For most of us, it’s natural to want to beautify the exterior of our homes with striking plants and shrubs, housing them in decorative pots. Unfortunately though, ‘botanic crime’ is every-present not just in Sydney, but in major cities across Australia.

As areas become increasingly built up, urban dwellers are turning to patio gardens using pots and plants to spruce things up, unaware that this can attract thieves. And it’s not just private homes and units that are being targeted either.

At the beginning of the year, Hurstbridge Primary School in Melbourne had two peach trees, a blood plum tree and a nashi tree dug up during the school holidays and taken from the school.

So what measures can we take to ensure our precious pots, plants and trees aren’t taken from our front gardens? Here we’ve created a great list of ideas to deter thieves.

  • Use heavy pots- Invest in heavy pots that are difficult to move. Once you’ve got your pot in the right spot with your plant in it, you wont want to be moving it anytime soon anyway, and this will mean that thieves won’t be able to quickly run up and run away with it.
  • Install sensor lights- These crimes happen mostly at night. Install a sensor light so that the minute someone steps foot on your property, a bright light turns on.
  • Install surveillance and security systems- This type of crime has been happening for some time now. Without perpetrators being caught, it’s difficult to make it stop. Having a security systems professional come to your home and discuss the different cctv systems and video surveillance you could have installed around your home is a great idea. Not only will the sight of the video cameras deter criminals, but if they do attempt to steal your precious geraniums, you’ll be able to have HD video footage of the crime that you can take to your local police station.
  • Don’t put your most beloved plants and pots in your front yard- Save your favourite pots and plants for your back deck, courtyard, rear balcony or backyard. This will at least ensure that your most loved plants and pots are safe and away from the prying eyes of thieves.
  • Planting shrubs and plants that aren’t easy to rip out and touch- There are some stunning plants that have excellent foliage and also flower, yet they are rather difficult to move about because they have thorns, are prickly, or have razor like leaves and fronds. If you have had plants stolen several times and are looking for an alternative, plant something like this. Chances are, if a thief does try to walk past and uproot your new plant they will find it difficult and only try with one, or they will get a rude shock from the prickly texture of the plant and leave your front yard alone.

If you follow these steps you should find that your plants and pots are kept safe and away from the prying eyes and hands of botanic criminals.