Do Turtles eat Grass

Turtles are some of the oldest living creatures on the planet. And being so old, they don’t really need company. This is a lesson retired Detective Bill Hodges learns in the Stephen King adaptation Mr. Mercedes. Hodges, like his turtle, is an old soul; a solitary creature that is perfectly content to sit alone.

Turtles are one of the easiest animals to keep, as Hodges also finds. All he needs to do is throw some lettuce in his backyard and it’s a happy reptile. Though some turtles stick to a strict carnivorous diet, most are omnivores, choosing to eat whatever is nearby. That often includes grass, animals and other plants. 

What a turtle eats depends entirely on its species. Different species of turtle have different kinds of jaws for eating. A freshwater sea turtle, for instance, will eat algae and other aquatic plant life, but it also has a taste for jellyfish, crabs and shrimp. 

Meanwhile, a leatherback sea turtle’s scissor-like jaws are suited to a jellyfish-centric diet. But grass is a staple. 

Do Turtles Enjoy Eating Grass?

Turtles love grass. While their diet may extend to other animals like jellyfish, they can almost always be found munching on the grass around them. Part of this is because it’s so readily available, and turtles are game to eat most anything. 


But just because turtles like grass, it shouldn’t be their only form of sustenance. Their diets in the wild are varied, and you should try and keep their diet at home just as interesting.



What Kind of Grass Do Turtles Eat?

Grass is just grass to most people. We rarely differentiate between the different varieties. Then again, we’re not the ones eating it. If we were, you’d expect us to be a little pickier about what kind we like, just as turtles are. 

Turtles are partial to the grass that’s commonly found in their natural habitat. If they’re a sea turtle, they’ll enjoy sea grass.  Land turtles prefer varieties such as alfalfa, arugula, dandelions and buffalo grass. 

But again, turtles aren’t that discerning and will eat what’s in front of them. Just know that they’ll enjoy it a little more if the grass is from their proper home. 

It’s also crucial that you don’t let them near any grass that’s been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. The more natural the grass is, the better for the turtle. 

Do Painted Turtles Eat Grass?

Painted turtles probably have the most well deserved name of any animal. Their shells and skin look like the most vibrant artwork. They are, like most, omnivores and will readily accept what’s set in front of them. 


But they’re particularly fond of aquatic plants, such as water lettuce, duckweed and water hyacinthe. They also enjoy turtle or trout food available in pet stores, especially when you mix in some feeder fish and other protein like earthworms. 

Do Sea Turtles Eat Seagrass?

Sea turtles love all kinds of seagrass. When they’re young, they’ll go after both plants and animals.  But when they’re fully grown, sea turtles are full-time herbivores and are fond of hanging around coral reefs and picking up whatever seagrass they can. 

This is actually a very important part of marine ecology, as coral reefs can be overrun with seagrass without the help of turtles. This is why they’re often called the ocean’s lawnmowers. 

Do Box Turtles Eat Grass?

Grass is an important part of a box turtle’s diet that also includes earthworms, caterpillars, beetles, carrion, fallen fruit, berries and mushrooms. Given in moderation, box turtles can and will eat anything, so their diet should be monitored.

The last thing you want is to find a box turtle chewing on something in your house that’s precious. 

Box turtles are particularly attracted to bright colored fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, strawberries and cantaloupe. 

Do Snapping Turtles Eat Grass?

Snapping turtles are also omnivores, and love to chew on a wad of grass. But snapping turtles are generally found in lakes, ponds and rivers, so they’re particularly fond of minnows and other small fish and insects. 

It should go without saying as it’s right there in the name, but snapping turtles can be testy animals. If not properly cared for, they’ll live up to their name. The last thing you want to do is stress them out. If you notice your snapping turtle rocking on all fours and hissing, it feels threatened. 

The best thing you can do is get away from those powerful jaws immediately. 

A snapping turtle’s diet is much more varied than most turtles, as its jaw is far more powerful. Because it can hunt and attack prey, it’s diet will often include other animals most turtles would not attempt to eat. A snapping turtle will often eat snakes, frogs, other smaller turtles, birds, crayfish and other small mammals. 

Do Turtles Eat Flowers?

Flowers, and weeds like dandelions, are food for most turtles. But it’s important that you know which flowers and plants are naturally harmful to turtles. You don’t have to search far online to find an approved list of plants and flowers that your turtle can eat. There are many, but not all.

The most common plants that will harm your turtle are those that contain oxalate salts, which can cause burning, pain and swelling in your turtle. But that’s not the only danger. 

As most turtles are omnivores, with some becoming dedicated herbivores later in life, plants, flowers and grasses are often common staples of their diet. But before you let your turtle chow down on just anything, it might be wise to know what could harm them. 

The first danger is any pesticides or other chemicals added to the grass that render it unsafe for consumption. Furthermore, there are lists of naturally harmful plants and flowers that could cause your turtle pain. 

Avoiding those factors is a crucial part of giving your little, shy friend a long, healthy, happy life. Turtles, before being domesticated, have always played a crucial role in our ecosystem. 

They are some of the oldest living creatures on the planet, after all, and they should be afforded some respect and respite after years of serving mother nature. 

F.A.Q. 

Do Baby Turtles Eat Grass?

Yes. A baby turtle needs a diet that will help it to grow. A mixed diet of raw meat, greens, grasses and the occasional fruit is ideal to keep your baby turtle happy, healthy and growing.

They are particularly fond of leafy greens such as cabbage and romaine lettuce. 

Can I Put Grass In My Turtle Tank?

One of the most frequently asked questions amongst new turtle owners is if it’s advisable to fill their new habitats with plants and grass. And indeed, your turtle will love it if his tank has readily available grass. 

However, it should be noted that whatever greenery you add to his tank should be done so with serious consideration. Ensure they aren’t poisonous or have had any pesticides sprayed on them. 

Do Red-Eared Sliders Eat Grass?

 Yes, your red-eared slider will love some grass. How often you feed a red-eared slider, however, is very much going to depend on its size. The larger the reptile, the more food it’ll require. 

Also read

Can Turtles Eat Watermelon

Can Turtles Eat Asparagus

Can Turtles Eat Kale? 

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