Can Tortoise Eat Succulents

You can feed your tortoise a variety of plants that are safe for them. As herbivorous reptiles, tortoises only eat vegetation as part of their diet.

The best plants for tortoises to eat are included in this practical guide. We’ll also discuss any plants that are poisonous to tortoises so you’ll know exactly what to stay away from.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of 117 varieties of plants, fruits, vegetables, and more for your convenience, which you may download or print. To open, click the following link: Plants Safe for Tortoises.

Why should I buy plants for my tortoise?

In addition to serving as your tortoise’s primary food source, living plants offer an immensely enriching habitat for them. Plants help to create natural-feeling settings in your tortoise’s enclosure, which helps to keep your pet tranquil and stress-free.

This is due to the fact that they provide your reptile with lots of hiding and exploring spaces in both their enclosure and the garden. Tortoises require a lot of space to move around because they are larger terrestrial reptiles. The best option is to allow them out into the yard as well, even if they can be kept successfully in a tortoise table or other enclosure.

This suggests that you may establish a variety of plants that tortoises can consume to keep your reptile content while it roams around your backyard. To give tortoises some protection and nourishment in their little enclosure, you may also provide them with table plants. Tortoise table plants can be made from a few common houseplants.

The wellness of your reptile depends on providing a variety diet for your tortoise. It is always advisable to offer your tortoise a good selection of edible plants rather than relying just on store-bought salads. You can protect your pet from dangerous chemicals by growing your own plants.

Although salad greens and grasses should make up the majority of your tortoise’s diet, we’ll also include some common substitutes that make excellent additions to your reptile’s menu. For ease of use, we’ve divided our selection of plants into a number of categories.

Crops, Fruits, and Vegetables

Your turtle may consume the usual crops and salad plants in this genus. Your tortoise will benefit from having a healthy, diverse diet if you grow these plants.

We’ll also discuss some typical fruits and vegetables you can use to mix up the diet of your tortoise. Check to see if your tortoise species has consumed fruits in the past because not all tortoises will do so gladly.

If offered on sometimes, apples can be a delightful treat for tortoises. The high sugar content of fruits can be difficult for some tortoises to digest. If you give your tortoise apples, be sure to remove the pips because they contain cyanide.

Arugula (Eruca vesicaria), sometimes known as rocket, is a popular salad green that tortoises like. It is simple to grow and widely accessible. Arugula is one of the greatest plants for a Sulcata tortoise and is enjoyed by most tortoise species.

It’s better to avoid giving your tortoise arugula every day because this plant contains goitrogens. These substances have the potential to produce kidney or bladder stones in large doses.

If your tortoise is used to eating fruit, bananas are a wonderful treat to give them. Because of its high potassium content, bananas should not be consumed by species that cannot tolerate fruits.

In warmer weather, cucumbers can be a great treat to keep your tortoise hydrated. Cucumbers will give your tortoise some vitamins, but they have very little in the way of nutritional value.

Iceberg lettuce, one of the most common vegetables fed to tortoises, is OK for them but has very little nutritional value. Similar to cucumber, it might be an excellent treat to give your tortoise during warm weather to help it stay cool and hydrated.

Kale, a superfood for humans, and Collard Greens, another member of the Brassica oleracea family, are also excellent for your tortoise. These nutrient-dense leafy green vegetables are also very simple to grow. One of the most popular kinds is curly kale.

A typical salad leaf seen in grocery store bags of mixed salad is lambs lettuce (Valerianella locusta), often known as corn salad. The greatest plant for tortoises to eat, though, is this one. You shouldn’t have too much trouble growing it.

Fruit-eating tortoises will eat pears as an occasional treat as long as the pips are removed. Check to see if your species can withstand the high sugar levels because certain tortoises aren’t gastronomically suited to eat fruit.

Strawberries are an excellent treat for tropical tortoises, but they shouldn’t be given to species of tortoises that aren’t known to enjoy fruit. If the leaves are young and fresh, they can also be fed.

