Tortoises require a varied diet that consists of pellet food (if you have a pet turtle), insects, and fish. They also eat plant matter, fruit and vegetables like celery. But celery is really unnecessary for a tortoise’s healthy diet.

If you own one, you might be asking yourself “Can a tortoise eat celery?” Tortoises gladly munch on celery, but pound-per-pound, it doesn’t have high nutritional value. So, just because tortoises can eat celery, it doesn’t mean they need to eat or should eat it.

Can tortoises eat celery?

Tortoises can eat celery. But, just because turtles can eat celery doesn’t mean it’s the best food them. It’s certainly safe for a tortoise to eat this vegetable. Celery is not a required or even necessary ingredient for the daily salad of your pet tortoise.

But, it’s important to know that eating large quantities of vegetables can be a problem for tortoises. So, don’t overdo it.

Which species of tortoises can eat celery?

There are over 300 species of tortoises in the world today. Each specie of turtle has an ideal diet. Some tortoises are herbivores, but the majority are omnivores.

The following herbivore (plant eating) species can eat large quantities of celery and other vegetables:

  • Greek tortoise
  • Hermann’s tortoise
  • Russian tortoise
  • Chaco tortoise
  • Gopher tortoise
  • Marginated tortoise

The following omnivore (eats both plants and animals) species cannot eat large quantities of celery and other vegetables:

  • Red-footed tortoise
  • Sulcata tortoise
  • Galapagos tortoise
  • Aldabra tortoise
  • Yellow-foot tortoise
  • Angulate tortoise

Can all tortoises eat celery?

All tortoises can eat celery. Unfortunately, celery offers little in terms of nutrition. But overeating celery can be harmful to turtles due to the vegetable’s high oxalate levels. So, while all tortoises can eat celery, too much of it can interfere with the animal’s calcium absorption and may cause kidney stones.

Can I feed celery to my tortoise?

You can feed celery to your tortoise in moderation. Instead of feeding your tortoise celery, focus on foods with better nutritional value such as leafy greens, grass, flowers, hay, vegetables, weeds and fruits.

Instead of feeding large amounts of celery to your turtle, you could try tortoise pellets.

Is celery safe for tortoises?

Celery is safe for tortoises. As long as turtles eat celery in small quantities, it’s not harmful. But, the long fiber strands do pose a potential hazard for tortoises. Therefore, if you don’t chop celery into small pieces, it could be a choking hazard.

What are the benefits of feeding celery to tortoises?

Crispy, crunchy celery has a number of surprising health benefits for tortoises. Celery is an excellent source of antioxidants. Feeding celery to turtles helps protect their blood vessels, organs, and cells from oxidative damage.

In a single stalk of celery, there are more than a dozen kinds of antioxidant nutrients. What’s more, celery contains beta carotene, flavonoids, and vitamin C. And celery is an excellent source of phytonutrients with the potential to reduce inflammation in organs, cells, blood vessels, and the digestive tract.

Can tortoises eat celery for the minerals?

Tortoises can eat celery to get important minerals in their diet. For example, celery is a source of calcium. Keep in mind that celery isn’t the best source of calcium.

Turtles need calcium to grow their shells and bones. Actually, calcium is one of the most important minerals for tortoises.

Can tortoises eat celery leaves?

Tortoises can eat celery leaves. As a general rule, green and leafy plants should be part of your turtle’s diet. But, you should minimize vitamin-deficient, fiber-rich vegetables such as celery.

The reason turtles don’t get much benefit from eating celery because it’s mostly water and fiber. Beyond that, celery includes little vitamins and minerals.

Can tortoises eat celery sticks?

Tortoises can eat celery sticks. And while they may enjoy this crunchy snack, turtles get little nutritional benefit from this plant. If you feed your tortoise celery sticks, ensure you chop them small.

When you chop celery sticks, you are protecting your tortoise. The long fibers in celery can be a potential choking risk.

Can tortoises eat chopped celery?

Tortoises can eat chopped celery. Actually, chopped celery is the safest way to feed celery to turtles. Chopped celery ensures that your reptile friend doesn’t choke on a long fiber.

Should tortoises eat celery?

Tortoises shouldn’t eat celery. They can eat it, but there are much better foods. Instead of feeding your tortoise celery give your pet fresh leafy greens, kale, mustard and collard greens, and fresh vegetables.

Can horsefield tortoises eat celery?

Horsefield tortoises can eat celery, but it’s not an ideal food for them. You should feed your tortoise either one large meal or two small ones every day. A fresh diet is best for horsefield tortoises. But, if you don’t have time to prepare a fresh meal, you can feed your horsefield tortoise with turtle pellets a couple of days a week.

Horsefield tortoises can eat the following foods:

  • Kale
  • Clover
  • Mustard cress
  • Carrots
  • Dandelion greens
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Watercress
  • Mixed peppers

And in much smaller quantities you can feed your turtle apple, tomato, strawberry, and cucumber. Avoid spinach because it’s a calcium blocker.

Can red-footed tortoises eat celery?

Red-footed tortoises can eat celery.

Can marginated tortoises eat celery?

Marginated tortoises can eat celery.

Can tortoises eat celery tops?

Tortoises can eat celery tops, but they don’t need it in their diet.

Can african sulcata tortoises eat celery?

African sulcata tortoises can eat celery.

Can desert tortoises eat celery?

Desert tortoises can eat celery.

Can russian tortoises eat celery?

Russian tortoises can eat celery.

Can hermann tortoises eat celery?

Hermann tortoises can eat celery.

Can baby tortoises eat celery?

Don’t feed baby tortoises celery. Baby or not, celery isn’t the best food for turtles. You can feed baby turtles with feeder fish and pellets. If you own an omnivore tortoise, you can feed it the same kinds of proteins you would give to adults such as slugs, earthworms, snails, beetles, crayfish, and grasshoppers.

Instead of celery, focus on variety when you feed your baby turtle. Variety in their diet ensures that they get all of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Can greek tortoises eat celery?

Greek tortoises can eat celery.

Can leopard tortoises eat celery?

Leopard tortoises can eat celery.

Can spur thighed tortoises eat celery?

Spur thighed tortoises can eat celery.

Why is celery bad for tortoises?

Celery can be bad for tortoises because it has high oxalate levels. Unfortunately, high oxalate levels are toxic for turtles. Even though celery is a high oxalate green, you can still feed it to your tortoise in moderation.

What can tortoises eat instead of celery?

Vegetables like kale, salad mixes, collard greens, lettuce, mustard greens, cucumber, dandelions, and zucchini should make up about 40% of a tortoise’s daily diet. In addition to vegetables, tortoises can eat apple, berries, oranges, mango and kiwi. Keep in mind that herbivore turtles should not be fed meat based foods.

Omnivore tortoises should also eat moths, beetles, caterpillars, small dead animals, and crickets.

All turtles should eat either high calcium foods (seeds, leafy greens, fish) or consume scraped cuttlebone, or liquid or powder calcium supplements.

Final thoughts

Celery is not a required part of a pet turtle’s diet. Tortoises can eat celery, but they shouldn’t. You can feed turtles much better food source, with better nutritional value. Unfortunately, celery doesn’t contain high quantities of vitamins and minerals tortoises need.

So, if you want to feed celery to you turtle, keep it to a minimum. And it would be even better if you would only feed them with celery leaves. But if you really want to give celery sticks to your turtle, chop it into small pieces to make sure your reptile doesn’t choke on the long fibers.

To be clear, feeding celery is unlikely to harm your turtle, and your pet might even enjoy it. But it’s best to feed them foods with better nutritional value.