Allergy-Friendly Gardening

A couple of days ago I planted my first garden in my backyard – just a few cold-weather vegetables. Gardening can be a relaxing, fun, and rewarding hobby, but if you have allergies, you should make sure that you don’t grow allergenic plants in your yard!

Pollen from various plants can cause allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and in some cases, asthma attacks. The simple act of gardening outdoors can expose you to many different types of pollen.

“Gardening outside during times of high pollen counts puts patients at risk for severe allergic symptoms,” said Dr. Warren Filley, an Oklahoma City allergist/immunologist and horticulturalist who suffers from allergies. “Avoidance measures, as well as the use of medications and allergy immunotherapy, can make the difference between having fun in the garden and being miserable.”

You can also reduce allergy symptoms by carefully choosing which plants will go in your garden.

According to Medical News Today, garden plants less likely to cause allergies include:

  • Cacti
  • Cherry
  • Dahlia
  • Daisy
  • Geranium
  • Iris
  • Magnolia
  • Rose
  • Snapdragon
  • Tulip

Highly allergenic plants include:

  • Ash
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Pine
  • Saltgrass
  • Timothy

The best way to determine which plants to avoid is to visit your allergist and get tested. Allergy testing will let you know which allergens (and which plants) to avoid.

If you’re planning to plant a garden this fall, pay attention to ragweed pollen levels; ragweed is the most common cause of hay fever. For more tips an pollen avoidance, see Ragweed Season – Allergy Relief Tips.

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