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Plants for home security? Yes, you read that right. If you’re serious about home security, there are certain plants you’ll want to grow in your yard. Especially in front of your fences and windows.
Any serious prepper knows the importance of security and setting up a solid defense plan to resist the inevitable intruders when the grid goes down. But few of those preppers understand the critical role that plants and shrubbery can play in home defense.
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Shrubs and plants have played a role in home and property defense for literally hundreds of years. People have used them to keep livestock contained, to keep predatory carnivorous animals out, for hedging purposes, or for defense against attacks from other people.
But of course, that was then. We live in an era where we can have barbed wire fences, electric fences, or other kinds of barriers to keep the bad guys out. So are plants still relevant for home security today?
I say yes. In fact, they are one of the most effective intruder deterrents you can have, and they don’t cost a thing. In this article, we’ll talk about which plants are best for home security, why they’re so effective, and some tips for planting them around your property.
Why You Need Thorny Plants For Home Security
Burglars often target average suburban homes, and for good reason. Most houses are poorly defended, easy to break into, and many of them are a goldmine for valuable items.
In a grid down scenario, people who are desperate for food and other supplies will be extra motivated to either quietly break into your home or launch an all-out attack, even if they know the house is occupied. This brings us to the two main reasons you need plants for home security.
1. They Deter Intruders
Now imagine that you’re one of these intruders and you have two houses you can attack. One is just a typical house surrounded by a green lawn. The other is the same, but it’s also surrounded by thorny brush and thickets. Which house would you attack first?
That’s exactly why you need to have security plants around your house. It makes it far less appealing to intruders. Thorny plants are a natural protective barrier that creates an immediate hostile environment for anyone thinking about launching an attack.
2. They Slow Down Intruders
A simple hedgerow of thorny thickets may not seem like much, but in reality, it can go a long way toward discouraging a raiding party. Chances, they’ll move on to the next house.
And even if they do attack your house, their progress would be significantly impeded which would give you extra time to either fight back or escape.
For these reasons, you should at least consider planting some thorny plants.
Tips For Setting Up Home Defense Plants
Simply planting some thorny plants will not be enough to prevent an attack on your house. There are some specific tips you must follow.
1. Get Plants That Are Thick, Tall, and Wide
If an intruder can simply step over or through them, they aren’t going to do you any good. At the same time, you don’t want your plants to be too tall. After all, you still want to be able to see the street from your house. You’re building a barrier, not a wall.
2. Make Sure They’re In Front Of Weak Spots
You also want to be strategic about where you put your plants. For instance, if you have a fence that runs around your property, plant some thorny bushes in front of it or at least in the corners where someone is more likely to climb over.
Another place to plant thorny bushes is in front of your windows. If burglars can’t break through a window without getting torn up by one of your plants, they might not even bother.
You may want to take things a step further and create an entire perimeter around your property with a layer or two of home security plants. It’s going to require more yard work, but if you feel safer as a result, then it might be worth it.
The Best Home Security Plants
Here are some of the most effective plants for home security:
If you want a thorny plant that’s going to grow as quickly as possible, the Blackberry should be one of your top choices.
No, this is not one of the most attractive plants, but it can grow to be over five fight high in a short amount of time, and it’s packed with thorns and prickles that will tear up any attacking party.
The biggest downside to the Blackberry bush is that because it grows so quickly, you need to dedicate time to pruning and trimming it. As long as you’re willing to do that, it’s a good choice.
2. Century Plant
The Century Plant is, without question, one of the most beautiful yet unforgiving home security plants in existence.
With its light green leaves, the Century Plant is incredibly easy to grow, doing well even in hot and dry conditions. Maintenance is also relatively hassle free and it’s rare for it to suffer from any kind of disease.
It grows massive spikes next to its four foot long leaves, and those spikes can easily stab through skin with only a little bit of force.
The one downside to the Century Plant is its short lifespan of around one to two decades, but other than that, it’s definitely one of the best home defense plants available.
NOTE: The Century Plant is also known as the Sentry Plant.
3. Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia)
Here’s a plant where even its name is intimidating. This thorny plant is so named because it is believed to be the plant that was forcefully wrapped over the head of Jesus before his crucifixion two thousand years ago.
The plant is a five foot bush that produces beautiful red colored flowers in the summer, so it really adds to the look of your property. The thorns are only part of its defense mechanism. The sap that it produces is also highly irritating to the skin and can even cause serious sickness if orally ingested.
4. Porcupine Tomato (Solanum)
Also known as the Devil’s Thorn, the Porcupine Tomato (or Solanum) can also grow to be nearly five feet tall with massive spikes that are tough enough to rip through skin.
Like the Euphorbia, it also comes with a deadly sap that is heavily irritating to the skin and can cause severe sickness when ingested. This is another plant that’s really going to make burglars turn around and go elsewhere.
5. Firethorn (Pyracantha)
Armed with sharp barbed leaves and poisonous berries, the Pyracantha is one of the largest plants on this list. It can grow to an astonishing 20 feet in height.
Like the Blackberry bush, the Pyracantha grows and spreads easily, which is great if you need a home defense option quickly, but it also means you’ll have a lot of trimming to do.
The rose bush is well known for its thorny branches that also cause infection when they pierce the skin.
The rose plant is also very beautiful and can add value to your home and property. The gorgeous flowers it produces are among the most recognizable in the world.
If you happen to have a wife who loves roses, you’ll have no trouble talking her into this option.
7. Spanish Dagger (Yucca Gloriosa)
Last but not least, the Spanish Dagger is native to the southeastern United States, but it grows well in virtually any kind of warm environment.
They can grow to be over fifteen feet high and have long pointy leaves that act as an excellent deterrent against intruders. The Spanish Dagger is popular with homeowners who live in more tropical regions, not only because it grows naturally there, but also because it can add to the value of the property as well.
Having a hedgerow of any one of these plants around your property will serve two purposes:
- It will make an intruder think twice about following through with their plans.
- It has the ability to inflict grievous physical injuries and infections on them if they are stupid enough to proceed anyway.
If you’ve previously scoffed at the idea of defending your home and property with thorny plants, you would be wise to reconsider.
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Boguenvilla can grow up to 2 stories easy, is allowed by most HOA’s, low mantinace, and has some awesome 3in thorns that could be used in a blow gun.
A good list of thorny plants but it doesn’t take into account that some plants will FREEZE. A crown of thorns will not survive frosty conditions, its a Euphorbia, a tropical succulent. Some words on liability would also be welcome.
Opuntias (prickly pears) grow across the entire USA and even into Canada, some Agaves are frost / freeze resistant. Roses are high maintenance and prone to black spot while the black berries are likely banned by most HOAs. Poisonous berries could be a liability as well and are likely forbidden right next to anything edible.
Id recommend Agaves, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, and Prickly pears (Opunita), specifically because they do not freeze, can form a thicket when planted together, require almost no maintenance except for occasional pest management. One or more are likely to skirt HOAs as well.
-someone in the south.
Mariah York says
I also want to say thanks, and I’ll be looking for one or more Crown of Thorns plants and some Century plants. I wanted to suggest also the Sea Buckthorn, which has really nasty, noticeable thorns, yields small citrus type fruits, and sends out runners every summer. They thrive in cool, damp climates such as the Pacific Northwest, and are doing very well here in southeastern PA despite difficult acid clay soil.
What, no ocotillo???
My fear would be in the event of a house fire, my children would have to jump out into a bed of thorns?!
You are too polite. No poison ivy/oak/sumac? No manchineel? Not even Jimsonweed?
Old guy says
Multiflora Rose – this is a great plant to use. you can weave the runner’s through a woven wire or chain link fence. And the plant arches over and the runner tips take root as well. Lots of big nasty rose bush type thorns all over the plant.
Célio Freitas says
If the weather permits the palm tree “pupunha” – Bactris gasipaes – is also a good choice.
Cactacea “ora pro nobis” – Pereskia aculeata – besides providing protection is also a food rich in protein.
A hug to everyone from here in Brazil.
Joy Muzaale says
Thanks. Am going to plant the crown of thorns around my house fr more security.