Watercress is another another typical salad green that can be offered to tortoises (Nasturtium officinale). Aquatic plants like watercress are frequently grown for our salad bags. Watercress should be included to your tortoise’s diet in moderation, just like many of these salad leaves.

Cultivated Flowers

You might have a passion for gardening and have a lawn bursting with colorful flowers like marigolds or pansies. However, your tortoise enjoys eating these blossoms as well! Your tortoise will appreciate a tasty lunch if you grow a selection of these common flowers in your garden.

Gazanias (Gazania rigens), sometimes known as the “Treasure flower, are native to South Africa but have spread to various parts of the United States. If you have a Sulcata-type desert tortoise, gazanias are a good flower species to grow. Large yellow and orange flowers with dark inner patterns are how gazanias look.

These hardy perennial flowers are very well-liked by tortoises. They are fairly simple to grow and are common garden flowers because of their eye-catching hues, like as pink and orange. Cranesbills, another plant in the geranium family, are secure for feeding to your turtle.

Another favorite of tortoises and a member of the larger Mallow family, Hollyhocks can be quickly consumed if grown in your yard. These tall flowering plants have broad green leaves and a variety of flowers that range in color from pink to crimson. Your turtle can consume the entire Hollyhock plant.

Even if some finicky tortoises won’t touch them, marigolds are still a tasty plant for tortoises. Make sure, though, that your turtle is consuming Field and Pot Marigolds, which are members of the Calendula family.

Chemicals that could be harmful to your tortoise can be released by the Tagetes branch of the marigold family. Calendula marigolds resemble big yellow daisies, however this family of marigolds will have very densely-frilled flower heads.

There are many different gorgeous hues available for both pansies and violas, which are essentially the same flowers. Both are common options for gardeners, and tortoises like them both. Tortoises can consume both the blooms and the foliage of these plants.

You can give your turtle small amounts of the brilliant star-shaped flowers from the Petunia family, which are well-known for them. Although petunias are linked to poisonous nightshade plants, there has never been any proof that eating petunias has harmed tortoises.

Violets are lovely flowers that tortoises can eat, like pansies and violas. Dog Violet (Viola canina), one of the most popular types of violets, and Sweet Violet (Viola ordorata).


If your tortoise is allowed to roam free in your backyard, grass should be a staple food. The majority of grasses are safe for your tortoise to consume, but we’ll focus on a few particular varieties that might appeal to your pet.

The Cyperaceae family of perennial ornamental grasses, which includes Carex sedges, is very diverse. They have long blade-like leaves and are widespread throughout the world. Carex sedges are excellent plants for a tortoise habitat when grown in pots since they offer both cover and nourishment.

Couch grasses, which are among the most prevalent grass species worldwide, are perfect for tortoises because they make up the majority of their food. This quickly expanding grass, which is regarded as a weed in America and has a propensity to quickly occupy vast regions, can be controlled by your turtle as well.

The genus of grasses known as fountain grasses, or Pennisetum, is diverse and can include enormous specimens like elephant grass. Because they naturally thrive in the wild habitat of Sulcata tortoises, several varieties of Fountain grasses are some of the greatest plants for them.

Another typical type of grass is Arrhenatherum, sometimes referred to as oat grass. Their name comes from the way their stalks resemble oat fields. For tortoises, these grasses make excellent staple foods.


Common houseplant kinds make some of the best plants for a turtle habitat. These plants won’t just be edible to your turtle; they’ll also make a beautiful cover and décor for its enclosure.

Keep in mind that if you purchase a houseplant from a retailer, your tortoise should only have access to its most recent growths. You run the risk of your tortoise ingesting toxic chemicals if you put newly purchased houseplants in its enclosure.

Although your turtle can control them with some cunning nibbling, these luscious green ferns can grow quite quickly. If you want to give a tortoise cage a tropical atmosphere, Boston Ferns are the ideal plants.

