How Long Does It Take a Bearded Dragon to Grow? Growth Stages

Bearded dragons grow quickly during the first year of their life and reach their full size at around 18 months old. The growth rate can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, and environment. It is important to provide them with adequate nutrition and a spacious enclosure to support healthy growth and development.

Understanding The Growth Of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are an amazing species of reptile that can grow to be quite large. They have a unique and interesting look, making them popular pets for many people around the world. Understanding how bearded dragons grow is essential to properly taking care of them.

Socializing, temperature control, and diet all play a role in their growth rate. Temperature regulation is key when it comes to caring for bearded dragons correctly; they need hot temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night. A thermometer should be used regularly to make sure their enclosure stays within the required range so that they can comfortably shed skin and digest food properly.

Additionally, socialization with humans or other beardies is important too as it helps them build trust with their owners and become more comfortable in their environment. A well balanced diet is also necessary for a healthy bearded dragon; this includes commercially available pellets meant specifically for reptiles along with fresh vegetables like kale, squash, carrots, dandelion greens, etc., live insects such as crickets or mealworms, small amounts of fruits and calcium supplements every few meals (to prevent metabolic bone disease).

All these factors must come together if you want your pet to reach its full size potential by 18 months old. Taking into account all of these elements will help ensure your bearded dragon grows up happy and healthy. Moving on from here we’ll explore what other external factors may affect the rate at which a beardie matures…

Factors That Affect Growth

Diet plays an important role in determining how quickly a bearded dragon will grow; it needs to be varied and nutritionally balanced in order to get the most out of it.

The environment a bearded dragon lives in also affects their growth; they need to have the correct temperature and humidity for the best results.

Genetics are also an influencing factor in a bearded dragon’s growth; some may reach their full size quicker than others.


When discussing the factors that affect a bearded dragon’s growth, diet is an important topic to consider.

A healthy diet for these reptiles should include proteins, vegetables, and fruits as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

To ensure proper development it is especially important to focus on their dietary needs for calcium intake in particular.

RELATED:  Is Bearded Dragon Saliva Poisonous? [Why It's Dangerous]

Calcium can be found in various supplements or through feeding them insects with hard shells such as crickets or mealworms.

Providing your bearded dragon with a balanced diet will help ensure they reach their full size by 18 months old.


Aside from diet, environment is another important factor to consider for a bearded dragon’s growth.

Proper heat regulation and temperature control are necessary in order to keep them healthy and growing at a steady pace.

They need an area where the temperature can range between 85-95°F during the day, with temperatures dipping down to 65-75°F overnight.

UVB lighting should also be provided as this helps with their ability to metabolize calcium which assists in proper bone growth.

Providing your pet with the right environmental conditions will help them reach their full size quickly and healthily.


When it comes to growth, genetics are just as important as diet and environment.

Genetic diversity is key when looking at a species’ growth rate; the more diverse the gene pool, the more likely they will grow faster.

The sex of an individual can also be determined by their genetic makeup; reptile eggs with two Z chromosomes will produce males while those with one Z chromosome will become females.

Genetics also play a role in determining how large or small your pet beardie may get in adulthood.

With all this taken into account, it’s clear that genetics have a major impact on how quickly and healthily your bearded dragon grows up!

Feeding Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons have specific dietary requirements that need to be met in order for them to remain healthy and strong. Feeding your dragon can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s all about creating a nutritional balance which takes care of their needs while also giving them variety.

To keep your bearded dragon happy and content, think of feeding time as an opportunity to explore different flavors and textures. You can even prepare meals with the same ingredients you feed yourself – such as kale, celery, grated carrots or apples – just make sure they are cut into small pieces so they don’t choke on them.

Here is a list of items you should include:

  • Fruits & Vegetables: Apples, Carrots, Kale, Celery
  • Protein Sources: Crickets, Mealworms (Live or Dried), Earth worms
  • Live Foods Sub-List: Crickets, Mealworms
  • Dried Foods Sub-List: Grub Pieces, Reptile Bites

It’s important to remember that these little creatures will quickly become accustomed to certain foods and may not always want to try something new. Therefore it is important to switch up what you offer from time-to-time so they receive a balanced diet that meets their dietary needs.

