When it comes to home defense, sometimes the name of the game is discretion. A very flashy security system or an imposing wall may feel like a way of letting cat burglars know that you have valuable stuff inside. And why bother giving this impression (whether true or not) when Mother Nature can provide you with cheaper and beautiful alternatives? In this article, we come up with the fast growing shrubs with thorns to protect your property.
By using the right fast growing shrubs with thorns, you can add a very painful physical barrier that will keep invaders off your property. Plus, many of these defense plants are beautiful and easy to care for.
Why Should You Use Shrubs with Thorns for Home Security?
Balancing the need for security with that of normal social life can be pretty difficult. For example, a smooth, concrete wall over 10 feet tall may look impenetrable – but it would destroy your view, curb appeal, and even your relationship with your neighbors.
Thick hedges made from thorny plants can blend into your landscaping efforts. Unlike regular barbed wire, burglars won’t be able to cut off a big section with a set of sharp pliers. Thorny bushes and hedging plants will keep on growing, and if you give them the right support, they will easily adopt any shape you want. Plus, if a section gets damaged, the plant will repair itself!
So what are some fast-growing shrubs with thorns? The answer includes beautiful species from a variety of climates, such as honey locusts, century plants, holly, or bougainvillea. Other options, like firethorn, will even decorate your defense mechanisms with the occasional red fruit!
Top Fast Growing Shrubs with Thorns
Take a few minutes to study your garden and property boundaries. Can you notice any weak spots? Any of the thorny, spiky plants below will hide a painful surprise for anyone who wants to sneak in without your permission.
Honey locusts (Gleditsia triacanthos)
Preferred conditions: Temperate to warm, regular soil, tolerates drought.
This aggressive-looking tree can grow up to 90 feet high. Its thick trunk and stems are all covered in sharp thorns, which usually grow in clumps. While it may take years for a honey locust to reach its full height, if you are just looking for a shrub-sized tree, you will only need a year or less.
Century plant (Agave americana)
Preferred conditions: warm and dry weather with well-draining soil.
This variant of agave (yes, the one from the fancy syrup) is native to New Mexico and the Southeastern States. This plant is great if you live in a warm area and need to hide a few stabs around your ground cover (such as beneath a window). Although it tends to grow upright, it rarely grows beyond 6 or 8 feet tall. Its dagger-like leaves will easily fit beneath a flower bed.
Common holly (Ilex aquifolium)
Preferred conditions: sharp temperature variations, cold winters and regular soils.
If you need a high hedge that hides its dangerous weapons well, and you leave in a cold region with a bitter winter, holly shrubs may be your best ally. Also known as “Christmas holly” this plant offers beautiful, bright red fruits interspersed between its pointy leaves. It stays green all year round.
Blackthorn (Prunus spinsoa)
Preferred conditions: Cool and humid winters, regular soils
A close relative to juniper, blackthorn is as pretty as it is secure. This dense shrub hides its thorns pretty well, lost between its white flowers and delicate-looking leaves. It also produces tart, dark berries that can be used to make jam or homemade gin. It is easy to train into thick hedges and will create an impenetrable barrier very quickly.
Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii)
Preferred conditions: Full sun, mild temperatures, and well-draining soil
If you are looking for hedging plants that pack an extra punch, the crown of thorns will double down on the weaponry. This shrub has sturdy, visible thorns all around its stems and branches. However, its spines are also covered in a mild skin irritant, so anyone who tries to defy it will be in for a surprise.
Bouganvillea (Bouganvillea spectabilis)
Preferred conditions: mild winters, hot summers, and direct sunshine
Thanks to their abundant purple flowers, bougainvilleas often look beautifully romantic. If you live in a warm enough region, you will enjoy the bright colors of its near-permanent bloom. However, pretty doesn’t make it dainty: bougainvilleas pack dense thorny stems that they use to climb along walls and ledges.
Firethorn (Pyracantha species)
Preferred conditions: mild or temperate climates, partial to full sun, and well-draining soil
Firethorn is a dense evergreen shrub, best known for the bright red berries it produces in the fall. They grow dense stems and vines that can be easily pruned into artistic shapes. The resulting hedges are almost impossible to penetrate, as firethorn hides thick, slightly serrated thorns along its branches.
Even the fanciest security systems can be benefited by low-maintenance natural guards. These spiky shrubs are fast growing, colourful, and easy to maintain, which turns them into great self-sustaining defenses. If you place them strategically around your perimeter, accompanied by a smart security system, you will gain both a relaxing view and a restful night.