Do you associate the spring and summer with watering eyes, running noses, and sneezes? If so, you may have seasonal allergies triggered by the pollen in plants that grow during this time of year.
This doesn’t mean you have to avoid all contact with plants if you have allergies—you just have to learn which plants to avoid and which to keep in your home and garden.
Here’s a list of the best and worst plants for people who suffer from allergies:
Most periwinkles have very low pollen counts, so they won’t bother people who have plant allergies. If you want to include these in your home or garden, look for Madagascar periwinkles, which have the lowest pollen count of all periwinkles.
Daisies are beautiful flowers that are often used in residential gardens or floral arrangements. But, daisies are part of the highly allergenic asteraceae family, which also includes chrysanthemums, marigolds, and sunflowers. Flowers in this family have more pollen than other flowers, so they can easily trigger an allergy flare-up.
Tulips do have pollen, however that does not mean that these flowers will trigger an allergic reaction. Because the individual pollen particles found in tulips are so large, they are too heavy to become airborne. Therefore, unless you come in direct contact with the tulip’s pollen, you won’t be at risk of an allergy flare-up. It’s recommended that you wear gloves with handling tulips if you do have plant allergies to avoid coming into contact with the pollen.
Many people use palms as decorative indoor plants, but these could trigger a reaction depending on what kind you get. Female palm plants do not produce any pollen, so they shouldn’t bother those who have allergies. However, male palms do produce pollen, and they release a great deal of into the air. Having one of these plants in your home will most likely trigger your allergies, so it’s best to avoid palms.
Best: Asiatic Lilies
There are many different types of lilies, but if you suffer from plant allergies, it’s strongly recommended that you choose Asiatic lilies. This type of lily does have pollen, but it can be easily altered to remove the pollen, making it allergy-free. If you plan on ordering a floral arrangement from a florist, be sure to specify that you want Asiatic lilies without pollen in your bouquet.
Ragweed is found throughout the United States, and unfortunately, it is one of the most allergenic plants in the world. There are 17 different types of ragweed, and each of them releases a large amount of pollen into the air that can trigger a reaction in anyone who is nearby. It’s estimated that around three-fourths of people who have plant allergies are sensitive to ragweed, so chances are you will probably experience symptoms of an allergic reaction if you are exposed to this plant.
Many people assume that if you have plant allergies, you have to avoid all types of flowers and plants, but that’s certainly not the case.
You don’t have to lock yourself indoors and steer clear of all plants if you suffer from allergies–you just have to know which plants are likely to trigger a reaction. Pollen is the substance that sparks an allergic reaction, so be sure to look for plants that do not have a large amount of airborne pollen.
To be safe, keep this list in mind the next time you choose a houseplant or new addition to your garden.
Written by Hilary Smith.
Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a freelance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics.
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