As one in four of us now suffers from seasonal rhinitis, while 5.4 million people in the UK are receiving treatment for asthma, it’s time to take a can-do attitude to gardening for those of you longing for a sneeze-free summer.
If you’re weepy after weeding—we have a problem, and it’s important to know the most common triggers of allergic rhinitis. Research suggests that the worst offenders to our sinus serenity are airborne substances like mould, pollen, pollutants, animal dander, or dust. With that in mind, let us investigate how to tackle these troubles to say astalavista to allergies.
One rule to remember is that, generally, bee- and butterfly-friendly shrubs and perennials are better to allergy sufferers. This is because insect-pollenated flowers won’t give you as much grief as wind-pollinated ones. Plus, the bees and butterflies will benefit too!
This goes for pollen heavy plants around your home too—best not to plant Chrsyanthemums, Helianthus annuus (common sunflowers) or Wisteria near to your windows and doors were pollen can be blown into the house. For alternative outdoor climbing plants to compliment your brickwork, without the added pollenated problems, try Clematis armandii for a sun-loving climber with a vibrant floral display.
Although some of you may need to keep your distance from blooms like Aster, Gypsophelia (baby’s breath), Dahlia, Chrysanthemums, and, sadly, Helianthus annuus (sunflowers)—which are passionate pollen producers, don’t fret, some suitable substitutions for you to explore include:
These free-flowering plants are in just about every shady garden and tend to shed little pollen. All popular types of fibrous or tuberous begonias are safe bets for allergy sufferers.
The beautiful “flowers” of a bougainvillea are actually the bracts surrounding the flowers. The tiny, tubular flowers are inside and produce only small amounts of pollen.
Camellias are monoecious, meaning they have both the male and female reproductive organs on the same flower and that therefore their pollen does not have to travel far for pollination. This makes them a good choice for sensitive noses.
Geraniums (Pelargonium) give off very little pollen. In fact, scientists have even developed a pollen-free geranium which, if made commercially available, could be the answer we’re looking for.
Petunias give off a faint scent that becomes much more pronounced when the plants are grown in large numbers. However, their pollen is considered a low or non-allergen.
As for your home, it’s best to identify plants that promote clean air because this is essential for healthy living.
It’s nicknamed “the cubicle plant” for its ability to grow in less-than-ideal settings —one for those small, dark corners. It can reduce mould particles and carbon monoxide toxins all at the same time!