To ensure this happens smoothly transition into providing adequate exercise for your pet next.

Providing Adequate Exercise

Providing adequate exercise is an important aspect of bearded dragon care. Ensuring your pet has enough room to move around and stretch their legs will help keep them healthy and happy. To do this, you must consider the size of the enclosure they live in as well as providing proper UVB exposure.

RELATED:  Do Bearded Dragons Let You Hold Them? [Making Them Comfortable]
Enclosure Size UVB Exposure
Minimum 20 gallons 10-12 hours daily (natural or artificial)
Optimal 40+ gallons 12 hours daily (natural or artificial)

Enclosures should be at least 20 gallons for juvenile dragons and 40+ gallons for adults. If it’s too small, your dragon won’t have enough space to explore which can lead to behavioural issues such as aggression towards other pets. Providing a suitable environment also includes ensuring that your reptile gets plenty of ultraviolet light from natural sunlight or an artificial source like a fluorescent bulb. A minimum of 10-12 hours per day are recommended but optimal levels are closer to 12 hours daily regardless if it’s natural or artificial light.

Bearded dragons need sufficient time outside of their enclosures each day so that they get some exercise and stimulation from exploring their surroundings. Make sure any area you let them roam in is safe and supervised by an adult since their curiosity could put them into danger otherwise. With these steps taken, you’ll give your pet every opportunity to stay active and healthy throughout its life cycle!

Creating A Healthy Environment

Creating a healthy environment for your beloved bearded dragon is essential to their growth. As the old adage goes, “You are what you eat” and this rings true with bearded dragons too!

It’s important to provide them with an adequate space that meets all of their needs in order to ensure proper development. Bearded dragons require at least 20 gallons of living space per adult size reptile, along with appropriate basking temperatures range from 85-90°F (29-32°C). UVB lighting should also be provided during the day time hours in order to keep up vitamin D3 levels which helps promote calcium absorption and prevent Metabolic Bone Disease.

In addition, they need good ventilation as well as non-toxic substrates like tile or paper towels that can help maintain humidity levels. All these factors combined will create the perfect habitat for your little friend to flourish and grow into the majestic creature it was meant to become!

With the right kind of care and attention, you’ll find yourself watching your pet blossom before your eyes – monitoring its progress over time is key for ensuring success.

Keeping Track Of Your Dragon’s Growth

Now that you have provided your bearded dragon with a healthy environment, it is important to keep track of its growth. By monitoring their breeding habits, stress levels and size, you can ensure they reach their full potential.

Bearded dragons typically reach maturity at 18 months old. However, there are certain indicators that will tell you if your pet is growing properly.

RELATED:  What Do Bearded Dragons Like in Their Cage? [Best Cage Setup]

One of the easiest ways to check on their progress is by observing their behavior in relation to food intake or mating activities. If your dragon is eating less than usual or not engaging in normal mating activities for its age group, then this could be an indication that something isn’t quite right.

It’s also essential to closely monitor any changes in their stress level as this can affect their overall health and development. Signs such as excessive yawning, tail curling up or twitching can all point towards a stressed out dragon which should be addressed immediately.

Additionally, consistent weight checks over time will give you a better understanding of how fast they’re growing and whether they need more nutrition or other lifestyle adjustments.

By assessing these factors regularly, you’ll be able to identify any issues early on and take the necessary steps before matters become serious. With the right care and attention along with patience and dedication, your dragon will soon reach its full size!


In conclusion, bearded dragons can reach their full size at 18 months old if all the right conditions are met. Proper nutrition is important to ensure your dragon grows healthy and strong. Feeding them a diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help supplement their growth rate. Exercise should also be encouraged by providing plenty of space for them to explore and climb.

Finally, creating an environment with adequate heat, humidity, and UVB lighting will provide the best chance for your pet’s development. For example, I have three bearded dragons who were born within weeks of each other but vary drastically in size due to different living conditions. My oldest was provided with ample exercise opportunities and a balanced diet which allowed her to grow up quickly while my youngest wasn’t given as much attention or care resulting in slower growth than his siblings despite being almost the same age.

This goes to show that environmental factors play an important role when it comes to how fast a bearded dragon will grow over time.