best plants for indoor tortoise enclosure

If you have a very simple indoor tortoise enclosure, it can become boring after some time. But by adding some beautiful, compatible plants, you can bring a new charm to the enclosure. 

Read on till the end as I share a list of the top 17 plants you can have in your indoor tortoise enclosure.

Best Plants For Indoor Tortoise Enclosure

The best plants for an indoor tortoise enclosure are Dandelions, Boston ferns, Prayer plants, and Clovers. They are all edible and can grow inside.

#1. Dandelions

tortoise eating dandelion

The first choice plant for your tortoise is dandelion – a favorite treat for tortoises. Dandelions can grow well both inside and outside. However, they will need enough space and considerable hours of bright sunlight when kept indoors.

#2. Boston Ferns

boston ferns for tortoise enclosure

Boston Ferns are one of the popular houseplants that also fit well in the tortoise enclosure. 

Although these plants can grow fast, your tortoise should be enough to nibble around and keep their growth within the limit. 

In general, Boston ferns prefer cool and humid places with indirect sunlight.

#3. Prayer Plant

tortoise enclosure plant prayer plant

The prayer plant is for you if you are looking for a safe-to-feed plant for your tortoise enclosure. The prayer plant prefers well-drained soil and bright, indirect sunlight.

#4. Clover

Another compatible plant is clover, which your tortoise can eat in moderation. Clover contains nitrates which is an essential part of your tortoise’s diet. 

Watering is vital to growing clover indoors, and a well-drainage potting mix also helps. 

#5. Opuntia Cactus

Opuntia Cactus for tortoise enclosure

If you want to add a desert feel to your indoor tortoise enclosure, Opuntia cactus is your right choice. The Opuntia cactus pads are a favorite treat for many tortoise species, and it is safe to feed them. 

Just be aware that it can have a laxative effect, so avoid overfeeding. In addition, these cacti need around 4-6 hours of sunlight in summer and prefer a well-lit position.

These are particularly great for a desert tortoise enclosure.

#6. Aloe

Aloe is another plant that your tortoise can’t ignore because of being juicy and tasty. Please note that they can be toxic for cats and dogs but are safe for the tortoise in moderation. Being a common houseplant, it should do well in a tortoise enclosure.

#7. Hibiscus

Choose a spot where this plant can get enough sunshine. The hibiscus’s flowers and leaves are the favorites of tortoises and thus can be a nice addition to the enclosure.

#8. Creeping Inch Plant

This plant is a hardy species that grows well in terrarium conditions with proper watering. It is an edible plant that your tortoises will enjoy. 

#9. Yucca

Yucca is a lovely decorative plant to add to your tortoise enclosure. It is a hardy perennial plant that is at times sold as house plants. 

Your tortoise can feed this plant in moderation, and it is also acceptable if it feeds on the flowers occasionally.

#10. Tradescantia

Tradescantia is a comparatively safe plant to the house with your tortoise. But remember to feed it in moderation only. 

Tradescantia is an easy-to-propagate plant that does well in indoor temperatures.

#11. Plantain

Plantain is a flowering plant in the category of safe-to-feed plants for tortoises. All plantain species are typically suitable for a healthy tortoise diet.

#12. Lavatera

If you want to add a plant with large and showy flowers, Lavetra is your best choice which is also safe to feed plants. These plants produce white or pink flowers. And the great thing – your tortoise will enjoy the flowers too. 

#13. Petunia

Petunia is another flowering plant that can add a decorative feel to your indoor tortoise enclosure. 

Many tortoise keepers have included this plant in their diet without any significant problem. But still, it belongs to the same plant family as the toxic nightshade species, so it is good to feed it in moderation. 

#14. Hosta

Hosta is a hardy perennial and shade tolerant plant that is safe to feed to your tortoise in moderation. But it is noteworthy that this plant can be toxic for dogs and cats. 

Hosta plants are usually grown outside but do well even indoors, provided the necessary conditions are met.

#15. Geranium

Your tortoise would enjoy this plant and especially the flowers of all the hardy geranium plant species. It is a safe to feed plant that does well as indoor plants.

#16. Viola

Viola is another safe-to-feed plant that you can include in your tortoise enclosure. These plants can grow successfully in the shade, but you should expect a bit lower flowering than their counterparts that grow in more sun.

#17. Coleus

Finally, Coleus is another great plant compatible with growing in a tortoise enclosure. Although usually grown outdoors, if you provide the right conditions, you can also grow these plants indoors. 

What are the best plants to grow in an indoor tortoise enclosure?

The top recommended plants to put in an indoor tortoise enclosure are dandelions, Boston ferns, prayer plants, clovers, opuntia cactus, aloe, hibiscus, creeping inch plants, yucca, tradescantia, plantain, lavatera, petunias, hostas, geraniums, violas, and coleus. These plants are safe for tortoises to eat and can thrive indoors with proper care and lighting.

How much sunlight do indoor tortoise enclosure plants need?

Most indoor tortoise plants need bright, indirect sunlight for 4-6 hours per day. South or west facing windows work well. Some plants like cacti and aloe require more direct light. Adjust sunlight based on the plant’s needs.

What kind of soil do I need for indoor tortoise plants?

The type of soil you will need for your indoor plants will depend on the type of plant that you have. You should research your desired plant beforehand to find a suitable soil. Make sure that you don’t get a soil with a lot of fertilizer, as this can cause your tortoise to get sick if they eat it.

How often should I water the plants?

Water when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Most indoor tortoise plants need a thorough watering to moisten all the roots. Cacti and succulents need less frequent watering. You should adjust watering frequency based on the plant. It’s important that you don’t over water your plants, as this can also cause them to die.

Are all parts of these plants safe for my tortoise to eat?

In general, the plants mentioned in this article are safe. However, as with most things, some of these plants can cause digestive issues if eaten in excess. Therefore, it’s best to have a range of different plants so they don’t only eat one species.

Full list of plants for tortoise enclosure

You can access this list to see what plants are safe for tortoises.

If you are thinking about getting a turtle, you should check out the best plants for a turtle tank.

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