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plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 04/05/2009 by tobiesmum

hi all,

i have bought some plants today for daisy's outdoor enclosure but before i put them in i want to check that they are ok, they are- rosularia pallida, which looks like a kind of cactus and also an- Armeria maritma pink, this looks like a grass type plant with tall stems with flowers on, both these plants are ground covering ones.  these are not intended for her to eat just to decorate. do you think they would be ok.

also am looking for some plants that can go in her indoor enclosure, either for her to eat or just for decoration, what house plants can i use? any help would be great.

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 04/05/2009 by TPGJo

Hi Click and drag me down to the editor

Definately avoid the pinks, they are toxic and best avoided as not all tortoises know the difference between good and bad plants (mainly because many of the plants in the UK are not native in the Med) and your tortoise may nibble on them.......you could put them in a pot away from your tortoise enclosure and just enjoy the flowers Click and drag me down to the editor

I'm not sure what species of tortoise you have, but if she's a russian I wouldn't put anything in there she can eat freely, she'll pig out and eat the lot LOL......best sticking with plants like lavender/rosemary/blue fescue grasses/heathers/hebes/thyme.  She may nibble on these plants, but she won't demolish them and they are safe.....the herbs being native in the Med, so very natural for her to sleep under/take shade on sunny days, they also help break up the enclosure and make it more interesting.

Not sure on the cactus one, just off to check it out.

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 04/05/2009 by TPGJo

rosularia pallida - looks like it's a safe sedum, most of them are.....isn't that a house leek?

99% sure it's fine, but wait until someone else confirms it <g>

Jo

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 04/05/2009 by tpgNina

I think the rosularia pallida is probably safe too. I have looked and can't find anything that says it is toxic, but like all succulents, if your tort eats too much of it then it could cause diarrhoea.

I'm not sure that the armeria maritima (common name is sea thrift or sometimes sea pink) is toxic, and I can't find it on any of the lists of toxic plants, but I did read in one place that a poultice of leaves should never be used on humans, as it can cause dermatitis, so it would be best to err on the side of caution and avoid it.

Nina

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 05/05/2009 by tobiesmum

ok thanks for the help, will get some heathers today hopefully and will look for some rosemary and lavendar. so can i put the sedum one in then do you think, will put the pink in my garden then. thanks for the help.

daisy loves beeing outside, and now hates coming in at night as she is always very active, can i put her out on cooler days? its about 10 degrees outside and we live near the east coast so doubt it will get warmer today. daisy has an old fish tank in her enlosure that is turned on its side so she can freely access it, was hoping this would work as a cold of coldframe. when i put my hand in to get her out it does always feel warmer.

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 05/05/2009 by tpgNina

Hi,

Just to make it clear -- the plant you are calling a 'pink' isn't actually what we would normally call a 'pink'. Pinks that are the usual garden flower are carnations (dianthus), and so very different from the plant that is called Sea Pink, or Sea Thrift (armeria).

I would say you can definitely put Daisy out on cool days (although 10C is cold, so she will need some way of warming up. The fish tank is a good idea. If you want it to be warmer, you could set it on a little frame of bricks, leaving one brick out to make a doorway, and I think that would trap the heat and still give her a doorway to go in and out.

How big is Daisy? Larger torts will hold their body heat for a much longer time than smaller torts.

Nina

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 05/05/2009 by tpgadmin

I live near the east coast in Yorkshire and all my hatchlings and juveniles are definitely inside today.  They would soon lose their body heat.  However, my adult Russians and Hermanns are all in their warm, insulated outdoor houses under the heat lamps and although their doorways to the outside are open the tortoises are all huddled together under their respective basking lamps.  They are fed outside too, but so far today not one of them has ventured out for any food.  If they decide to go out in the rain then I won't worry as I know they will soon be back inside under their lamps keeping warm.

Helen

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 05/05/2009 by tpgNina

I do wish I had electrics outside (maybe when I move house Click and drag me down to the editor).  I keep having to bring Doris in to warm her up every so often, as even her little cold frame isn't warm enough on days like this.

Nina

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 05/05/2009 by Ozric

Re Armeria (Thrift)  - I'm sure this plant is alright for tortoises.  I've planted it in the enclosure and had no problems - the tortoises do nibble the grass- like leaves occasionally, and the plant does appear on some 'suitable' lisitings.

 

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 05/05/2009 by tpgNina

I think you're probably right about that -- and I couldn't find it on any toxic lists, but there was one site that talked about possible dermatitis if a poultice was applied to human skin (probably doesn't apply to torts though), so if you've used it in your enclosures with no problems then she shouldn't be worried about using it in hers.

