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By Jonathan Meyer
When landscaping around a home, most homeowners are interested in creating a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing, complements their home, and has variations in color, texture, flowers, and foliage.
Another important aspect of home landscaping is safety. While planning your landscape, you must consider fire safety in general, and plants flammability in particular. Remember that flammable plants in your landscape will increase fire risks around your home as they can act as fuel and contribute to the intensity of a fire.
There are many fire prevention techniques applicable to your backyard and outdoors area as described in the article Prevent Fire Damage in the Outdoors. However, planting fire-resistant or fire-resistive plants is one of the best techniques you can use to promote fire safety.
What Are Fire-Resistant Plants?
Fire-resistant plants are plants that have a higher capacity to withstand heat associated with fire and are, therefore, less likely to be ignited by flame or other ignition sources. Fire resistant plants' foliage and stems will not contribute significantly to the fire's intensity.
Keep in mind that fire-resistant plants are not fireproof and can be damaged by fire.
In general, fire-resistive plant characteristics include:
- Supple and moist leaves
- Water-like sap (usually the sap will not have a strong scent)
- Thicker bark
- High moisture content
- Low resin content
Where to Plant Fire-Resistant Plants?
Surrounding your home with fire-resistant plants won't guarantee your home's safety, but it will decrease the risk. Another advantage is the fact that a garden filled with fire-resistant plants will grow back looking good even should the worst happen.
Good placement of fire-resistant plants will help protect your home by blocking intense heat. Plant the most drought tolerant and fire-resistant plants closes to the house within about three feet.
Fire-Resistant Plant Types
There is a wide array of plants and trees to choose for your landscape that are both attractive and fire-resistant.
Grasses, groundcovers, vines, perennials and annuals
African Daisy, Black-Eyed Susan, Iris, Ivy, Thyme, Yucca, Poppy, Lavender, Red Hot Poker, Clematis, Coral Bells.
Trees & Shrubs
Oleander, Lilac, Jasmine, Poplar, Oak, Plum, Peach, Maple, Elm, Ash, Birch, Cherry
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