plants that protect property

Imagine you're a burglar...

It's midnight, you're dressed in dark attire, and you've stopped at the second home on the night's burglary spree. Everything seems natural, but something's not right. You climb a fence and hop down... right onto a thorny bush! You shout out. Within moments, the homeowners are flashing lights on you and your crime spree has ended.

These homeowners didn't even need their security equipment to alert them, because their crime preventing plants kept the burglar from ever getting inside. This is what some homeowners don't realize— in addition to dogs, security equipment, and other tools, mother nature is one of the best defenses against crooks. Many plants have properties that deter criminals and prevent crime, especially when strategically planted.

How do plants prevent crime?

Plants are natural barriers

Defensive plants like spiny shrubs and trees have been used for centuries as defensive barriers. They can be used for hedging or something as practical as keeping in livestock. These types of plants can create a boundary that crooks will avoid in favor of an easier target. Many plants produce pretty flowers, so you'll something nice to look at instead of being fenced in with ugly foliage or barbed wire.

Study: Urban Crime Reduction

The U.S. Forest Service conducted two studies that looked at urban space in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Youngstown, Ohio. The results were promising for plants!

— Adding green space in crime-ridden areas helped to reduce the crime rate even while the crime rate in other areas increased.

— One researcher believed that simply a larger presence of city vehicles doing maintenance at landscaped areas was enough to contribute to the drop in crime.

— Different types of green space produced different results: Grass maintained by contractors showed a decrease in property crime while areas with community maintained gardens saw a decrease in violent crime.

Study: Importance of Lawn Maintenance

An urban planning and landscape study by Elsevier found a significant relationship between crime rate and residential lawn care.

— A reduction in crime was associated with homes with maintained lawns, sprinklers, garden hoses, and yard trees.

— An increase in crime was associated with homes that had litter, uncut lawns, or an overgrowth of small trees in front of or adjacent to the property.

— The study suggests that a well maintained yard gives criminals the impression that the home is cared for and that the homeowner, neighborhood, and residents are vigilant about upkeep, stopping crime, and reporting suspicious activity.

What plants should you use?

The UK's Metropolitan Police listed their top 30 crime deterrent plant choices. Here are their top 16 picks. Know that some plants may take physical maturity to reach their potential as home protectors. This could take up to five years, but be patient. They'll pay off in the long-run. Remember: always do research for your area before planting to avoid introducing an invasive species or otherwise harming your local ecosystem.

Where should you plant?

Underneath a fence

Here the burglar will face thorns and foliage if they try to jump down a fence.

Under window seals

Here the burglar can't reach the window or open it because of barrier plants.

Be Strategic

Shrubs and barriers should be placed in positions that will impact the burglars ability to succeed at their goals, but should not impede you or your guests. Planting along a path can help indicate to guests where they should walk.

Upkeap and Maintenance = Plant Power

Keep your yard maintained

Your plants can't be proper crime fighters if they're unkempt. A messy or overgrown garden could send the wrong message to burglars: that you don't care about your home.

Watch out!

Plants and trees that get too large and imposing could provide a burglar a place to hide.

Be careful

If you're working and maintaining your plants, wear the proper attire. This includes goggles, gloves, and other safety gear. The last thing you want is a thorn in the arm or eye.

Where to plant them

Tap the buttons below to learn more about where to plant and how to make the best use of your botanical crime fighters.

backyard

Underneath a fence

Here the burglar will face thorns and foliage if they try to jump down a fence.

X

Underneath window seals

Here the burglar can't reach the window or open it because of barrier plants.

X

Watch out!

Plants and trees that get too large and imposing could provide a burglar a place to hide.

X

Keep your yard maintained.

Your plants can't be proper crime fighters if they're unkempt. A messy or overgrown garden could send the wrong message to burglars: that you don't care about your home.

X

Be careful

If you're working and maintaining your plants, wear the proper attire. This includes goggles, gloves, and other safety gear. The last thing you want is a thorn in the arm or eye.

X

Be strategic

Shrubs and barriers should be placed in positions that will impact the burglars ability to succeed at their goals, but should not impede you or your guests. Planting along a path can help indicate to guests where they should walk.

X

Have we planted any ideas yet?

Plants will prove to be one of your best accomplices for home security. And an added bonus, greenery is soothing to look at and actually improves mood and health.

Remember: just because you have these plants doesn't mean you can neglect all other necessary home security needs. Still install an all-inclusive home security system, place signs and stickers that advertise your system, and make sure motion sensor lights are in dark places near the home so burglars can't be concealed by dark spots.

Share and give others the gift of plant protection!

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