What Succulents Can Tortoises Eat? The Quick List

What Succulents Can Tortoises Eat

What succulents can tortoises eat? In this post, we will be talking about the plants that are safe and not safe for tortoises.

Succulents are cute plants you can have in your house. But if you have pets especially tortoises, you might wonder whether succulents are edible or safe for your pets.

Obviously, not all succulents or plants are edible for pets. But there are some variety of succulents that are safe for the tortoise.

So, what succulents can tortoises eat?

Below is the list of succulents safe for tortoises. However, to keep it one hundred percent edible for shield pets, you do not apply any chemical such as insecticides, fertilizers, and herbicides.

Each succulent below is provided with a scientific name to identify them correctly.

  • Agave or Agave sp.
  • Aloe or Aloe sp.
  • Begonias or Begonia sp.
  • Desert Rose or Adenium obesum
  • Hen and Chicks or Echeveria sp.
  • Houseleeks or Sempervivum sp.
  • Ice plants or Mesembryanthemaceae family
  • Kalanchoe sp. or Kalanchoe sp.
  • Link & Otto or Tradescantia crassula
  • Live Forever or Sedum purpureum
  • Moss Roses, Purselane or Portulaca sp.
  • Prickly Pear Cactus or Opuntia sp.
  • Slime Lilies or Albuca sp.
  • Spiderwort or Tradescantia pinetorum & occidentalis
  • Sticky Monkey Flower or Mimulus aurantiacus
  • Stonecrops or Sedum sp.
  • Tree houseleek or Aeonium sp.

It is true that succulents have beautiful features that many people fall in love with these plants. But not all of the types are safe for pets.

If you have placed succulents indoors, make sure that they are edible in case the pets eat them. Just refer to the list above for guidance.

Other than succulents, there are other plants that are safe for tortoises and turtles.

  • Tropical Hibiscus or Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
  • Blue Hibiscus or Alyogyne huegelii
  • Chinese Lantern or Abutilon hybridum
  • Rose or Rosa spps
  • Geraniums or Pelargonium spps
  • Mulberry tree or Morus alba
  • Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale
  • Nasturtiums or Tropaeolum majus
  • Pansies or Viola

If there are safe plants for shielded pets, there are plants that need to be avoided. These plants are poisonous for tortoises and turtles.

Poisonous plants for Tortoises

The list below contains the plants that you should make sure your pets won’t reach them.

  • Arrowhead Vine or Syngonium podophyllum
  • Azelea or Rhododendron occidentale
  • Begonia
  • Bird of Paradise or Strelitzia reginae
  • Boston Ivy or Parthenocissus tricuspidata
  • Boxwood or Buxus sempervirens
  • Buttercup family or Ranunculus spps
  • Caladium
  • Calia Lilly or Zantedeschia spps
  • Candytuft or Iberis
  • Castor bean or Ricinus communis
  • Chinese evergreen or Aglaonema modestum
  • Chinaberry or Melia azedarach
  • Creeping Charlie or Glechoma hederacea
  • Crowfoot or Ranunculus sceleratus
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil or Narcissus
  • Dianthus
  • Dumb Cane or Dieffenbachia amoena
  • Elephants ear or Caladium
  • Euphorbia
  • Ficus benjamina
  • Fiddleleaf fig or Ficus lyrata
  • Foxglove or Digitalis purpurea
  • Gardenia
  • Grape ivy or Cissus rhombifolia
  • Heart Ivy or Hedera helix
  • Heavenly bamboo or Nandina domestica
  • Holly or Ilex
  • Hyacinth or Hyacinthus orientalis
  • Ivy or Hedera helix
  • Jerusalem cherry or Solanum pseudocapsicum
  • Juniper or Juniperus species
  • Lantana or Lantana camara
  • Lilly of the Nile or Agapanthus africanus
  • Lilly of the Valley or Convallaria spps
  • Lobelia
  • Majesty or Philodendron hastatum
  • Marigold or Tagetes spps
  • Mistletoe or Phorodendron flavenscens
  • Morning Glory or Ipomoea spps
  • Mother-in-law plant or Caladium
  • Mother-in-law tounge or Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Mushrooms
  • Needlepoint Ivy or Hedera helix
  • Nephthytis or Syngonium podophyllium
  • Nightshade or Solanum nigrum
  • Oleander or Nerium oleander
  • Parlor Ivy or Philodendron cordatum
  • Periwinkle or Vinca spps
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia or Euphorbia pulcherrima
  • Pothos or Epipremnum aureum
  • Pyracanthra
  • Rhododendron or Ericaceace
  • Rosary Bean or Abrus precatarius
  • Rubber tree or Ficus elastica decora
  • Schefflera
  • Shasta Daisy or Chrysanthemum maximum
  • Spider mum or Chrysanthemum morifolium
  • Split leaf Philodendron or Monstera delicosa
  • String of Pearls or Senecio rowleyanus or S. herreinus
  • Sweet pea or Lathyrus odoratus
  • Umbrella tree or Schefflera actinophylla

Another option you have to keep your tortoises safe from poisonous succulents (if there’s any) is to keep the plants out of reach.

If you have succulents in small pots, you can easily place them in higher areas. As you know, tortoises don’t climb walls or high places. So placing poisonous plants in high areas will keep them safe.

Can you feed your Russian Tortoise with succulents?

Many of my readers had asked me this question. Well, first of all, I don’t have Russian Tortoises. But my neighbor has. And I actually talked to her before writing this post to make sure that I get the right information.

It is important to note though that my neighbor is not an expert on a tortoise. But being someone who raised tortoises for a decade, I think that the information that I am about to share is reliable.

So, can you feed your Russian Tortoise with succulents?


However, it should be in moderation. It is important to remember that even healthy and edible succulents can cause harm if given in large quantities.

I have listed the safe and edible succulents above. For Russian tortoises though, there are a few succulents that my neighbor feeds. The most frequent one is the broadleaf weeds.

Aside from that, mulberry leaves are also good for the tortoises. If you want, you can also give your Russian tortoise mazuri pellets as my neighbor does.

But again, whatever you give must be in moderation. An excessive amount of any of these foods will ruin their bowel movement. This often results in runny poop.

Aloe, red apple ice plants, organ pipe cactus, and opuntia are also good for the tortoise. During summer, tortoises love opuntia more over other types of succulents. You can give them more opuntia but other types of succulents should be in moderation and infrequent.

Other alternative plants may include cactus, jade plants, and wild purslane. The good thing about these plants is that they are common and more accessible than others.

Final Thoughts on What Succulents Can Tortoises Eat

There are different types of succulents. But if you have pets at home though, you need to be careful because not all succulents are safe for pets.

However, there certain types of succulents that are edible and can be fed for tortoises. Aside from succulents, there are other plants too that can be turned into a food source for tortoises. Just refer to the list above for guidance.

I hope that this post will help you keep your tortoises safe from poisonous succulents.

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