The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:27 pm

For many people, natural privacy is the main reason to plant a hedge. So you can sit quietly in the garden without neighbors or passers-by always see you. However, if you want burglar protection, hedges with sharp thorns are more suitable. There are various hedge plants that will make it much more difficult for uninvited guests to enter your garden, whether they are humans or animals. Want to know which plants are best for this? Find out here which plants are particularly suitable for burglar-resistant hedges.

The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens
Because the thorns can be very painful when trying to make your way through or over the hedge.

What makes a hedge plant burglar-resistant?

All hedge plants with burglar-resistant effect have more or less pointed thorns. Of course, branches with thorns do not protect completely, but they greatly complicate the entry into your garden and may cause the intruder to abandon his plan. This is because thorns can be very painful when trying to make your way through or over the hedge. Animals usually don’t even try if there are thorns on the branches. That is why thorny hedge plants are often used in the countryside to protect the farm from foreign livestock. The only animals that love such hedges are birds. Between the thorny branches, nests and brood are safely protected from predators.

The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens

In order for the hedge to fulfill its burglary-preventing function, it must not be too low. Of course, a hedge need not grow to eye level, but it should at least be high enough to prevent people from simply jumping over it. Often, a hedge of one to one and a half meters in height is enough. A thorn hedge will also provide protection from intruders for your front yard or under your window. Also useful is a dense branching of the hedge, but if the thorns on the branches are strong enough, this is not a requirement.

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The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens
But it is not only their burglar-resistant effect that makes blackthorn and hawthorn so popular. Both plants get lush white flowers, from which develop pretty berries.

Classics of anti-burglary hedges: Hawthorn and Blackthorn

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) are the classics among burglar-resistant hedges. Long before burglar-resistant hedges were used to border the garden, they were used in the countryside to keep uninvited guests, whether human or animal, out of the yard. Hawthorn and blackthorn are perhaps the hedge plants with the sharpest thorns of all. Both hedge plants can also grow quite large. Blackthorns also grow very wide, making them less suitable for a small urban garden.

But it’s not just their burglar-resistant qualities that make blackthorn and hawthorn so popular. Both plants produce lush white flowers that develop into pretty berries. The sloes of blackthorn are even edible, though they are more suitable for making jelly and liqueur. Birds also love to eat these berries. Blackthorn and hawthorn are deciduous, but a burglar-resistant hedge does not necessarily have to be evergreen. The main thing is that the thorns perform their function all year round. And that is the case with both blackthorn and hawthorn. Enjoy the perfect burglary protection of your hedge even in winter.

The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens
In addition, its compact growth and strong, sharp thorns.

Attractive and burglar-resistant: the firethorn.

Firethorn (Pyracantha) is evergreen and retains its elegant leaves throughout the year. However, this is not the only advantage of firethorn. Firethorn is a hardy plant and a real eye-catcher: its attractive white flowers develop into bright yellow, orange or red berries throughout the year. In addition, it has a compact growth habit and strong, pointed thorns. No one can get through a firethorn hedge that quickly. In addition, firethorn does not require extensive maintenance. As you can see, firethorn has a whole range of advantages.

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Choose a cultivar of firethorn whose berries are the most colorful to match your garden design. Note that firethorn ‘Golden Charmer’ grows taller than other varieties at up to four feet, while firethorn ‘Red Cushion’ stays just a bit smaller, usually under a foot. Other firethorn varieties are made for hedges of about a foot and a half. That’s tall enough to keep uninvited guests out of your garden.

Firethorn blooms from May to June. Berries appear on the branches in the fall. Sunny locations produce more flowers and berries. Firethorn has no special requirements to the soil.

The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens
Barberry grows low and compact, so it is well suited for smaller gardens.

Small and compact protection against burglary: the barberry.

Barberry grows low and compact, making it well suited for smaller gardens. A good place for barberry can also be found under the window. Because of the thorns, burglars have no chance to break in through your window. Barberry is also suitable as a garden border. For a long time barberry was not very popular, because it was considered susceptible to mildew and responsible for its spread. Barberry was even considered a danger to neighboring grain fields.

Barberry comes in an evergreen and a deciduous variety, the latter known as common barberry or true barberry. The evergreen barberries (Berberis frikartii ‘Amstelveen’, Berberis frikartii ‘Telstar’ and Berberis verruculosa) bloom with small, attractive yellow flowers, while the deciduous Berberis thunbergii is notable for its particularly beautiful pink and red fall color. Both hedge plants, with their pointed and razor-sharp thorns, make for a good barrier against intrusion, keeping people and animals out of your garden. However, make sure that they always wear gloves when cutting the hedge.

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The Best Plants For Burglar Resistant Gardens
A package includes hawthorn, blackthorn, barberry and potato rose (Rosa rugosa).

Mixed, burglar-resistant hedges

For those looking for a hedge that is both burglar-resistant and versatile, our mixed hedges include thorny hedge plants that not only grow compactly, but also bloom beautifully.

Finally, a tip for maintaining a burglar resistant hedge: make sure you always have gloves and possibly forearm protection handy when trimming the hedge. Since most burglar-resistant hedge plants are deciduous, they may not need to be trimmed very often. However, when the time comes, adequate protection for hands and arms should always be provided.

Burglar-resistant hedges are wildlife-friendly hedges. For one thing, birds prefer to choose them as nesting sites because they provide maximum protection from nest predators. On the other hand, they serve as a source of food: birds greatly appreciate their fruits, while useful insects are attracted by their flowers. A hedge with many advantages!


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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