Typically, we’re all about the idea of keeping your yard as neat and trim as possible because it gives burglars fewer places to hide. But if you’re a lover of all things green, you can still show off your award-worthy landscaping skills — and covertly subdue anyone who gets too close to your home. How, you ask? With rough, tough foliage designed to send even the meanest burglar scrambling for a first aid kit and a hug from Nana.
Here are the 5 plants that are sure to send a prowler a packin’.
Its leaves are like needles, and its stems are like knives. Creeping juniper is a spiky, sharp carpet of foliage that no one would ever want to idle in for too long, making it a great green burglar deterrent. Each plant can grow up to two feet in height, and spread out as much as six to eight feet. Given its dimensions, creeping juniper would probably be most effective lining the perimeter of either your yard or your home itself.
Not only is it chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, but the blackberry shrub is also chock full of thick, thorny thickets that will shred a burglar’s pants finer than a bag of mozzarella. The shrubs grow roughly three to four feet high and wide, and would also make good perimeter blockades. And unlike every other plant on our list, a blackberry shrub doubles as a source of food.
Giant stems that lead up to giant leaves spanning approximately four feet in width would be no fun for a thief to try and fight his way through, and the stalks and underside of the leaves are covered in sharp, prickly spikes. If you have a larger property and you’d like to create a physical barrier that would be treacherous for a crook to navigate, giant rhubarb is the ticket.
We typically associate holly with the holiday season, but the contrast of its bright, red berries next to its deep, green leaves make for an appealing bit of foliage at any time of year. And more importantly, this shrub’s sturdy, sharp leaves help you to keep unwanted guests away from your home.
Planting cacti is a common, tried-and-true green method of keeping prowlers away. It is well known for its sharp spines that seem to almost jump off of the plant if you get too close. And for those with sensitive skin, the needles can be especially problematic, causing swelling, numbness and pain for days. If your lower-level windows are lined with cacti, most crooks will seek out another easier target.
While these plants are meant to keep the bad guys out, it’s important to make sure that innocent people don’t accidentally become victims of their prickly powers. Teach your children and pets to stay away, and make sure that your protective plants aren’t growing too close to public sidewalks or other areas where passersby could inadvertently be injured.