5 Best Plants for Tortoise Enclosures In 2021 (Buying Guide & Review)


The best way to make your tortoise’s enclosure feel homey is by adding plants in it, whether artificial or natural, like the two Piece Hanging Silk Terrarium Plant. They effectively mimic their natural home and spruce up an otherwise plain and dull tank. Read on as we aim to guide you in finding the best plants for tortoise enclosures.

In this article, we’re going to review the following plants for tortoise enclosures:

Best Plants for Tortoise Enclosures

5 Best Plants for Tortoise Enclosures Reviewed

If you are trying hard to find the best plants to pimp your tortoise’s enclosure, look no further. We have sifted through the hundreds of options to provide you the best product available. Take a look at some plants we think your pet will adore. 

1. PIVBY Natural Driftwood

For those who love natural artistic decorations, you will find this log great for your tank. It works for dry terrariums and aquariums too. However, it is necessary to boil it for a while to release the tannins to make it safe for water use. The plant is an actual solid branch that is durable in any environment you place it in. It gives the enclosure a realistic touch and comes in various shapes, resembling the twigs you would usually find in the wild. 

Another advantage is that you can have your natural plants growing all over it to make it more beautiful, and if your tortoise is an avid climber, it will have fun trying to climb all over it. Since it is natural, it is non-toxic and safe for your pet to nibble on. It is also non-plastic; hence, suitable for the environment. However, being authentic means being prone to attacks by pests and fungi, which is quite tasking to maintain. We particularly appreciate that it comes as a combination of three wood pieces, each unique and attractive. The material is also lightweight; hence, won’t strain your enclosure.  

Pros

  • It is pure and natural; hence, eco-friendly
  • It comes in three unique types

Cons

  • It is tasking to maintain
  • It is prone to fungi and bacteria

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Exo Terra Artificial Plant-Amapallo

The best fake plant should look realistic and tasking to tell apart from the live plants, but it should still create a natural environment similar to that of the wild. The Amapallo artificial plant is one such ideal option for a tortoise enclosure because it is a perfect imitation of its natural counterparts, giving you a more realistic tank environment. It hangs well, and its broad green leaves effectively convince the tortoise that it’s surrounding is all-natural. Furthermore, its large foliage creates a hideout for the tortoise, providing comfort and a sense of security. Eventually, you will notice that the plant also adds excellent aesthetic value to the enclosure, and it won’t give you a hard time in cleaning and maintenance.

One upside is that the plant can survive where natural living plants cannot; therefore, it will function wherever you place it. Additionally, it is harmless to your tortoise since it is inedible. Hence, you don’t need to worry about indigestion and compaction. We recommend this plant for beginners, especially those using the ten-gallon terrariums. With this Exo terra product, you get an affordable plant that is still worth every penny.

Pros

  • it thrives where no plant can
  • It is pocket friendly

Cons

  • It has quite a rough texture

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3. Two-Piece Hanging Silk Terrarium Plant

For many pet parents looking for a plant for their tortoise, what meets the eye are the various colors offered by the manufacturers. For this plant, the leaves look like they are from a luscious tropical forest and effortlessly create a natural-looking habitat. All you have to do is attach it to the walls using the suction cup, and it will stick for a long time. Users praise it for its durability and ability to remain stuck even when animals walk all over it. Also, the plant has soft leaves, making it harmless when it brushes against your tortoise.

Placing this plant in your tank guarantees a colorful facelift and lovely foliage that fills up the tank. The colors do not fade even when wet, and you can water them for mini reptiles to drink as the water drips. You won’t get a hard time cleaning it because it dries up fast, and all it needs is a little dipping to remove any unwanted particles.

The thick foliage also makes it an excellent spot for your pets to hide when needed. We recommend that this product mainly because it caters to various animals because it is suitable for all reptiles. Secondly, it comes in a range of options, enabling you to pick the color and style you fancy the most. 

