how to keep thieves from taking potted plants

danell123August 9, 2014

I need help please they got me last year took 4 awesome mums. This year i plan to stop them. I have heard i can use silicone adhesive to glue the pots to the concrete. However i have know if at a latter date if i could get them off when it comes time to paint my porch. Please help me :-(

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would not put silicone on cement.. it will be there for eternity ...

i have heard of peeps wiring something into the bottom of the pot.. thru the drain holes.. and then down into something in the ground ... but i have never done it ...

the link reminds me it was a bonsai application ... to secure hundred year old plants from being stolen from a local arboretum .... they wired right thru the pot to the display stand ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:05AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Silicone will not provide enough adhesion to glue the pots to the concrete. And as Ken said, you'll run into problems when you try to remove it when you paint your porch. Tough situation. I would simply give up on the idea of pots if you're dealing with thieves on a regular basis. It's too frustrating.

I've wanted to put pots of some sort on my front sidewalk and steps for a while now, but I'm too afraid of what might happen. The only thing I might consider is something made of concrete and too heavy to move, but I haven't found the right thing yet.

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:37AM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

I agree with Kevin that I wouldn't tempt fate. The thought of attracting opportunists to come up on my porch would be a real turnoff to me.

But one possible idea would be to find a slender cable or chain to lock the plants to the porch railing. You could run it down through the drain hole in the pot, around the porch railing, and up to the top of the pot. Obviously you'd have to do that before you fill the pot with soil. You cold also find a pot with handles, like a bushel basket that has a metal handle (and wold look cute with mums), then run a lock through the handle.

Sorry that you are dealing with this, it's a sad thing that people steal plants. We have deer that come up on our deck and porch and invade our container plantings, but that's kinda different!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:08AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Awww. That is frustrating to have your beloved plants stolen.
People are so cheap.

I solved the problem by planting in the heaviest containers I could find and wired the light ones to my railing. Nobody has lifted the half whiskey barrel or the car tire planter off my front yard yet. ...if they can find them...lol.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:22AM
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oldfixer

Thieves aren't fussy. If the container didn't move, they would probably rip the plant right out of the dirt.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:33AM
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musicgal

pitim, what an absolutely beautiful yard!

danell, I hope you find a solution to your challenge. Stealing potted plants is a pretty lowlife thing to do. Something fairly inexpensive would be to attach a metal wire and door siren to your pot, so that when the thieves pull on the pot, the circuit breaks and the alarm goes off. The little sirens run on batteries and mount with velcro. We used one on a storage building and they make a lot of noise for less than 5 dollars. They may not stop your thief, but it may make him jump:-)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:34AM
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aegis1000

Thieves are LAZY and OPPORTUNISTS.

They won't want to REPOT your plants (if the pot is secured).

If you make it HARDER for your plants to be taken, .... they will pass them up and steal SOMEBODY ELSE's plants.

Alarm signs work exactly on this premise ...

You also could come up with signage warning about a TOXIC SPRAY on the plants ... and NOT TO TOUCH.

Something like ... "Plants have been TREATED with chemical which can be TOXIC to humans. Please do not TOUCH."

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:03AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

FYI, all of those wiring images in ken's link are of the routine bonsai practice of securing a top heavy specimen into a shallow container. Wiring is s.o.p. for bonsai and has nothing to with theft.

I like musicgal's idea, though my first choice would be to not put anything on the porch, at all. I'm not inclined to put that kind of effort into thwarting petty thieves.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:29AM
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bluee19(Zone 9)

What area do you live? I always worry about someone getting a shovel and stealing my plants. I live in Rosemead, ca and it sucks I have to think twice about planting!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Maybe you should put a motion activated camera (post the crooks on facebook) or sprinkler (get them wet) or loud siren (alert the neighbors) out on your porch?

We have an in home security system that drives me nuts. It goes off now and then because a spider gets into it. But no robberies yet.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:46AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

A decent wireless IP security camera (with accompanying sign warning that the premises are monitored and images stored remotely) can be had for under $100.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Campanula UK Z8

yes you can use silicone mastic (that stuff you apply in a sealant gun for going around baths) and get a solvent at the end of the season which makes it soft enough to scrape off.(I use one of these to remove labels off jars for jam-making) My sister does this very thing (but mainly because she has a roof garden in high winds). Another thing is to run a bolt through the pot, attaching it to a paving slab....but this is all a bit of work with a high-torque drill and appropriate masonry drills.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:42PM
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danell123

Thank you for all the advice :-) i will be finding a way to glue the pots to the concrete banister. And i do have a surveillance camera i just have no idea how to set it up hmmm guess i depend on the husband way to much.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

pitimpinai - Your yard is so beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:02PM
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donna_in_sask

All my nice plants are in my backyard. I haven't heard about people stealing actually pots/plants, but my next door neighbour had some solar lights stolen from her front yard a week after putting them in. Some people are scum.

I would just buy a cheap pot from the thrift store and fill them with nice annuals that bloom profusely and spill over to cover the pot. At least then you won't feel so bad losing it to opportunistic thieves.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

Crime can happen in any neighborhood. I've had solar lights stolen from the back yard and plants uprooted from the front yard. Once a thief came onto the lit back porch while I was in the kitchen. I heard a sound and opened the door. I thought maybe we had an animal in the recycling bin, or maybe my boyfriend had arrived home from work and had stumbled. Instead a stranger glanced at me, grabbed one of our umbrellas and ran away.

I still garden, and I refuse to let others deprive me of the choice to have nice things. Good for you for doing the same. Do what you can to avoid being a target and give yourself peace of mind.

I've been tempted to buy a motion-activated sprinkler like the Scarecrow to deter both people and animals. Have you seen these? They're obviously not for drought-prone areas, or if your house is right on the sidewalk.

If space allows, instead of multiple small pots get one huge one. Think about the weight of the contents, not just the pot itself. Even plastic pots can be too heavy to lift if the container is large enough. One pot is also easier to secure than four. As Karin suggested, if your porch has a rail you can run a bicycle lock cable through the empty pot's drain hole and lock it to the rail. Having an expensive item stolen will make you even more angry, so look for pots on sale. Or make your own planter, if you like that sort of DIY.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:24PM
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bettyfb

I have had hanging plants stolen right off of my front porch. I now have the hanging baskets under lock and chained to my front porch railing. The few pots I have on my driveway are in very heavy concrete pots that even I cannot lift. And so far they are not pulling the plants right out of the concrete pots. One year I had three of my geranium pots stolen from my driveway and that was heartbreaking.

Betty

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:48AM
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