Is It Illegal to Pick Neighbor’s Flowers?

is it illegal to pick neighbor's flowers

For many people, stopping to smell the flowers (and pick them too) oftentimes feels like second nature. This is a behavior most people don’t give much thought. When it comes to picking flowers from a neighbor’s yard though, you might want to think twice before doing so. That begs the question, is it illegal to pick neighbor’s flowers?

Picking a neighbor’s flowers without permission is illegal and can be considered as theft. Their flowers do not belong to you, and reside on their property. Not only is picking neighbor’s flowers illegal, but it’s rude and inconsiderate behavior.

If you have been admiring a neighbor’s flower patch and are considering picking some of the flowers, think again and read this article. We’ll discuss why you shouldn’t pick a neighbor’s flowers, as well as give tips on how to handle things if the situation were reversed.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

While you can’t really prevent anyone from picking flowers from your yard or garden, it’s good to know who is setting foot on your property and what they’re doing.

Having a decent security system like a Ring Video Doorbell or Outdoor Security Cameras (both on Amazon) is a smart thing to do

Is It Illegal to Pick Someone Else’s Flowers?

Let’s first talk about the legalities of picking someone else’s flowers. Does this mean you’ll get in trouble for picking a flower or two from a neighbor’s garden? What about a flower that has been hanging beyond the property line?

If I sit down and think about it honestly for a moment, if a neighbor cut my flowers for no reason, I would really be upset. It’s no joke to grow flowers and spend years tending to them so they can bloom fully in abundance. It takes effort to garden and for some species, flowering doesn’t come often. 

Keep in mind that the neighbor has the right to sue you for theft, criminal trespassing or destruction of property if they want to. After all, you’re destroying something of theirs.

Other than thinking about getting in trouble with the law, also consider how rude and impolite flower picking is. To put it simply, you must never take things that don’t belong to you.

You might not be fined or jailed or have to show up in court for this because owners will usually think it’s not worth the time and legal expenses to dwell on. But if you continue to do so, your neighbor will think poorly of you.

If you’re trying to get your neighbors to like you, picking their flowers without permission is not going to make things any easier. Additionally depending on how far on their property you venture, this can often be considered as trespassing.

There’s also the possibility that your neighbor could hurt you because of your actions. You’ll never know what someone’s capable of until you provoke them – and picking someone’s flowers can easily provoke someone to do unspeakable things.

Is It Against the Law to Pick Flowers in General?

The general rule is to never touch or take what’s not yours. So, if you see a neighbor’s beautiful flowers, leave them alone. 

It doesn’t belong to you and your neighbor may have spent years and money growing those flowers. You might even think it’s not a big deal to pick even just a single flower, but for most gardeners, it already is.

If you have kids, it’s also important to educate them regarding flower picking. Kids don’t really understand that most flowers growing on public and private properties should be off-limits. To them, a flower is such a pretty thing that’s hard to resist.

A child might innocently pick flowers to give to their parents without knowing that it’s already offensive for some. To keep your children safe from an angry neighbor, just teach them about respect and the rule of no picking flowers.

Depending where you live, there are laws against picking flowers that are planted by the roadside or grown in public property. And if you’re outdoors, you may need to obtain a permit to pick wildflowers.

Where Can I Pick Flowers?

If you desperately want the flowers or you simply fell in love with the one your neighbor has, resist the temptation. Instead of picking flowers, why not visit your local flower shop and get commercially-grown flowers?

This way, you’re supporting local businesses and maintaining a good relationship with your neighbor. If you don’t want to spend on flowers, you can always ask your neighbor for permission. If they refuse, don’t be mad about it, respect their decision. 

On the other hand, if you and your neighbor have a good relationship, you can always nicely ask them for some flowers. They might be willing to share. Keep in mind though not to overdo it and make it a habit. Just because someone offers them to you doesn’t mean you should abuse their kindness. Acknowledge that there will still be boundaries. 

What to Do If You See Neighbors Picking Flowers

Now what if the story is reversed? What if you found out someone has been stealing flowers from your yard? What can you do about it then?

If you caught a neighbor stealing your flowers, you can confront them and let them know you don’t allow flower-picking in your yard. You can explain to your neighbor how you would like to keep the flowers as they are since you’ve spent a lot of time and money for their growth.

If you catch a child doing it, maybe don’t be too harsh on them. You can educate the child about not picking flowers and help them understand while you’re at it. If not, you can always talk to the child’s parents instead.

do not pick the flowers
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please do not pick the flowers
Image provided by Heartfeltgiver
no picking please
Image provided by TheCommonSign

If you’d rather avoid confrontation, you can put up different signs asking to please not pick the flowers. Signs like this can work to discourage people from touching your flowers. 

There may be times you won’t know who’s been stealing from your yard. In that case, installing a security cam outside would help. This will help identify who keeps picking your flowers and the footage can also be used as evidence should you report the incident to authorities.

Conclusion: Is It Illegal to Pick Flowers?

To sum it all up, picking flowers is illegal in most situations – whether it belongs to your neighbor, the city or any public property. It is most definitely illegal to pick neighbor’s flowers as it will be considered a criminal trespass or theft to do so.

If you need flowers, visit your local flower shop or you can ask your neighbor for permission. If they say no to your request, respect it and move on.

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