Safe plants for sulcatas to provide shade

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lobovasco

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Hello everyone!
I want to provide more shade for my sullies and was wondering what plants i can put in there to pride shade that are not toxic just in case the guys decide to take a bite?

thanks!
 

lobovasco

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JohnathanO said:
I usually refer to this page to figure out whats safe and whats not, I like to put hibiscus in with mine

http://www.africantortoise.com/edible_landscaping.htm

good luck :)

Hello and thanks for the info, is it safe if I buy the hibiscus plants like at home depot or should i wait for a farmers market on the weekend. i figure its safe for them to eat. should i shake off the dirt it come with?
 

Tom

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If you leave it in a pot they won't be able to eat it or destroy it. All plants bought at a nursery are full of pesticides and you need to let them weather for at least three months. One of our super experienced members here works at a nursery and he said nowadays a lot of nurseries are using systemic pesticides that can last for 12 months inside the plants tissues.

I think if you just rinse it well and then re-pot it, you'll be fine. If a leaf or two fall in, it won't be the end of the world.

I like Ficus benjamina for this purpose, but hibiscus, rose of sharon, plain roses and lots of others will also work just fine.
 

tortoisenerd

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I suggest starting from seeds, finding organic, or letting it sit 6 months before putting it in with the tort. There are lots of chemicals in a nursery plant (especially flowers) meant for decoration, not to eat. Just washing or re-planting doesn't help as they are systemic. Opinion varies on how long they take to leech out so I would always play it safe. It may be easier to plant them in pots sunk all the way in (not on top of the substrate) so they get good dirt and you can take them out for sun if needed. Some people also rotate in and out trays of graze.

Fake plants (plastic from a craft store) work great too for those of us with black thumbs! Here's a photo of three plastic plants I found at Michael's with good shade (I don't like to put anything in an enclosure without a clear purpose...no plastic cactus for me). They have 40 or 50% off coupons in he newspaper or their website (e-mail list) a lot of times, so it makes the $6-12 plants even cheaper.


(click to biggify)
 

terryo

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How about hosta's. My Cherry Head sits under the hosta most of the day. You could get some Rose of Sharon seeds from NERD. If you plant them now, in a few weeks, you'll have a little tree. They grow very fast.
 

tortoisenerd

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haha thats funny Tom and I said the same thing! Should have refreshed... Wow 12 months...no wonder I don't have the patience for real plants.
 

terryo

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DON'T DO WHAT I DO...PLEASE....but....I never wait 6 months. I take the little plant out of it's pot and rinse it out and re pot it and just bury the little pot in the substrate. I've been doing this for 4 years now with my Cherry head, and for over 30 years with my boxies when indoors. In the outside tort garden I just plant the plants as soon as I buy them. I've never waited. But, like I said...this is just what has worked for me, and what I do.
 

Tom

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terryo said:
DON'T DO WHAT I DO...PLEASE....but....I never wait 6 months. I take the little plant out of it's pot and rinse it out and re pot it and just bury the little pot in the substrate. I've been doing this for 4 years now with my Cherry head, and for over 30 years with my boxies when indoors. In the outside tort garden I just plant the plants as soon as I buy them. I've never waited. But, like I said...this is just what has worked for me, and what I do.

Terry, I love you dearly, so don't misunderstand, but its a whole different ball game with a young, hungry sulcata. They are environmental MARAUDERS! They will eat almost everything and what they don't eat they will trample. You have the most beautiful enclosure I have ever seen, but if you put one of my sulcatas in one of your beautiful enclosures for just a few days, it would be eaten, trampled and dug up to look like one of those post-apoccolyptic movie sets. You'd find a dirt covered sulcata looking up at you from the middle of the destruction as if to say, "That was fun, what's next?"
 
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