- Treat worms
- Cure constipation
- Speed up healing
Dill has a sharp, citrus flavor that should interest your budgie. Most importantly, its feathery, soft leaves create a fun texture to peck at and tear.
Dill has been used to clear up medical issues, including infant colic and digestive issues. That ensures your budgie can digest food, glean nutrients, and pass stools easier.
While dandelions are a weed, these hardy plants are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Its scientific name translates to ‘disorder remedy.’ Throughout history, dandelions have been used as a diuretic. Also, they can relieve joint pain and assist with high blood pressure (hypertension).
Budgies enjoy gnawing on the thick stems and pulling at the flower petals. They’ll provide tasty sprouts for your budgie if you grow them inside the cage.
Dandelions are self-seeding, which means they propagate on their own. You can maintain a steady supply by growing a small pot separately and introducing grown dandelions to the cage periodically.
Sage is a herb with a strong, earthy smell and a deep flavor. It contains more than 160 different polyphenols, which are compounds known for their antioxidant effect.
Sage should be planted in spring or fall in cool weather. They’re best grown separately and introduced to your budgie in a rotating collection.
Since this is an aromatic herb, ration how much your budgie eats, as the essential oil found in this plant can become overwhelming.
This aromatic, lemon-scented herb is known for its calming effect. According to Psychosomatic Medicine, lemon balm is a verified way to reduce stress and mental fatigue.
For your budgie, this can reduce the harmful effects of stress, boosting its immune system and helping it recover from illness. Ingesting lemon balm can improve cognitive function and aid digestion.
Only give budgies access to this plant a few times a week due to its essential oil component.
Grains are a treat that encourages foraging behavior in budgies.
They’re a rich source of nutrients, rounding out your budgie’s mineral and fiber needs. They’re easy to grow as long as they’re cultivated outside the cage and introduced once fully grown.
Native Plants Safe for Budgies
If you want to give your budgie a feel for its ancestral home, plants native to the Outback of Australia are recommended.
Also, by decorating the cage with plants that budgies eat in the wild, you can be certain that they’re getting the nutrients they would naturally.
These native plants are larger than the usual indoor plants, requiring larger cages.
Eucalyptus is considered an evergreen tree that can be grown in container pots. It’s not appropriate for the average birdcage, but it’s OK for tall cages and aviaries.
Eucalyptus is known for its health benefits. According to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, eucalyptus has antimicrobial properties.
You can find this plant in cosmetics, antiseptics, and baby wipes. Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic practices consider it a healthy, natural medicine.
Acacia refers to many different shrubs; some are toxic to parrots, while others are safe.
For example, the hickory wattle is an acacia but is considered dangerous to pets. On the other hand, Mimosa Acacia can be grown in pots and safely introduced to budgies.
Many birds’ toys and perches use acacia wood, so your budgie may be familiar with it. It can be maintained as a short tree, working best in aviaries or large bird cages.
Most of the health benefits of acacia come from the gum, which can be difficult for a budgie to harvest by chewing. Nonetheless, the leaves and bark are tasty treats and good tools for shaving down the beak.
Tea Tree Plant
The tea tree is a small evergreen plant with an interesting shape and smell.
The leaves can be fed to your budgie without harm, but most will enjoy it as a shredding toy. All parts of the tea tree are safe for budgies, but eating the bark, stems, or leaves is a good treat.
Tea tree oil has various beneficial properties:
What Plants Are Poisonous To Budgies?
While many houseplants are safe for budgies, others are poisonous.
Here are some toxic houseplants for budgies:
- Calla lily
- Rubber plant
Can You Put Plants In with Budgies?
You can put plants in a birdcage with your budgie to:
- Decorate the cage
- Provide enrichment
- Keep the air fresh
- Give your budgie a healthy snack
Some factors rule out certain plants, including:
Are The Plants Non-Toxic?
The best way to ensure that a plant isn’t harmful is by knowing the plant’s variety. This should come down to the scientific name, as some plants are safe, while a close variant is toxic.
Even non-toxic plants may be dangerous for budgies if treated with pesticides. According to Nature Sustainability, insecticides have decreased bird populations’ biodiversity.
Is The Soil Going To Accumulate Filth?
Budgies poop where they please, and they’re messy eaters.
Although budgies aren’t dusty parrots, all budgies produce a small amount of feather dust. Your potted plant will likely accumulate filth like this, especially in its soil.
If left this way, the plant will deteriorate, especially if feces accumulate on the leaves and stems. A certain amount isn’t harmful as birds nest in plants and trees.
Failing to clean the plant or its soil means that bacteria, fungus, and mold can start to grow in its pot. This will dramatically affect your budgie’s health due to its sensitive respiratory system.
You can prevent this by choosing the right plants or building protectors around the pot:
- Choose plants that don’t use soil, like air plants
- Plants that grow in water can be cleaned more regularly
- Place rocks or mesh on top of the soil, which are easier to remove and clean
Is There Enough Space In The Cage?
Budgies will enjoy a habitat that resembles their wild hangouts, with greenery, leaves, and hiding spots. However, budgies still get antsy if kept in small, overcrowded enclosures.
The cage should be large enough to comfortably house the budgie and the plant(s). This should account for the pot, leaves, and how much you’re willing to let the plant grow.
If the budgie has to lose more than 20-30% of its space to the plant, it’s not a good idea. A lack of flying, playing, and space to explore is detrimental to your budgie’s happiness level.
Can Your Budgie Destroy The Plant?
If you like the plant, don’t put it in your budgie’s cage. Budgies are natural chewers, shredders, and nibblers. The more they love a plant, the more likely they will destroy it.
Wild budgies have access to entire forests and planes to munch on, so their hobby doesn’t impact the ecosystem. With only one plant, you might find a single budgie destroys it.
The best solution is to get 2-3 relatively inexpensive plants just for your budgie. Let your budgie munch on one and swap it out with another once it’s damaged.
The plant can recuperate outside the cage while the other entertains your budgie. It can be swapped back in once the other needs a break and the first has recovered.
Does The Plant Have To Be In The Cage?
Ideally, the plants will be inside the cage, allowing the budgie to munch, perch, and hide in the greenery.
However, you may not have space, the time to clean up the plant, or interest in swapping plants to keep them alive. If so, there are workarounds.
Give your budgie the advantages of plant life without the disadvantages by:
- Surrounding the cage with plants, but not placing them inside. This lets your budgie enjoy a more natural environment (and privacy) without eating the plant.
- Positioning edible plants close to the cage allows your budgie to nibble on the leaves through the bars without affecting the soil or damaging the entire plant.
- Growing the plant in your kitchen and offering cuts to your budgie. This works well for herb plants, so you can ration how much your budgie is eating.
You can put many plants in a budgie’s cage, but you’ll need to decide how much time you want to spend caring for them. The rest is a matter of preference as long as they’re non-toxic and pesticide-free.