⚠️ Box Turtle Information Below ⚠️

6. Creating the Correct Environment for YOUR Pet Turtle

To ensure a perfect living environment for your box turtle, please read through some of these tips.

Recommended Substrate

An equal parted mixture between these branded substrates. I recommend these products because they do not have slow releasing fertilizer.

  • Organic Top Soil
  • Sphagnum Peat Moss
  • Coco-Coir
  • Eco-Earth

Outdoor Soil

I do not recommend using outdoor soil.

The soil may be treated with chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. It can also contain ova (eggs) from several different parasites. Ova can survive quite a long time in soil and when ingested could cause infestation.

Optimal Humidity

Make sure your substrate can properly hold humidity. Spray your substrate twice per day and make sure to mix and turn your substrate to stay evenly moist. You may also use a humidifier or tank fog machine.

To keep an eye on the temperature and humidity level you can use a dual thermometer and humidity gauge.


I personally do not recommend putting false plants in your turtle enclosure. Your pet turtle could try to ingest them and it could spark health risks.

I do recommend some of these plants.

  • African Violet – Saintpaulias
  • Air Plant – Tillandsia
  • Spider Plant – Chlorophytum Comosum
  • London Pride – Saxifraga
  • Prayer Plant – Maranta Leuconeura
  • Mind Your Own Business – Soleirolia Soleirolii
  • Chia Mexicana – Salvia Hispanica
  • Friendship Plant – Pilea Mollis
  • Coleus – Solenostemon
  • Peperomia – Peperomia Spp.
  • Hotas – Hosta Spp.
  • Boston Fern – Nephrolepsis Exaltata
  • Mother of Pearl – Graptopetalum
  • Wandering Jew – Tradescantia Fluminesis

Hey Box turtle fans! Some quality info to share with anyone thinking of adopting a box turtle.  

A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on


natgeoVideo by @joelsartore | Yucatan box turtles are unique in that the males have quite striking facial pigmentation. Some are pigmented so strongly that it is almost reminiscent of makeup. Because males are so ornate, scientists once believed that female Yucatan turtles were a completely different species than their male counterparts. These turtles can only be found in the Yucatan peninsula and are very elusive; they are rarely encountered by humans and are often only seen during or after rain.

This male Yucatan box turtle at @OKCzoo loves to emerge from his hiding place for an evening mist before retiring for the night. He, along with three others of his kind are housed together and get along very well.
Turtles and tortoises are the most endangered group of vertebrates in the world, with wild populations across the globe declining sharply as a result of harvesting by humans for pet and food markets. In addition to caring for and breeding endangered turtles and tortoises, the @OKCzoo partners with the @TurtleSurvival Alliance (TSA) to conserve turtles. TSA works in turtle hotspots in 15 countries, leading conservation efforts that include enforcing laws that protect turtles, rehabilitating and releasing turtles confiscated from traffickers, and breeding and releasing endangered turtle species.



Tank the Badass Turtle

Seriously someone draw me a Tank Gijinka.

My Mom asked me to share this picture for context:

This is Tank the Box Turtle, she is very old, very wise, and more importantly, Tank is BADASS. 

In the video above, Tank’s young human shares Tank’s incredible origin story! Tank has lived through some stuff.  She’s had and lost some shell babies, battled with a fierce fur beast, and dealt with the never-ending war on the noms she wants to eat. This last struggle was only recently overcome by spreading the shredded remains of the unwanted noms all over her enclosure (I know most of us can relate to this.. it’s kinda fun too). She knows what she wants and she’ll make sure you do too.

After watching your video, @satanstrousers , we couldn’t agree more. Tank is SO Badass. We’re talking a long time turtpocalypse leader here! We’d only argue one point, regarding Tank’s badass origin story. Her story began further back than you realize! All the way back to the day she was born!

Think about it: what is more badass than having to claw your way out of a shell to take your first breath?! Pretty much nothing.

That is one real super shell you’ve got there, and a gorgeous one too! Tank definitely needs some fanart.. let’s get on this reptiblr!

Oh and we’re happy to see you’ve had the turtle revelation.. not all humans see us and know the glory they witnessing. You’re on the turtpocalypse nice list. 👏👍🐢

(p.s. send us more pictures of tank! She is glorious! and give her an extra wormie from us here at tort-time)


Chinese Yellow-margined Box Turtle, Cuora flavomarginata, ENDANGERED, from Eastern And Central China and Taiwan.

photographs by Dick Bartlett (used w/ permission)

Tell me that gorgeous shell isn’t a work of art. What an beautiful shell baby!


Meant to post this when I got to work, but was in too much of a hurry

Saw this little guy on the front steps of my house. He was just basking and probably a little freaked by the two Humans and small dog staring at him.

Said small dog now refuses to go around the area when she needs to go out, which is kinda funny to me.

well, he’s probably used to the gawking. You can’t be that gorgeous and not deal with that often.