Nina

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 06/05/2009 by tobiesmum

thanks for all the info, its really helpful.

Daisy is 3 and a half years old and measures just over 3inches on the underside and 4 inchs over the top. i put a thermoteter in her coldframe and it seems to be reading about 18. is that warm enough? even on a cooler day she seems to love being outside and is very active when out there, she climbs her rocks and worries me silly when she is in her little tunnel because i think she has escaped.

i never know what to do for the best as it is sometimes cool when i go out but the weather forecast always says it will brighten up, so i dont know whether to put her outside in the hope that it does brighten up or risk her missing the nice weather. our garden is quiet sheltered we have an 8ft wall down one side and a 6ft fence round the rest. What would everyone else do???

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 06/05/2009 by TPGDarren

Hiya,
It's fine as the ambient temperature, but she still requires a basking area of around 90 to aid digestion of food, maintain the immune system etc. Is there any chance of safely fitting up a spotlight in the coldframe on a thermostat?
This would aid her maintaining her well-being and also aid her warming up so that she can take short bursts outside when the weather isn't ideal without artificial heating/lighting, then return to the basking spot.

I'm looking to wire something up into my coldframe on a thermostat, with a UVB tube also, so the youngsters I have here can spend more time outside when the weather isn't perfect, but can be beneficial if aided with the correct set-up.

I try to let the youngesters out as much as possible - it's just getting the correct balance between them enjoying the outside and them hiding up and becoming inactive because it's not warm enough:-)

HTH
Darren


Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 07/05/2009 by tobiesmum

i dont have access to electric outside, i live in a rented property and i dont think my landlord would want me drilling through the walls, if only there was a battery operated one. what is the coolest temp that that she can be outside in?

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 08/05/2009 by Ozric

Hi there!  I would say that 18C is alright for a while but at that temperature the eating and digestive systems are not really working well.  So if you cannot provide heat outdoors - and I know how diffiuclt it can be - you probably want your tortoise under a lamp indoors at least some of the time.  May in the UK is so variable, today it was 6C at one point.  I just have mine outside on nicer days - but I haven't seen many yet.  But my experinece also is that they love being outside, so do offer this when its warm enough.  If you are using a coldframe, I'd expect that soon you can keep your tort outside nearly every day.  But if its cold and wet for days on end I always bring mine in, at least for a day or two for  full warm-up.

This time of year us tortoise keepers are always looking at the weather forecast- some days are great, other days just are not warm and dry enough.

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 09/05/2009 by tpgNina

That is exactly what I do (indoors for warm-ups and outdoors when the temp is OK). The other thing, of course, is that the larger the tortoise, the longer it retains its body heat once warmed up -- so the smaller tortoises will need much more frequent warm-ups than really large ones. But if the sun is out, even if it feels cool to us, it's amazing how warm a tortoise can get. And you will see them go up against a wall or something and angle their bodies to get the maximum amount of sun on their shells. They are like little storage heaters.

Nina

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 09/05/2009 by tpgNina

Oops, forgot to say that because the outdoor enclosure is near the back door of my house, I also sometimes put an desk lamp (the kind with the bendy neck), on an extension cord and sit it in her enclosure, so she can go under the lamp and warm up (but you need to be around, to bring the lamp in, in case it rains!). 

Nina

Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 09/05/2009 by tpgadmin

Yesterday I put my 4 juveniles into their new outdoor enclosure and tilted some perspex on top of the mesh lid leaning up against their indoor house, over an area I thought would catch the sun.  It was really windy here and it made the air temp feel very cool, but my thermometer reading at ground level under the perspex read 100F.  The 4 tortoises were stretched out sunbathing.  I kept my eye on them all afternoon and they wandered freely around the pen and kept going back under the perspex to warm up.  When I brought them inside for the night the tops of their shells were really warm.

Clotches or similar placed in a sunny area are a really good idea in my opinion.

Helen

Re: plants for outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 11/05/2009 by tobiesmum

hi, i have been away for a few days and my mum has been house/ tortoise sitting. i left a list of instructions for daisys care but when i got back i noticed that daisy was really dirty and her skin felt rather tight. mum said that she been digging alot in her outside enclosure and was burried under the sea thrift for ages. she saw daisy eat some of the pink flowers on it.

do you just think that she is a bit dehydrated or do they suffer from seperation anxiety? ha ha. she seemed please that i was home, her little head came right out and she followed me around for a while. i have given her a bath today but we was only relaxed for about 10 minutes.

Re: plants fro outdoor/indoor enclosure
Posted: 19/05/2009 by Ozric

The burying can help them with hydration as they don't loose any moisture when they are covered up with soil.  Its great that daisy is getting otuside and doing what comes natural!

 

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