A cheap, easy way to protect plants in an outdoor enclosure


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Nov 3, 2012
Location (City and/or State)
Tortoises are little bulldozers. They will flatten plants by walking across and over them (again and again), or will eat them down to the root, permanently destroying them. In an outdoor tortoise enclosure, it can be really frustrating when your hard work (and money) gets eaten or trampled.

(Lady, squishing a cranesbill geranium)

I wanted to share the following quick, easy, and cheap solution with you: Dollar Store hanging baskets + landscaping staples!

Get a couple of the metal hanging baskets from Dollar Store, and detach the chains, and flip it over. Then use 2 or 3 landscaping staples to fasten the basket down to the ground over a plant. This way, the tortoise(s) will be able to eat the leaves that grow out of the basket, but won't be able to flatten and destroy the entire plant.

Here is the kind of staple I use (but any kind will work):

You may consider adding a bright little piece of tape to each basket, so you can see it more easily - I've stepped on a few of them, squishing them accidentally.

I have about 8 or 9 such planter baskets, in addition to several other similarly shaped plant savers that I got from Goodwill - e.g. fruit baskets, cookie drying racks, etc. that I've installed in a similar matter, to protect the roots and base of a plant, while allowing the tortoises to graze off the leaves that stick out.

One word of caution: when choosing items to use for protecting your plants, be mindful of preventing tortoise feet from getting caught. This is one reason I don't use e.g. chicken wire structures.

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