Top 10 Plants With Spiky Leaves (With Photos)

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By Bryan Peters

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Many gardeners would always resort to plants with spiky leaves because it is a go-to plant that rewards a garden with unique leaves while safeguarding it from invaders with its thorny nature.

There are many plants that has spike leaves, so it should never be an issue trying to settle for any of them. Snake plant, agave plant, aralia Spinosa, and Holly plant are some of the plants having spiky leaves.

In this article, we will talk about some of the most popular plants that are adorned with spiky leaves, most preferred for outdoor planting, and spiky plants with flowers.

Let’s get started!

Fun Facts About Spiky Leaf Plants

Dracaena, or spike plants, is another name for plants with spiky leaves. Spike plants are annual plants that are notable for having leaves like swords.

Growing spike plants is so easy compared to many plants; however, the only thing you would have to look out for are the sharp edges.

Spike plants are easy to maintain and are heat tolerant; they require watering but would reward your efforts when you water them moderately. It is an evergreen plant that many people use because of its foliage.

When you leave it in its best condition, be sure to reap all the benefits, as it will reward you with tall leaves and even outgrow the initial pot you have used in planting it.

Does this mean that you can plant spike plants indoors? Spike plants are grown as indoor plants. However, after showing some levels of growth and maturity, it would require you to move them to a more welcoming container or landscape.

That said, let’s now learn about the different plants with spiky leaves that do well outdoors.

See Also: Plants With Large Leaves

Outdoor Plants With Spiky Leaves

1. Dragon Tree

Let’s look at the Dragon tree’s scientific specifications for a clear insight into the dragon tree.

  • Scientific name: dracaena Draco
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Class: Liliopsida
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Genus: Dracaena
  • Species: Draco

Dragon trees (Dracaena Draco) or Drago is one of the spike plants you can use for your outdoor planting. It is from the Asparagaceae family and has over 110 species of Dragon trees. Amongst these species, you have cornstalk dracaena and lucky bamboo.

Although dragon trees seem like a good choice for livestock as their berries are used for feeding, they could pose a massive threat to them too. The dragon tree contains red resins, which can be used for many things.

You can use the red resin as a dye or paint pigment. Many times the red resin from the dragon tree is used as medicine.

This tree requires only a little effort to grow at its best. So ensure you give it the attention it needs. Water your dragon tree moderately and curtail the practice once it’s cold.

For best results, water only when the topsoil is dry; for a test, you can keep your hand 1 ½ inches into the soil to feel the texture. You can water the root so it supplies nutrients to other parts of the earth.

Dragon trees prefer indirect sunlight, so be careful when exposing them to sunlight for the best results.

2. Snake Plant

The snake plant is a popular plant known for its sword-like leaves, and like other spike plants, snake plants are great houseplants too.

The plant can grow anywhere from six inches to eight feet tall. When you leave them in favorable condition, it proliferates too. Snake plant is more likely to bloom in the spring. This is different from the usual bloom time of many plants, which is summer.

The snake plant is a good spike plant to try out in your garden. So go ahead and plant them. If you are worried about their growth, learn how to care for snake plants.

3. Agave

Commonly referred to as century plants, agave plants are planted with spiky leaves native to tropical areas of South America. However, it is popular in many other arid regions of America and the Caribbean.

The agave plant is popularly known for its large spiky leaves and its xerophytic species.

Agave includes many species like manfreda, Polianthes, mangave, and prochnyanthes. Some of the agave species are also popular ornamental plants.

Agave plants can thrive in arid regions because they are heat and drought-tolerant. However, it would need good soil with good drainage for the plant to do well. Sandy soil is the best soil to grow agave plants.

Agave plants are great spike plants that would reward your effort with growth so long as you care for them. Meanwhile, like other plants with spiky leaves, it only requires little attention.

See Also: Plants That Looks Like Agave

4. Aloe Vera Plant

The aloe vera plant (aloe barbadensis) is quite popular compared to other spike plants.

Many people would choose the aloe vera plant again and again because of its health benefits and values. Aloe is a genus with over 650 species, and among all the species, Aloe Vera is cultivated chiefly and used.

And although this plant is with spiky leaves, it produces enough gel from the Aloe vera plant, which serves many purposes.

