Looking for recommendations for live plants for tortoise table

Herbie12

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Joined
Jul 18, 2021
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2
Location (City and/or State)
LONDON
Hi,
I have a hermanns tortoise that lives on a table indoors. I’ve been looking into getting some live plants for his enclosure but most of the plants I’ve seen for sale are intended for Bioactive setups so they need indirect light and high humidity.
My table is by a window and gets direct sun for most of the day in good weather. For reference I have a pepperomia in the same area that does really well, I know these are edible but he would trample it to death in a day.
So, can anyone recommend some plants that are edible, like a lot of sun and aren’t easy to trample?
 

Krista S

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Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,366
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Hi,
I have a hermanns tortoise that lives on a table indoors. I’ve been looking into getting some live plants for his enclosure but most of the plants I’ve seen for sale are intended for Bioactive setups so they need indirect light and high humidity.
My table is by a window and gets direct sun for most of the day in good weather. For reference I have a pepperomia in the same area that does really well, I know these are edible but he would trample it to death in a day.
So, can anyone recommend some plants that are edible, like a lot of sun and aren’t easy to trample?
Pothos do very well in almost any environment and they are edible if your tortoise chooses to have a nibble. I have some growing in my Hermann’s “table” and it is growing like crazy! I keep the plant in a heavy pot and this prevents the plant from getting destroyed, but yet my tortoise can still reach plenty of leaves.

3FA61A4A-0E68-4032-9898-87C19AEF6914.jpeg

Spider plants also do very well. This one has been growing in his table for quite awhile. It used to be on the ground, but it started spawning some babies so I moved it up higher for a bit so I can hope start new plants with the babies.

790527EC-8557-4DF0-9122-5021E076D540.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Herbie12

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2021
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
LONDON
Pothos do very well in almost any environment and they are edible if your tortoise chooses to have a nibble. I have some growing in my Hermann’s “table” and it is growing like crazy! I keep the plant in a heavy pot and this prevents the plant from getting destroyed, but yet my tortoise can still reach plenty of leaves.

View attachment 329324

Spider plants also do very well. This one has been growing in his table for quite awhile. It used to be on the ground, but it started spawning some babies so I moved it up higher for a bit so I can hope start new plants with the babies.

View attachment 329325
Thanks! Definitely gonna get some spider plants.
What type of tortoise do you have? Because I’ve heard mixed things about pothos.
Does your eat it a lot or mostly ignore it?
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,366
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Thanks! Definitely gonna get some spider plants.
What type of tortoise do you have? Because I’ve heard mixed things about pothos.
Does your eat it a lot or mostly ignore it?
I have a 2 year old Eastern Hermann’s tortoise. The spider he mostly left alone, but would occasionally have some. With the pothos he doesn’t go crazy and devour it, but every now and then he enjoys a leaf or 2. He enjoys the sight barrier that the plants in his enclosure offer. I think it feels more safe for him, rather than having a large wide open space. He often hangs out up next to the pots in his enclosure too, so it serves a few different purposes. I am not sure what mixed things you have heard about pothos. They’re a pretty solid staple in tortoise enclosures. I understand that they’re toxic to other animals, but not to tortoises and other reptiles. Whatever plants you decide you want to introduce to your enclosure, it would be best to try and get cuttings from someone you know with established plants. You can’t go to Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc and buy plants there and place them in the enclosure right away. Most greenhouses or big box box stores treat their plants with chemicals to keep bugs away and keep the plants healthy. These chemicals are toxic to our torts. Any plants that I have bought, I re-pot with new soil right away and then I grow them outside of the enclosure for about a year before they go in the enclosure. I have some allow and turtle vine that have almost reached this point now, that they can finally go into the enclosure.
 

TisMary

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
160
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Hi,
I have a hermanns tortoise that lives on a table indoors. I’ve been looking into getting some live plants for his enclosure but most of the plants I’ve seen for sale are intended for Bioactive setups so they need indirect light and high humidity.
My table is by a window and gets direct sun for most of the day in good weather. For reference I have a pepperomia in the same area that does really well, I know these are edible but he would trample it to death in a day.
So, can anyone recommend some plants that are edible, like a lot of sun and aren’t easy to trample?
Hi @Herbie12! Every peperomia plant I've ever had has died! Good for you keeping one alive. I second the Spider Plant (makes a nice little shady spot too).

You might try a Jade Plant (Crassula ovata), or an African Violet (Episcia reptans) - they are pretty hardy in my experience. I also like Haworthia (Haworthia spp.) and Gasteria (Gasteria spp.) - like the Jade, they are both succulents, but they seem to stand up to more abuse than maybe the Jade would. (BTW, "spp." means any old species you want!) Snake plant (also called Mother-in-Law-Tongue, although I would never do that!?) (Sansevieria trifasciata) is really sturdy and tolerates all kinds of environments (I have it in a tropical micro-climate, as well as a desert one). Depending on how tall your enclosure's sides are, you might try an Umbrella Plant (the small ones - Schefflera arboricola - won't get too tall if you pinch them back) or a Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica).

Good luck! Let us see some pix!
 

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