Whether it's for a shortcut or malicious mischief, having teenagers climb over your fence into your property is irritating and problematic. Growing vines on your fences that have thorns on the branches will deter teenagers from climbing over and create a visually pleasing screening for your landscape. Thorny branched vines are also good for general home security, repelling cats and dogs from your yard, and attracting birds that like to nest within the vines.
Fences are ideal supports for attractive climbing roses since, unlike other vines, the rose canes cannot naturally attach to surfaces. Climbing rose plants have thorny canes that grow fast and grow long. With open fences, like chain link, you can weave or use strips of cloth or twine to attach the rose canes to the fence. With more solid fences made of wood or concrete, you will need to use nails or attach glued vine holders to support the rose canes. As the canes grow and fill in, you will be able to train the climber to grow over your fence, deterring youths from grasping or climbing the fence.
Not only do raspberry vines, with abundant thorns on the stems, deter teenagers from climbing over your fences, but also they bear a crop of sweet berries for several months during the summer. Raspberries are perennial plants that prefer to grow in full sun with well draining soil. The plant grows new canes from the root base every spring. These new canes will produce berries the second year of growth. Older canes and dead or dying canes must be pruned out during the dormant period. The raspberry plant, like climbing roses, can be trained to cover your fence, particularly more open fences, to encase the fence with painful thorny canes year around.
Bougainvillea vines have enthralled gardeners in warmer regions of USDA zones 8 to 11 since they were first introduced in 1768. The fast-growing vine has attractive foliage and blooms bright, vibrant clusters of flowers for many months. The bougainvillea vine has thorns that make it unattractive for teenagers wishing to climb your fence and the vine is often used for home security. Bougainvillea will thrive in full sun with regular watering. Withholding water to create a semi-drought, dry soil condition for several days will promote flowering if your bougainvillea has declined in flower production. The plant needs a period of dormancy during the winter. Foliage will drop, but the thorns will remain.
Smilax "Greenbrier" vines are woody, fast-growing, thorny evergreen vines in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10. It has lush, green foliage with tiny greenish white flowers in the spring and dark purple berries in the fall and through the winter. The berries are attractive to birds. The vine can grow in sun or partial shade, making it ideal for fence covering. The plant needs to be monitored and vigorously pruned for containment to the fence as it is known to easily become invasive, taking over nearby plants.
- Bellarmine University; Climbing Rose; Matt Galante; December, 2006
- University of Maine; Growing Raspberries and Blackberries; David T. Handley
- FloriData; Bougainvillea spp; Jack Sheper; October 3, 2007
- Duke University; North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees-Smilax (Greenbrier, Carrionflower); Jeffrey S. Pippen, November 19, 2006
- Photo Credit Sean Murphy/Lifesize/Getty Images
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