When you think of home security, high-tech electronic alarm systems and motion sensors may come to mind. These systems require the support of a security company and a monthly or annual fee. While we won’t downplay the importance of a security system and locking your doors at night, there is something else you can do. Most homeowners don’t realize that they can help safeguard their homes all by themselves. All you need to give your security a boost is your gardening gloves, a shovel and a green thumb. The idea of security plants is centered on creating a natural barrier between your homes windows and any potential burglars. The best plants for this job grow thick, dense branches and offer extra deterrents in the form of thorns and sharp leaves. It may sound a little scary for exterior decor, but most of the plants that make the best barriers are lovely to look at, too! Just remember to take extra care when cultivating.
Pick Your Plant
Three of the most popular “security plants” are Roses, Holly and Firethorn.
• Rose bushes: They’re beautiful to look at, and their dense branches and stems pack a serious poke. Long thorns lay waiting to ward off any would-be intruders.
• Ilex (Holly) plants: In the presence of a male plant, female holly plants will produce the attractive red berries used prominently in holiday decoration. Their shiny, sharp leaves are suited for every season (along with home protection).
• Pyracantha plants: Also called Firethorn, this thorny evergreen shrub can reach up to 20 feet (so keep your hedge shears handy!). In late spring, fragrant white flowers and yellow to red pomes will adorn the shrub. In addition to their thorns, the Pyracantha features sharp, serrated leaves.
Planting Your Security Plant
When planting anything under a window or near your home, consider planting in a raised bed. This can keep wandering roots away from your home’s foundation, plumbing and electrical wiring. This is especially important to keep in mind if you just had a window replacement done.
Planting Tips For:
1. Prepare a hole a few inches deeper and wider than your rose bush’s pot size.
2. Make a mixture of bonemeal and compost or peatmoss to break up the soil. Add compost or peatmoss to the soil you removed from the hole, as well.
4. Remove the rose bush from its pot and place it into the hole.
5. Shovel the extra soil mixture around the plant, making sure that the crown is slightly deeper (about one inch) than the original soil.
5. Gently pat into place and water.
1. Holly does well when planted in spring or fall.
2. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide.
3. If you’re planting more than one, space the plants at least five feet apart.
4. Supplement poor soil with compost. (Or not at all.)
5. Remove the holly plant from its container and set it in the hole.
6. To avoid any air pockets, water the hole after filling it only halfway with soil.
7. Once the water has drained, fill the remainder of hole with soil and water once more.
*According to the Royal Horticultural Society, when training Pyracantha against a wall (under your window) plant it at least 20 inches out from the wall to avoid the dry area at the base.
1.Dig a hole slightly larger than the pot.
2. If placing more than one hedging Pyracantha, leave at least 20 inches between plants.
3. Supplement the loose soil (not the planting hole) with compost and general purpose fertilizer.
4. Place Pyracantha in hole, cover with soil, gently firm into place and water.
To keep your hedging security plants in check, keep your shears and protective gloves handy. Security plants are by no means a substitution for standard security systems (This isn’t Mayberry, y’all.) So, if you’re looking for some extra security and a lovely, natural source for that peace of mind, check out the options for security plants in your climate.