How Big Does Bearded Dragons Get


Bearded dragons are popular reptile pets known for their unique appearance and friendly temperament. As a potential bearded dragon owner, it is crucial to understand their growth potential and the size they can reach. In this article, we will explore the various factors that affect the size of bearded dragons and provide insight into their growth patterns. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how big bearded dragons can get and what factors contribute to their growth.

Factors Affecting Bearded Dragon Size

The size of a bearded dragon is influenced by several factors, including genetics, diet, environment, and overall health. Understanding how each of these factors contributes to their growth will help you ensure that your bearded dragon reaches its full size potential.

Genetics and Breeding

Just like any other living organism, bearded dragons inherit their genetic traits from their parents. The size of the parents can provide a general idea of the size potential of the offspring. If the parents are larger in size, there is a higher probability that the offspring will also grow to be larger. On the other hand, if the parents are smaller, the offspring may also have a smaller size potential.

Breeders often select bearded dragons with desirable traits, such as larger size, for breeding purposes. This selective breeding can result in offspring with enhanced growth potential. However, it is important to note that genetics alone do not determine the final size of a bearded dragon. Other factors, such as diet and environment, play a significant role in their growth.

Diet and Nutrition

The diet and nutrition of a bearded dragon have a direct impact on its growth. Providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for promoting healthy growth and development. In their natural habitat, bearded dragons are omnivores, consuming a variety of insects, vegetables, and fruits.

As hatchlings, bearded dragons require a higher percentage of protein in their diet to support their rapid growth. Crickets, mealworms, and small dubia roaches are excellent sources of protein for young bearded dragons. As they mature, the proportion of plant-based foods should increase, including dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits.

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It is important to note that overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues. Monitoring portion sizes and offering a variety of foods will help ensure a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which a bearded dragon lives also has a significant impact on its growth. Temperature, lighting, and habitat size are crucial considerations to ensure optimal growth and development.

Bearded dragons are ectothermic, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Providing a temperature gradient within their enclosure allows them to move between warmer and cooler areas, mimicking their natural habitat. Proper heating and temperature control promote healthy digestion, metabolism, and overall growth.

In addition to temperature, lighting is also essential for bearded dragon growth. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, specifically UVB rays, is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D3, which plays a vital role in calcium absorption. Calcium is crucial for bone growth and development in bearded dragons. Proper UVB lighting, either natural sunlight or specialized reptile UVB bulbs, should be provided to ensure adequate vitamin D3 synthesis.

Lastly, the size of the habitat is an often-overlooked factor in bearded dragon growth. Providing a spacious enclosure allows them to move around, exercise, and exhibit natural behaviors. A cramped habitat can restrict their growth and lead to stunted development.

Overall Health and Care

Bearded dragons, like any other living creature, require proper care and attention to ensure optimal growth. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to identify any health issues early on and provide appropriate treatment. Regular parasite screenings, such as checking for internal and external parasites, are also important to maintain overall health.

Proper hygiene and cleanliness of their habitat are essential to prevent the spread of diseases and infections. Regularly cleaning their enclosure, providing fresh water, and maintaining proper humidity levels will contribute to their overall well-being and growth.

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Growth Stages of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons go through several growth stages throughout their life. Understanding these stages will give you an idea of their growth potential and what to expect as they develop.

1. Hatchling Stage (0-3 months): During this stage, bearded dragons are small and fragile. They require a higher protein diet and more frequent feedings to support their rapid growth. Hatchlings generally measure around 4-5 inches in length.

2. Juvenile Stage (3-12 months): As bearded dragons enter the juvenile stage, their growth rate slows down. They continue to grow in length and start developing more distinct features, such as their beard and spikes. The length of a juvenile bearded dragon can range from 9-12 inches.

3. Sub-Adult Stage (12-18 months): At this stage, bearded dragons are approaching their adult size. Their growth rate further slows down, and they start developing more muscular bodies. The length of a sub-adult bearded dragon can range from 15-20 inches.

4. Adult Stage (18+ months): Once a bearded dragon reaches adulthood, its growth rate significantly slows down, and they generally reach their full size potential. Adult bearded dragons can measure anywhere between 18-24 inches in length, with males tending to be larger than females.


In conclusion, the size of a bearded dragon is influenced by genetics, diet, environment, and overall care. While genetics play a significant role in their potential size, providing a well-balanced diet, maintaining optimal environmental conditions, and ensuring proper overall health are essential for a bearded dragon to reach its full growth potential.

Understanding the growth stages of bearded dragons and their average sizes at each stage allows owners to monitor their development and make necessary adjustments to their care. By providing a suitable environment, a nutritious diet, and regular veterinary care, you can help your bearded dragon thrive and reach its maximum size. Remember, each bearded dragon is unique, and their growth may vary based on individual factors.

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How big do bearded dragons get?

Bearded dragons can grow to be around 18 to 24 inches long from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail. The size can vary depending on the individual's genetics, health, and care.

FAQ 1: How fast do bearded dragons grow?

Bearded dragons tend to grow rapidly during the first year of their life. They can gain approximately 4 to 6 inches in length during this period. After the first year, their growth rate slows down.

FAQ 2: How long does it take for a bearded dragon to reach its full size?

Bearded dragons typically reach their full size within 1 to 2 years of age. However, some individuals may continue to grow slightly for a longer period.

FAQ 3: What factors can affect the growth rate of a bearded dragon?

The growth rate of a bearded dragon can be influenced by various factors such as genetics, nutrition, habitat conditions, and overall health. Providing a proper diet and suitable environment plays a crucial role in their growth.

FAQ 4: Can the size of a bearded dragon be controlled?

The size of a bearded dragon is primarily determined by its genetics, and it cannot be controlled or manipulated by external factors. However, providing optimal care can ensure that the dragon reaches its full potential size.

FAQ 5: How can I estimate the adult size of my bearded dragon?

While it is difficult to precisely estimate the adult size of a bearded dragon, you can generally gauge it by observing its growth patterns during the first year. If the dragon is healthy, well-fed, and has appropriate living conditions, it is likely to reach a typical adult size within the expected range.

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