Unlike domesticated animals like dogs and cats, it can be somewhat of a challenge when it comes to estimating a baby beardie’s growth, especially if you haven’t kept one before.
Whether you’ve just got a baby bearded dragon or you’re considering this lizard as a pet, you’ll probably be wondering just how big bearded dragons get. That’s where we come in to help!
In this article, you’ll find all of the information you need to know about how big bearded dragons grow and what you can expect in terms of growth rate.
Knowing the estimated size of an adult bearded dragon can help you work out what you need to buy terrarium-wise.
Our bearded dragon size guide is also designed to help those people who are wondering about becoming a beardie owner and whether or not their size is suitable for the space you have.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get?
A fully grown bearded dragon will measure at least 16 inches (40 cm) in length but won’t be more than 24 inches (61 cm).
Bearded dragons tend to weigh between 300 grams to 550 grams, averaging 400 grams.
Typically, a bearded dragon reaches its full size around 18 months old. It’s at this point that they reach sexual maturity and are considered an adult.
It’s quite common, though, for a beardie to reach its final size at one year old.
The majority of bearded dragon owners define three or four age groups when they talk about bearded dragons.
This helps you know what to expect in terms of growth as your bearded dragon gets older.
Baby Bearded Dragon Size
A bearded dragon under the age of three months is usually referred to as a baby bearded dragon or hatchling. It is during this time that your bearded dragon will have the fastest growth rate.
A newborn hatchling will be three inches long (or thereabouts) and will only weigh about four grams.
At around two months old, the hatchling will probably have doubled or tripled its length. It will also have gained anything from four to thirty grams or more.
Juvenile Bearded Dragon Size
From three months old to 11 months old, we refer to bearded dragons as juveniles. Though the bearded dragon’s growth rate slows in this period compared to hatchlings, their growth is still rapid.
You can expect a juvenile bearded dragon to be between eight and twenty-three inches in length. He will weigh twenty to four hundred grams.
Juvenile bearded dragons experience massive growth and they’re almost done growing by the end of their first year.
Sub-Adult Bearded Dragon Size
Some bearded dragon keepers refer to those over twelve months as sub-adult bearded dragons or older juveniles. This is the final age category before adulthood is reached.
Sub-adult bearded dragons range from fifteen to twenty-four inches. They weigh 300 to 500 grams.
During these final months of growth, there won’t be an awful lot of change. The growth will have slowed considerably, and it might not even be noticeable.
An older juvenile beardie might only grow one extra inch during these six months. What’s more, their weight might only increase by around twenty grams.
Adult/Fully Grown Bearded Dragon Size
Compared to lots of other lizard species, bearded dragons are a manageable size. They’re not as little and delicate as a gecko but they’re also a lot smaller than monitor lizards and iguanas. Being a medium-sized species makes them a great lizard to keep as a pet.
When they’re fully grown, adults measure between 16 and 24 inches and weigh 300 to 550 grams. It is possible (though rare) for a beardie to be longer than this.
A bearded dragon’s gender will also determine its final size. Male bearded dragons tend to measure between 20 and 24 inches in length, while female bearded dragons typically measure between 16 and 20 inches in length.
As you might have realized, not all full-grown bearded dragons reach the same size and weight. What size they end up is mostly determined by their:
- Terrarium size and quality
- Breed and genetics
How Fast Do Bearded Dragons Grow?
As well as asking how long bearded dragons get, many prospective owners often ask how fast bearded dragons grow.
If you are considering getting a baby dragon, you need to appreciate the baby bearded dragon size as it doesn’t last long. The first few months pass by so quickly that they’ll be big soon enough.
Prospective or new pet owners often want to know the growing pattern of their animal.
Knowing what to expect means being able to plan proper care for the new arrival. So, how quickly do young dragons grow? How long are baby beardies small for?
A baby beardie’s growth rate will slow down massively around the time of his first birthday.
After this point, some will have a little more growing to do, but it’s usually only around an inch more and might not be that noticeable.
