Succulents are cute plants you can have in your house. But if you have pets especially tortoises–not that they are that common in all parts of the world, but you may be surprised that in some countries they are more popular than dogs, you might wonder whether succulents are edible or safe for your beloved companions.
Obviously, not all succulents or plants are edible for pets. And though pets have their instinct, and more often than not they will avoid eating plants that can cause them harm, it is always better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t mean that you should avoid all succulents if you have a tortoise though. Some of these plants are actually good for your animals (you can even buy this super natural tortoise food with no preservatives or colorants on Amazon), or at least they pose no risk whatsoever. Okay, now you know the basics, let’s have a look at the list!
List of succulents tortoises can eat
Below is the list of succulents safe for tortoises. However, to keep it one hundred percent edible for shield pets, you should not apply any chemical such as insecticides, fertilizers, and herbicides on your plants. I decided to list the succulents with scientific (Latin) name so you can identify them correctly on Wikipedia or anywhere else.
- 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.
Plants form an important part of our life, and I cannot imagine living in a house without them. It is true that succulents especially have beautiful features, and 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. From the most common I made a list again!
Common plants and flowers that are safe for tortoises to eat
- 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
Poisonous plants for Tortoises
Not every plant is good for your beloved tortoise though. On the list below you will find plants that you can still have in your garden, but you have to make sure tortoises cannot reach them. Placing them high above the ground (such as hanging from the roof, for example) is your safest bet. Or you can avoid them altogether, and rather opt for plants that are safe for tortoises. So here is the list:
- Arrowhead Vine or Syngonium podophyllum
- Azelea or Rhododendron occidentale
- Bird of Paradise or Strelitzia reginae
- Boston Ivy or Parthenocissus tricuspidata
- Boxwood or Buxus sempervirens
- Buttercup family or Ranunculus spps
- 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
- Daffodil or Narcissus
- Dumb Cane or Dieffenbachia amoena
- Elephants ear or Caladium
- Ficus benjamina
- Fiddleleaf fig or Ficus lyrata
- Foxglove or Digitalis purpurea
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Poinsettia or Euphorbia pulcherrima
- Pothos or Epipremnum aureum
- Rhododendron or Ericaceace
- Rosary Bean or Abrus precatarius
- Rubber tree or Ficus elastica decora
- 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
The list is quite long as you can see. At the same time, however, there are many plants that are completely safe for your tortoises, so you won’t end up with an empty garden :). I suggest you to bookmark this list and return to it anytime you need advice on whether the plant you are buying is safe for your tortoises or not.
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? The short answer is YES.
However, you should do it with moderation. It is important to remember that even healthy and edible succulents can cause harm if given in large quantities. Just like with us, humans, animals should maintain moderate eating habits. 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 cactus are also good for the tortoise. During summer, tortoises love opuntia more over other types of succulents, and this one they can eat in bigger quantities without risking any harm. Other alternative plants may include cactus, jade plants, and wild purslane.
There are different types of succulents, and many of them are incredibly beautiful. If you have pets at home though, you need to be careful, because not all succulents are safe for pets. Bookmark this page and return to it every time you decide to get a new succulent, making sure it is edible for tortoises. Aside from succulents, you can feed your tortoises other plants. Just refer to the list above for guidance. And if you want to be 100% safe, you can always buy natural plant-based food for your tortoises on Amazon. Hope this helps, and have a great day!
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