Sulcata Food

The perfect seed mixes and plants for your tortoises

Serving pet owners, breeders, and zoos  since 1998


Planting Instructions are shipped with each order but are included online for your convenience.

Tortoise Seed Mix
Rake the ground well or till hard ground before planting. Broadcast seeds at a rate of 2lbs per 500- 1000 sq ft. Rake over seeded area with leaf rake.  Seed must be watered daily until it reaches 3-4” in height. Failing to water after germination will cause seedlings to dry up and die. Watering in the late afternoon will maximize your watering. Ideal soil temperature for planting is above 60 degrees. Do not allow tortoises to graze until plants have reached 3-5” in height. Some of the seeds are self seeding, some are perennials and others are annuals. Over seeding (planting seed over existing plants) is recommended 1-2 times per year (March and September are good months to do this as our mix changes during these times for Summer and Winter crops). If planting in pots, use potting soil with out perlite or Styrofoam. Cover seeds with thin layer of soil, gently water, and place in sunny area or under grow lights. Do not allow soil to completely dry out. Keeping indoor soil too wet or not having enough light can cause fungus gnats.  We have cold treated all seeds prior to shipping. Store all unused seeds in the refrigerator, double bagged.

Dwarf Elephant Grass or Elephant Grass Root Balls
For Florida: These need to be planted immediately! Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the root ball. If the soil is dry, fill the trench with water and wait for it to soak in. Place the root ball right side up or on its side and cover with soil. Keep well watered for the first two weeks. Soon after that you should start to see the new grasses emerging. Dwarf Elephant Grass can be propagated by dividing the root ball after you have let it get established for at least a year. Fertilize lightly as needed (usually only once in the spring).

Elephant Grass planting instructions for CA, TX, and LA

Plants grown for California, Texas, and Louisiana have to be propagated in sterile soil, 3 feet above a cement floor. For this reason, they are smaller at time of shipment.

You should plant in a pot with potting soil. Plant the roots in the ground with the green part of the plant upright, above the soil. The grass was trimmed before shipment so it would not dry out in transit. Water well after planting, but do not keep a pan of water underneath. I would start it out in partial sun. Water each day, but make sure the pot drains well so there is no standing water. Just don’t allow the soil to completely dry out at first - the way we propagate them, they have lots of water - so it will be important to slowly wean the plant to a more normal watering schedule. After 1-2 weeks, you can add some fertilizer or compost to the pot (not too much). You can gradually move it in to a sunnier spot as well. I would leave it in a pot until you see a good amount of new growth. We have some that we keep in pots long term and they do great. The ones in the ground do best in partial sun to full sun. If your area is dryer, then partial sun will be better - having a few hours of fun sun is fine.

African Hibiscus

Soil must be warm for proper germination. Plant seeds indoors 1-2 months before last frost or outdoors in early spring in zones areas that do not receive frost. Plants should be 3 feet apart. This plant prefers full sun and plenty of water. Do not mulch until plants are 18” high, then mulch to control weeds and keep soil moist.

Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus

Soil should be well draining and plants should be in full sun. Plants thrive in well drained, alkaline soil. We grow ours in pots containing a mixture of 1/2 potting soil, 1/4 sand, and 1/4 perlite. Very limited water should be provided during cold months - only if you see the pads shriveling should you provide small amounts of water. Plants generally do well off rainwater alone, but during warm summer months, they thrive with some fertilizer and additional water during extended days without rain.  Nitrogen fertilizers will help the plant produce more pads. If fruit is desired, use a low/no nitrogen fertilizer. Twist pads and fruit to remove from plant. To plant, set pad upright with cut end 1-2” in the soil. Water and then allow soil to dry before lightly watering again.


Sprinkle onto your tortoises favorite treat 2-3 times a week as you would salt your own food. Immuno-boost should be stored in the refrigerator for optimal freshness.