A vast and diverse family of plants, bromeliads. Some members of the family, like air plants, have fleshy leaves and can survive without much water. Many are excellent plants for your tortoise cage since they can hold onto moisture and humidity as well.

The spider plant is an additional attractive turtle table plant (Chlorophytum comosum). This typical houseplant offers your tortoise excellent protection and a source of food if they get hungry. To avoid pesticide contamination, only put young Spider Plant growth within the enclosure.

Shrubs and Trees

Tortoises eat larger plants in addition to smaller ones. They can also bury their beaks in bushes and trees. We’ll go over some of the greatest plants for your tortoise habitat, including trees and bushes.

It is crucial to emphasize that tortoises should only consume the bramble’s leaves. As long as you keep a watch on what sections your tortoise eats, you may let this common shrub—which some people might also classify as a weed—grow wild. Check before allowing this because some animals may also be able to consume the fruits.

It’s likely that your tortoise will take a curious bite out of the Elm leaves if you have any in your yard. Even though some tortoises might not enjoy the taste, this will be alright. Then they’ll just stay away from the tree. The best parts to give your tortoise are young, fresh growths.

The family of ornamental shrubs known as hebes is indigenous to New Zealand. They are safe to consume and create a great cover for tortoises.

The Hibiscus family, which includes both flowers and bushes, is a larger subset of the Mallow family. The vibrantly colored blooms and foliage of hibiscus plants are both edible to tortoises.

Syringa vulgaris, usually referred to as lilacs, is a flowering shrub that has spread to America. Typically, lilac blossoms come in soft pastel hues of pink, purple, and white. The blooms and leaves are both edible to turtles.

Charles Darwin, a well-known English biologist, had a mulberry tree in his backyard. Tortoises like mulberry trees, just like Charles Darwin. The berries should only be accessible to fruit-eating tortoises, though they can eat the leaves.


Particularly for tortoise species that live in desert climates, succulents make wonderful table plants. Succulents are edible to tortoises as well, thus giving desert tortoises succulents may help them imitate their natural habitat.

You should feed your turtle the majority of succulents in moderation. Although they aren’t particularly harmful, eating an excessive amount of succulents may give your tortoise laxative effects.

You can feed your tortoise this desert succulent, but you should only do it occasionally because it can have laxative effects. One of the greatest plants for a Sulcata tortoise enclosure is agave because it closely resembles their native habitat.

Aloe Vera is safe for turtles to eat in moderation while being poisonous to other animals like cats and dogs. Particularly for desert species, these spiky succulents make excellent plants for a tortoise habitat.

Both of these two varieties of succulents resemble rose-shaped leaves, making them somewhat similar. Tortoises can devour the flowers, leaves, and stems in moderation. Due to their comparatively tiny size and ability to provide some natural décor, these succulents also make excellent turtle table plants.

With a thick abundance of sword-like stems, these two varieties of spiky succulents resemble one another in general. Both make good plants for a tortoise habitat and are safe for tortoises to eat.


Along with grasses, tortoises also thrive on a variety of common weeds. Your tortoise may assist you in weeding your garden if you let them roam free. The following are some typical weeds that your turtle will really like.

The majority of the several species of clovers that are common in the US can be consumed by your tortoise. Your tortoise can gladly eat clovers in moderation. Additionally, these weeds are rich in nitrates, which are vital elements for your turtle.

One of the most well-known plants that tortoises can consume is dandelion. Your turtle can practically consume the entire plant, and they are common weeds that are simple to find. Greens from dandelion bushes are usually a hit!

Tortoises may consume small amounts of a variety of mustard plants, such as hedge mustard and garlic mustard. This is due to the possibility that they have goitrogens, which can occasionally cause kidney stones to form.

Vetches are a very nutrient-dense weed that your turtle can consume in moderation. Consuming too much can have laxative consequences. All veges, including common and kidney veges, are edible.

