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New Plants for Indoor Enclosure

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Ben Page, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Ben Page

    Ben Page Member

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    Hello All,

    I went a little crazy at the garden center today. I used The Tortoise Table's plant database and only chose safe plants from the green section. I am now reading that I cannot use any of them in the enclosure right away because of the pesticides that were likely used. Almost everything I bought can be propagated so it wasn't money wasted however I now have nothing to use in his enclosure. I am going to start growing seeds tomorrow, this broadleaf testudo mix (http://www.tortoisesupply.com/TestudoMix) looks great but it is going to be a while until they are ready to go. I have also found an organic grower in my area (Phoenix, AZ) and I was wondering if I buy from them, wash off soil they used from the roots and re-pot them in the potting soil I am using in the enclosure will they be safe to immediately use? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Some plants at the nursery have been treated with systemics. That means the plant takes the solution up through the root system and into the plant. So if they've been treated with systemic pesticides, the leaves may not be edible until the plant flushes out those pesticides. ??????
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  3. Ben Page

    Ben Page Member

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    The ones I already purchased I know I cannot use. I'm going to take cuttings from them and start new plants. The organically grown plants I'd like to purchase have never been treated with any pesticides or chemicals. I'm checking on the soil composition from the grower. If they used soil with manure will they be safe to use if I wash off the soil and replant?
  4. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    That's rough, Ben. And so many of us have done that!
    I've found that it's O.K. to use potted herbs grown for human consumption. Or Aloe or spider plants.
    I love spider plants because they are super tough. They don't need much light or water, can take a trampling and tortoises don't generally bite on them.
    Whatever you use, plan on replacing them every now and again because most tortoises will plow through and over plants rather than go around it.;)
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  5. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    If the plants are grown 100% organically or can be consumed by people, they're good.
    Yes just wash off the dirt.
    I go for spider plants, too.
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  6. Ben Page

    Ben Page Member

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    I'm going to use potted plants and rotate them in and out to either regrow or recuperate depending on if their eaten or trampled. I'm going to grow the testudo mix in a 3 foot window box planter and rotate that as well. Do the tortoises use the spider plant as cover or is it more for decoration?
  7. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Cover, humidity, decoration, interest for the tortoise and the occasional nibble.
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  8. Ben Page

    Ben Page Member

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    Are plastic pots ok to use or should I go ceramic? I'm going to bury them with only the top inch showing
  9. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    I think either should be fine.
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  10. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Ben Page likes this.
  11. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Both.
    And the mix grows a LOT of food.
    If you cut the leaves off of the plants that grow, they will grow back over and over again. Like free tortoise food.
    Also you'll end up with radishes and carrots and all kinds of stuff in the dirt for people food.
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  12. Ben Page

    Ben Page Member

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    I was just going to let him graze once the mix sprouts, set up two 3 foot window boxes and rotate out the planters every couple weeks. I started some Spider plants, Mexican Heather, Ice plant and Purple Lamium from clippings today and will add them in a few months. I also found organically grown dandelion, kale and butter lettuce. I also put them in two 3 foot window boxes I'll rotate them so one will always be in the cage. I wish I could find organically grown house plants to add now but haven't had much luck. I'm going to hit up some farmers markets next weekend and see what I can find.
    Tidgy's Dad likes this.
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