It doesn’t matter if you are a new owner, an experienced owner or simply curious, Everybody wants to know how fast do bearded dragons grow?

So how fast do Bearded Dragons grow? Exactly how fast your Bearded Dragon grows will depend on many different factors such as the specific breed, the gender of the Bearded Dragon and it’s environmentWith all things considered you can expect a healthy Bearded Dragon to reach up to 16 – 22 inches in the first 12 months and anything from 20-24 inches by their second birthday.

Read on to find out how quickly a Bearded Dragon grows at different stages of their life, how long it takes for them to reach their maximum length and why your bearded dragons might not be growing as quickly as expected…

How Fast Will My Bearded Dragon Grow In The First 12 Months?

Knowing how fast your Bearded Dragon will grow in the first 12 months can be beneficial for many reasons.

It can be a good way to keep track of how healthy your Beardie is. As a healthy, well-fed Bearded Dragon should usually fall into the size parameters in the chart below.

If the size of your Beardie is slightly out don’t worry, Bearded Dragons are like everything else in the animal kingdom, they have their own unique genetics and will grow at their own pace.

However, if you are worried about the growth of your Bearded Dragon you should consult your Vet to get a professional opinion.

Measuring your Bearded Dragon every month or so can also be a great way to tell how old he or she is, especially if you didn’t get your Bearded Dragon from birth.

Using the size chart below will give you a guide and help you determine the health and age of your beloved Beardie.

For this example, we will use the ‘Pogona Vitticeps’ as this Bearded Dragon species is by far the most common species sold in pet stores in the US and Europe and most likely the one you will own.

You should measure your Bearded Dragon from the tip of the tail to the tip of the head. 

Bearded Dragon | Age & Average Growth Chart

Age Length
0-1/months (Baby)3-4/inches
2/months (Baby)5-9/inches
3/months (Baby)8-11/inches
4/months (Baby)9-12/inches
5/months (Baby)11-16/inches
6/months (Juvenile)11-18/inches
8/months (Juvenile)13-20/inches
12/months (Adult)16-22/inches
24/months (Adult)18-24 Inches

How Long Does It Take For a Bearded Dragon to Grow to Full Size?

Bearded Dragons grow to almost their full length by their first birthday.

The growth in the first year is rapid and they can grow anything up to an inch per week to begin with.

In the second year, your Beardie can grow up to an additional 2 inches in the whole year.

This growth is very slow and hard to even notice. The only thing you may notice is that Bearded Dragons will put on weight in the second year and start to fill out a little.

By your Bearded Dragons second birthday, it will usually be fully grown.

The Different Kinds Of Bearded Dragon Species & How Big They Grow

There are lots of different Bearded Dragon species, and the majority will grow to different lengths.

The size difference of a full-grown adult of one species can be as much as 4x bigger than another species, so knowing which species you have will give you a far better idea of the full-grown adult length.

The most common species of Bearded Dragon by far is ‘Pogona Vitticepsso if you own a Bearded Dragon you most likely own this species.

Below is a chart that will help you better understand the different species and how big they can grow.

  • Pogona Vitticeps (Central Bearded Dragon)  20 – 24 Inches
  • Pogona Barbata (Coastal Bearded Dragon)  20 – 24 Inches
  • Pogona Minor Mitchelli (Mitchells Bearded Dragon) 14 – 18 Inches
  • Pogona Minor (Western Bearded Dragon) 14 – 18 Inches
  • Pogona Nullabor (Nullarbor Bearded Dragon) 11 – 14 Inches
  • Pogona Minor Minima (Dwarf Bearded Dragon) 9 – 12 Inches
  • Pogona Henrylawsoni (Rankins, or Lawson Bearded Dragon) 9 – 12 Inches
  • Pogona Microlepidota (Drysdale River Bearded Dragon) Up to 4 -6 Inches

When Is a Bearded Dragon a Hatchling, Juvenile

Or Adult?


At the age of 0-6 months, a Bearded Dragon is classed as a hatchling or baby. This is where the fastest period of growth takes place.

Diet is important at any point but in these early stages when they are growing at such a furious pace it’s vital that you supply your hatchling with the correct diet, nutrients and lighting and other factors that it needs to grow at the optimal rate.

Here’s a guide that explains what you should feed your baby Bearded Dragon to give them the best opportunity to grow to their potential and be healthy from birth.


From 6 months to 12 months your Bearded Dragon will now be classed as a juvenile.

In this 6-12 month period, growth is still very much happening at a rapid rate although it may have slowed down slightly from the first 6 months.

As ever diet and lighting are important to keep your Beardie healthy and growing at a good rate.


By the time your Bearded Dragon has reached 12 months old, it is classed as an adult.

There will still be small amounts of growth and a little weight gain for the next 12 months.

Even though there is still a small amount of growth left you can now move on to an adult diet.

Reasons Why a Bearded Dragon Might Not Be Growing Properly?

If your Bearded Dragon isn’t growing properly (at the estimated regular rates in the above chart) then it’s usually down to 1 or more of 3 main reasons.

