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Can Tortoises Eat All Lettuce?!! [3 BENEFITS]

Can Tortoises Eat All Lettuce?!! [3 BENEFITS]

The herbivory nature of Tortoises allows them to eat most vegetables as part of their diet. However, vegetables have some compounds that can be harmful to tortoises if fed in excesses such as goitrogens or oxalates. In this article, we take a look into whether you can feed lettuce to tortoises and how to go about it.

Can Tortoises Eat Lettuce?

Tortoises can eat all lettuces with Lamb’s Lettuce being safer for tortoises. Romaine Lettuce is better compared to an iceberg, Red Leaf, frisee, and Radicchio lettuce in terms of nutrition. All lettuces are a good way to keep tortoises hydrated during summer. However, due to the high water content and low nutrition lettuces should be fed moderately.

Dark leafy vegetables are preferred when feeding tortoises since they have more nutrition compared to the rest of the vegetables.

If you are looking to provide your tortoises with nutrition lettuce is not a good option, however, it is a good option for keeping your tortoises hydrated.

Lamb’s Lettuce is considered safe to feed to tortoises as part of the diet. It is a common weed in most countryside and it is completely safe to feed tortoises.

What types of lettuce can tortoises eat?

All types of lettuces are safe to feed to tortoises when offered moderately, apart from Lamb’s Lettuce that is considered safe, all other lettuces should be fed moderately since a higher percentage is water.

Lamb’s Lettuce

Lamb lettuce is considered safe to feed to tortoises as part of the main diet. However, it should not be the staple diet, the highest percentage of a tortoise diet should be composed of fiber-rich feeds such as tortoise-safe grasses and hay.

Romaine Lettuce

Among the other lettuces, romaine lettuce is considered to have a high percentage of vitamins C, A, calcium, and fiber.

Making it a better option to feed tortoises compared to the other lettuces apart from lamb lettuce.

Is romaine lettuce poisonous to tortoises? Romaine is not poisonous to tortoises at all, however, it should be fed moderately due to low nutrition and high water content.

Iceberg lettuce

Compared to other lettuces, iceberg lettuce has the least nutritional value. however, its high water content makes it a good vegetable to feed to tortoises for the purpose of hydration, especially during summer.

Red Leaf Lettuce

Just like iceberg lettuce, Red Leaf Lettuce should also be fed in moderation since it is nutritionally poor and the highest percentage is made of water.

Benefits of feeding lettuce to tortoises


Tortoises should have easy access to clean and fresh water on a daily basis. The watering basin should be in such a way that the tortoise cannot drown.

It should also be easy for the tortoise to get into the watering hole, especially as tortoises like staying in the water especially in summer.

Another way to keep the tortoise hydrated is by feeding them fruits and vegetables. Before feeding fruits, you should make sure that your tortoise is a fruit-eating tortoise.

Lettuces have a very high water content and can contribute to your tortoise’s hydration. They should however not be used as the sole vegetable for hydration.


Tortoises need vitamins for proper growth and development. Lack of some of these vitamins such as vitamins can lead to detrimental health complications.

While lettuce’s highest percentage is water, romaine lettuce has a high vitamin A, C, and E compared to the other lettuce.

Vitamin A plays part in the proper growth of bones and the general skeletal structure, boosts the immune system, prevents digestive and respiratory system infections.

Its deficiency can have life-threatening side effects, such as respiratory and digestive system infections. the weak immune system, weak bone, and skeletal structure.

Romaine lettuce also contains vitamin E, deficiency of vitamin E is common among tortoises that are not fed vegetables or have poor fat absorption and metabolism.


Fiber should form a very important part of the tortoise diet, in fact, tortoises should have fiber in their diet on daily basis.

Some of the best sources of fiber are grass and hay, you can read this post we wrote about grasses that are safe for tortoises and can even be planted in their enclosures.

Romaine lettuce has a higher fiber content compared to the other lettuce, feeding romaine lettuce to the tortoise will provide part of the fiber they need for digesting their food.

Final word

While tortoises will gladly feed on any lettuce offered to them, the best type of lettuce to feed to them is either lamp lettuce or romaine lettuce.

Feeding lettuce to tortoises is a great way to ensure they are well hydrated, however, make sure you feed lettuce sparingly since they have high water content and poor nutritional value.