Unfortunately, we currently live in a world populated with some people who believe they can take what doesn’t belong to them. When SHTF, it’s likely even more people will resort to theft. For this reason it’s important to consider ways to protect what’s yours from those who have less than honest intentions.
There are many ways that you can safeguard your home. Some people turn to high fences and barbed wire or electronic surveillance complete with security cameras and flood lights.
But when SHTF and people are desperate for supplies, these obviously guarded homes will be among the first places targeted. If your home looks well guarded, it becomes a target before and after SHTF because you make it obvious you have things worth guarding.
If you’re serious about trying to deter intruders, consider trying a more passive defense. The best place to stop criminals is BEFORE they get onto your property or into your home.
Defensive landscaping can help persuade intruders to look elsewhere for valuables or supplies. These 10 plants will protect your house from intruders without making your home a target.
Benefits of Using Naturally Defensive Lands
- Defensive landscaping is not obvious which mean your home doesn’t look like a target.
- Using plants instead of metal or plastic fencing is better for the environment
- Plants and trees are cheaper than electronic surveillance and security systems
- Beautiful visual appeal adds to your curb appeal and keeps you from being seen as “that crazy prepper”.
Creeping Juniper aka “Blue Rug”
It’s not a good idea to put hedges, bushes, or trees under your windows in most cases as these can give intruders a place to hide or a way to gain access to a second floor.
But you can use creeping juniper also known as “blue rug” as defensive ground cover under windows and around your home. It has thorny stems and leaves which will help deter anyone from crawling around under your windows.
This native South American plant thrives in subtropical and mild Mediterranean climates but will also grow in U.S. zones 9 through 11
Bougainvillea blooms with gorgeous purple-pink flowers up to three times per year. It will visually add charm to your home but as a perimeter plant it deters trespassers with pointy thorns and toxic sap.
This succulent type plant comes in several different varieties, all of which can have different characteristics. Agave varieties generally bloom only once in their lifetime and the long stalk can be harvested to collect aguamiel from the heart, a sweet liquid, similar to honey.
Agave plants tend to have long, slender leaves with sharp teeth or spines running the length of each one which can help deter intruders. Agave Americana, also known as the “Sentry Plant” can grow as large as ten feet wide by twelve feet tall. They drops “pups” which can take over small spaces so make sure to dig them out and move them to other weak points around your perimeter.
Barberry aka Berberis x mentorensis
This plant is an excellent choice as a barrier hedge around your perimeter. It’s a semi evergreen plant which does well in U.S. zones 5 to 8. Barberry is tolerant of many different types of soil conditions as long as soil is not too wet.
The leaves are spiny, and it grows up to seven feet tall and almost as wide which makes it a fairly impenetrable perimeter hedge. The pale yellow flowers that bloom in Spring add a bit of color to the hedge.
Holly shrubs make a great perimeter plant. They grow well in most types of soil and stay green all year long which adds a pop of color to your curb appeal in the fall and winter months. Any trespassers who try to push past them though will find their spiky leaves painful and will hopefully look for a target with easier access.
Berry bushes are a great plant to protect your house because they come with thorns and develop into a dense tangle of vines that can’t be easily penetrated.
Plant blackberry, raspberry, and gooseberry bushes around the perimeter of your property. These prickly bushes will deter trespassers and can also help to supplement your food stockpile.
Honey Locust trees are one more of the plants that will protect your house from intruders. This tree has a coarse grained, dense wood that is shock resistant and disease resistant. The branches of the honey locust sprout thorns, which can discourage anyone from trying to climb them to get over a wall or to a second floor window.
The Oleaster is a very pretty tree. It has light green leaves with silvery undersides. But the branches have spines that painfully let intruders know they’ve crossed the line. Smaller than your average tree, the Oleaster grows to 15 to 20 feet. It can also double as a food source because it bears delicious fruit and edible flowers.
This ground creeping plant gets its name because the oval shaped seed has a pair of vertical facing thorns. The thorns on the seed are designed to stick into the feet or fur of an animal to facilitate transporting the seeds away from the parent plant so it can take root and grow.
Plant Devil’s Thorn under windows or in any weak points where you want to prevent an intruder from crawling on their hands and knees. The extra bonus with this plant is that you can crush it and add water to create a mild soap or detergent which can be used for personal hygiene or to wash clothes in a SHTF situation.
Most of us are familiar with rose bushes; they are often used in gardens and around homes because of their beauty and to add a pop of color to an outdoor garden.
The occasional prick from those wicked rose thorns is often seen as the price to pay for beauty. But keep in mind that roses can also be planted as defensive landscaping to help protect your house from intruders.
Some strategically placed rose bushes beneath your window can help to deter anyone from trying to get close enough to open the window from outside. Just about everyone knows rose thorns are wicked sharp and can even cause infection in some cases.
Do you use any of these plants to protect your house from intruders? Let us know how it’s working for you in the comments below. If you have other plants that you use for defensive landscaping, feel free to share that experience as well.
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Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared for whatever may come along. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of nine grandsons and one granddaughter, is learning everything she can about preparedness, basic survival, and self-sufficient homesteading. She is passionate about sharing that knowledge so that others can be increasingly prepared to protect their families.