What to plant if you have allergies
Are itchy, allergy eyes, a runny nose and sinus pain ruining your spring? If so, you may be one of the 50 million Americans who suffer from pollen allergies. Ease your suffering by planting an allergy-friendly garden.
The best flowers for allergy sufferers
Good news: An allergy-friendly garden can still include plenty of color. The following are all low-pollen flower choices ideally suited for allergy sufferers.
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The best trees and shrubs for allergy sufferers
Go green carefully by choosing these low pollen trees and shrubs.
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- Boxwood (if clipped often)
- Chinese fan palm (female)
- Fern pine (female)
- English holly (female)
- Bradford pear
- Crepe myrtle
- Hardy rubber tree
- Red maple (female)
For more ideas, check out the book Allergy-Free Gardening: The Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Landscaping by Thomas Leo Ogren.
The best cacti for allergy sufferers
If you live in a cactus-friendly climate, you’re in luck. Desert plants, cacti and succulents are all low pollen producers. The following species are specifically recommended for the gardens of allergy sufferers. Try planting a cactus garden in the yard or pot a variety of succulents in containers — indoors or out!
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- Organ pipe
Source: University of Arizona
More allergy-friendly gardening tips
- See an allergist to determine what you're allergic to, so you can cut back on gardening during allergy season and avoid exposure to offending trees and plants.
- Avoid the worst trees, plants and flowers. Check out our list of plants to avoid right here.
- Keep the weeds away. These are some of the worst allergy offenders.
- Use eye drops for the relief of itchy, allergy eyes. Alaway Allergy Eye Itch Drops from Bausch + Lomb work in minutes and last up to 12 hours.
- Flush dirt and irritants from sinuses with a neti pot after working in the garden. According to the Mayo Clinic, this can remove dust, pollen and other debris from your nasal passages.
- Try to do your gardening after a heavy rain, when pollen counts are lower.
- Take off your gardening clothes immediately after going inside to avoid dispersing pollen in your home.
- When pollen counts are high, consider wearing gloves, sunglasses or even a mask to minimize exposure.
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