Plants with spiky leaves are a great way to spice up the interior of your home, they are a great addition to any garden or indoors. Plants with spiky leaves have been used as a security measure around homes and cattle farms to ensure privacy for a long time.

Unusual Unique Plants with Spiky Leaves

Although they are no longer as effective in safeguarding your home, they can still work as limiting boundaries. They are a surefire way to add uniqueness to your plant collection with their different texture, looks, shapes, and sizes.

This list will provide you with options that will naturally fit in any garden or home.

List of Different Plants with Spiky Leaves

1. Agave Plants

Agave plants are native American plants that have long and broad spiky leaves. There are wide varieties of agave plants that have different sizes and hues of green and blue.

Plants for a Drought Tolerant Garden

One famous type of agave is called blue agave, which is also used to make tequila, winning it the nickname tequila agave.

– Features

Agaves have a unique look with large and waxy leaves lined with spikes. These can easily be planted in gardens or used as potted plants indoors. These spikes are an excellent way to keep pets and children away from specific areas of the home. Although they are called century plants, they live for a couple of decades, anywhere between 10 and 30 years.

Agaves are succulent plants that grow best if they are planted during spring or early fall. These plants keep on maturing over the years, and after a few years, sometimes decades, a tall flower stalk grows from the center of the plant. These flowers can be white, yellow, or green. But these flowers also mark their end as they die after the flowers develop seed pods.

However, you should be very cautious when you have them around, because their spiky leaves can easily scratch children and pets. If one is not careful, these spikes are also capable of causing bleeding. Therefore, these factors should be considered when planting them, some would place them on a higher shelf which is the keen thing to do.

– Growing Conditions

Remember that agave grow well under the full sun, when they are very well light to have energy for proper photosynthesis, furthermore, they do well in sandy soil that drains well.

The Agave has a unique characteristic, which is how they are highly tolerant of drought and only needs water if there has been a long dry spell in your area.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is another plant that is very commonly known. It also has long spiky leaves that take the shape of a vase. The edges of these leaves are adorned with shape spikes that function as a defense mechanism against people and animals. Thus, they can also be used as safety fences in different parts of the home.

Aloe Vera Plant in a Garden

The spiky leaves may look intimidating on the outside, but they break easily and are filled with herbal gel on the inside. Beware, however, because when you cut the leaves, they give off an unpleasant smell.

– Healing Properties

The gel they produce has a lot of medicinal and cosmetic uses. It can be used to treat cuts and burns. It can be applied directly on the skin to make it clear and smooth. The gel can also be cooked into dishes. It can lower blood sugar and treat heartburn. It can also be used in mouthwashes and hair treatment products.

Aloe vera is probably the most beneficial spiky plant at home. It will not only serve towards the edgy look you want but also provide a ton of medicinal, edible, and cosmetic benefits. These are low-maintenance plants that can survive in several different conditions.

After some years, they may even produce a flower stalk. However, safety is not the only use of this plant. In addition to the interest it will add to your landscapes, aloe vera is a common medicinal plant.

– Growing Conditions

Aloe vera can survive in full sun or partial shade but need light to survive, they are pretty low-maintenance plants if you consider their lighting needs, however, they would do best in sandy soil with a lot of drainages. In addition, what you must remember is that aloe vera requires frequent watering, but ensure the soil dries quickly after a watering session.

3. Holly Plant

Holly plants are fruit-producing plants with spiky leaves. These are the signature plant of the Christmas season. It is a Native American plant that is evergreen.

Plants for a Winter Wonderland Garden

The holly plant produces small deep red berries that are a source of food for a lot of wildlife, including blackbirds and robins. They are also great for attracting bees and other pollinators.

– Characteristics

The red berries of the plant will add vibrancy to the scene, in addition to the interest brought in by their spiky leaves. These plants can work great as a deterrent for intruders as well. Holly plants do not grow very quickly and may take some time to mature, but they rise to a height of 10 to 40 feet.

If you do not want a tall plant, there are several types of this plant. Some of them are shrubs and stay at a low height throughout their lifespan. Keep in mind that not all kinds of these  plants are evergreen ones, which means that do thorough research before choosing a specie for your garden, because they might not function as you wish them to in your zone.