Pros

  • You can choose from a wide variety
  • It has a strong suction power

Cons

  • It clusters excessively in a small tank

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Exo Terra Moss

If you are concerned about your pet nibbling on toxic plastics that will likely cause impaction, you can purchase this moss instead. It comes as a block, and you only have to soak it to gain volume ready for installation. One advantage is that it is thick, unlike the usual carpet substrates. Another aspect I loved about it is that it is non-toxic, therefore, harmless to your pet.

It will also be effective if you want a plant that will retain the tank’s moisture level and enhance humidity. This plant will be a great choice if you’re going to keep your tortoises hydrated at all times. The plant has a considerable volume for money value, and a block will comfortably fit in a medium-sized tortoise tank. It ensures that it provides a natural feel and the smell also mimics that of a forest floor, especially when wet.  

Pros

  • It is safe for tortoise consumption
  • It also serves as a substrate

Cons

  • It is prone to withering
  • It is pretty tasking to maintain

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Fluker’s Repta Vine-Pothos

This plastic plant comes in various types, including; Fluker’s Repta Vine English Ivy, Red Coleus, Purple Coleus, and Pothos. Each one is unique, and you can always find the one that best suits you. This particular one is six feet long and comes with a suction cup to hold it on the vivarium’s walls. Given its compound leaves and enormous length, it can provide adequate shelter for the tort, cutting on the added cost of purchasing more hideouts.

The Pothos vine fake plant is non-toxic and is made from a safe polyethylene product that is simple to clean. Unlike actual plants, tortoises can’t nibble on the vine because it isn’t edible. Therefore, your artificial plant will live to serve its purpose until you consider replacing it. Besides, Pothos maintains its color, maintaining the beauty of the enclosure. Finally, remember to scrutinize the plant on delivery to check for any foreign substances like toxic glue that may be harmful to your little friend.

Pros

  • It is longer, hence suitable for larger vivariums
  • It is made from non-toxic polyethylene
  • It blends well with other living plants

Cons

  • It comes in various designs  

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Factors to Consider When Buying a Plant for Your Tortoise’s Enclosure

There are critical factors to consider in the search for a suitable plant that your pet will adore. With this in mind, you will have an easier time picking out the best product in the market.

A Natural Feel

Reptiles are very particular about their surroundings and are extremely sensitive to any changes. Therefore, the owner needs to provide the most conducive environment for them to live and grow; otherwise, they tend to get stressed, affecting their health. For your tortoise’s peace of mind, making their home look and feel as natural as possible is necessary. Plants and trees will work effectively to give a homey touch to your tank.

Desert tortoises can have plants like cactus or succulents that you would naturally find in their home. Rainforest torts, on the other hand, prefer their house filled with healthy and thick vegetation. You can go for live or fake plants since they will serve the same purpose, and anything that feels like home will suffice. 

Durability and Design

If you want to maximize the value of money when picking a plant for your tortoise, always go for durability. The most preferred plants must be long-lasting and sturdy; thus, most owners go for fake plants. They are not prone to withering, especially if left without water. Artificial plants, in contrast, remain intact for longer, and some are sturdy enough to allow your pet to climb without falling off. 

We recommend you going for the option that is mold resistant and does not harbor fungi and bacteria. Secondly, given that you can use your tank as a décor piece, you can select colorful plants to make the enclosure more striking. Do away with the plain tank and customize it with creative plants and mini trees. It will make it look like a scene from a tropical rainforest.   

Functionality 

Most importantly, what do you want the plant to do for you and your pet? If you wish for an artistic piece to serve as décor, consider a brightly-colored plant. The advantage is that tank walls are transparent, giving you a clear view of the interiors. Similarly, if you want a plant that can double up as your pet’s hiding spot, find one that is the right size and shape. Ensure that it is tall and thick to provide a safe place for your pet to retreat to when frightened. 

Some owners also want plants that their tortoise can nibble on when hungry; if that is your intention, you should go for live plants safe for your tortoise to eat. Artificial plants always come with a suction cup that helps you attach them to the enclosure, unlike natural plants that can only thrive in outdoor enclosures. Alternatively, you can always devise other creative ways to connect such plants to the tank even when the cup malfunctions.

