If you suffer from Hay Fever, you are having an allergic reaction to the pollen emitted by grass and flowers. When pollen that is in the air enters your nose it sets off a reaction with the lining of the nose. The symptoms of Hay Fever therefore tend to be concentrated on the sinuses, the nose and the eyes and this can make life during the spring and summer especially, very uncomfortable.
Whether growing flowers in your garden or displaying them in your home, there are flowers that are low in pollen that will help keep you allergy free! The easiest way to decide which ones to go for is to firstly choose female flowers. Female flowers don’t produce pollen and are therefore less likely to set off an allergic reaction.
If you are purchasing a bouquet of flowers for someone who is known to have Hay Fever or asthma, ask the advice of your florist before making your choice. There are plenty flowers low in pollen that are less likely to trigger a fit of sneezing. If you still aren’t sure about which flowers to choose, ask them to make up a sneeze-free bouquet for you.
If you are planning a low-pollen flower garden, some of the best flowers for allergy sufferers are roses. Although they produce pollen, it is heavier and larger in size than other pollens and therefore less likely to be carried in the wind. Roses can be trained to rise up and over supports (although it should be noticed that climbers are heavily scented and Hay Fever sufferers should be careful about choosing roses with strong aromas.) Roses can be used to edge paths and driveways, as ground cover or as hedges. Most roses enjoy at least five hours of sunlight a day and this should be taken into account when planning a rose garden.
Other flowers that are less likely to cause a bout of sneezing include doubled flowers like the double chrysanthemums which often have no pollen. Begonia, azalea, dahlia, gladiolas, iris, marigolds, crocus, poppies and tulips are all quite low in pollen and therefore hold less risk of triggering a Hay Fever or asthma attack than spring blooming plants like oak and birch. In fact, anyone who is allergic to flowers should avoid trees and shrubs that come into flower when they are bare of leaves or when the leaves are just starting to re-grow. These include willow, alder, sycamore and myrtle.
Daffodils, agapanthus, peonies and hydrangeas are also flowers that are low in pollen and therefore a more friendly flower for Hay Fever sufferers.
There is no reason, therefore, why people who are allergic to pollen cannot enjoy fresh flowers as long as thought is put into the type of flowers they grow in their garden or bring into their home.