Can Tortoises Eat Basil?

Basil is among the most widely used herbs in the world; after all, it is delicious, adaptable, and simple to find.

You may be wondering if it’s okay to feed basil to your tortoise, whether you’ve grown it yourself or purchased a lot at the market or grocery shop.

Can tortoises eat basil? is a common query from pet tortoise owners.

How much basil can you give them, and how often, if they can eat it?

Yes is the quickest response to the first query.

Basil can be eaten by tortoises.

But there’s a lot more to understand about giving your tortoise basil, which is why we took the time to put this comprehensive guide together.

Carry on reading and let’s get into it!

Do tortoises eat basil?

Yes, you may give basil to your tortoise.

Simply be sure to thoroughly wash it before feeding it to your tortoise.

Given that tortoises typically dislike the aroma of herbs, don’t be surprised if your tortoise really eats the basil.

Are basil plants good for tortoise food?

Basil is healthy for a tortoise, albeit it should only be given a tiny bit at a time.

In addition to being extremely low in sugar, which is one indication that a treat would be excellent for your tortoise, it is also bursting with antioxidants that can benefit your tortoise.

Despite the belief of some owners that tiny portions indicate less nutrients, every little bit counts!

Does a tortoise like basil?

Tortoises love basil, but some varieties aren’t very fond of its strong scent.

If this happens, try adding a few drops of essential oil to the water bowl before feeding.

Tortoise has a unique personality, something that makes one tortoise happy may bore another to tears.

A Tortoise Should Eat How Much Basil?

You should start off giving your tortoise only a little basil to avoid overwhelming them because it includes several potent fragrance components.

If your tortoise enjoys eating fruit and veggies, then try starting off with a small amount of some new produce.

Give your tortoise a handful of basil leaves to see how they react to it.

If they seem interested, give them another handful later on.

Can A Tortoise Eat Basil Every Day?

If your tortoise likes the taste of basil, you can feed it to them a little more frequently than you might with other treats.

In any case, it has lots of nutrients and little sugar.

Correct diet always matters

Since they are omnivores, turtles are also capable of capturing fish, snails, and worms.

This is only one of the reasons you should make sure to give them a plate of wholesome food each day.

Alternatives To Basil That Are Healthy For Tortoises?

There are many other tortoise treats to pick from, but basil is an all-natural alternative.

The following is a list of various fruits, vegetables, and plants that most tortoises enjoy eating:


  • Aubrietia
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Petunia
  • Geranium
  • Bittercress
  • Black medic
  • Blue sowthistle
  • Bristly oxtongue
  • Broadleaf filaree
  • Wild chicory
  • Creeping thistle
  • Dead nettle
  • Field madder
  • Globe thistle
  • Goats beard
  • Ground elder
  • Hawks beard
  • Hedge woundwort
  • Kidney weed
  • Knapweed
  • Mallow


  • Cabbage
  • Spring green
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Brussel sprout
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Cress
  • Watercress
  • Parsnip
  • Fennel
  • Rocket
  • Chard
  • Courgette
  • Endive
  • Frisee lettuce
  • Marrow
  • Pak choi
  • Pumpkin
  • Radicchio
  • Lollo rosso lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Lambs lettuce

Even though your tortoise can eat a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and herbs that are all safe, it’s important to take the time to research each new food you intend to give it.

This is the most effective technique to safeguard your tortoise from harmful contaminants and establish how much of each thing they should consume.

Let’s now look at the nutritional facts on Basil

Basil nutrition facts

Basil provides a rich flavor and several beneficial nutrients that both you and your tortoise can enjoy if you enjoy the flavor of fresh, tasty basil.

Fresh basil leaves in a good ½ teaspoon serving typically contain:

Calories per serving 

0.6 grams of carbohydrate

0.1 gram fiber

0.2 grams of Protein per serving

0 g/100 ml Fat Free Milk

Basil is loaded with vitamins A, B6, C, E, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids.

One tablespoon of chopped basil provides approximately 25 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fiber, and 5 milligrams calcium.

317 IU Vitamin A

9mcg Vitamin K

Vitamin C (1000mg): 1 capsule daily 

1 mg folate

8 milligrams of magnesium

600 mg Calcium

Potassium 7mg

Why not try giving your tortoise some basil?

Seeing them experiment with new things is always entertaining!

Do always consult with the veterinarian before introducing new food

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