Bearded Dragon Growth (Size and Limits checked out)

Knowing how big your pet will grow is important before you decide to take it home. When you bring that baby bearded dragon home from the pet store, you might be wondering how big it will grow to be as an adult. The growth of a bearded dragon happens mostly within its first year.

So, when do bearded dragons stop growing? A bearded dragon will stop growing immediately after it reaches sexual maturity. A bearded dragon reaching maturity between 8 to 18 months, will be between 16 to 18 inches in length. Sexual maturity signals adulthood; most of its body organs are fully grown; hence, the bearded dragon stays the same size during adulthood. It might grow slightly, but the change could be minimal.

Many factors influence the growth of a bearded dragon. The full size of a bearded dragon may be influenced by sex, genetics, temperature, cage size, diet, and health. Finding out more about when bearded dragons stop growing, how they can grow to the size of their cage, how big a one-year-old bearded dragon should be and if some bearded dragon’s stay small helps in understanding more about these reptiles.

It is important to note the growth of your bearded dragon. If your bearded dragon grows to its normal size, then it means it is healthy. When your bearded dragon is young, you should provide it with the correct environment to grow.

Bearded dragons stop growing as soon as they reach sexual maturity. A bearded dragon reaches maturity between 8 to 18 months; their size will remain the same for the rest of their lives. A bearded dragon can be 16 inches long when it reaches sexual maturity and remain the same size henceforth.

Baby bearded dragons have a highly accelerated growth rate; they can increase their size from 3 inches long to about 11 inches long within three months. The growth rate will then slow down, and they will increase to about 16 to 24 inches long as they become adults. Therefore, you can be quite surprised at your bearded dragon’s growth rate when it is a baby; in fact, you may even think you’re overfeeding it, but it is natural.

A bearded dragon reaches sexual maturity between 8 to 18 months; that is when they will stop growing. To know that your bearded dragon has reached sexual maturity, look under its tail above the vent. If you see bulges, then your bearded dragon has reached sexual maturity. Male bearded dragons have two bulges, and female bearded dragons have one bulge.

However, it can be difficult to tell the gender of your bearded dragon. If you are not sure, you should contact a reptile expert.

Many factors will influence the growth of your bearded dragon. One of them is sex; male bearded dragons are slightly larger than females. A balanced diet will also improve your bearded dragon’s growth.

A big cage will ensure your dragon has enough space to move around and exercise. The genetics of your bearded dragon will also determine its final size as an adult. If you want your bearded dragon to grow to its normal size, ensure it has the best environment, and gets a balanced diet.

Do Bearded Dragons Grow To the Size of their Cage?

Housing is one of the factors that influence the size a bearded dragon will grow. Choosing the wrong size of tanks to keep a bearded dragon has led to many people having a small bearded dragon. Bearded dragons are just like goldfish; their environment influences their growth.

So, do bearded dragons grow to the size of their cage? A bearded dragon will grow to the size its house allows it to. A small tank will cause your bearded dragon to have stunted growth because it lacks enough space to exercise. If there is no room to exercise, your bearded dragon will not increase in size regardless of genetics or a well-balanced diet. Your bearded dragon will grow as big as you allow it; a small tank means a small bearded dragon for you.

Baby bearded dragons require a 40-gallon tank, while an adult bearded dragon will be comfortable in a 120-gallon tank. The general rule is that a bearded dragon should live in a tank three times its size.

You also have to ensure there is enough UV light in the tank because it is also crucial in the growth of a bearded dragon. Do not let the cage become cold; bearded dragons require heat to digest their food properly. If it gets too cold, your bearded dragon will have trouble digesting its food, which could influence its growth.

How Big Should a One Year Old Bearded Dragon Be?

It is normal to wonder if your bearded dragon is growing at a normal rate. The size of your bearded dragon can show you if it is healthy or not. You can monitor the growth rate of your bearded dragon from a young age to adulthood.

So, how big should a one-year-old bearded dragon be? A one-year-old bearded dragon should be between 16 to 18 inches long. A one-year-old bearded dragon could be sexually mature; hence, that could be the size it would maintain for the rest of its life. In its first year, your bearded dragon’s growth rate will start to slow down. With the right conditions, your bearded dragon could increase to 24 inches by the time it becomes two years old.

Do Some Bearded Dragons Stay Small?

As discussed earlier, the growth rate of your bearded dragon can be influenced by numerous factors. Not all bearded dragons will grow to be 24 inches long. Some usually stay small to adulthood and could be mistaken as juvenile bearded dragons.

So, do some bearded dragons stay small? Some bearded dragons will remain small because of improper care. One of the leading causes of stunted growth in bearded dragons is poor diet. If you do not feed your bearded dragon with the correct food, it will lack the nutrients necessary for growth. Another cause of stunted growth is the lack of UV lighting. Bearded dragons without enough UV lighting tend to be smaller than those with enough UV lighting.

A small cage will also cause your bearded dragon to stay small. A bearded dragon cannot grow past the tank it is living in; make sure you provide it with a bigger tank. Bearded dragons need enough space to exercise; hence, do not keep more than two of them in a tank. You should also clean your bearded dragon to remove parasites; some parasites can cause stunted growth in bearded dragons.


Monitoring your bearded dragon’s growth is important as it helps you discover the conditions you have to improve to ensure it grows to its full size. A bearded dragon will stop growing when it reaches sexual maturity but might continue growing, but the change will be minimal. Sex, diet, genetics, and cage size are among the factors that will contribute to your bearded dragon’s growth rate.

At one year old, most bearded dragons will have a slow growth rate because of reaching maturity. If you do not take good care of your bearded dragon, it might have stunted growth. Ensure your bearded dragon has a big habitat, gets enough food rich in nutrients, has enough UV lighting in its cage, and enough heat for it to grow to its normal size. If you are sure all the conditions are set correctly, but your bearded dragon is growing slowly, you should take it to your veterinarian.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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