The Best and Worst Flowers for Allergy Sufferers
Table of Contents
- Written by Holly Hughes on December 25, 2021
The smell of freshly-cut grass. A meadow of sweet-smelling wildflowers. A freshly-picked bouquet of daisies. These are some of life’s simplest and most exquisite pleasures and yet for many of us they are ruined by allergies.
What causes this extreme allergy reaction to some plants? What are some common plant allergies and how can we avoid them so, even for us allergy sufferers, flowers can remain a fragrant joy in our homes and gardens? In this article we will answer some of the most common questions around plant allergies so keep reading!
What causes an allergic reaction to flowers?
First of all – where do these allergies come from? Pollen – which is the fine powder that flowers, trees, plants and grasses produce to fertilize others of their species – is what causes an allergic reaction to flowers. The breathing in of this pollen causes an adverse allergy response in many people.
Do all plants produce pollen?
Not all plants produce pollen and indeed there are many low pollen flowers which means good news for any allergy sufferers out there!
What is more important than pollen production is how it is transmitted. The highest producers of pollen are monoecious plants (plants whose male and female flowers live separately on the same plant) and dioecious plants (plants with either all female or male blooms).
In order to pollinate and create more flowers, the male flowers of both of these plants must release their pollen into the air to reach and fertilize the females. However, in this wind travel, some bits get sent out into the air, which we then ingest, resulting in the allergic reactions we know too well.
How do you know if you’re allergic to flowers?
As alluded to above, if you have a pollen allergy, you will know about it! When you breathe in pollen-heavy air a pollen allergy sufferer will experience a range of symptoms that include sneezing, watery eyes, wheezing, nasal congestion, an itchy throat and eyes and a runny nose.
How to avoid this affliction? Must people with plant allergies give up their love of blooms altogether? Not at all!
There are a range of allergy friendly flowers for you to enjoy without compromising on style, beauty, or fragrance. We’ll take a look at some of these hypoallergenic flowers now.
The best flowers for allergy sufferers
As we discussed, it is plants who rely on wind travel to pollinate that are often the worst triggers for allergy sufferers. Therefore, plants who use insect pollination to fertilize their flowers are some of the best flowers for people with allergies.
This is because their pollen, unlike other flowers, is sticky and thick so that it can attach to the legs of insects, making it too heavy to float through the air. This therefore reduces the chances of pollen getting into your eyes or nose and causing the horrid hay fever symptoms we’ve discussed.
Hydrangeas are an example of these insect-pollinating plants with sticky pollen. Best of all, because these flowers need to attract bees and insects as their pollinators, low pollen plants such as hydrangeas are typically bright, colorful, and eye-catching.
As a general rule, hybridized plants are typically low pollen carriers and therefore the best flowers for allergy sufferers. These nonallergenic flowers are sometimes considered perfect plants – plants that contain both male and female flowers.
Roses are an example of these perfect plants and as we know, a beautiful option for both your garden or a bouquet for your table with their delicate petals and elegant colors. Find your perfect rose bouquet at FromYouFlowers or else bring their joy into your garden by ordering a plant from Plants.com.
Other plants that are good for those with allergies include daffodils, tulips, lilies, pansies, petunias, and geraniums. Choose a perfect allergy-free bouquet of these delights at SendFlowers, Florists.com or 1800Flowers.
The worst flowers for allergies
Undoubtedly, the worst flowers for allergy sufferers are those from the aster or daisy family. Ubiquitous in summertime, asters are pollen-heavy and therefore huge irritants for anyone with an allergy. Examples include daisies, dahlias, chamomile, and chrysanthemums.
Baby’s breath, though small, is another plant to be avoided by anyone with a pollen allergy as they carry much of it. Avoid these pollen-heavy blooms and choose a hypoallergenic variety of monthly blooms with a wonderful subscription from EnjoyFlowers, BloomsyBox or MonthlyClubs. Versatile, affordable, and bursting with variety, these subscription services will keep your nose, eyes, and home happy.
What to send someone who is allergic to flowers
Now that you know what plants cause allergies, you know what to avoid when sending a floral gift to a loved one with an allergy. As discussed above, avoid any plants from the Asteraceae family as they typically carry a light, dusty pollen that is sure to aggravate any allergy sufferers. Instead, stick with low pollen flowers such as roses, hydrangeas or azaleas.
If you choose wisely, there is nothing to stop an allergy sufferer from enjoying fresh and beautiful flowers in their home and garden. Find your perfect, hypoallergenic bouquet or plant with one of these quick, affordable and high-quality flower providers and enjoy, no matter how sensitive you may be, being able to smell the roses!
Can you be allergic to roses?
Though roses carry pollen, their particles are too large to be carried by the wind and become airborne and therefore don’t cause any problems for most people with allergies. On rare occasions, people can experience an allergic reaction to roses but this is exceedingly rare.
Can you be allergic to sunflowers?
Yes, ordinary sunflowers can particularly aggravate allergies. However, there are several hypoallergenic varieties coming in an array of colors for you to choose from including ‘Apricot Twist’ and ‘Joker’.
Can you be allergic to tulips?
While highly unlikely, it is still possible that some allergy sufferers might experience a reaction to tulips.
What is the most common flower people are allergic to?
Grasses are undoubtedly the most common cause of allergic reactions. Amongst weeds, ragweed is the biggest irritant for allergy sufferers while for flowers, all blooms from the aster family cause common reactions.
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