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Outside Tortoise Enclosure Plants


New Member
Aug 6, 2019
Location (City and/or State)
Hey all,

I'm fairly new to tortoise keeping, I recently got an adult Russian Tortoise from a friend who could not take care of it. I have a 4'x2' tank I'm keeping it in currently, but I would like to create a much larger enclosure for it outdoors. As I am new to this, I have a few questions. I've done a lot of research about dimensions of the pen and depth and stuff like that, but other questions I've been unable to find answers for.

1. Soil. The dirt in my area is kind of dusty so I assume it won't make good tortoise soil. Can I simply layer 6-12" of garden soil on top or should I do something else?
2. Plants. I'd like to pretty it up a bit by planting some plants in the enclosure, but I am unsure of which kinds to do. As I am in SoCal, it'd need to be okay with high heat, like a succulent.
3. Where to get the plants. I got a bit ahead of myself and bought 2 plants for the tortoise pen today from Home Depot. After reading up a bit, it sounds like Home Depot plants may potentially be harmful?

Thanks all for the help and sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm just trying to make sure my new pal has a happy life :)

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