Defensive Planting

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A ‘Defensive Planting’ scheme is designed to educate the public on how to make their homes less attractive and accessible to burglars, by planting particular ‘spiky’ bushes and plants.

Defensive planting is all about the basic layout of your garden and using plants to create a barrier.

Here is a list of plants to consider

  • Creeping Juniper – Juniperis horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ – Also known as ‘Blue Rug’, has a thorny stem and foliage.
  • Blue Spruce – Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ – Rigid branches, irregular dense blue, spiky needles.
  • Common Holly – Ilex agulfolium – Large evergreen shrub, dark green spiked leaves. 
  • Giant Rhubarb – Gunnera manicata – Giant rhubarb-like leaves on erect stems, abrasive foliage. Can grow up to 2.5m high.
  • Golden Bamboo – Phyllostachys aurea- Very graceful, forming thick clumps of up to 3.5m high. Less invasive than other bamboos.
  • Chinese Jujube – Zizyphus sativa – Medium sized tree with very spiny pendulous branches. 
  • Firethorn – Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ – Flowers white in June, with bright orange-red berries. Thorny stem.
  • Shrub Rose – Rosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup’ – Excellent ground cover, pale pink flowers, very thorny stem. May to September.
  • Firethorn, or pyracantha, is a tough, very spiky ornamental evergreen shrub that has creamy-white flowers in spring
  • Pencil Christmas Tree – Picea abias ‘Cupressina’ – Medium-sized tree of columnar habit, with ascending spiky branches.
  • Juniper – Juniperus x media ‘Old Gold’ – Evergreen. Golden-tipped foliage. Prickly foliage.
  • Purple Berberis – Berberis thunbergil ‘Atropurpurea’- Has a thorny stem.
  • Mountain Pine – Pinus mugo ‘Mughus’- Is a very hardy, large shrub or small tree, with long sharp needles.
  • Blue Pine – Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’- Small to medium-sized tree, spiky needled stem, densely conical habit, with vividly glaucous blue leaves. Likes moist, rich soil.
  • Oleaster – Elaeagnus angustifolia – Small deciduous tree, about 4.5 to 6 m (15 to 20 feet) that is hardy, wind resistant, tolerant of poor, dry sites, and thus useful in windbreak hedges.
  • Blackthorn – Prunus spinosa – Also called Sloe; spiny shrub. Its dense growth makes it suitable for hedges.
  • Fuschia-flowered Gooseberry – Ribes speciosum – Fruit bush, spiny, produces greenish to greenish-pink flowers in clusters of two or three.

The following thorny plants can also be considered: Aralia, Chaenomeles, Colletia, Crataegus (including hawthorn/may), Hippophae (sea buckthorn), Maclura, Mahonia, Oplopanax, Osmanthus, Poncirus, Rhamnus, Rosa (climbing & shrub roses), Rubus (bramble), Smilax Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum).