When most of us think of landscaping, we tend to picture colorful plants, trees and flowers vibrantly bursting from the ground. We think of their beauty and their fragrance and the way they add so much life to a property. For those of us with allergies, we also think of the pollen and how our allergies will undoubtedly react. Fortunately, there are ways of creating allergy-free landscaping that are every bit as beautiful as any non-allergy sufferer could envision.
An important thing for allergy sufferers when planning their landscape is knowing which trees, plants and shrubs have high pollen production – especially pollen that is easily windborne. For instance, the pollen produced by juniper, spruce and other conifers is spread by the wind rather than insects. A great option for more allergy-free landscaping that offers a lot of color would be salvia or other flowers whose spread of pollen relies solely on insects. Additional allergy-free landscaping selections include plants with sticky pollen or no pollen at all. Think hydrangeas and ferns.
If you’re unsure about whether a plant fits into your plan of creating allergy-free landscaping, check the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALSTM), which gives allergy rankings to plants on a scale of 1 to 10. A ranking of 10 means that a plant is severely allergenic. A few examples of trees whose rankings make them allergy-friendly are:
- Apricot trees
- Avocados trees
- Bronze loquat trees
- Nectarine trees
- Peach trees
- Persimmon trees
- Pineapple trees
- Plum trees
- Strawberry trees
Some of the worst trees for allergy sufferers include:
- Chinese evergreen elm
Down the Tubes
If you love vines, bougainvillea are the perfect way of getting great visual appeal without the allergy aggravation. As is Carolina Jessamine, an evergreen vine whose long, tubular flowers keep the pollen deep inside so that it is spread by insects instead of the wind.
Other types of tubular flowers that should top your list include foxglove and honeysuckle as well as traditional snapdragons. Each of these produces pollen that is enclosed within the flower or very deep, making it less accessible and therefore less of aggravating to allergies.
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Showy flowers like bulbs are great for allergy-free landscaping because they are highly attractive to bee pollinators, which keeps their airborne pollen to a minimum. Blooming season for bulbs is at a time when the pollen count in the air is already lower, so allergies aren’t on high alert. Consider planting your garden with such flowers as dahlias, snowdrops, daffodils, tulips, calla lilies, hyacinths, tuberous begonias, Asiatic lilies and crocuses.
Trees and Shrubs for Allergy Love
For more even more variety when planning your allergy-free landscaping, look at incorporating deciduous trees like redbud, hawthorn, fringetree, dogwood crabapple, golden-rain tree, dawn redwood and flowering pear. Great options for flowering shrubs include deutzia, butterfly bush, shrub dogwoods, cotoneaster, rose-of-Sharon, flowering quince, blue mist shrub and roses.
Claim Your Turf
Grass is also an important consideration for allergy sufferers. For allergy-free landscaping with beautiful green grass, plant hybrid Bermuda grass, which produces little to no pollen. In contrast, common Bermuda grass produces a great deal of pollen. Another great option is one of the female clones of Buffalograss such as 609, Legacy or UC Verde.
We at Executive believe that creating allergy-free landscaping doesn’t have to mean sacrificing beauty. We work with homeowners all over the Gulf Coast in designing outdoor spaces that are both pleasing to the eye and easy on the allergies, resulting in masterpieces that everyone can enjoy without worry.
Call the landscaping experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc. to learn more about the services we offer and how to best create allergy-free landscaping today!