Can Tortoises Eat Dandelions? (Yes! With These Benefits)

Dandelions are a common weed that can be found in most backyards. They are bright yellow flowers provide beautiful scenery for any garden, but can also be eaten. If you were wondering if tortoises could eat dandelions, the answer is yes.

The leaves and flowers of dandelions are very nutritious to animals such as tortoises that feed on them. The high source of potassium in dandelion leaves is great for tortoises when they need the extra energy in the summer heat. In addition to having nutritional benefits, dandelions provide a nice variety of colors in otherwise dull looking gardens.

As long as you have time to pick them and watch out for their toxic properties, it’s safe to say that tortoises will love eating these wild plants.

What Are The Benefits of Eating Dandelions?

Dandelions taste great and provide a nice variety of colors for your garden. They also have a high source of potassium, which is important for the tortoise in the summer heat. Another great benefit of dandelion leaves is that they are very easy to pick and consume.

Depending on the size of your tortoise, you can pick up their leaves with just your hands, but be careful not to eat any flowers or roots as these contain chemicals that may harm animals.

Dandelions provide a lot of dietary fiber

– The main benefits from eating dandelions are nutritional benefits like adding lots of dietary fiber to your diet and keeping it healthy.

Dandelion leaves provide vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and more minerals

– Having vitamin A, calcium, iron, and other different minerals is important for all animals’ health as well as humans who consume them as well.

Is Dandelion A Good Source Of Calcium?

Dandelion leaves are a great source of calcium, however, it is best to feed them to your tortoise in moderation.

If you feed them too much the calcium can become toxic and cause the tortoise to become lethargic. I would recommend feeding dandelions in moderation and feeding more vegetables like kale, romaine lettuce, zucchini (courgette), broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

Can Tortoises Eat The Dandelion Flower?

The dandelion flower is not toxic and wouldn’t harm the tortoise’s health. The leaves on the other hand contain a high concentration of potassium and are considered to be a great source of energy in the summer months.

What Flowers Can Tortoises Eat?

Tortoises can eat a wide variety of different flowers. They should also avoid flowers that contain petals with pointed tips and those with a bitter taste.

Examples of flowers that can be fed to tortoises are:

purple pansies, marigolds, daisies, snapdragons, geraniums, violas.

What Foods Can Tortoises Eat?

Tortoises have a very diverse diet and can eat a wide variety of different foods. They should be fed a diet that is high in fiber as well because it will help to prevent constipation. Their diet should be based around vegetables such as broccoli, kale, salad greens (romaine lettuce), zucchini (courgette), mangos, cucumbers, and carrots.

They should also be fed healthy treats like banana slices or smoothies made from blended fruits, or even a small amount of cooked egg.

As well as this, tortoises should be fed a high protein diet, including:

lentils, quinoa, oats, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds.

If your tortoise is eating too much food, then it is likely that they are being overfed. Overfeeding leads to obesity which can cause many health problems in tortoises. It can also lead to tortoises becoming constipated because of the amount of fiber that they are consuming.

The best way to prevent this from happening is by making sure you don’t overfeed your tortoise and by making sure that the food you are feeding them has plenty of fiber in it. If you do notice any changes in your tortoise’s behavior, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, then you should visit your vet immediately.

Tortoises feed on a range of foods that they can get their teeth into, although they prefer to eat soft fruit. They will also eat grasses and leaves as well as a wide variety of weeds. Some tortoises may also eat insects and other small animals in the wild so it is important to make sure that you keep your tortoise away from them when you bring them home.

What Is Poisonous To Tortoises?

It’s better to keep away tortoises from the following foods:

Chocolate: the toxic bromine, that is found in dark chocolate, can cause a lot of damage to tortoises.

Citrus Fruits: the fruits of the citrus family contain high amounts of acid and can cause a lot of damage to a tortoise’s mouth.

Aphids: there are some species of aphids that are harmful to tortoises because they secrete toxins into their bodies which can be fatal for them. The best way to prevent this from happening is by keeping your tortoise away from these insects.

Avocado: the seeds of the avocado contain a toxin that can cause a lot of damage to the digestive tract and other internal organs if consumed.

Tomatoes: these fruits are very acidic and can cause a lot of damage to a tortoise’s teeth, digestive system and skin. It is best to keep your tortoise away from them at all times.

Eggplants: the leaves of the eggplant family contain a toxin called solanine which can cause a lot of damage to a tortoise’s skin.

Caffeine: caffeine is found in many different types of foods and drinks. It can cause a lot of damage to the heart, nervous system, and gastrointestinal system. If a tortoise ingests it, then it can cause seizures, cardiac arrest, and even death.


Dandelions may not seem like the most appetizing choice for a salad (or for your tortoise), but the flowers are a great source of vitamins and minerals that can help to keep your tortoise healthy.


Photo by Luca Ambrosi on Unsplash

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash