Can Tortoises Eat Grapes? (Explained)

Yes, tortoises can eat grapes. Green, red, black, yellow, pink, and purple, it doesn’t matter, seeds or not, too. Grapes make for a refreshing snack, but you do have to feed grapes in moderation.

Can Tortoises Eat Grapes

Are Grapes Good for Tortoises?

Grapes – and this applies to most fruits – are fine for tortoises, but they should not make up a large portion of their diet.

I will cover this in more detail below, but some species of tortoise would eat fruits in the wild, and some wouldn’t.

As owners, it’s our job to try and replicate what our tortoises would eat in the wild as closely as possible.

As you can imagine, with grapes typically growing up high on vines they’re not going to be high on the list of fruits that tortoise gets their mouths into.

The same species, fruits should not make up any more than 5% of their overall diet. So that’s just an odd grape here and there.

Grapes are 81% water, so they provide a nice hydrating snack. They are also higher in sugar than a lot of fruits and have an unbalanced calcium-phosphorus ratio though. So, they’re not ideal from a nutritional standpoint.

If in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. There are plenty of plants and weeds that you know your tortoise loves.

Can Grapes Be Bad for Tortoises?

Grapes are not as toxic or harmful as some fruit are, so at least you know it’s safe to see if your tortoise wants to eat them.

As with all fruits, however, you really have to keep them to a small amount of your tortoise’s overall diet.

You should treat fruits as a little treat food. Feed them to your tortoise in moderation, and make sure that the staple of their diet is coming from the greens and foods that are best for your species.

Important Tip: Generally speaking, fruits should only make up a small amount of a tortoise’s diet, around 5% – no matter how much they love fruit!

How to Feed Grapes to a Tortoise

Feeding tortoises is pretty easy, you leave out fruits and leaves, etc., and you wait and see if they decide to gobble them up!

On a serious note, it’s important to remember to wash store-bought fruit. There’s always a risk of pesticides which will be much more harmful to a small tortoise than it would be for us.

Then all you need to do is monitor how much your tortoise enjoys eating the fruit you’re giving them, remove any leftovers before it spoils, and give them more on occasion if they enjoy it.

What Should Your Tortoise’s Diet Be?

A lot of new owners stress about what to feed their tortoise, and it’s not helped by the fact that they often slowly graze on food and sometimes seem to go days without eating.

But it’s really not difficult to feed tortoises. The main consideration is what species of tortoise you have, as their diets can vary based on what they would have eaten in the wild.

To help you work out what the best foods are to feed your tortoise, you need to know exactly what species it is if impossible.

Broadly speaking, your tortoise is going to fall into one of two categories;

Tortoises that are native to climates and terrains where they eat mostly plants, flowers, and general foliage:

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

Tortoises that would eat some fruit in the diet in the wild:

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

This isn’t a complete list of the tortoises that people keep as pets across the country, but I think that covers most of them.

If your tortoise isn’t listed above, then the best advice is always to learn as much as you can about them and how they live in the wild, if applicable.

Plants That Are Good for Tortoises

Most species of tortoises’ diets will be made up of plants, flowers, weeds, and foliage.

Some of the plants that are easy to come by in most areas that your tortoise will love includes:

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

Fruits That Are Good for Tortoises

Some species of tortoise, like the yellow and red-footed tortoises, munch on fruits in the wild and will enjoy nibbling on some in their terrarium.

Some of the most well-known fruits that are safe are:

  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pear
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi
  • Apple
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Figs
  • Papaya

Vegetables That Are Good for Tortoises

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

  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Squashes
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsnip

What Can Tortoises Not Eat?

As we’re responsible for giving tortoises stuff to eat, it’s important you know the foods that are potentially dangerous.

This isn’t a complete list, but here are all of the common foods and plants I was able to reliably confirm may be harmful:

Plants to Avoid Giving to Tortoises

  • Holly
  • Yew
  • Azalea
  • Daisies
  • Buttercups
  • Tiger Lily
  • Hydrangea
  • Rhododendron
  • Morning glories
  • Azalea
  • Ivy/Poison Ivy
  • Mistletoe
  • Buttercups
  • Hemlock
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Foxglove
  • Yew

Foods to Avoid Giving to Tortoises

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

Important Note: When feeding your tort new foods, always keep an eye out for signs of diarrhea, loss of appetite, and any other signs it didn’t agree with them!

Can a Hermann Tortoise Eat Grapes?

Hermann tortoises can eat grapes, yes. In fact, in my experience, they absolutely love them.

No preference on color as far as I know, no but I’ve never met a Hermann that didn’t munch on grapes given the chance.

Can a Sulcata Tortoise Eat Grapes?

Sulcata tortoises can eat grapes, yes. Grapes are not toxic or harmful in any way, but it’s recommended that fruits make up less than 5% of their diets.

A Sulcata tortoise wouldn’t likely come across grapes in their natural habitat, so don’t be surprised if they turn their noses up and do not eat them.

Can Tortoises Eat Seedless Grapes?

Yes, seedless grapes are perfect for tortoises. There’s always been some mumbling about grape seeds being bad in one way or another, but I’ve never been able to corroborate this fully. To be super safe, seedless grapes are the best option.

Summary

Hopefully, I helped clear up some of the questions you had about what you should or should not be feeding your tortoise – as well as confirming that tortoises can eat grapes.

Giving tortoises new and different foods is always fun. As long as you make sure they’re safe, clean, and easy for them to eat, you will soon figure out exactly what your tortoise loves, or doesn’t love.

Resources

Image credits – Canva.com

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