Burglar deterrent plants should be part of your crime prevention strategy. As part of our property management series we decided to write a few posts about burglar deterrents. This one is about what you can do with plants to deter burglars and importantly what you should not do with plants when you are thinking about burglars. Anyone looking for a home to break into is going to look for the easy score and stay away from anything that looks difficult. If someone wants to get in or has an objective in mind, regardless of what you do they will break in. Plants will deter the criminals who are looking for an easy way in.

There are lots of other things that consumers should focus on as well when it comes to making your home unattractive to burglars. Everything from placing signs about attack dogs, to burglar alarm signs, to actual burglar alarms and many other things can be done. All of them are designed with the thought of deterring burglars from selecting your home as a potential place to break into. However this post will focus on the role that plans around the outside of your home can play in this regard.

Burglar Deterrent Plants – What not To Do

Most people know that they should not place shrubs that provide hiding places for burglars while they are breaking into your home. These include shrubs that hide the front door from the street or the neighbors as well as shrubs around windows that are easily opened for entry into your home. Think about it. On a dark night, with little lighting around your home, the perfect conditions only get better if there is a shrub or bush to hide the burglar while he quietly breaks into your home.

Plants as Burglar Deterrents

There are some excellent plants that will work as deterrents. Any plant that has spikes on them such as thorny roses, cacti and others that would prevent someone from getting too close to the window or spending any time crawling over the plants to get at a window or door.

Most burglars are looking for an easy score. They want to get in and out of quickly with the minimum of time, noise and certainly avoid any kind of pain. A thorny plant will quickly thwart this  kind of break in.

Using plants as a dense brush type of fence which makes it difficult to get through is another great idea. Add a few thorny bushes and you have a fence that will deter all but the most determined burglar. Some plants or shrubs near your windows and doors that are more decorative than security oriented. You may consider placing some thorny bushes close to them to prevent access to your windows.

Plants You can Use for Increasing Your Security

Depending on the local climate were you live this is a list of potential plants that might be useful as burglar deterrent plants:

  • Bromeliads –
    • many have thorns eg Ananas spp., Cryptanthus spp., Dyckia spp., etc.
  • Palms –
    • eg Phoenix roebelenii, Pigafetta filaris, Daemonorops mollis, Calamus australias, Aiphanes caryotifolia, etc.
  • Cycads –
    • many cycads have sharp pointed leaflets eg. Cycas revoluta, Dioon edule, Encephalartos spp., etc.
  • Cactus –
    • an obvious choice for spiky plants eg. Cerus spp., Lemaireocereus thurberi, Echinopsis multiplex, Echinocactus spp., Pereskia aculeata, etc.
  • Succulents –
    • many of these have thorns and spines eg. Euphorbia milii, Aloe spp., Agave spp.
  • Climbers –
    • Bougainvillea spp, Smilax spp., Quisqualis indica, etc.
  • Other Shrubs –
    • Grevillea acanthifolia, Carissa grandiflora, Polyscias guilfoylei, Ilex spp., Rosa (cultivars), Berberis spp., Pyracantha spp., Lycium ferocissimum, Isopogon spp., Acacia spinesvens, etc.
    • Other Sharp Foliage Plants –
    • Kniphofia uvaria, Cymbopogon citratus, Protoasparagus spp., etc.

Our next post will discuss burglar deterrent fences.