– Growing Conditions

The plant grows very well in moist, well-drained, and acidic soil. In addition, they grow very well in partial shade and under the sun, but if you live in a hot region, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.

During the early months, offer regular water to keep the soil moist. You can cut back on the watering session after the plant is established.

Another important fact is that both male and female plants are necessary to produce their signature red berries, and the best time to plant them is during the spring or early fall. Holly plants do not require much maintenance and can adapt to many conditions.

4. Devil’s Walking Stick

Devil’s walking stick is also called the Aralia Spinosa, and it is a fitting name for this plant as the entirety of its stems, stalks, and leaves are covered with spikes and edges. This deciduous shrub is also called Hercules club and is probably the spikiest plant on this list.

Plants for a Low Maintenance Garden

This plant is a native to most American plant that can be found on the edges of forests throughout the states.

– Characteristics

Devil’s walking stick can be an interesting addition to any area. The excessive spike makes it the best safety plant on this list. However, it can also produce flowers when it blooms during the late summer. It has beautiful white flowers that do well to attract many pollinators like bees and butterflies.

This fast-growing plant is typically planted outdoors with proper space for it to mature. With regular pruning, you can limit this plant to remain a shrub, but if allowed, it will grow up to 20 feet. Despite its unique look, there are many challenges that come with this spiky specimen, and it is advised to do proper research before deciding.

This plant is capable of propagating on its own. It is a good thing for the plant, but it also means you will find tiny specimens growing all over the place, and due to its fast-growing nature, it can overrun many areas if you are not careful. Another consideration is that once the leaves fall in winter, it is just a shrub of spiky stems that may be off-putting for some people.

– Growing Conditions

Devil’s walking stick can adapt to a variety of different soil types, including rocky environments, but if you want the best result, use loamy, nutrient-rich, moist, and well-drained soil.

In addition, it is capable of surviving under the full sun as well as in areas of partial shade, just as it has the tolerance to drought and, thus, does not require a lot of watering.

5. Snake Plant

The snake plant is another succulent plant on this list with long and upright spiky leaves. It goes by another popular name which is “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.”

Popular Snake Plant Indoor Plant

It is one of the hardiest plants in existence and can survive for extended periods of time on its own. The only thing it needs is a little bit of moisture and light by any means.

– Characteristics

The plant produces long sword-like spiky leaves that have yellow edges. These leaves come in a range of heights and can be between six inches and eight feet tall. These leaves can support many colors but are typically green with their signature yellow edges. They are the perfect low-maintenance plant.

The best time to plant this indestructible plant is in spring. The insane survivability of these spiky leaves makes them the perfect beginner plant. The only thing to avoid with snake plants is cold weather, as they struggle to thrive in such conditions. Another thing to avoid is over-watering as it will eat at its root, and the plant will wither away.

They are a great addition to any garden or any indoor area. They will happily survive in the shadiest corner of the house, a feat that few plants can accomplish.

However, these conditions will largely affect their growth. Snake plants grow slowly in shaded areas, but as their exposure to light grows, their growth rate also increases.

– Growing Conditions

Snake plants can survive practically with any amount of light, but their growth rate will vary with the amount of light exposure they get. These plants would also grow best in sandy soil that drains quickly, however you should note that waterlogging is one of the few things that can kill this plant.

They are very drought resistant and go a very long time without water. In winter, they can go for two months without water but require water every couple of weeks during the summer.


Plants with spiky leaves are a great source of interest and intrigue to a garden and indoor landscaping. Many of them are also useful as low-maintenance safety barriers and survive in many different conditions.

If you are looking to get a thorny specimen to add to your collection, keep in mind the following points:

  • These spiky plants should be kept with care to avoid scratches on children and pets.
  • These spiky plants can completely change the mood of the scene and make it more dramatic and edgy, a great choice if you are going for such a theme.
  • These plants can be small shrubs or tall trees, so there is something for everyone, they are showy with their features.
  • Some plants can survive in every condition, while others require more attention.

After reading this list, which thorny plant will you add to your collection?

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