Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Plants That Have Sharp Blades

Gardening in urban backyard
Chris Clinton/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you're a gardener, you have hundreds of plants from which to choose when planning your outdoor garden or picking a new houseplant. You may have already encountered some plants that are attractive but have sharp-edged, narrow leaves that can injure your hands when you touch them. Although it helps to wear gloves while you work with these plants, identifying them in advance is also a good idea to help prevent problems.

Grasses

Beach Dune Grass (sea oats)
Courtland Roberts/iStock/Getty Images

Ornamental grasses have many uses in the garden. They make interesting accents in mixed beds and taller types work well as screens to block an unwanted view. All grasses have thin leaves, or blades, but some kinds have blades with especially sharp edges. For example, pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a South American plant that develops clumps of thin, grassy leaves with sharp edges. This plant reaches a height of 8 to 12 feet and spreads to about 6 feet; it grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. The sea oat plant (Uniola paniculata) is another ornamental grass with narrow, sharp blades; its are 2 feet long. The plant forms nodding seed heads in summer and is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 10.

  • If you're a gardener, you have hundreds of plants from which to choose when planning your outdoor garden or picking a new houseplant.
  • The sea oat plant (Uniola paniculata) is another ornamental grass with narrow, sharp blades; its are 2 feet long.

Flowering Perennials

Iris germanica
nikolay100/iStock/Getty Images

Some flowering perennials have narrow leaves that are sharp at their edges. These perennials include the bearded, or German, iris (Iris germanica), a plant that's notable for its colorful flowers that appear in late spring. Its leaves are sword-shaped, sharp-edged and erect; they surround tall flower stalks. The plant is about 3 feet tall and is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10. The artemisia variety "Valerie Finnis" (Artemisia ludoviciana "Valerie Finnis") is another example of such flowering perennials. A bushy plant with sharp, silver-blue leaves, it's about 18 inches tall, produces clusters of cream-colored flowers in summer and is hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9.

Extra-Sharp Types

Saw Palmetto Background
Wirepec/iStock/Getty Images

Some plants have narrow leaves that are extra sharp because their edges are irregular, or toothy. An example is the saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), a fanlike palm that grows 2 to 8 feet tall. Its leaves consist of many radially arranged blades, and each blade has sharp, toothy edges. The compound leaves are attached to stems that have the saw-toothed edges for which the plant was named. Saw palmetto is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10. The urn plant (Aechmea fasciata), a type of bromeliad, also has toothy-edged blades, and sometimes they develop spines that make them extra sharp. The blades form a rosette around the plant's center, where a flower emerges. The urn plant gets about 3 feet tall. It is hardy in USDA zones 10 through 11 and is used as a houseplant in all zones.

  • Some flowering perennials have narrow leaves that are sharp at their edges.
  • These perennials include the bearded, or German, iris (Iris germanica), a plant that's notable for its colorful flowers that appear in late spring.

Succulents

Aloevera, Aloe Vera
yogesh_more/iStock/Getty Images

Succulent plants often have thick leaves that store water. A few of these plants also have narrow, sharp leaves, and sometimes they include thorns. For example, the aloe plant (Aloe vera) has long, tapering and pointed green leaves with sharp edges that are armed with pointed thorns along their margins. This plant gets about 2 feet tall, grows outdoors as a perennial in USDA zones 10 through 12 and does well as a houseplant in all zones. The agave or century plant (Agave americana) is another sharp-leaved succulent. Besides sharp edges, its long, tapering leaves have a pointed spine at their tips. The agave grows as a rosette 3 to 6 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide, and it is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10.

  • Succulent plants often have thick leaves that store water.
  • A few of these plants also have narrow, sharp leaves, and sometimes they include thorns.

Related Articles

Houseplant Leaf Identification
Houseplant Leaf Identification
Different Kinds of Long-Stem Flowers
Different Kinds of Long-Stem Flowers
Thistle Varieties
Thistle Varieties
How to Neaten Up a Messy Flax Plant
How to Neaten Up a Messy Flax Plant
What Is a Plant Vein?
What Is a Plant Vein?
How to Identify Ivy Plants
How to Identify Ivy Plants
Types of Bird of Paradise Plants
Types of Bird of Paradise Plants
Types of Grass Blades
Types of Grass Blades
Plant Seedling Identification
Plant Seedling Identification
Plants That Look Like Elephant Ears
Plants That Look Like Elephant Ears
Are Succulents Poisonous to Dogs?
Are Succulents Poisonous to Dogs?
How to Split Succulents
How to Split Succulents
What Is the Name of the Indoor House Plant That Has Green Leaves and Long Vines?
What Is the Name of the Indoor House Plant That Has...
Garden Guides
×