Smartphone security, motion sensor lights, and biometric locks are all attractive security solutions, but homeowners often overlook the opportunity to turn their landscaping into a security system. For budget conscious homeowners the right plants are not only an attractive decoration, but a literal thorn in the side of unwitting criminals.
What is a Security Plant?
A sophisticated security system is a surefire way to keep your property safe, but technology isn’t your only defense against burglars. Motionsensor lights, neighborhood watch programs, and even plants can help keep criminals at bay and your family safe.
Of course, not just any plant will do. Security plants are specifically thorny, highly irritating specimens that can be placed near windows or doors to prevent lurking. These often thrive in particular climates, but even something as simple as a rose bush can introduce some unwelcome inconvenience to entry.
Examples of Security Plants
Trees normally provide leverage into your property, but the Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) turns your woody lawn feature into a burglar trap. Growing 30 to 40 feet at maturity, the tree features thorns up to 3 inches long for protective purposes while offering attractive colors during the fall and winter.
Trellises can be placed around windows to prominently feature razor sharp roses for a distinctive look that’s also secure. It’s important to remember when selecting a species, however, that not all roses are quite as dangerous. The “Iceberg” shrub rose is more visually appealing, but lacks the builtin deterrent of the “Voodoo” rose, which can be trained to climb and features spikes akin to barbed wire.
Thorns aren’t the only way that plants secure your home. Sometimes a leaf can be just as scary as a stem. The Oregon grape holly (Mahonia aquifolium) falls into this category with spiny teeth that will surprise intruders with their sting. These plants can be installed around the base of windows in raised beds, or along the exterior of your property as a deterrent.
Items to Consider
When installing security plants, it’s important to understand how this will affect your family on a daytoday basis. While the spiky flora may act as a deterrent, it may also serve as a danger to your children and pets, particularly if your family spends a great deal of time outside. However, if placed around the perimeter and in lowtraffic areas, these lowtech solutions can decorate your exterior while keeping your interior safe.
If your budget is limited, or you’re looking to bolster your existing security infrastructure, security plants are an excellent option. By selecting the right plants and installing them in the right places while keeping your family informed of their danger, your landscaping can become the first line of defense in helping to ensure their safety and comfort.