Landscape for Home Security

One concern of readers is home security. Good news – your landscape can boost your home security tremendously with three basic components.

Is your Home Secure?

I’ll come back to the three key components but first and foremost – lots of spiny plants in the yard do not make your home more secure. Most robberies and home invasions occur with the jerks breaking in through the doors. Sad to say that after the first month or two, most homeowners stop locking the security doors. Worse yet, after a few years use, most patio sliding doors can be opened with a butter knife.

Security doors are often left open.


Easily visible entries and windows are more secure. Burglars want to hide from view. Tall hedges and screening plants are made to order for them.

The front door is the preferred entry point for most home invasions. A good security door and clear line of sight to the street are a first line of defense.

Consider yard plant like open ocotillos, slender saguaros, or tall trees with lower branches limbed up. Use short hedges, low perennials and groundcovers to complete the landscape.

These tall hedges are made to order for a burglar. No one on the street will witness a break-in.

Use low-water landscape principles

Low shrubs under the window can help prevent someone getting in that way – but remember your low-water landscape principles (xeriscape). The oasis zone is close to the home where roof runoff will water it. That said, termites love high moisture right at the foundations to your home. Plant low-water plants near your foundations. If you can, use foundation plantings that are dense, bushy, distasteful to termites and hard for burglars to stand in or fight their way through.

Baja fairy duster is a low-water shrub that has thorns, ideal for under a window.


Remember that you will need access. You will need to clean your windows, and you might need to escape a house fire through your bedroom window. Leave your space accessible.

Spines are not the answer

No one is going to climb in through that window! Or out either – what if there is a house fire?!

You will also need access to areas of your yard, if only for weeding and cleaning. Don’t block off side yards. Especially if the utility panels are back there. Spiny agaves along a blank wall can look great, but keep them away from the gate.

Think things through before you plant. With proper planning, you can grow a secure landscape that also allows you to use it safely – and enjoy it.


If security-soule-southwestyou live in Southeastern Arizona, please come to one of my free lectures that I mention on my Facebook page. After each event I will be signing copies of my books, including “Month by Month Gardening for Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico” (Cool Springs Press). This link is to Amazon and if you buy the book there I may get a few pennies.

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