Chemicals and food source for Tortoise


New Member
Mar 16, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
I know that tortoises should not consume fertilizers and pesticides. I'm hoping someone can help me understand this further. For example: Can I plant an edible plant for my tortoise in soil with added fertilizer, even though the soil is unaccessible in a pot? Or will the fertilizer absorbed by the plant now be harmful food source? Is the fertilizer harmful because of the "pellets" that the tortoise might eat? Or is it harmful because of how it is absorbed into the food? Also, same question with pesticide. Is the pesticide harmful because it is on the plant? Or because it was absorbed by the plant? Does washing the pesticide off work to make the food safe? As an added followup question, what are some of the best natural fertilizers for planting tortoise food and garden plants around a tortoise? And what are the best organic pesticide options to keep unwanted pests away from the home and growing plants?


Active Member
Apr 20, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
North Wales, UK
Good organic fertilizers are blood & bone meal powder, chicken manure pellets, bat guano, limestone flour.

Ideally wants to be in the ground at least a month or so before planting because you need the soil microbes to break down the fert before nutrients become available for use by the plant.

Chemical fertilizers are very rich in mineral salts and other compounds so they pose a risk to your tort from ingesting residue from the plant matter or accidental ingestion of the soil.

Generally if you were consuming a plant that had been grown with chem fert you would want sufficient flush time (2 weeks min) to rid the plant and soil of stored chems in the way of lots of clean water drenching and allowing the pot to thoroughly drain out.

With organics this isn't really required although it's always advised to only feed water for a short period just before harvest.

I'm sure everybody's got a different opinion of 'the correct way' but this gives you an idea at least!

New Posts