For many who suffer from allergies, enjoying outdoor spaces and gardens without needing antihistamines might seem like an impossible dream. You don't want to spend all your time indoors or live in a bubble, but the plants right outside your door often act as your worst enemy.

The good news is, there are plenty of beautiful landscape plants that are less likely to trigger allergies. Creating a low-allergy landscape around your house can make the growing season much more bearable for allergy sufferers. Also, communities can make themselves healthier for the people who live there by replacing high-allergy plants with varieties that don't produce as much pollen.

In this article, we'll take a look at what low-allergy landscaping involves and which plants work best. You won't be able to completely eliminate allergens, but these tips will let you drastically cut back on the problem.


How Can Plants Be Low-Allergy?

Pollen is the most common allergy culprit. Most plants produce pollen, but they do so in different ways. Plants that are wind pollinated release pollen into the air so the wind can carry it to other plants. They're the worst causes of allergies.

On the other hand, plants that are insect pollinated don't need to let their pollen go. They want to keep the pollen inside the flowers so insects can gather the pollen. That makes these plants a good choice for low-allergy gardening.

Only the male parts of a plant produce pollen. Many plant species have both male and female parts on the same plant, but "two house" plants produce male flowers on one plant and the female parts on another. If you only plant the female, you won't have to worry about pollen.

The Best Low-Allergy Plants

It's good news for gardeners that the best plants for a low-allergy landscape are also the ones with beautiful flowers. Insect pollinated plants need showy flowers to attract insects, and they also look lovely in the landscape bed.

Plants in this category include flowering bulbs, snapdragons, fuchsia, and many more. This also includes flowering shrubs and small trees like hibiscus, hydrangea, and flowering pear. Click these links for more ideas:

Keep in mind that some flowers with strong scents (like some roses and iris) can still trigger allergies even though they don't release much pollen. You can grow them, but don't sniff too closely.

Eliminating Allergy Culprits

If you're landscaping a home, you'll want to eliminate high-allergy plants like bottlebrush and ornamental grasses. Popular trees like olive, maple, oak, cottonwood, and cedar are also problem plants. Communities often plant male trees so they don't have to clean up fallen fruit from female trees, but that just makes allergies worse. Plant female trees whenever you can, both commercially and around homes. Ironbark, eucalyptus, crape myrtle, and magnolia are good choices for low-allergy trees.

Lawn grasses also flower and produce pollen. One solution is to mow the grass frequently to keep it from growing flowers. You could also replace the lawn with hybrid Bermuda grass, which produces low amounts of pollen, or a female clone of Buffalograss such as '609', 'Legacy' or 'UC Verde.' That can help eliminate a huge source of pollen around a home.

Following these tips will help you create a low-allergy landscape whether you're landscaping at home or for commercial clients. And if you need any new tools to make your landscaping and maintenance jobs easier, Richardson Saw & Lawnmower is the place to get them. We carry a wide range of landscaping tools and equipment from top-quality brands. Stop in to see our selection and talk with our equipment experts about what you need.