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Pollen, Pets

Low-Allergy Plants for the Garden

Get your Groove Back

You’ve banished gardening from your life, uprooted your plants and spend your Spring hiding indoors. Little do you know, there are hundreds of low-allergy options for your garden. What’s more, many of these are far more beautiful than their pollen-pouring counterparts, because they have to stand out in order to attract bees and other pollinating insects. Here is Allergic Living‘s list of potentials for your low-allergy garden:

Pink Peony

Photo: JENNIFER BYRON/Getty

Flowering Plants

  • Lathyrus odoratus – Sweet pea
  • Catharanthus roseus – Periwinkle
  • Digitalis – Foxglove
  • Impatiens – Impatiens
  • Myosotis – Forget-me-nots
  • Nierembergia – Cup flower
  • Petunia – Petunia
  • Viola – Johnny jump up, pansy, violet
  • Brodiaea – Dlephant’s ears
  • Crocus – Spring-flowering crocus
  • Cyclamen – Cyclamen
  • Galanthus – Snowdrops
  • Gladiolus – Gladiolus
  • Hyacinth – Hyacinth (numerous varieties)
  • Gentiana – Gentian
  • Geranium – True geranium, cranesbill
  • Hemerocallis – Day lily
  • Peony – Peony
  • Polemonium – Jacob’s ladder
  • Rhododendron – Azalea, rhododendron
  • Fuchsia – Fuchsia
  • Dianthus – Carnation, pinks
  • Papaver – Poppy
  • Begonia – Fibrous or tuberous begonia
  • Rosa – Rose (avoid high-scent varieties)
  • Phlox – Phlox
  • Iris – Iris
  • Erythrocoma triflora – Prairie smoke
  • Kniphofia – Red Hot Poker
  • Clematis – Clematis
  • Tulipa gesneriana – Tulip (bulbs may irritate sensitive skin)
  • Penstemon – Beardtongue
  • Antirrhinum – Snapdragon
  • Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly weed
  • Hibiscus – hibiscus
  • Narcissus – Daffodil
  • Bulbine frutescens – bulbine

Shurbs/Bushes/Herbs

  • Coleus blumei – Coleus
  • Hosta – Hosta, plantain lily
  • Physalis – Chinese lantern
  • Sempervivum – Hens and chicks
  • Hydrangea grandiflora – Big leaf hydrangea
  • Viburnum – Viburnum shrubs, highbush cranberry, nannyberry
  • Heuchera – Coral bells (many varieties)
  • Teucrium crispum – Wood sage
  • Physocarpus opulifolius – Dart’s gold, ninebark
  • Bergenia – Elephant’s ears
  • Kolkwitzia amabilis – Beauty bush
  • Aronia melanocarpa – Black chokeberry
  • Rodgersia pinnata – Featherleaf rodgersia
  • Helianthemum – Sunrose, rock rose
  • Gaura – Gaura, beeblossom
  • Vaccinium corymbosum – Blueberry bush
  • Berberis vulgaris – Barberry bush
  • Daphne – Daphne
  • Nandina domestica – Nandina
  • Salvia greggii – Autumn sage
  • Salvia clevelandii – Cleaveland sage, blue sage

Trees

  • Stick to female trees, which may drop berries or seeds but don’t produce pollen
  • Persimmon  – persimmon tree
  • Amelanchier lamarkii – juneberry tree

Vines/Climbing Plants

  •  Thunbergia alata – Black-eyed Susan vine


Sources: Allergy-Free Gardening, by Thomas Leo Ogren, Creating a Low-Allergen Garden, by Lucy Huntington, Peter Prakke, Horticulturalist, Olivia Kirk, Landscape & Garden Designer for KKE Architects and Melissa Gable, University of California Davis arboretum.

 

See Also: Plants to Avoid

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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.