Can Tortoises Eat Aloe Vera? (Nutritious Succulent)

Yes, tortoises can eat aloe vera. In fact, often called a ‘wonder plant’, Aloe vera is a water-dense succulent plant and provides some decent nutritional benefits and is good for hydrating your tortoise.

Can Tortoises Eat Aloe Vera

Is Aloe Vera Good for Tortoises?

Generally speaking, tortoises’ diets consist of greens and vegetables for the most part. They require some key vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health, and this is usually easily met by providing a wide variety of greens.

Aloe vera does a decent job of providing some of the key vitamins and minerals tortoises need, while also being good for hydration.

Aloe vera is somewhat of a miracle plant for us. It has strong antioxidant properties, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, it’s used in all kinds of products we use.

It’s not quite the same for tortoises, but it’s still one of the best plants you can feed them as part of a varied diet.

Is Aloe Vera Poisonous to Tortoises?

No, Aloe vera is not poisonous or toxic to tortoises. Still, when giving some to your tortoise for the first time, it’s a good idea to keep a lookout in case they have diarrhea.

Sometimes, some plants just don’t agree with certain tortoises. It’s unlikely in the case of aloe vera, but if you do think it gave your tortoise an upset stomach just keep it off the list in the future to err on the side of caution.

Author Note: Alos vera is one of the easier plants to grow, you might want to try and grow some yourself for a fresh supply if your tortoise loves it.

The Importance of Calcium for Tortoises

Calcium is one of the most important minerals for tortoises. This is the mineral that is used to help their shell and bone development, as well as aiding them at a cellular level.

There are plenty of plants that provide calcium, such as dandelions. Owners often put a cuttlefish bone in a tortoise enclosure as this is a rich source of calcium that doesn’t go off as quickly as a plant.

What Should You Feed Your Tortoise?

Let’s cover the basics of feeding tortoises; the good news is, feeding tortoises really isn’t that hard and it’s not something you need to stress over.

The main consideration is always which species of tortoise you have, and there are some small differences between species that can be tied back to their natural habitat in the wild.

To make it easy, most people divide tortoises into broad groups; those that eat mostly plant matter, and those that eat more fruit.

Some of the common species of tortoise that eat mostly leaves, stems, and plant matter include:

  • African Sulcata
  • Hermann’s tortoise
  • Horsfield’s (Russian) tortoise
  • Leopard tortoise
  • Indian Star tortoise

Some of the common species of tortoise that eat a lot more fruit in the wild include:

  • Red-Footed tortoise
  • Yellow Footed tortoise
  • Elongated tortoises

So, when deciding what treats to give your tortoise, this should give you a guide as to how receptive they’re going to be to plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Feeding Your Tortoise Plants

Plants and flowers make up a huge part of a tortoise’s diet in the wild, so you should find out what your pet’s favorites are and keep them coming.

The best part about feeding plants is that you can easily grow loads of edible plants at home, and you might even find Sam in your yard or around your neighborhood.

Here are just some of the plants that are safe for tortoises you should try offering to your hard-shelled friend:

  • Chicory
  • Hibiscus
  • Dandelions
  • Plantain
  • Chickweed
  • Clover
  • Aloe vera
  • Brambles (remove thorns)
  • Forget-me-nots
  • Lavender
  • Mustard leaves
  • Evening primrose
  • Dock leaves

Feeding Your Tortoise Vegetables

Vegetables are great for tortoises as they are packed with a good range of nutrition. Here are some veggies that are safe for tortoises:

Feeding Your Tortoise Fruits

There is a long list of fruits that are safe for tortoises. Just keep in mind that some are high in sugar, and fruits spoil quickly.

Some of the fruits I’ve been able to confirm are safe for tortoises, and most of which I fed my tortoise over the years are:

Important Note: Fruit is essentially ‘junk food’ for tortoises, keep fruit to a minimum – no matter how much your tort loves it.

Can I Feed My Horsefield Tortoise Aloe Vera?

Yes, you can feed your Horsefield (Russian) tortoise Aloe vera. Horsefields’ diets are very plant-heavy. They require a good variety of greens, and if you can include some Aloe vera you should.

What if My Tortoise Doesn’t Eat Aloe Vera?

Don’t be alarmed if your tortoise will not eat Aloe vera, or any plans for that matter. Tortoises have their own personalities and preferences when it comes to eating.

The best thing you can do is to keep offering new foods to your tortoise and keep a list of what they do and don’t eat.

What Should Tortoises Not Eat?

It’s just as – if not more – important that you are aware of any foods that could be potentially toxic and harmful to your tortoise.

This isn’t a complete list, but below you’ll find most of the commonly found foods and plants that are believed to be potentially harmful:

Fruits, Vegetables, and Foods to Avoid

  • Citrus fruits
  • Parts of nightshade plants
  • Chili Peppers
  • Avocado
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Rhubarb
  • Bread

Plants to Avoid

  • Azalea
  • Buttercups
  • Tiger Lily
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy/Poison Ivy
  • Hyacinth
  • Mistletoe
  • Rhododendron
  • Holly
  • Morning glories
  • Hemlock
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Yew
  • Foxglove
  • Parts of nightshade plants


Aloe vera is fine for tortoises to eat, they can have this succulent plant without any concerns. In fact, it’s one of the better plants for them so it’s worth picking some up for your tort if you can.

Aloe vera is one of the easier plants to grow at home, so you might even want to try and grow your own if you’re a little green-fingered!


Image credits – Taken by author; copyright

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