Green Tree Frog Care: The Ultimate Guide

The American green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) is a fascinating creature known for its vibrant green color and charming appearance. In this comprehensive care guide, we will explore everything you need to know about keeping these adorable amphibians as pets. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced frog enthusiast, you’ll discover valuable tips and insights to ensure the health and happiness of your green tree frog.

Getting to Know the Green Tree Frog

Green tree frogs are small, nocturnal amphibians that can be found throughout the southeast United States. They thrive in tropical forest habitats and are typically found near bodies of water. With their lean bodies, long legs, smooth skin, and large eyes, green tree frogs are easily recognizable. Their distinctive bright green color, often with a pale lateral stripe, adds to their charm. However, variations can occur, with some individuals sporting yellow or orange spots, or even reddish-brown coloration.

Minimum Terrarium Size for Green Tree Frogs

To provide a comfortable living space for your green tree frog, it’s essential to consider the terrarium size. The absolute minimum dimensions for one frog are 18”L x 18”W x 24”H. However, if possible, opt for a larger enclosure to offer more space for exploration and exercise. While multiple green tree frogs can be kept together, it’s generally recommended to house them separately, as they prefer a solitary lifestyle.

Do Green Tree Frogs Need UVB Lighting?

While green tree frogs can survive without UVB lighting, it’s highly recommended to provide them with appropriate UVB bulbs. UVB lighting helps establish a clear day/night cycle, provides essential vitamin D, strengthens the immune system, aids in digestion, and offers other benefits. The best UVB bulbs for green tree frogs are the Zoo Med T8 Reptisun 5.0 and the Arcadia ShadeDweller. Remember to house the bulbs in a reflective fixture, positioned over the mesh lid on the same side as the heat lamp.

Maintaining Optimal Temperature and Humidity

As cold-blooded animals, green tree frogs rely on external temperatures to regulate their body temperature and metabolism. Providing the correct temperature gradient is crucial for their well-being. Aim for a basking air temperature of around 84°F, an average ambient temperature of 72-78°F, and nighttime temperatures as low as 66°F. To achieve these temperatures, use a low-wattage white heat bulb placed over a basking branch or large artificial leaf. Avoid using ceramic heat emitters, deep heat projectors, or colored bulbs, as they are less effective.

In terms of humidity, maintaining the right levels is essential for the health of your green tree frog. Average air humidity should be between 60-80%, with occasional spikes up to 100%. Increase humidity by misting the enclosure twice a day using a spray bottle. Mist in the morning and at night, preferably when the lights are off. You can also use a fogger connected to a humidistat to help regulate humidity levels. When misting or providing drinking water, use dechlorinated tap water or spring water, avoiding distilled or reverse-osmosis water.

Choosing Suitable Substrate and Decorations

To create a comfortable and appealing environment for your green tree frog, it’s important to choose the right substrate and decorations. Naturalistic substrates such as Zoo Med ReptiSoil, Zoo Med Eco Earth, Exo Terra Plantation Soil, or Sphagnum moss are recommended. These substrates help maintain proper humidity levels and enhance the overall aesthetics of the enclosure.

When it comes to decorations, the possibilities are endless. Vines, branches, cork tubes, ledges, and live or artificial plants all make excellent additions to the terrarium. Ensure that your frog has sufficient hiding spots for privacy when needed.

Feeding your Green Tree Frog

Green tree frogs are primarily insectivorous, meaning their diet consists of live insects. Young frogs should be fed daily, while adults should be fed every 2-3 days to prevent obesity. Offer as many insects in one feeding as the frogs will consume within about 15 minutes. Suitable food options for green tree frogs include black soldier fly larvae and flies, crickets, discoid roaches, Dubia roaches, earthworms, mealworms, mealworm beetles, hornworms, and silkworms.

To ensure your frog receives adequate nutrition, it’s important to provide calcium and multivitamin supplements. Repashy Calcium Plus LoD, lightly dusted on prey once a week, is a recommended supplement.

Handling Your Green Tree Frog

While amphibians, including green tree frogs, don’t typically enjoy being handled like dogs or cats, some individuals may tolerate it better than others. It’s important to observe and understand your frog’s behavior and temperament before attempting to handle it. If your green tree frog is handleable, wear a pair of nitrile gloves and gently but firmly grasp it. Always be cautious to prevent any accidental jumps. After handling the frog or working with its enclosure, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.


Caring for a green tree frog can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By providing the appropriate terrarium size, UVB lighting, temperature, humidity, substrate, decorations, and a nutritious diet, you can ensure the well-being of your little amphibian friend. Remember, this guide serves as a comprehensive introduction, but further research is always recommended for the best care practices. If you want to learn more about tree planting, visit Tips Tree Planting for valuable insights and expert advice.

Photo by Sloalan on CC0 1.0