Safe to feed plants grown with hydroponic nutrients?

Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas, NV
I'm having A LOT of trouble growing a garden for my Russian to eat... It's been very hot the past month or so, and my plants are suffering for it. Almost everything I started growing a couple months ago is dead, with a few weeds holding strong. I'm about to start growing them indoors and moving them out perhaps when they're more established or when it's a little cooler but I was really avoiding it because there's not a good window with sunlight for so many plants to grow. Until I have things figured out I've been feeding grocery store greens. It's been a mix of Belgium endive and the endive leaves, escarole, dandelion greens, radicchio, romaine, collard greens, and spring mix. I usually pick two of these things for the week and make sure the spring mix is every week or two since the variety changes slightly.

I was browsing Tortoise Table and I noticed that quite a few of my house plants are on the list of safe to feed options and I got really excited but I'm not 100% sure if it's safe to feed them. With my outdoor plants, I was growing them in coco coir so I could make sure everything was organic and safe to feed, and I was going to figure out fertilizer options out later and possibly start composting with all the extra food I have that my tortoise doesn't eat by the end of the week to give nutrients to the plants.

With my indoor plants, I absolutely hate soil and have been working with semi/passive hydroponics which involves the plants being grown in a water reservoir, receiving nutrients through the water itself. My plants have been so happy since I made the switch to hydroponics, and it's cleaner and friendlier to my pocket long term. I can't find any information online about whether or not the nutrients I use are safe for pets, but I'm not positive in the first place what isn't safe about various fertilizers for tortoises anyways. I've been using the General Hydroponics trio (FloraGro, FloraBloom, FloraMicro) in an equal ratio for all of my plants as none of them are particularly picky. Every other week I dilute a mix of this into water and on the other weeks I just top off the water level with plain tap water. If this isn't safe, I'd love to hear what others are using if anybody's growing with hydroponics! I'd be really interested to propagate some plants separately just for my tortoise to eat.

It would be really nice if I could just switch out a plant in his enclosure every few days and give him the option to chomp on it and forage a little more. I'm really looking to up the variety in the mean time while I get my outdoor gardening situation figured out.... also if anybody has any tips for gardening in 115 degree weather, please help me!! LOL I'm really trying my best out here. I don't always remember to water twice a day so the top of the soil gets so dry. They were thriving back in May when it was in the 80s and 90s, but ever since we hit around 110 F it's been a struggle, even as they get shade for half the day.

Just in case there's any issues, these were the plants I was looking at on TTT, and of course I would only feed the new growth.
Polka Dot Plant
Baby Sun Rose
Snake Plant
Prayer Plant

EDIT: Here's the individual pages for the trio of nutrients as well
General Hydroponics: FloraGro
General Hydroponics: FloraBloom
General Hydroponics: FloraMicro
It actually seems like it would be good to use with soil too, so I'm interested to use this with my outdoor plants if that works as well...
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,873
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Not your question at all but I will mention that in Las Vegas you have access to cactus (nopales) at Mexican grocers and at least one Korean market (H Mart) plus 99 Ranch Market and I think at least one Persian grocery store as well. All of these places sell foods that are not necessarily well known to all of us but actually great for tortoises.

I’m sure someone knowledgeable about growing plants will be in here soon but as you’ve got a while before you’ll actually have anything to harvest you might want to check one or two of them out. (If it’s not super obvious I love checking out grocery stores!)

Trip to a Mexican grocery store: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/trip-to-a-mexican-market.180123/

99 Ranch Market: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-tortoise-chef.153728/page-3#post-1482434

H mart: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/a-trip-to-a-korean-market-picture-heavy.159825/

More on H Mart! https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-tortoise-chef.153728/page-4#post-1518453

My local Persian market: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-tortoise-chef.153728/page-4#post-1496328
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,411
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Feeding plants - fertilizer - is not a problem. In fact, it makes the plant healthier and more nutritious. But that goes for the nutrients the plant naturally absorbs when fed. Fertilizer (nitrogen) itself can be deadly if your tortoise can possible ingest it directly. Any the plant is using and taking up is beneficial. So as long as there is no direct access to fertilizer and foliar application is not used where you are directly spraying fertilizer on the plant itself, you will have no issues with your hydroponic plants as food.

Be sure it is indeed fertilizer (food) only. No insecticides included in the mix. I would also look for fertilizers that are safe for human consumptions without cautions of long wait times after fertilizing until harvest.
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,670
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
If the package says its safe to use on vegetables, fruit plants, and herbs, then it's fine. I'd do a water rinse before feeding.

Here's some folks discussing the subject:

 

Kylee L.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
290
Location (City and/or State)
SC
I'm having A LOT of trouble growing a garden for my Russian to eat... It's been very hot the past month or so, and my plants are suffering for it. Almost everything I started growing a couple months ago is dead, with a few weeds holding strong. I'm about to start growing them indoors and moving them out perhaps when they're more established or when it's a little cooler but I was really avoiding it because there's not a good window with sunlight for so many plants to grow. Until I have things figured out I've been feeding grocery store greens. It's been a mix of Belgium endive and the endive leaves, escarole, dandelion greens, radicchio, romaine, collard greens, and spring mix. I usually pick two of these things for the week and make sure the spring mix is every week or two since the variety changes slightly.

I was browsing Tortoise Table and I noticed that quite a few of my house plants are on the list of safe to feed options and I got really excited but I'm not 100% sure if it's safe to feed them. With my outdoor plants, I was growing them in coco coir so I could make sure everything was organic and safe to feed, and I was going to figure out fertilizer options out later and possibly start composting with all the extra food I have that my tortoise doesn't eat by the end of the week to give nutrients to the plants.

With my indoor plants, I absolutely hate soil and have been working with semi/passive hydroponics which involves the plants being grown in a water reservoir, receiving nutrients through the water itself. My plants have been so happy since I made the switch to hydroponics, and it's cleaner and friendlier to my pocket long term. I can't find any information online about whether or not the nutrients I use are safe for pets, but I'm not positive in the first place what isn't safe about various fertilizers for tortoises anyways. I've been using the General Hydroponics trio (FloraGro, FloraBloom, FloraMicro) in an equal ratio for all of my plants as none of them are particularly picky. Every other week I dilute a mix of this into water and on the other weeks I just top off the water level with plain tap water. If this isn't safe, I'd love to hear what others are using if anybody's growing with hydroponics! I'd be really interested to propagate some plants separately just for my tortoise to eat.

It would be really nice if I could just switch out a plant in his enclosure every few days and give him the option to chomp on it and forage a little more. I'm really looking to up the variety in the mean time while I get my outdoor gardening situation figured out.... also if anybody has any tips for gardening in 115 degree weather, please help me!! LOL I'm really trying my best out here. I don't always remember to water twice a day so the top of the soil gets so dry. They were thriving back in May when it was in the 80s and 90s, but ever since we hit around 110 F it's been a struggle, even as they get shade for half the day.

Just in case there's any issues, these were the plants I was looking at on TTT, and of course I would only feed the new growth.
Polka Dot Plant
Baby Sun Rose
Snake Plant
Prayer Plant

EDIT: Here's the individual pages for the trio of nutrients as well
General Hydroponics: FloraGro
General Hydroponics: FloraBloom
General Hydroponics: FloraMicro
It actually seems like it would be good to use with soil too, so I'm interested to use this with my outdoor plants if that works as well...
I have 2 areogardens, which are small hydroponic gardens, I have grown food for my tort in them since I got him. I buy seeds and plant whatever he can he, its great for variety!! Russians can eat succulents and cacti so you living in such a hot climate I would plant those as well.
 
Top