Garden Word of the Day
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Defensive plants are not simpering wallflowers.
People have used defensive plants to protect their crops, livestock, and homes for thousands of years. Wicked thorns and dense thickets have deterred a variety of predators and thieves. And some defensive plants offer the bonus of an edible crop!
What looks like an easy back fence to hop becomes much more of a challenge when it supports thorny blackberries or a row of prickly pear cacti. Most thieves and troublemakers will look elsewhere for easier pickings. And if they decide to hop anyway, their howls of pain will give you plenty of time to call the police
The best places for defensive plants are along fences, under windows, and around sheds and other outbuildings. Keep mature plant sizes in mind when placing defensive plants, and ensure they will not block your escape should the need arise.
Before adding defensive plants to your landscape, use the information below to ensure they are suited to your Hardiness Zone and local microclimate. Most of these plants prefer full sun and well-draining soil unless noted otherwise. [Note: the abbreviation "spp." indicates several species.]
Add an extra layer of protection to your property with any of these plants.
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