Landscaping for Security

When you landscape, you often think about the aesthetics. You consider how each plant will look together and in regards to the rest of your property. But have you thought about the benefits of landscaping for added security? The right plants can be quite effective at encouraging thieves and intruders to pass you by. Here are some tips to try to make your home safer the natural way.
Barbed Plants

One of the best deterrents for would-be thieves is with plants that have spikes, barbs, or needles. The sharper the better because one of the things intruders look for is easy access. Those that are tall and provide a solid barrier are even more effective because they make access almost impossible. Here are some great options:

•    Crown of thorns – a shrub that grows up to five feet in height, does best in full sun
•    Boxthorn or Chinese box orange – leaves are thorny, compact shrub with low branches, slow growing and does well as a hedge
•    Bougainvillea – large shrub that is woody and can be used as a fence, contains thorns and spreads quickly
•    Common aloe – grows to about three feet and has pointed leaves that are prickly
•    Heart of flame – another smaller plant that reaches about three feet with spiny leaves that are sawtoothed
•    Jacquinia – can grow up to 12 feet high with stiff leaves that feature needle-sharp spines, has small bright orange flowers and can grow in shade or sun, resists wind and drought

You can also consider larger plants such as the Everglades palm that grows up to 40 feet in height and has sharp leaves. These types of tall trees and shrubs can provide protection to the entire property.

What to Consider When Choosing Barrier Plants

When planning your landscape for security, there are several things to keep in mind.
•    Use in conjunction with other security methods because no system is 100% foolproof.
•    Pruning and maintaining these plants will require special care and planning.
•    Ensure barrier plants do not inhibit entry into the home for you and guests or impede public access routes.
•    Know any medical or legal issues that may come from having certain plants.
•    Check with your homeowner’s association before beginning the process.

How and Where to Plant
Before you decide on which plants to use, you need to know where they will be planted. Low-growing shrubs are ideal under windows. Keep them low enough so that intruders can’t use them for hiding. Barbed and thorny plants may also be ideal around fences and walls. Hedges are great as property borders or along the house. You must also consider how they will affect you and your family.

You also want to make sure you have a good visual view of your property from your windows.

When considering the plants and placement, you must think about how they will look and function as they grow and once they reach full height.

When planned correctly, your landscape can make an effective method of protection for your home and your family.