The Aloe Vera plant grows well in tropical climates and can reward your garden with many leaves that, in turn, would be used for many things. Many regions would consume aloe vera directly, while many would use it for skin care products and other medicinal purposes.

It is one of many other plants with spikey leaves that you can plant outdoors. Fret not. It always requires little attention to thrive, so growing is convenient even if you are not experienced.

5. Barrel Cactus

Are you still searching for a spike plant that you can have outside your home? Well, you can also try barrel cactus.

Barrel cacti are another spike plant that many gardeners would always love to explore. It is a member of the cactus family (Cactaceae). Barrel cactus is native to southwestern North America and southward to North Central Mexico.

They are known to have several genera. The various genera of barrel cactus include neolloydia, sclerosants, thelocactus, astrophytum, and echinopsis, but the most popular of them are the echinocactus and Ferocactus.

Each genus has its different species, making barrel cacti large in numbers. Barrel cactus has fleshy skin that is clothed with spikes. Plant nurseries cultivate most of the species as ornamental plants.

Barrel cacti are great plants known for their ability to increase with little attention.

6. Spider Plant

  • Botanical name: chlorophytum comosum
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Other names: Ribbon plant, Spider ivy

As one of the most common and well-known houseplants, the spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum, is especially popular with beginners because it is easy to grow and propagate, tolerant of neglect, and can thrive almost anywhere.

Spider plants are named for their small plantlets produced on trailing stems, similar to spiders. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that is native to South Africa, with narrow, strap-shaped leaves that form clumps.

Now you may be looking forward to making do with spike plants with flowers. This could add some ecstasy to your garden while safeguarding it from invaders and other things that might pose a threat to your garden.

So, let’s learn about spiky plants with flowers.

Spiky Plants with Flowers

There are a good number of spike plants that you can grow in your garden, not just because they are sword-like shaped and would protect your garden but because they get to produce fascinating flowers too.

So let’s learn about these spike plants.

1. Pyracantha plant

The pyracantha plant is known as scarlet firethorn for its thorny features. This genus of large, thorny evergreen shrubs is known as firethorn or pyracantha.

They are native to Southwest Europe and east to Southeast Asia. They resemble and are closely related to Cotoneaster, but their leaf margins are serrated and have many thorns.

Pyracantha does pretty well in moderately fertile garden soil. Place the plant in partial shade, and it will reward your effort over time. Avoid leaving the plant in damp soil, which would contribute to its damage or stunt growth.

Although this plant would reward your effort over time with berries, don’t be deceived by it. You should always approach the plant with caution as the plant is filled with thorns.

So, even when the thorn can be a very protective tool for the plant, it could pose a threat if not approached correctly. Wear gloves while approaching the plant.

2. Bougainvillea Tropical Plant

Another plant that you should try in your garden or house is the bougainvillea plant.

The bougainvillea plant is also a spike plant that rewards gardens with enough blooms when left in a favorable condition. The plant thrives well in well-drained soil and requires lots of sunlight exposure and some relatable amount of watering for it to grow well.

Bougainvillea tropical plant blooms can come in different colors like purple, pink, white, orange, and even yellow if you admire the plant and would want to have it as a houseplant, you can quickly learn how to grow and care for bougainvillea plant.

3. Crown Of Thorns

This is the best place to start your plant journey if you have always loved succulents. The crown of thorns is a blooming plant that grows into a woody shrub with sharp thorns on its stem.

This plant is popularly known as the plant that Jesus Christ wore at His crucifixion. This is the other name, Christ thorn.

Although this plant looks quite appealing, having delightful qualities like flowers and fast growing plant, the plant is very toxic to pets. It would help if you learned about it before making it a houseplant, especially when you have pets.

4. California Fuchsia

This plant is a low-growing plant that produces enough blooms when it’s time to bloom.

During winter and spring, they commonly grow in places with extra moisture, gradually drying out by autumn. They prefer the cool sun; their foliage is gray and green, with wide and narrow leaves. They prefer a cool climate. However, they can tolerate part-shade also.

California fuchsia is another plant you can have in your garden or house. You can learn how to grow California fuchsia.


Plants with spiky leaves are not exactly rare, and you can see them grow even without attention. So whether you choose to plant any spike plant or the one spike plant with flowers, you will most likely get a rewarding result.

If you look forward to planting more useful spike plants, you can try the aloe vera plant.

We hope you get to plant the best plants with spiky leaves.

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