Do you feel the urge to sneeze just looking at that picture? You’re not alone. The CDC reports that over 50 million Americans live with allergies. In fact, it’s the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the country. Fortunately, there are still ways to enjoy the outdoors this spring and summer without getting stifled by allergy-aggravating pollen. Plant these six colorful allergy-friendly flowers, and you can enjoy your yard sniffle-free!
Pansies come in a huge range of colors, so they’re ideal if you’re looking to add some eye-catching pops to your garden. While they do create pollen, it’s sticky; as a result, the wind can’t catch it and spread it to you. Not only are these flowers perfect for allergy sufferers, they’re also practical for beginning gardeners. They’re very forgiving, especially when situated in a planting bed. Pansies reward minimal care with long-lasting, vibrant blooms. They can even add color to your food if you’re looking to get adventurous with your salads this summer.
Adding color to your garden shouldn’t spike your water bill. If you’re looking for drought-tolerant, hardy and allergy-friendly flowers to add vibrancy to your outdoor spaces, look no further than bougainvillea. The vivid pink and orange blooms of the bougainvillea are actually not flowers at all, although they’ll fool your friends and neighbors. The actual flower of the plant is contained within its leaves. Because the real flower is very small, it produces minimal pollen, keeping you comfortable.
It’s surprising that the flower most associated with spring is also one of the least likely to trigger allergies. Tulips’ low pollen count makes them a great addition to your garden. You can even cut the blooms and arrange them inside: Each tulip bulb contains such little pollen that bringing them indoors shouldn’t cause a spike in your symptoms.
However, take note of contact during planting. Some people with allergies have reported a mild rash after handling the flowers for extended periods. Wear gloves to protect yourself.
If you have allergies and shady outdoor spaces, you may feel that owning a bright garden is impossible. However, begonias may be the perfect solution. These allergy-friendly flowers come in a wide range of shade-loving varieties. Some have ruffled petals. Some grow up to two feet high. They can be red, pink, yellow, white, orange or any combination of those colors. No matter which type of begonia you choose, though, you can rest easy that it will shed minimal pollen.
If you’re looking to fill your garden with allergy-friendly flowers that will last most of the year, check out hydrangeas. They stay in bloom from spring to fall. Like begonias, they’re also available in a variety of colors. They thrive in a wide variety of environments — you can find them growing everywhere from North Carolina to Southeast Asia — but always need a good amount of water. Keep your hydrangeas hydrated and they’ll reward you with large blooms.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and even allergy sufferers can confidently inhale the scent of these garden favorites. Roses do create pollen, but the pollen particles are fairly large. As a result, the wind doesn’t pick up much of it, keeping the surrounding airspace safe for people with allergies. If you’d like to give your outdoor space a classic look and keep your symptoms at bay, roses are a great choice.
Allergy sufferers, rejoice! It’s still possible to enjoy a vibrant, flower-covered garden. Choose your blooms wisely and you can surround yourself with color without the need to surround yourself with allergy meds and tissues.
What are your favorite allergy-friendly flowers? Which will you be planting in your garden this summer? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.