5 plants you should avoid growing in your garden if you have hay fever – and what to plant instead, according to experts

5 plants you should avoid growing in your garden if you have hay fever – and what to plant instead, according to experts

Pink roses in the garden.

Although many of us anticipate the arrival of spring, there is a group of us who unfortunately know that the worst is coming: hay fever. However, just because you have hay fever doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in tending to your garden this season. You just have to be more adept at making sure you avoid plants that are harmful to hay fever and replace them with allergy-friendly alternatives.

So, before you go ahead and decide what to plant in your garden in March, it might be helpful to find out which plants experts recommend staying away from and what to choose instead for an equally stunning garden idea – just right for spring.

Pink roses in the garden

Pink roses in the garden

Plants to avoid in the garden if you have hay fever

“If you have hay fever, there are some plants in your garden that are likely contributing to it,” says Craig Morley, gardening expert at Budget Seeds. “However, there are some alternatives you can have in your garden instead without having to compromise on color or variety.”

1. Replace chamomile flowers with chamomile

“Daisies are central to many gardens but are notorious for aggravating hay fever symptoms due to their pollen,” explains Craig Wilson, co-founder, director and indoor gardening expert at Gardeners Dream.

So, consider replacing it with chamomile instead. correct. Not only are they perfect for chilling tea, but they make a lovely idea for a wildflower garden too – without all the sneezing.

Craig emphasizes that they offer a “similar elegant appearance with their white petals and yellow centers but are generally more allergy-friendly.”

Chamomile in the field

Chamomile in the field

2. Choose roses instead of dahlias

Dahlias are one of the best bulbs to plant in spring for a colorful garden, even when grown in pots. However, it’s no secret that they are often full of pollen, making them a hay fever sufferer’s worst nightmare.

“The pollen can be stronger than pollen in other flowers, so it’s best not to keep it in your garden,” explains Craig Morley. “Instead, consider replacing dahlias with roses.”

“Roses often release a small amount of pollen into the air and their pollen particles are usually too large to be airborne, so they are a better option if you have hay fever.” So, if you have roses in your garden, it might be a good idea to prune them now before it’s too late and get them ready.

Pink roses in the garden

Pink roses in the garden

3. Consider gerbera chamomile over sunflower

There is no doubt that sunflowers are a beautiful addition to the garden, but their pollen unfortunately poses a major problem for those with allergies.

Instead, Craig Wilson suggests choosing gerbera flowers in your garden to achieve this pop of color. “They come in a wide range of vibrant colors and have a similar bold presence to sunflowers. Importantly, they produce lower amounts of pollen, making them a safer option for hay fever sufferers.

Gerber stand in the garden

Gerber stand in the garden

4. Replace lavender with foxgloves

“Lavender is loved for its scent and purple colours, but it can cause hay fever symptoms in some due to its pollen,” explains Craig Wilson.

So, in this case, consider opting for (digital) foxgloves in your garden instead. Its long spikes of tubular flowers, reminiscent of the shape and stature of lavender, make it a great alternative, Craig explains.

“Although they offer a different color palette, they maintain similar vertical interest and are less likely to trigger hay fever reactions. Handle with caution, he warns, as foxgloves are toxic if ingested.

Fox gloves in the garden

Fox gloves in the garden

5. Choose hostas instead of herbs

Last but not least, grass is a famous culprit for triggering hay fever. Ornamental grasses, in particular, are popular for their texture and movement, but of course they are not the best choice for those suffering from hay fever.

Instead, replace them with hosts. “These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can provide gardeners with a similar range of colors – green, yellow, white and even blue – without the pollen,” says Craig Wilson. Better yet, it’s an easy garden idea that will add depth and interest to your outdoor space with little effort and maintenance required.

Hosta plants in pots

Hosta plants in pots

common questions

What plants cause hay fever?

As a general rule, the plants most likely to cause hay fever symptoms are those that are wind-pollinated. Therefore, it is best to choose insect-pollinated, pollen-free plants, or avoid flowering species altogether.

What are the best garden plants for hay fever sufferers?

“If you’re trying to create a hayfever-friendly garden, try choosing insect-pollinated rather than wind-pollinated plants, such as peonies and hydrangeas,” says Craig Morley of Budget Seeds.

“Both of these flowers have thicker, stickier pollen, and cannot travel through the air as easily. Plants with bell-shaped flowers may be less irritating to hay fever sufferers, as their pollen is more difficult to disperse by the wind, and hybrid flower species are less Likely to contain high levels of pollen.

Now you know what plants to avoid in the garden if you have hay fever, and the best alternatives you can choose instead that don’t compromise on color or beauty in your spring garden.

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