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Allergies Health Center

Best and Worst Flowers for People With Allergies

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Does plant pollen trigger your allergies? Don’t worry. By making smart choices, you can rein in the pollen your yard produces and still enjoy gardening.

Many flowers, shrubs, trees, and grasses produce very little or even no pollen. And some species produce pollen only in certain plants. For those, all you need to do is to make sure you have female plants -- the ones that don't produce pollen.

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This list will help you know what garden plants and flowers to avoid because they can trigger allergies. But even better than that, it can help you find plants and flowers that are safe to put in the yard despite your allergies.

Worst Plants for Allergies

You can expect more plant pollen and seasonal allergies if you put any of these plants in your yard. 

Flowers/herbs

Amaranth (pigweed), chamomile, chrysanthemums, daisies, goldenrod, ordinary sunflowers.

Shrubs/vines

Cypress, jasmine vine, juniper, wisteria.

Trees

Alder, ash (male), aspen (male), beech, birch, box elder (male), cedar (male), cottonwood (male), elm, hickory, red and silver maples (male), mulberry (male), oak, olive, palm (male), pecan, pine, poplar (male), sycamore, walnut, willow (male).

Grasses

Bermuda, fescue, Johnson, June, orchard, perennial rye, redtop, salt grass, sweet vernal, timothy.

Weeds

Cocklebur, ragweed, Russian thistle, sagebrush. 

Best Plants for Allergies

You'll have fewer plant pollen worries with these plants that produce little to no airborne pollen. So you can enjoy working with them and watching them grow. 

Flowers

Begonia, cactus, chenille, clematis, columbine, crocus, daffodil, dusty miller, geranium, hosta, impatiens, iris, lily, pansy, periwinkle, petunia, phlox, rose, salvia, snapdragon, thrift, tulip, verbena, zinnia.

Hypoallergenic sunflower seeds

All these grow 5 to 6 feet tall -- and the pollen is too heavy to be spread easily.

Apricot Twist (apricot with gold center), Infrared Mix (dark crimson, ruby, golden-reds), The Joker (showy red-and-yellow double blooms), Pro-Cut Bicolor (stunning mahogany and yellow with black centers).

Shrubs

Azalea, boxwood (if clipped often), hibiscus, hydrangea, viburnum.

Trees

Apple, cherry, Chinese fan palm (female), fern pine (female), dogwood, English holly (female), Bradford pear, crepe myrtle, hardy rubber tree, magnolia, pear, plum, red maple (female).

Grasses

St. Augustine.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 08, 2014

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