  • Poor or incorrect diet
  • Allowed to Brumate From a Young Age
  • Problems with their habitat/lighting

Let’s take a closer look at each of these potential causes and how they can affect your Beardie’s growth, weight and health.

Poor Or Incorrect Diet

The diet in the first 6 months of a Bearded Dragon’s life is crucial. If your Beardie isn’t growing as much as it should then there’s a chance that there’s something wrong with its diet. (Check out this post where I reveal the best places to purchase live food online)

Baby Bearded Dragons have a very high metabolism and because of this, they need to be fed small meals at a more frequent rate than an adult. A good rule of thumb is feeding them insects like Crickets up to 5 times a day for 5 – 10 minute intervals.

You also need to be careful with the size of the food you offer your baby Beardie as food that is bigger than it’s head can be very dangerous to a baby.

Baby Beardies need a vast amount of protein in their diet to grow at a healthy rate.

It’s also important to include Veggies in the diet of a baby Bearded Dragon. Adding Finely chopped veg at least 3-4 times a week is ok but once a day will ensure they are getting a good all-round balanced diet daily and building a taste for veg from a young age.

Here’s a post that shares what you should feed a baby Bearded Dragon to give them the best chance to grow and be healthy from a young age.

As mentioned above, babies need a vast amount of protein in the first few months of their life to help them grow healthy and strong.

If you give your baby Dragon around 60% insect proteins and 40% vegetation as a rule of thumb this will be a very good balance and a great start to their life. This is backed up by beardeddragon101 who also state this ration as a good balance.

Once your Dragon reaches adult hood then you can switch to a balance of around 80% insect proteins and 20% vegetation.


Allowing Brumation From a young Age

You may be wondering what exactly brumation is? Well simply put it’s basically the reptile version of hibernation.

It’s actually a natural part of a Bearded Dragons life and something that most Bearded Dragons will do at some point, although brumating at a very young age can actually be harmful to some young Dragons if performed too often and at a very young age.

When a Bearded Dragon goes into brumation, by default they won’t take in any nutrients for that period as they are sleeping so they have to rely on what nutrients they already have stored to keep them going.

This is fine for adult Dragons, but for baby Bearded Dragons their metabolism is so fast that they use nutrients very quickly and they simply must keep eating at regular intervals to keep their body in a healthy state and also keep up with the rate of growth that takes place in the first 12 months.

If a baby Bearded Dragon is allowed to brumate in its first few months it can miss out on vital meal times and ultimately lose weight, size and overall health.

If you want to learn everything you need to know about brumation as an owner then take a look at my complete guide to brumation here

Incorrect Temperature

Having the incorrect temperature in the tank is likely to leave your Dragon finding it hard to digest food.

Bearded Dragons need to be at their optimal temperature in order to digest food and if the tank temperature is incorrect then they can easily lose their appetite as their last meal still won’t be digested or they can even get problems such as gut rot.

All of these reasons will lead your Dragon to have problems with growth as they won’t be eating and therefore won’t be getting the nutrients they need.

Baby Bearded Dragons & The Right UVB Exposure

Having a good quality UVB light and also ensuring your Bearded Dragon is exposed to the UVB light for the correct amount of time each day is highly important for growth and health.

One of the main reasons that UVB light are so important to all Bearded Dragons and especially baby Bearded Dragons are that they will not be able to absorb the calcium from their diet properly without the correct amount of UVB lighting.

Calcium is highly important to Bearded Dragons and also their growth and overall health.

If they don’t absorb calcium from their diet they can develop brittle bones. This is a major factor harming the growth of a baby Bearded Dragon.

Another known factor is that your Bearded Dragon may start to become very lethargic due to the lack of UVB  light.

If you don’t supply the right amount of UVB lighting in place and for at around 10-12 hours daily then you may also see that your Bearded Dragon will lose its appetite.

This is a direct result of inadequate lighting and it will obviously have a huge impact on the health and growth of your baby Beardie. Take a look at our list of recommended lighting equipment here so you know you’re providing your dragon with everything it needs to be happy and healthy.

As you can see having a good quality light is essential for many reasons and also exposing your baby Beardie to the right amount of light daily will help them grow up healthy and happy.

If you’re worried that your lighting set up is incorrect then take a look at my complete guide to lighting here that shows you the best way to set up the UVB lighting, basking lamps and the best equipment you to use to ensure your Dragon is going to grow both happy and healthy.

Wrapping Up

I really hope you have enjoyed this post as much as i have enjoyed writing it.

We’ve just covered just about everything you could possibly want to know about how fast Bearded Dragons grow.

In short, it will totally depend on the specific species of Bearded Dragon you have, coupled with a good diet and good quality UVB lighting.

If all is well and you have the most common species of Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps or Central Bearded Dragon) then you can expect 16-22 inches by the first 12 months and up to 24 inches overall.

Remember to check out the charts that I’ve included to help you see what kind of size your Bearded Dragon should be at different ages (basically the first 12 months when all the growing takes place)

We have also covered what things can stop your Bearded Dragon from growing and how to stop these things happening.

Just keep learning and give your Bearded Dragon some TLC and I’m sure it will grow to be both healthy and happy!