To summarize, 95% of their growth happens by their first birthday and you can expect them to have stopped growing after 18 months of age.
Growth Rate of Bearded Dragons
Like many animals, a baby beardie will shoot up in length first and go through a lanky stage – even humans do this in their teenage years!
The first half-year of their life is all about growing and it can be as much as one inch a week at first!
The lankiness that you end up seeing because of this rapid growth starts being less noticeable around twelve months. This is when they start to bulk up and put on weight rather than length.
Bearded Dragon Size Chart
Here is a month-by-month guide on the size you can expect (on average) for a baby beardie as it grows to adulthood:
|Bearded Dragon Age (Months)||Bearded Dragon Length (Inches)|
|1 Month||3 to 4 inches|
|2 Months||5 to 9 inches|
|3 Months||8 to 11 inches|
|4 Months||9 to 12 inches|
|5 Months||11 to 16 inches|
|6 Months||11 to 18 inches|
|7 Months||13 to 18 inches|
|8 Months||13 to 20 inches|
|9 Months||14 to 21 inches|
|10 Months||15 to 22 inches|
|11 Months||15 to 23 inches|
|12 Months||15 to 24 inches|
|18 Months||15 to 26 inches|
|Month-by-month size chart showing the growth rate of Bearded Dragons.|
It’s important to mention that one bearded dragon won’t be the same as another. As you can see by the chart above, there can be a difference of 11 inches between the smallest adults and the largest adults, which is huge!
Remember, though, that these are all averages. If your bearded dragon is an adult but is shorter than fifteen inches, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong or that they have stunted growth.
Bearded Dragon Weight
Baby bearded dragons weigh hardly anything when they’re fresh out of their shell, yet they don’t stay this light for long!
By the time baby bearded dragons reach sexual maturity and adulthood, they will have gained around four hundred times their birth weight.
It’s also normal for them to double their birth weight within their first week!
Bearded Dragon Weight Chart
Here is a month-by-month guide on the weight you can expect (on average) for a baby beardie as it grows to adulthood:
|Bearded Dragon Age (Months)||Bearded Dragon Weight (Grams)|
|1 Month||4 to 6 grams|
|2 Months||8 to 40 grams|
|3 Months||20 to 110 grams|
|4 Months||40 to 115 grams|
|5 Months||100 to 150 grams|
|6 Months||180 to 225 grams|
|7 Months||225 to 280 grams|
|8 Months||230 to 325 grams|
|9 Months||250 to 350 grams|
|10 Months||260 to 375 grams|
|11 Months||280 to 400 grams|
|12 Months||300 to 450 grams|
|18 Months||300 to 550 grams|
|Month-by-month weight chart showing the weight gain of Bearded Dragons.|
Both your bearded dragon’s size and weight should be monitored as they grow. Most bearded dragons will be within these weight parameters, but it is possible for bearded dragons to be overweight or underweight.
How to Tell If a Bearded Dragon Is Overweight
Overweight bearded dragons look rounder. Their bellies will be visible from above. They’ll also have a full chest and fat legs.
If you think your bearded dragon is overweight, the first thing you need to do is check the temperatures in its enclosure.
This is because higher temperatures often lead to bigger dragons. Higher temperatures trigger bearded dragons to eat and so if the temperature is consistently too high, they will seek to eat more than they should.
A beardie’s terrarium should have a basking spot that’s 95 to 100 °F (35 to 38 °C) when they’re over twelve months old.
Helping a bearded dragon to lose weight
If your beardie is overweight, there are things you can do to help him lose the excess weight. You can:
- Offer live foods that are lower in fat like hornworms and crickets
- Encourage lots of exercise by giving them space outside to run around
- Offer more vegetables over live food
- Get a bearded dragon leash and take them for a walk
How to Tell if A Full Grown Bearded Dragon Is Underweight
When a bearded dragon is underweight, its skin will appear loose and wrinkly. It will appear to be almost hanging from their body. The bearded dragon’s torso will also seem flat.
