Burglar‌ ‌Proofing‌ ‌the‌ ‌Garden‌

You don't have to spend thousands to improve security with the latest gadgets. You can beautify your garden whilst stepping up home security by deterring burglars.

a house with a high hedge in front of it

We don’t like to think about it, but burglars can strike at any time and any place. It is a rare occurrence in the average person's life, but it is not an impossible event. To give you a perspective, in the 2018/2019 period there were over 422,000 recorded burglaries in England and Wales. That is a staggering amount.

For a burglar to break into a home they will have to pass through the garden first. This is why it is a good idea for you to take the steps you can to burglar-proof your garden. You may be able to prevent them from making it as far as your house.

So, with this in mind what are some effective ways to deter burglars using your garden space? You may be expecting some high tech solutions right?

Well, something which may be a relief to the many that can not afford the latest CCTV device. One of the other options is plants.

Slowing Burglar’s Down with Plants

You might not have been expecting that answer. But think things through for a moment. If you were a burglar, aiming to get away with as many valuables as possible, what is one of your main concerns?

It’ll be that you have a quick and smooth getaway path with as few obstacles as possible, right? Well, if the right plants are in the right areas you can create some extra obstacles to help slow down a burglar.

As well as the placement of the plants getting in their way, some plants may have spikes that stick out or give off stings. That should help to slow the unwanted visitor down, even further.

an illuminated garden with lots of plants

Types of Plants to Consider

So, what type of plant should you pick? Ideally, you want a plant that has characteristics along these lines:

  • Stinging
  • Dense
  • Abrasive
  • Prickly Leaves
  • Thorny Stems
  • Spiky

One good plant example is the Yucca, aka the Great White. This plant is a popular choice as a line of defence in a households garden.

If you are not aware of this plant it has very tough ‘sword-like’ leaves that are sure to get in the way of a burglar. They resist to general damage that they may have to withstand from anyone knocking into them.

red roses on a trellis

Here are some other plants worth your consideration based on their defensive characteristics:

  • Firethorn
  • Blackthorn
  • Hawthorn
  • Common Holly
  • Creeping Juniper
  • Giant Rhubarb
  • Golden Bamboo
  • Gooseberry
  • Shrub Rose
  • Pencil Christmas Tree

Hedges are also great as they can have tight intertwining branches which can act as a barrier that is very tricky to enter through unscathed.

“Roses look beautiful in the garden, but they also have thorny vines. Lots of scratches and grazes if you get caught up in it.”

Consider Kids & Pets

Before you fill your garden with the plants, please take considerations into account. If you have young children who play out in the garden they could get hurt by the plants. Even older kids and adults could brush up against the plants and receive an injury of some sort.

Also, consider pets. If you have a dog who enjoys playing in the garden you need to be aware that some plants are poisonous to animals.

If you don't like the idea of owning a dog, we also talk about making use of a sounding alarm that mimics the barking of a dog. You could use this in the garden or somewhere nearby.

angry dog barking in the garden
I wouldn't step into this garden if you paid me

Deter Burglars

The idea behind the plants as a security measure is not just to slow down burglars but also act as a deterrent. It prevents criminals from entering your household in the first place. If a burglar spots a premise full of ferocious plants that may be enough to put them off entering.

They may decide the hold up that the plants could cause, and the increased chances of them getting caught are not worth their risk factor.

thorny bushes behind a gate

Stay One Step Ahead

Remember some burglars may have some knowledge of what they need to avoid, so you are going to need to stay ahead. Some intruders may survey a house they are breaking into, a few times before committing the crime.

If we are clever, yet, we can disguise certain things from a distance. This way, a thief may stumble over something after they have realised its there. It is wise to think about deploying the plants around your garden strategically.

Try using large plants to cover hidden areas, picking plants with abrasive foliage that the intruder may run to. You could use bigger plants to hide smaller plants, causing those entering to fall into a double trap!

What will also help is to not skimp on the number of plants: fill the available spaces with as many plants as you can buy.

Every garden has a different layout, so you need to fill it in a way that suits your particular garden plan. Position different types of plants in a different area that will make them be most effective.

There is a high chance that they'll use the window as entering and exit, so thorns around your windows are good. Break-ins sometimes occur through the use of a backdoor so place plants around that point.


The use of plants as a line of defence against burglars attempting to steal from your household is a very good one. Plants are natural, and growing more in your garden is not only good for the environment but for your health. They are also not as expensive as almost every security, though they can still be very effective.

Unless you are using plants that have grown to their full sizes and are planting them, you will need to wait. How long this will take will depend on each plant, but the time factor is a good reason to start the planting as soon as.

Chat with your local garden centre who may provide you with some further information. They can let you know about some of the best sellers, and what options customers have found to be particularly promising.

To read more articles like this one, please visit our Protecting the Home page.

About The Author

Reece Thompson: Reece has been involved in property in one way or another for the past 10 years. He's gained a lot of experience when it comes to the home, kitchen and garden. He shares his knowledge with enthusiasm and honesty.