Indigenous Nursery News Blog

Grow a Living Security Fence with Indigenous Plants

Security is an issue to all homeowners. Driving through suburbs one cannot help but notice that the lovely open gardens have disappeared behind all kinds of security barriers; from palisade fencing, prison-like electric fencing, razor wire and stark, high walls.

Fortunately, there is a way to hide this unsightly reality without compromising the necessary security measures. We can plant an indigenous, living ‘Eco-fence’ for security and beautify and soften our surroundings with a barrier of indigenous thorny plants.

Thorn Bushes for Security in South Africa

Many indigenous plants have evolved the sharp thorns as a defense against browsing animals and we can use this same strategy against unwanted intruders (both human and animal). The creation of an environmentally friendly, low maintenance, security hedge will attract birds and all manner of other wildlife, thus creating a mini nature reserve.

Your hedge will be an ideal nesting site for small birds; where the spines provide anchorage for the nest and keep out unwanted predators. A good mix of plants will also provide food all year round.

For a formal garden select plants with spines such as Lemon Thorn (Cassinopsis ilicifolia) or Large num-num (Carissa macrocarpa) to trim into a formal hedge. Although this would not be as diverse it is still a very effective barrier.

Growing Your Indigenous Plant Security Barrier

These plants are hardy by nature; and will grow well when planted close together (1 meter apart) to form a hedge.

Interplant with a spiny Asparagus to knit the barrier together for added security.

To encourage the plants to grow quickly dig a trench 50 to 60cm wide and 30 to 40cm deep. Mix the soil you have removed with compost and add an organic slow-release fertiliser. Backfill the hole and water well. Water 2 or 3 times to ensure that the soil has settled and then plant. Water regularly.

Trimming the tops will keep them to the height you need as well as encouraging them to bush out and become even denser and thornier.

A mixture of some of the following plants will help in the creation of a thorny almost impenetrable barrier.

Acacia brevispica - Prickly Thorn (E); Driedorinkiedoring (A)

Acacia hebeclada - Candle Thorn (E); Trassiedoring (A)

Acacia luederitzii

Acacia mellifera - Black Thorn (E); Swarthaak (A)

Acacia schweinfurthii

Aloe arborescens - Krantz Aloe (E); Kransaalwyn (A)

Asparagus falcatus - Large Forest Asparagus (E); Doringtou (A)

Asparagus laricinus - Bushveld Asparagus (E); Katdoring (A)

Asparagus transvaalensis - Bushveld Asparagus (E); Katdoring (A)

Barleria greenii - Wild Bush Petunia (E)

Barleria rotundifolia 

Canthium inerme - Turkey-berry (E); Bosdoringklipels (A)

Carissa bispinosa - Forest Num-num (E); Bosnoemnoem (A)

Carissa edulis - Climbing Numnum (E); Ranknoemnoem (A)

Carissa macrocarpa - Amantungulu (E); Grootnoemnoem (A)

Carissa macrocarpa ‘Green carpet' - Amantungulu (E); Dwerg Natalpruim (A)

Cassinopsis ilicifolia - Lemon Thorn (E); Lemoentjiedoring (A)

Catunaregam spinosa - Thorny Boneapple (E);  Doringbeenappel (A)

Dichrostachys cinerea - Sickle Bush (E); Sekelbos (A)

Dovyalis caffra - Kei-apple (E); Kei-appel (A)

Dovyalis longispina - Natal Apricot (E); Natalappelkoos (A)

Dovyalis rhamnoides - Crownberry (E); Gewone Suurbessie (A)

Ehretia rigida - Puzzle Bush (E); Deurmekaarbos (A)

Flueggia virosa - White-berry bush (E); umYaweyawe (z)

Gymnosporia buxifolia - Common Spike Thorn (E); Gewone Pendoring (A)

Gymnosporia harveyana - Black Forest Spike Thorn (E)

Hyperacanthus amoenus

Phoenix reclinata - Wild date palm (E); Wildedadelboom (A)

Plectroniella armata - False Turkeyberry (E); Valsdoringklipels (A);

Putterlickia pyracantha - False Spike Thorn (E); Basterpendoring (A)

Putterlickia verrucosa - False Forest Spike-thorn (E); Basterbospendoring (A)

Rhus pyroides - Common Wild Currant (E); Gewone Taaibos (A)

Scolopia mundii - Red Pear (E); Rooipeer (A)

Scutia myrtina - Cat-thorn (E); Droog-my-keel (A)

Ziziphus mucronata - Buffalo Thorn (E); Blinkblaar Wag-‘n-Bietjie (A)

Finding Indigenous Plants for Your Security Barrier

Go to Random Harvest Nursery's PLANTS page on our website. Select the "Filter Plants by Attribute" button, and under "Garden Uses", select "Security Barrier". All our indigenous plants with thorns will be selected for you to browse through. Should you wish, you can request a quotation on plants available.

For more information on indigenous plants with thorns to use and how to create a living security hedge, visit us at Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, where one of our friendly and helpful staff will assist you. Alternatively you can call us on 082 553 0598 or email: [email protected].


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