How to Plant an Allergy-Friendly Garden

If mowing the grass, trimming trees and pulling weeds causes sniffling, sneezing and watery eyes – commonly known as ‘hay fever’ – you’re not alone. The pollen from trees, flowers, grass and weeds are the most common allergy triggers, affecting more than 25.5 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while there’s no such thing as a totally allergen-free environment, you can make choices that reduce your symptoms.

Wipe out weeds

Because weeds release additional pollen into the landscape, pull them out or dig them up regularly. While you’re at it, clean up debris and nuts around the yard with your Weasel Small Nut Gatherer.

Stay away from high-pollen producing plants

They might be lovely, but avoid planting catalpa, weeping bottlebrush and Queen Anne’s Lace, which will aggravate seasonal allergies. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology offers a guide listing plants that produce lower amounts of pollen. Allergy-friendly flowering plants such as begonia, geranium, clematis, iris, pansy, zinnia and verbena are all good choices.

Plant the right trees and shrubs

Although they’re great for providing shade, many trees and bushes emit huge quantities of pollen – did you know that one elm tree can release a billion pollen grains during pollination, while one oak tree lets loose 500 billion? Avoid planting those, plus maple, ash, birch, cedar, pine, willow, sycamore and walnut. Instead, choose saucer magnolia, flowering dogwood or common sassafras. For shrubs, stay away from mulberry, hawthorn and juniper, and opt for hydrangeas, azaleas or hibiscus.

Protect yourself while gardening

In addition to taking allergy medication a few weeks before pollen season starts, wear long-sleeve shirts, gloves, a hat and sunglasses to reduce your contact with pollen.

Delegate lawn-mowing, hedge-pruning and weeding to family members who don’t have allergies, and keep your grass two inches high to reduce pollen. It’s best to garden early in the morning on windless days, when pollen counts are lower.

Share your tips or tricks for reducing allergy symptoms!


Purple Iris: Photo by Aaron Burden from Pexels

Pansies: Photo by Rodwell Harinangoni from Pexels

Magnolia Tree: Photo Credit: <a href=””>jurvetson</a> Flickr via <a href=””>Compfight</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Begonia: Photo Credit: <a href=””>James St. John</a> Flickr via <a href=””>Compfight</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Hydrangeas: Photo Credit: <a href=””>Bennilover</a> Flickr via <a href=””>Compfight</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

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