What Do Tortoises Eat? A New Perspective on Their Diet!

what do tortoises eat

Tortoises are a type of reptile famous for their hard shell. You can find them in warm climates. They can live to be over 100 years old. But what do tortoises eat? 

In natural, tortoises are herbivores. It means that they only eat plants. 

Some of the plants that tortoises eat are lettuce, kale, grass, weeds, flowers, and cactus. 

Due to their slow metabolism, tortoises need to consume much food.

In short, tortoises are vegetarians and eat leaves, flowers, and fruits. Some tortoises also have insects.

What Do Tortoises Eat?

In the wild, tortoises consume various plants, including grasses, sedges, cacti, and other succulents. However, tortoises in deserts typically eat more cacti than those in different habitats.

Tortoises are herbivores, and their diet varies depending on the species.

Some tortoises consume mostly fruit and leaves. At the same time, others consume more grasses and other plants. 

The desert-dwelling Gila monster is one of the few lizard species that eats mainly insects.


Tortoises have strong jaws and sharp beaks to eat wild plants. In addition, some tortoises grind food before swallowing.

Most tortoises live on land and typically feed on grasses, leaves, flowers, berries, and other vegetation.

What Can Tortoises Eat Safely?

As pets, tortoises are becoming increasingly popular. They are low-maintenance and generally have a long lifespan. They are a good choice for people who want a pet but can’t care for a dog or cat.

Potential tortoise owners often ask: what can tortoises eat safely?

Tortoises are herbivores, and their diet should consist mainly of plants. Some plants may be poisonous to tortoises. So do a study before feeding them.

Only feed the tortoise vegetables you’d eat yourself. Dark leafy greens, squash, carrots, and apples are safe (without the seeds).

It’s also important to note that tortoises require fresh water.

What Do Tortoises Eat In The Desert?

Tortoises are reptiles in many different parts of the world, including deserts.

Most people think of tortoises as slow and lazy. But they are very active animals that need to eat a lot to survive.

There are many different types of tortoises. But all of them require a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. 

In the wild, tortoises eat plants such as cactus pads, grasses, and fruits. But, suppose they can find insects and small animals. They’ll consume them.

In captivity, tortoises can be fed various foods. But it is essential to ensure their diet is balanced. 

A good diet for a desert tortoise should include dark leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and a small amount of protein.

What Do Tortoises Eat In The Wild?

what do tortoises eat

Tortoises eat grasses, flowers, and even cactus in the wild. The exact diet of a tortoise depends on the species and location.

However, all tortoises require a diet high in fiber to maintain their health. Tortoises are herbivores and primarily grazing animals. 

Their diet consists mainly of grasses, weeds, flowers, and cacti. The type of plants a tortoise eats depends on species and location.

All tortoises require a diet high in fiber to maintain their health. In captivity, tortoises can also consume various fruits and vegetables.

What Do Tortoises Eat As A Pet?

A pet tortoise can be a fun and unique addition to any home. But, before bringing one home, be sure you’re prepared to care for it correctly.

That includes knowing what to feed them. Tortoises are herbivores. So their diet should consist primarily of plants.

They eat primarily fresh veggies and fruits. However, green leaves, carrots, squash, and apples are also excellent options.

You can also give them commercially prepared tortoise food. But read the labels carefully to ensure they meet their nutritional needs.

As with any pet, consult your vet before changing your tortoise’s diet.

Credit: The Tortoise Whisperer

Best Foods For Tortoises

Tortoises are a type of reptile that is known to live a long time. They’re popular pets because they’re docile and low maintenance.

Remember a few things when feeding your tortoise.

First, remember that tortoises are herbivores. So, they should feed mainly on plants.

There are a variety of fruits and vegetables suitable for tortoises. Some of the best include leafy greens, carrots, apples, and berries.

Keep in mind that tortoises always require fresh water. Therefore, a bowl of clean water should be available for your tortoise daily.

Which Food Is Harmful To Tortoises?

Tortoises are a popular pet. But many people don’t realize that they have particular dietary needs. 

Some common foods that we eat can be harmful to tortoises. Here are some foods to avoid feeding your tortoise:

Potatoes and tomatoes are nightshades and contain poisonous solanine. Solanine causes neurologic and Gastrointestinal issues in tortoises.

Fruits like apples, grapes, and bananas may cause digestive problems in tortoises. In addition, sugar in these fruits may cause weight gain and other health concerns.

Finally, avoid feeding your tortoise any processed or junk food. These meals lack the nutrients tortoises need and may induce obesity and other disorders.

Can Tortoises Eat Celery?

Yes, tortoises can eat Celery. Celery is a good source of fiber for tortoises.

Tortoises need fiber in their diet. This helps them digest their food correctly.

Celery is also a good source of vitamins and minerals for tortoises. Tortoises need vitamins A and C to stay healthy. 

Celery contains both of these vitamins. In addition, minerals such as calcium and magnesium are also found in Celery. 

These minerals are essential for tortoise health. In addition, tortoises can have Celery safely. 

But they should not overeat it. Too much Celery can cause digestive problems for tortoises. 

Therefore, it is best to give tortoises only a tiny amount of Celery at once.

Can Tortoises Eat Strawberries?