Bearded dragons have fat pads behind their head. In an underweight dragon, these will be sunken in rather than raised (which is normal).
It’s also possible to see their spin and ribs protruding from under the skin.
If you think your beardie is underweight and he is under 12 months old, you should begin weight monitoring. You need to check that they are gaining weight weekly and not plateauing.
Just like high temperatures cause bearded dragons to be overweight, cooler temperatures cause them to be underweight. Low temperatures mean a decreased appetite in bearded dragons.
As a result, if you notice your bearded dragon is underweight, you should check to see if its enclosure is the right temperature for its age.
Helping a bearded dragon put on weight
Here are some things you can do to help an underweight bearded dragon gain weight. You can:
- Offer live foods that are higher in fat like waxworms, butter worms, and superworms
- Supplement feeding
- Offer appetite stimulants
If in doubt, always consult a reptile veterinarian.
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Get?
The numbers in the bearded dragon growth chart are just estimations. These are the average figures and most bearded dragons fit somewhere within those parameters.
According to the growth chart, a one-year-old bearded dragon full size can be anywhere between 15 inches and 24 inches long. It’s very unlikely you’ll get a bearded dragon longer than this!
Why Isn’t My Bearded Dragon Gaining Weight or Growing?
If you notice that your bearded dragon growth rate isn’t following the right lines in terms of weight and size (look at our growth and weight charts for reference), then you might want to check a few things.
Slow growth is usually down to poor diet, a problem with their enclosure, or early brumation.
Below we’ll discuss how these problems lead to underdeveloped or small bearded dragons.
Bearded Dragon Growth Problem #1: Inadequate Exposure to UVB
If your terrarium isn’t equipped with an adequate UVB bulb, your bearded dragon might have stifled growth.
Without appropriate UVB exposure, beardies aren’t able to absorb calcium properly, which can lead to lots of health problems.
Poor calcium levels in bearded dragons lead to:
- Brittle and weak bones
- Stunted growth
- Metabolic bone disease
Inadequate UVB exposure also leads to a suppressed appetite, which means your bearded dragon won’t eat enough to grow properly.
To make sure your beardie has adequate UVB exposure, you should change the bulb twice a year.
High-quality mercury vapor bulbs can last 10 months but if your beardie’s energy levels drop, it’s a sign that the bulb needs changing.
Bearded Dragon Growth Problem #2: Poor Diet
In order to grow properly, baby bearded dragons need lots of protein.
Babies under three months of age need crickets five times per day in a five to ten-minute interval. You shouldn’t limit how many they eat.
Leafy greens are less important at this age. In fact, salad and greens aren’t really important until the bearded dragon has its first birthday.
When your beardie has reached its full size, it won’t need as much protein. Thus, veggies are more important from this point.
Bearded Dragon Growth Problem #3: Brumation
Brumation is a normal bearded dragon behavior. However, it’s important for bearded dragons to wait until they’re fully grown before going through their first brumation.
If a bearded dragon is allowed to brumate while he’s still growing, this can lead to stunted growth.
Brumation is a bit like reptile hibernation. It’s a time when bearded dragons are less active and sleep a lot. Unlike hibernation, however, they do usually have wakeful moments.
As bearded dragons go through their brumation, they tend to lose weight. They don’t need food since they sleep most of the time.
It’s for this reason, therefore, that you should try to avoid young bearded dragons going into brumation. To help avoid this, you can:
- Make sure the temperatures are correct both during daylight hours and at night
- Make sure your beardie has ten to twelve hours of light every day
Bearded Dragon Growth Problem #4: Illness and Disease
When a bearded dragon gets ill as it’s still growing, it can have stunted growth.
Just as humans suffer a lack of appetite when they’re sick, so do bearded dragons.
Younger bearded dragons need to eat for growth and so an illness or disease can mean stopping growth and becoming weak.
Parasites can also mean stunted or slow growth as they take nutrients from the bearded dragon. A sign of parasites is often diarrhea and smelly excrement.
