Fire-resistant plants, anyone?

With the planet getting hotter and hotter, why not add a fire-resistant plant to your arsenal for good measure?

  • March 3, 2021

  • Written by Ar. Risah Salazar

  • Header photo by Ed Simon

The pandemic has forced us to stay at home for several months, making us long for nature far more than before. As a consequence, a new breed of species have come forth–the plant-loving (or obsessed?) uncles and aunties, more commonly known as plantitos and plantitas.

BluPrint, with the help of Landscape Architect Diomari Centeno, culls a list of plants that can not only brighten up our living spaces but also withstand fire longer than others, in case of emergency. LAr. Centeno says it’s their water-retention capabilities that make them fire-resistant.

Ice Plant

ice plant fire-resistant plant

Plant type: Succulent
Origin: Africa
Available in the PH: Yes

Although ice plants are rarely collected compared to other types of succulents, they still have the same water-retention capabilities. Since they are too small, ice plants are best potted. They are great for countries with very hot climates. Also perfect to have during summer when the flowers are in full bloom.

Agave

agave fire-resistant plant

Plant type: Succulent
Origin: America
Available in the PH: A resounding YES!

Agaves can either be planted outside or potted inside, depending on the size. When they get too big, you might want to take extra precaution because of their sharp and heavy leaves. Nonetheless, large agaves are very good in retaining water and therefore in withstanding heat and drought.

Yucca

yucca fire-resistant plant

Plant type: Perennial shrubs and trees
Origin: America
Available in the PH: Yes

Smaller yuccas can be potted inside. But for the larger shrubs and trees, they are mostly found outside. There are a lot of yucca species available and they are very much alike to agaves, so you might also want to be careful with the leaves. Their white flowers are a good consolation though.

Lavender

lavender fire-resistant plant

Plant type: Herb, Perennial
Origin: Mediterranean
Available in the PH: Yes

Aside from their nice aroma and calming effects, lavenders can also withstand heat and drought. Outside the country, they’re mostly found in gardens. But here in the Philippines, they’re mostly potted.

Sage 

sage fire-resistant plant

Plant type: Herb, Perennial
Origin: Mediterranean
Available in the PH: Yes

Sages are wonderful to keep for their blue, purple, and rose-colored flowers. They are usually planted in gardens abroad, but putting them in pots are more common here in the Philippines. Sages, aside from being good with heat and drought, are also low-maintenance plants that are easy to take care of.

Beardtongue

beardtongue fire-resistant plant

Plant type: Perennial
Origin: North America
Available in the PH: Yes

Beardtongues are sure to thrive in dry and hot areas. They also have a variety of flower colors to choose from.  Like its precedents, they’re mostly found in gardens abroad but are usually potted here in the Philippines.

A friendly reminder: These plants will still burn in case of fire. It’s just that they don’t readily ignite and they take much longer to burn. Also, having water-retention capabilities doesn’t mean you shouldn’t water and maintain them.

Having plants in our homes helps us connect with the outdoors while we can’t still go out as much as we want to. The next time you buy one, maybe consider something from this list, especially now that summer is just around the corner. With the planet getting hotter and hotter, why not add a fire-resistant plant to your arsenal for good measure?

READ MORE: Before It Burns: Getting Ready For Fire Prevention Month

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