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How Big Does a Painted Turtle Get? Average Size & Growth Chart

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

Beautiful Western Painted turtle Chrysemys picta

Painted turtles grow to an average size of 12 inches, so they aren’t very big. The female Western Painted turtle grows to be larger than the male. There are four subspecies of Painted turtles, so you’ll have to know the subspecies to determine the average size you’ll end up with.

In this article, we’ll give you a size and growth chart and a few other things you need to know about the Painted turtle you might be considering giving a forever home.

Painted Turtle Overview

The Painted turtle is an aquatic species found most often in and around slow-moving bodies of water. They are the most common turtle species in North America.

Here are the subspecies of the Painted turtle:
  • The Eastern Painted Turtle
  • The Midland Painted Turtle
  • The Southern Painted Turtle
  • The Western Painted Turtle

If you’re considering keeping one of these subspecies as a pet, it’s important to note that they can live 25 to 30 years with the proper diet and care. The oldest Painted turtle lived for 50 years, so this is a lifetime commitment.

female painted turtle close up with soft focus background
Image Credit: Debra Anderson,Shutterstock

Painted Turtle Size and Growth Chart

Each of the subspecies grows to be different sizes. For example, the Western Painted turtle grows to almost a foot. On the other hand, the Eastern Painted turtle usually tops out at around 5 inches. The chart below is the growth rate of the Eastern Painted turtle.

Age Weight Range Length Range
Hatchling 0.01 ounces 0.05 inches
One Year 1 pound 2 inches
Two Years 2–3 pounds 2.7 inches
10 Years 3–4 pounds 4.7 inches

When Does a Painted Turtle Stop Growing?

Painted turtles usually stop growing as fast at around 10 years of age. They top out at around 4.7 inches, according to the subspecies you have. However, regardless of the subspecies, they don’t completely stop growing at 10 years of age. They will grow around 1.18 inches over the next 10 years before topping out completely.

Factors Affecting the Size of a Painted Turtle

If your Painted turtle seems stalled when it comes to growing, a few factors could affect their growth. We’ll discuss them in the next section.

Nutrition and Diet

If your little friend doesn’t get enough protein and calcium, it can stunt their growth. It’s important that your turtle gets enough protein, calcium, greens, veggies, fruits, and flowers. Leafy greens are also crucial for the continued health of your Painted turtle.


Your Painted turtle is, of course, going to stop growing at a certain age. If you’ve noticed that your turtle isn’t growing after the first few years or so, that’s normal. However, if the turtle isn’t growing at all, it’s best to contact your vet.

Another factor that can affect the growth rate of your Painted turtle is the environment the turtle is raised in. You don’t want your turtle to be in a tank that is too small since it can affect their development, just as a bad diet can. Illness can play a role in your turtle’s growth. The best thing you can do is maintain regular checkups for your Painted turtle so that you can catch any problems with the turtle’s growth before anything happens.

eastern painted turtle on the ground
Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock

Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

For your Painted turtle to maintain a healthy weight, it needs a healthy diet.

The turtle’s diet should consist of the following.
  • Protein: 25%
  • Plant matter: 50%
  • Turtle pellets: 25%

It’s best to feed your turtle fruits, veggies, pellets, and greens. You may also need to add high-quality vitamin supplements to increase the turtle’s calcium levels, but before doing so, speak with your veterinarian to ensure it’s necessary.

How to Measure Your Painted Turtle

Figuring out how old your Painted turtle is can be a challenge. The best way to determine the age and size of your reptile is by taking them to the vet and letting the vet do the measuring for you.

However, you can also measure the turtle from its head to the tip of its tail with a fabric tape measure. You can weigh your pet using a digital kitchen scale. If you notice any problems with your Painted turtle’s growth or weight, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet to be on the safe side.



Painted turtles come in four subspecies, and their growth rate will vary, but generally, they grow up to 5 inches long and weigh 3–4 pounds. However, if you decide to give a Painted turtle a forever home, it’s essential to watch for signs that your turtle isn’t growing properly and take them to the vet.

It’s also important to remember that these turtles can live up to 50 years, so make sure you’re ready for taking care of a Painted turtle before making a final decision to get one as a pet.

Featured Image Credit: ELAMARAN ELAA PHOTOGRAPHY,Shutterstock

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