Yes, tortoises can have strawberries. Strawberries are a good source of vitamins and minerals for tortoises.

But you should give strawberries in moderate to tortoises. Too much fruit may cause obesity and diabetes.

Remove the stem and leaves before feeding tortoises strawberries. The stem and leaves contain oxalic acid, which tortoises should avoid. 

Also, you should cut strawberries into small pieces. So they are easy for tortoises to eat.

Can Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, tortoises can eat tomatoes. Tomatoes can be a healthy part of a tortoise’s diet. 

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C and lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to protect against some types of cancer.

However, tortoises should not eat tomatoes exclusively. Tomatoes may induce liver damage if consumed in excess.

Tortoises need fruits and vegetables to receive all their nutrition.

Can Tortoises Eat Cucumber?

Yes, tortoises can eat cucumbers. Cucumbers are healthy food for tortoises. It provides many essential nutrients. 

Tortoises should eat cucumbers as part of a well-balanced diet.

Cucumbers are a good source of fiber for tortoises. They also contain vitamins A, C, and K. 

Cucumbers can help keep tortoises hydrated. Therefore, tortoises should consume cucumbers regularly as part of a healthy diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Apples?

Most tortoises are carnivorous. They eat mainly insects and other small animals. 

Some species are omnivorous and will also eat plants. So, can tortoises eat apples? 

The answer is yes! Apples are a safe and healthy food for tortoises to consume. 

Apples provide many vital nutrients, such as vitamins A and C.

But remember, overeating apples can cause digestive issues in tortoises. So serve it moderately only.

Perhaps you have a pet tortoise. You can give them an occasional apple as a treat.

Can Tortoises Eat Bananas?

Many people wonder if they can give bananas to their pet tortoise. The answer is yes, but only in moderation.

Bananas are high in sugar. Therefore, it can lead to weight gain and other health problems in tortoises. 

They should be offered as a treat, not a regular meal.

Remove the banana peel before feeding the tortoises. The peel can be challenging to digest and may cause gastrointestinal issues. 

Bananas should also be cut into small pieces. So your tortoise can eat them safely.

Can Tortoises Eat Grapes?

Yes, tortoises can eat grapes. Grapes are a good source of vitamins and minerals for tortoises. 

They are also a good source of water. However, tortoises should only consume a few grapes at a time because they are high in sugar.

Can Tortoises Eat Broccoli?

tortoise eating broccoli

Most tortoises are herbivores. Therefore, their diet should consist mainly of plants. 

Many pet owners wonder whether broccoli is safe for their tortoise. The answer is yes.

Tortoises can safely eat broccoli. This vegetable is a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. 

Broccoli must be chopped small so tortoises can digest it.

Can Tortoises Eat Spinach?

Yes, tortoises can have spinach. This leafy green is a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium. 

It also has high water content. This is important for tortoises since they are desert animals.

Just be sure to chop the spinach up into small pieces. So your tortoise can easily digest it.

What Do Turtles Eat As a Pet?

Turtles are one of the many pets humans maintain. They’re not as high-maintenance as other animals. However, they still need care and nourishment.

Suppose you’re thinking about getting a turtle or already have one. Knowing what kinds of foods they can and can’t eat is essential. 

There are a variety of commercial turtle foods available. But most turtles will also enjoy eating vegetables and fruits. 

Greens, carrots, squash, and berries are healthy choices. Cut or shred these objects so your turtle may eat them.

You should avoid moldy or old food. Turtles don’t eat every day. But they should have a timetable.

What Do Turtles Eat In a Pond?

Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines and occur in many habitats, including ponds. The diet of a turtle depends on its species. 

Generally, all turtles are carnivorous and eat mostly insects, small fish, and other invertebrates. Some turtles also eat plants. 

Turtles in ponds typically eat aquatic insects, such as dragonflies and damselflies. They also eat tadpoles, frogs, small fish, and crustaceans. 

Some turtles will also consume algae and other aquatic plants. Therefore, the diet of a turtle living in a pond may vary depending on the availability of food sources.


In conclusion, tortoises are herbivores that primarily consume grass. But what more do tortoises eat? 

They also eat other vegetation, including leaves, flowers, and fruits. Tortoises need a balanced diet to stay healthy. 

So it’s essential to provide them with various food items. A tortoise’s healthy diet includes fresh vegetables, fruits, hay, and grass. 

Fresh food helps prevent vitamin deficiencies and shell deformities.


Q. Do turtles eat Jellyfish?

A. Turtles eat Jellyfish. Jellyfish are a regular diet of many sea turtles.

Q. What do turtles eat on land?

A. On land, turtles eat various things depending on the species. Some turtles are omnivores and will eat both plants and animals.

Other turtles are herbivores and only eat plants. Still, other turtles are carnivores and only eat animals.

Q. What do sulcata tortoises eat?

A. Sulcata tortoises eat grass, weeds, and other vegetation. They also consume fruit and veggies.

Q. How often do tortoises eat?

A. Tortoises are primarily active during the day and may spend several hours grazing. Some tortoises may graze for several days and then not eat for a few days.

About Shamik

Hi, I'm Shamik, a serious animal lover, dog behaviorist, and trainer. I have an integrated farm with more than 20 species! So, I love writing about them and creating awareness about all animals' health and wellness.

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