In this day and age, security is a top priority in the home. Alarm systems, good locks and windows that are secure are a good start, but did you ever consider how your landscape can help? Plants can be an effective deterrent that minimizes the chances of break-ins and peeping Toms. Rose bushes are a common foundation planting that accomplishes this. While it may be surprising, you can actually use the following 5 plants for home protection, not only to help prevent thieves but to add beauty and startling form to the landscape:
1. Century Plant – This is a classic example of home defense. Century plants, known as agave, can get quite large and sport damaging spikes on the tips of serrated leaves. The entire effect is quite alarming and any potential intruder will be faced with painful pokes and scrapes that should make them change their mind about trespassing on your property. As a bonus, the plant is easy to grow and produces lovely bell-shaped flowers.
2. Creeping Juniper – Most zones can support this plant. It has bluish green, scaled needles and pleasant arching stems. Creeping juniper reacts well to pruning and can be made into a manicured hedge. The large shrubs will make a beautiful and effective hedge or barrier. Additionally, the sharp needles scrape and often give a nasty case of contact dermatitis, something no burglar will want to experience.
3. Pyracantha – Few plants can match pyracantha for year-round beauty. The glossy orange berries are a favorite among birds and the spiky, thorned stems provide damaging protection around the home. This bush can be trained to grow up a trellis or wall and can even be espaliered. Pyracantha can grow up to 20 feet (6 m.) tall, a veritable wall to guard the side of the home or fence.
4. Holly – Although quite a common plant and one which grows almost anywhere, holly is also wickedly serrated on its knife sharp leaves. It takes to shearing well and produces cheery, red berries which are quite ornamental against the glossy, green leaves. Best of all, holly is an evergreen and those guarding leaves will do their job all year round.
5. Sago Palm – This is a tropical looking plant that even thrives in areas that get snow. Sago palms can get up to 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 m.) tall, providing security to upper stories of the home but it grows slowly and can be a deterrent around main floor windows for years, as the stems of the plant have small protective barbs. The sago will grow in full sun to partial shade, making it a very adaptable plant for home defense.