If you know what your bearded dragon’s healthy poop looks like, you will be able to recognize when something is amiss and can get your beardie tested for parasites.
However, just like humans, you can do things to prevent illness and disease. Here are some things you should do to optimize your pet’s health:
- Deep clean the enclosure regularly
- Spot clean waste as soon as you see it
- Always provide fresh water
- Keep the water bowl clean
- Check temperatures regularly to make sure they’re right
- Make sure there is no stress
- Check humidity levels regularly
- Ensure there is adequate UVB light
- Provide multivitamin and calcium supplements
- Take care to feed a proper diet
If you can do all of these things, your younger dragon will grow up to be healthy and the right size.
The Sizes of Different Species of Bearded Dragon
In the wild, there are eight species of bearded dragon. The most common is the pogona vitticeps.
This is the central bearded dragon and in the wild, it lives in dry areas, bush, and forests.
Most people who keep a pet bearded dragon, have a pogona vitticeps.
Other species of bearded dragon include:
- The pogona barbata – also known as the Eastern bearded dragon or the Coastal bearded dragon
- The pogona microlepidota – also known as the Drysdale River bearded dragon
- The pogona henrylawsoni – also known as the Lawsons bearded dragon
- The pogona minor minor – also known as the dwarf bearded dragon
- The pogona minor minima – also known as the Western bearded dragon
- The pogona minor mitchelli – also known as the Mitchells bearded dragon or the Mitchelli bearded dragon
- The pogona nullarbor – also known as the Nullabor bearded dragon or the nullarbor bearded dragon.
All of these different species have slightly different habitats and behaviors. The pogona barbata, for example, is the only species that’s ever been seen in eastern Australia. This species is much better at climbing due to the region’s dense woodland.
Bearded Dragon Growth Chart by Species
Each bearded dragon species grows to a different length. Here is a growth chart by species:
|Bearded Dragon Species||Bearded Dragon Length (Inches)|
|Pogona Barbata||24 inches|
|Pogona Microlepidota||4 – 6 inches|
|Pogona Henrylawsoni||12 inches|
|Pogona Minor Minor||14 – 18 inches|
|Pogona Minor Minima||12 inches|
|Pogona Minor Mitchelli||18 inches|
|Pogona Nullarbor||14 inches|
|Pogona Vitticeps||24 inches|
So, if anyone asks you how big do bearded dragons grow, you can see it depends on the bearded dragon species!
And don’t be fooled by the pogona minor minor – even though it’s commonly called the dwarf bearded dragon, it’s actually not even the smallest!
However, what most people mean when they ask how bearded dragons grow, is how big the central bearded dragon or pogona vitticeps gets.
Surprisingly, along with the pogona barbata, this bearded dragon species can grow up to an impressive 24 inches!
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get – Final Thoughts
A bearded dragon’s size isn’t predetermined, but you can take a pretty good guess at the size an adult bearded dragon will reach.
Bearded dragons stop growing by eighteen months old and a healthy bearded dragon will reach between 15 and 26 inches long and will weigh between 300 and 550 grams.
A bearded dragon’s growth will slow dramatically after their first birthday, and they will reach their full-grown bearded dragon size soon after.
The average bearded dragon grows longer before it starts to fill out and get heavier, so you’ll usually see a lanky-looking bearded dragon between the ages of six and eleven months.
In order to ensure your bearded dragons growing properly, you’ll need to make sure to have an excellent setup.
This means taking care of your bearded dragon’s health in terms of lighting, temperature, and humidity. It’s also important to keep the bearded dragon’s enclosure clean.
Finally, your bearded dragon’s diet must be well planned too. Their growth rate can be hugely impacted by a lack of protein or calcium.
Any imbalance of these things can impact your bearded dragon’s growth rate. An adult bearded dragon’s size is determined by how well you look after them as they grow.
All in all, a bearded dragon grows quite large – large enough to be a great, interesting pet, but not too large to be cumbersome in the home.