Keep Burglars away with these great plant deterrents

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | Regina Downes | Comments (0)

Unless you are wearing ear plugs and don’t own a TV you cannot get away from noticing the rising crime rate here in the Territory. One thing we can do to protect our homes and deter potential intruders is by planting some unexpected and unfriendly plants. Just to give him/her something to remember your house by.

Homes which are seen to have unfriendly plants, such as plants with thorns and or spikes are a great natural repellent for any intruder, as they are deemed unsuitable or not work the risk of injury for the opportune burglar!

Hedging plants

How is a hedge going to stop or be unfriendly to an intruder you ask? A thick hedge that cannot be easily walked through or climbed over- if its closely planted together and very thick will stop an intruder easily escaping or entering your property.

Hedging plants such as these will work

  • Ixora Super king

Fast growing Ixora, produces large bright red flower clusters.

Grows to a height usually 3-4m. Requires full sun. Keep pruned to encourage a bushy habit.

  • Murraya paniculata

Fast growing hedging or screening plant. Fragrant flowers, flowers most prolifically during the wet season. Can grow 4-6m if left unpruned. Requires full sun.

  • Bougainvillea species

Fast growing flowering hedge. Comes in a variety of flower colours. Has large thorns, the more its pruned the more thorns it will produce. Prune to encourage a bushy habit. Plant in full sun. Can grow 4-6m. (Please note-Dwarf varieties such as Bougainvillea Bambino will only grow to 1m.)



Thorny Plants

Bougainvillea species

As mentioned above this plant has large thorns and comes in a variety of flower colours. Needs full sun. Can be pruned into a hedge or if left unpruned it can reach a height of 6m easily. Plant singular as a shrub or plant lots and use it as hedge.

  • Pygmy Pandanus

You may have noticed this little guy planted on most medium strips in and around the Top End. It is a yellow leafed ground cover and has sharp thorns/spikes along its grassy edges. The spines won’t catch you until you are withdrawing your hand or leg from the grass. The council use it in their medium strips to deter people walking through and sleeping in them. Once you see one you will understand what a great deterrent it is! Does best in full sun but can take some shade.

  • Citrus-Kaffier lime

Citrus fruiting plant, has large thorns along it stems. Fast growing and usually grows to a height of 2/3m. Does best in full sun. You also get the added benefit of great tasting kaffier leaves for your rice and curries! (Leaves taste great in jasmine rice!)

  • Agave & Furcrea’s

Two plant species that I would not like to fall into! Both are extremely tough and low maintenance. Both have very sharp tips on long sword like leaves. Both require full sun and little watering. Average growing height Furcrea 1.2m Agave 1m and under

  • Euphorbia Milii

These stunning flowering shrubs may fool you with their beautiful flowers, don’t dare hold there stems or walk through a bed of them! Their stems are completely covered in thick sharp thorns. They require full sun and a position in the garden that has good drainage during the wet season. Grow usually to 1m.        



Spiny/spiky Plants

Cycads and Yuccas may not have thorns but there tough foliage is harm enough!

  • Cycad revoluta

Have you ever walked through a clump of Cycad revoluta! It’s not very pleasant, especially if your legs are not covered and you are wearing shorts. The older foliage of the cycads have sharp tips that pierce the skin when brushed up against it. Its stem is thick, hard and very rough. Can grow to 1.5m.

  • Dwarf Date palm

Phoenix roebelenii, (This is a cycad not a palm)

(I am cringing now at the thought of pruning another date palm, my fingers and body were in bits after my last time pruning them) These guys can grow up 2-3m tall. Does best in full sun. Very hardy plant, has large spikes along its leave stems. Stem is very rough and foliage itself is quiet sharp.

  • Yucca

Yucca elephantipes green or variegated have long leaves with sharp pointed tips. They are a tough, hardy plant. That requires full sun and little watering. They can grow in a pot or in the ground. Can grow up to 2m -2.5m tall.

  • Pineapple

Ananas comosus

Ornamental species or not. Pineapples are one of the most undesirable plants to any intruder! Every leave on the plant is like a dagger! Razor sharp tips and tough foliage. Most do best in full sun, planted in an area that does not get water logged. Usually grow to 1m.

Pineapples are from the Bromeliad family; other plants from the Bromeliad family that are also good to use as deterrent plants, is Neogrealla species that have serrated edges and Aechmea fasciata whose bracts are very sharp.

 Online Plants NT does not encourage anyone to intentionally harm anyone with dangerous or toxic plants on their property.



  Comment below if you can think of any other plants that will help deterrent intruders to our Top End home



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