Best and Worst Flowers for People With Allergies

Does plant pollen trigger your allergies? You can make some changes in your yard and still enjoy gardening.

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

This list will help you know what garden plants and flowers to avoid and which are fine, 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.

Better Choices

You'll have fewer worries with these plants that make 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 William Blahd, MD on April 24, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Richard Weber, MD, allergist, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver.

Tom Ogren, author, Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press, 2000; Safe Sex in the Garden, Ten Speed Press, 2004.

Allergy-Free Gardening website.

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