What Plants Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat?

what plants can sulcata tortoises eat

Sulcata tortoises need a warm, dry climate throughout the year. They cannot be chilled or wet, but tolerate low temperatures. A large area with plenty of room to roam is necessary. Sulcata tortoises enjoy burrowing into pallets and muddy wallows. Here are some common plants sulcata tortoises can eat:

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Sulcata tortoises eat mostly grass. Their diets are relatively low in protein and contain a high level of calcium. This makes them excellent grazers. The ideal diet for these tortoises is composed of 80 percent grass. The grass you feed your sulcata should contain at least eighty percent fiber. If you don’t have access to grass in your area, you can cut some yourself. Grass of most types is acceptable for them.

In addition to grass, Sulcata tortoises can also be fed with a variety of hay. Alfalfa hay is fine for them but too much can cause digestive issues. Leafy green vegetables are also good for them, but make sure to avoid oxalates. Carrots, chopped sweet potatoes, and dandelions are also good options.

Leafy greens

Sulcata tortoises can ingest a variety of leafy greens. Leafy greens are the ideal diet for your tortoise, with around 80% of its diet made up of this type of plant. You can either buy leafy greens or pick them yourself from your garden. A common source of leafy greens is the same family as Collard Greens, which are a superfood for humans.

Other plant foods that sulcata tortois can eat include peas, broccoli, and butternut squash. These are great sources of protein and fiber. But be careful when feeding your tortoise with dark green vegetables, as these contain oxalates, which are compounds naturally found in plants. These compounds can cause health problems in sulcata tortoises, including problems with the gallbladder and kidneys. As such, it’s best to provide a varied diet for your tortoise.

Cactus pads

Sulcata tortoises adore eating cactus pads. The leaves and stems of this spineless plant are a staple diet for tortoises. Cactus pads are also edible, and the tortoise will eat them every day. These plant species produce pads at different rates throughout the growing season, so they can be fed by hatchlings and adults.

When providing food to your sulcata tortoise, you must first prepare the cactus. You can buy cactus pads that are spineless or spined and then chop them up into slivers. Some varieties are worth the expense, as they are free of spines. You can also burn off the spines if you’re unsure about the safety of offering your pet with a raw cactus pad.


Sulcata tortoises can be fed many different types of plants. Their diet can range from dark leafy greens to cantaloupe with the rind removed. They can also eat herbs like rosemary, which is marketed for human consumption. As long as you keep the herbs away from the tortoises’ eyes and skin, they should do fine. Other plants they will tolerate include carrots, celery, collard greens, broccoli, and pepper. During copulation, male sulcata tortoises can become very vocal.

Fruits are another popular food for Sulcata tortoises. While they are often fed as treats, they should be limited in their intake and only make up 10% of their diet. Fruits contain too much sugar and water and should not be given in large amounts. Fruits should also be dusted with calcium/vitamin D3 supplements or a multivitamin product every few months. Regardless of the type of fruits or vegetables, be sure to read the label before giving your tortoise fruit.


The plants that sulcata tortoises love most include geraniums. These plants are perennial and can grow both indoors and outdoors. These plants provide different textures and nutrients that tortoises can enjoy. If you’re worried that geraniums are toxic to tortoises, you can try a flowering plant that’s not a bulb.

While geraniums are considered one of the most toxic plants for tortoises, a variety of other plants are safe for your pet to eat. Echeveria spp., Centaurea stoebe, and Hibiscus syriacus are safe to feed to your sulcata tortoise. Avoid praying plants, which are toxic. Some ornamental plants are safe for tortoises to nibble, including geraniums. Also avoid feeding your tortoise aloe vera, a poisonous plant to cats, but a safe alternative for your tortoise.


Some people feed their sulcatas commercial foods, but these aren’t good for the turtles, as they contain large amounts of salt and sugar. A more natural diet is best for your sulcata, as they don’t need animal-based proteins. Holly is a good alternative to nuts and beans, which are high in protein. Human food sources are also too high in sugar and fat.

As a general rule, these tortoises are herbivores, but they can eat some fruits and vegetables too. Holly, pant stems, and grass are good choices for sulcatas. They can also eat a little fruit, but it must be given in moderation. Holly is one of the most nutritious plants for tortoises.