Safety

The priority is to keep your pet safe, even as you set up plants in the terrarium. Tortoises are famous for exploring and experimenting with different plants to determine which can make great food choices. Therefore, they end up eating whatever type you place within their reach, not minding whether it is an actual plant or not. Some live plants are not edible to pets since they may contain toxins and end up poisoning your pets, which may be fatal. 

Similarly, artificial plants are mostly made of plastics, containing fatal toxins when the tortoise eats them in excess. It is crucial to research the safest plants for your tortoise since they are likely to take a bite. Although they usually taste the fake plants and recognize that they are not food, it is still vital to place artificial plants out of their reach. Hopefully, the tortoise will differentiate them from natural plants and stay away from them.

Advantages of Using Plants in a Tortoise Enclosure

Plants, whether natural or artificial, establish a natural-like environment in the tortoise’s home. They can make the enclosure more hospitable for your shelled friend and give them peace of mind.

You should choose quality plants that will not only relieve stress but will also have an impact on your home, especially if you love decorating. With that in mind, let’s look at some other reasons why plants are vital for your pet’s terrarium. 

Extra Cover

You will realize that with plants inside an enclosure, you will effectively add more cover for your tort, which saves you the trouble of purchasing more items to serve as hiding spots. Moreover, the extra shade will enhance your tortoise’s confidence and sense of security, especially at night during sleep, as they will feel that they have maximum protection. Therefore, it helps them sleep better and positively impacts their general health. The plants will also come in handy during breeding when your female tort needs a safe, cozy place to hide her eggs and hatchlings.  

Attractive Natural Appearance

Imagine having a plain tortoise tank with little or no decorations, perhaps only pebbles. It would be dull, and your reptiles will have nothing to look at, play with or hide under when scared. Everyone wants their home with a bit of décor, even your tortoise. To help, you can add some plants, and the difference will show. With an appealing tank, you can use it as a statement piece to bring life to the room and give people something to admire. The tank’s aesthetics will add life and color to your house and significantly improve your pet’s health. Go ahead and get creative with the decorations and customize the plants to make them match your personality. 

Ease of Maintenance

Many keepers become reluctant in acquiring plants for their pet tortoises due to the worries of ease and costs of maintenance. Secondly, busy tort parents often worry that they wouldn’t have the time to tend to the plants as required. Artificial plants are pretty durable and will take some time before you have to replace them. Furthermore, they remain intact, meaning that you don’t need to keep trimming them. 

On the other hand, live plants are common everywhere, even in your back yard, where you can find plant species that survive in an enclosure. Some of these plants are compatible with the tortoise tank and don’t grow too tall. Even when they do, you only need to cut them once in a while. Generally, these costs are manageable for a tort enthusiast; even busy owners and beginners will not have issues.

Versatility

There are indoor and outdoor enclosures for tortoises, places which both need sprucing up. The terrarium plants can work for both purposes and may surprise you with how much help it can be. For instance, if you want to relocate your pet from your house to an outdoor environment, some plants such as aloe will still serve in the outside terrarium. Some potted artificial plants can still work for the outdoors and are durable to withstand the elements. 

Wrap Up

Based on safety, durability, and great design, we find the Two-Piece Hanging Silk Terrarium Plant a great plant option for your tortoise’s enclosure. It has a considerable volume and blends well with other plants. The suction force is also strong, making it durable and easy to install. Although it is an artificial plant, it is natural-looking to make the habitat as comfortable and appealing as possible. The material is also easy to clean and maintain, making it a money-value product.

Our second choice for a natural plant is the PIVBY Natural Driftwood. It is an attractive piece to use as decoration and a plant for your tortoise. The only downside is that it is high maintenance and can grow molds and fungi if left unattended.

Harvey Wells

I am an intense cool pets lover. I have tortoises, tarantulas and a few other exotic pets. And I would love to share what I have learned.

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