Can Turtles & Tortoises Eat Celery? Exploring the Green Stalks in Their Diet

As a devoted turtle and tortoise owner, I’ve encountered many questions about their diets from fellow enthusiasts and my own trial-and-error experiences.

One question that seems to pop up repeatedly is: “Can turtles and tortoises eat celery?” The answer might seem simple, but every detail counts when it comes to our shelled friends’ health and well-being.

In this blog post, we’re going to dive headfirst into the world of turtle and tortoise nutrition, focusing on celery’s role in their diet.

By the end of this post, I promise you will become a mini-expert on this topic, which will help you make the best diet-related decisions for your pet turtle or tortoise.

So, please sit back, relax, and journey together into the surprisingly intricate world of turtle and tortoise culinary preferences.

Can Turtles Tortoises Eat Celery?

Turtles and tortoises can consume celery, but it should be provided in moderation due to its high fiber and low nutrient content. It is beneficial as a crunchy treat or a varied diet.

To ensure a balanced and nutritious diet, other vegetables, fruits, and protein sources should constitute most of their meals.

Understanding the Turtle and Tortoise Diet

To understand whether turtles and tortoises can consume celery, we need to understand their diet in general.

Both turtles and tortoises are omnivores, with turtles often showing more carnivorous tendencies, especially when they are young.

As they age, their diet typically becomes more herbivorous. Conversely, tortoises are primarily herbivorous. They enjoy a wide range of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables.

Can Turtles & Tortoises Eat Celery?

The short answer is yes; turtles and tortoises can eat celery. However, it’s important to feed it to them in moderation.

Although celery contains vitamins A, C, and K, which are beneficial for these creatures, it also has a high water content and a relatively low nutritional value compared to other food choices. Therefore, celery should be part of a varied diet, not the main staple.

The Right Way to Serve Celery

If you’ve decided to feed your pet turtle or tortoise celery, you should ensure it’s properly prepared. The stalks should be cut into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking.

The leaves can also be a good food source, but remember to wash them thoroughly to remove any pesticides or harmful chemicals.

The Risks of Overfeeding Celery

While celery is safe for turtles and tortoises in moderate amounts, overfeeding them with this vegetable can cause problems.

Due to its high-water content, feeding your pet too much celery can lead to diarrhea. It could also potentially disrupt their electrolyte balance, leading to health issues in the long term.

Is Celery Beneficial For Turtles?

Celery has several health benefits for turtles. It’s rich in vitamins A and C, both of which are crucial for your turtle’s overall health.

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Vitamin A benefits the turtle’s eyes, skin, and immune system, while Vitamin C aids in wound healing and the maintenance of bone structure.

Celery also contains some fiber, which helps with digestion. However, it should not replace foods high in calcium and other vital nutrients.

Alternative Healthy Food Options

While celery is a decent snack option, many other foods provide more nutritional value to your pet. Some good options include dandelion leaves, bell peppers, and romaine lettuce.

For turtles, small amounts of fish, insects, and even commercial turtle pellets can add protein to their diet.

Is Celery Harmful to Turtles?

While celery isn’t inherently harmful to turtles, the vegetable’s high-water content can cause digestive issues if fed excessively.

Also, celery contains a small number of oxalates, which can inhibit the absorption of calcium—a crucial nutrient for turtles. Hence, moderation is key.

How Much Celery Can Turtles Eat?

Celery should constitute no more than 10-15% of your turtle’s diet. Overfeeding can lead to health issues related to excess water and reduced calcium absorption. A small piece of celery is generally considered safe once or twice a week.

What Is The Proper Way To Give Celery To Turtles?

The best way to give celery to turtles is to chop it into small, manageable pieces. Make sure you wash it thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues. The leaves are generally easier for the turtles, but the stalk can be offered if chopped finely.

Can Tortoises Consume Celery?

Just like turtles, tortoises can also eat celery. However, similar caution needs to be taken regarding quantity and preparation. Remember, too much celery can be problematic due to its high water content and oxalates.

Is It Okay To Feed Russian Tortoises Celery?

Russian tortoises, like other tortoise species, can safely consume celery. As a general rule, ensure the celery is fresh and properly cleaned, and remember to feed it in moderation along with a variety of other safe vegetables and leafy greens.

Is Celery Safe For Baby Turtles And Tortoises?

Yes, celery is safe for baby turtles and tortoises but should be given in even smaller amounts due to their size and sensitivity. The celery should also be chopped into tinier pieces to ensure easy consumption and prevent choking.

Panzer the Tortoise eating celery


Turtles and tortoises are fascinating creatures, and their diet significantly affects their health and longevity.

As we’ve explored, celery can be a part of their diet, given its beneficial vitamins and fiber content. However, the key is moderation due to its high-water content and the presence of oxalates.

Additionally, the role of celery should be supplementary. It should not replace other vital components of their diet, such as dark leafy greens, other vegetables, fruits, and for some species, animal proteins. The diversity of food ensures that they receive a broad spectrum of necessary nutrients.

It’s also crucial to serve celery raw and thoroughly washed, irrespective of whether it’s organic or not. Monitor potential adverse reactions, such as diarrhea, which may signify overconsumption.

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Specific guidelines might differ based on your pet’s species and individual health conditions. Therefore, always consult with a reptile veterinarian or an expert in your pet’s species before introducing any significant changes in their diet.

The health and happiness of your pet turtle or tortoise remain the utmost priority, and their diet is a fundamental part of their overall care.

So, while they munch on that piece of celery, remember to give them a varied and balanced diet full of love, care, and the occasional crunchy treat!

My name is Shayan Mondal, and I am a passionate turtle owner and enthusiast who enjoys sharing my knowledge and experience with fellow turtle lovers. As a proud owner of several turtle species, I understand the importance of proper care, habitat setup, and nutrition for these delightful creatures. This website regularly updates the latest insights into turtle health, diet, and conservation efforts.

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