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Allergies Health Center

Gardening With Allergies

21 tips for flower lovers everywhere.
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21 Tips for Gardening With Allergies continued...

3. Goldenrod brings pretty yellow color into a garden, but it can trigger an allergic reaction (though milder than the one from ragweed). For a splash of yellow, try allergy-innocent snapdragons or zinnias.

4. Pick up cut flowers on your way home. Most are cultivated to be pollen-free. But flowers from your garden should stay outside. Bring them into your warm, dry home, and their pollen production ramps up.

5. Herbs can cause an allergic reaction. Chamomile -- both the pollen and the brewed leaves -- can trouble an allergy sufferer. Amaranth (pigweed) has a pretty show of flowers, but it is related to tumbleweed -- and both are big pollen producers. If you're making amaranth flour, there's a possibility of allergic reaction to it as well.

6. Many flowering bushes and trees -- roses, azaleas, dogwoods, plums, Bradford pears, crepe myrtles, and Japanese cherry -- don't release much pollen. So these are less likely to cause an allergy problem when planted in a yard. Just don't plant them under a bedroom window -- or you could have a pollen problem.

7. Window screens won't protect you from pollen. Pollen grains are tiny compared to the screens' holes. You may have to remove an offending plant if it's a problem.

More on trees...

8. Yews are popular evergreen landscape trees and shrubs. It's used in chemotherapy (in the breast cancer drug Taxol). If yews are planted near windows, it's best to take them out. (Female yew trees have bright red berries -- and are harmless.)

9. The evergreen shrub Ligustrum (or privet) is in the olive family and is known to produce potent pollen. If this shrub is planted at your house's foundation, prepare for a pollen blast.

10. Japanese boxwood and Abelia shrubs produce lots of pollen. Keep them closely clipped, and you'll have fewer pollen problems.

11. Burning bush (also known as summer cypress or Kochia) is one of the great beauties of autumn, turning a vibrant scarlet. But beware! It's in the tumbleweed family and is a notorious pollen producer.

12. Remove any dying shrub or tree. You'll protect yourself from the highly allergenic insect dander that predatory insects generate, as well as mold. 

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