Which species of cactus can tortoises consume?

The chosen species is Opuntiaficus-indica, a commercially developed spineless cactus grown for pads and fruit. Tortoises consume fruit, flowers, and pads. Planting pads can be used to start new plants. Use mature pads that are at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and larger than your hand. A larger pad will store more energy and develop new ones for feeding more quickly. Although it would take a long time to manufacture new pads from the fresh pads available in grocery stores, they can be utilized as tortoise food.

harvesting in order to plant. Use a very sharp knife to cut mature pads (actually stems) off the plants at the joints. To allow the cut end of the pads to develop a callus, place them in a shaded area for a few days. The pad could deteriorate if you transplant right away after cutting. There is no feeding on mature pads. Oxalic acid quantities in them are hazardous.

Even though this species lacks spines, it does have tiny glochids (glah-kids) at each of the tiny areoles (air-ee-oles) that more or less consistently cover the pad. Glochids quickly penetrate human skin and are challenging to get rid of. Use rubber-covered gloves instead of fabric or leather ones while handling to prevent this. The best brand for home duties is Bluettes, which is lined with cotton. Rarely do the glochids pierce the rubber.

Planting. Place the cactus as far away from the tortoise’s reach as you can. Oxalic acid, which prevents the body from using calcium, concentrates as pads age. Only feed the little pads that bud from the beginning pads because tortoises require calcium to grow their shell and bones. Tortoises in the wild deliberately choose new growth.

Create a well-drained space and, if necessary, place a mound of soil over a bed of rocks. You might want to start them in a 5 or 10 gallon container, but you should transplant them after a season. Just plant the pad deeply enough in the ground for it to be supported. Each areole will produce a root for the pad. In the spring, summer, and fall, water your plant frequently. It should be in full light. Cacti have several thin roots that absorb water from the air near the surface. There is no need for deep irrigation. Less water will be needed by the cactus, but you should encourage the growth of new pads. Each day, a tortoise will consume many.

While the pads are still apple-green and no bigger than the palm of your hand, give them to your tortoises every day. When you flex the joint at the pad’s base to release them from the plant, they will come off without needing to be cut. Pick a shady location where you can reliably distribute the pads, preferably throughout the afternoon. Possible solution: a covered patio. The tortoise will keep in mind where to find the pads to eat.

To keep the pad firmly in place on the pavement or ground while the turtle consumes it, tuck the narrow end under a large brick. Push a very small pebble under the pad as far as you can toward the brick to keep it up just far enough if it does not rest far enough off the surface for the tortoise to get his mouth on both the top and bottom of the pad. Every day, replace used pads with new ones. Please make use of the picture below.

All ages of turtles can consume the pads without any preparation. It is not necessary to remove the glochids. Smaller pad tips are delicate enough for hatchlings. Young pads are an excellent food source. You’ll see that fresh pads are produced at wildly varying rates throughout the growing season.

These cactus pads are simple for turtles to consume. He may bite and pull as if the pad were fastened to the plant thanks to the large bricks. Each pad is supported by a tiny pebble.

Fruit and flowers. When gathering flowers and fruit, put on your gloves as well. However, there shouldn’t be any issues from the seasonal harvest of a few prickly pears, which are a natural element of the diet and not particularly sweet. Sweet fruit is not a significant part of the wild tortoise diet since sugar creates conditions in the intestines that are excellent for parasites. Compared to fruit and flowers, some tortoises prefer pads. If you remove the flower buds, keep some for the bees because more of the energy for growth will go to generating pads. You will quickly pick up on the distinction between stem buds and blossom buds. Fruit and flowers can be laid out on the grass.

Hardiness. Every few years, winter temperatures in the southwest are low enough to cause the plants to freeze, although typically the lower pads are unharmed. Remove the injured pads as soon as there is no longer a risk of frost and before spring growth begins. Cut at the joints between the pads to shape at any time.