It’s that time of the year again: a runny nose, uncontrollable sneezing and itchy eyes. Yep, we’re talking about hay fever season. Are you suffering from hay fever or do you want to send flowers to someone who is? Then scroll down to see our shortlist of hay fever friendly flowers.
The more colour the better
The rule of thumb is that colourful flowers have a reduced risk of causing hay fever. You may wonder why? Colourful flowers seem to attract insects – like bees and butterflies – that spread pollen. At the same time, this pollen is often too heavy to be transported by the wind. Flowers causing the above-mentioned unwanted effects are often less colourful and carry light, dusty pollen that floats in the air. We will start off with some colourful hay fever friendly flowers.
Hay fever friendly flowers
Snapdragon – The tightly closed buds of this flower minimise the release of pollen, which makes it a safe choice for anyone who suffers from hay fever. You can enjoy the always colourful Snapdragon both indoors as a cut flower and outdoors in the garden. Colours range from white, yellow, orange and peach to pink, red, purple and violet.
Pollen-free Lily – Who doesn’t love Lilies? Although they can be one of the worst flowers in terms of allergies, there is a solution. Even hay fever sufferers can enjoy these blooms without having unwanted sneeze effects due to pollen-free Lily varieties. Growers cultivate special breeds that are free of pollen and are usually available at your local florist.
Azalea – This hay fever friendly flower is a colourful spring bloomer. Most Azalea varieties bloom from April to June. Of course, this depends on the weather. The flowers of the Azalea come out beautifully in shades of red, pink, purple, yellow and white.
Hydrangea – This flower is one of the safest options as it is insect-pollinated. It comes in many shades of pink, blue, purple and white. Did you know that the acidity in the soil determines the colour of a Hydrangea? In strongly acid soil the flowers turn blue, while in slightly acid/neutral soil they turn purple. Just like Snapdragon, you can enjoy this bloom both indoors and outdoors.
Other sneeze-free flowers are Roses, Astrantia, Lavender, Marigold and Jasmine. Always keep in mind that every person reacts differently and that even low-pollen flowers cannot guarantee that you will have no form of allergic reaction at all. In the end, these flowers still carry pollen (except for the pollen-free Lily). Ask your local florist for advice – they might be able to create a hay fever friendly bouquet!
Flowers to avoid if you have hay fever
Chrysanthemum – These flowers are one of the reasons that hay fever season can last well into autumn. Did you know that the Japanese consider the Chrysanth as a symbol of a long and happy life? We believe that might be true, as long as you don’t suffer from hay fever. ; )
Asters – These innocent-looking, lovely flowers can be a real pain during their blooming period. Although most of them are not even air-pollinated, it’s better to avoid getting too close to these late-season bloomers. The same goes for its family members, Daisies and Gerberas, which are both allergen-heavy.
Sunflowers – When you look at the size of the centre of these flowers, it may not come as a surprise that they are capable of producing loads of pollen. Unfortunately, this pollen is transported by the wind, causing allergic reactions. There is good news for Sunflower lovers out there though! Pollen-free Sunflower varieties such as ‘Apricot Twist’ and ‘Joker’ are listed as hypoallergenic, as their pollen is too heavy to float in the air.
Gypsophila – A popular flower in cottage gardens, just not suitable for people suffering from hay fever. Gypsophila carries light, dusty pollen that start to fly around when it is windy. If there’s no way around it, then opt for the double-flowered varieties. These varieties have a lower level of pollen and their petals prevent pollen from flying off.
Other flowers to avoid if you suffer from hay fever are Amaranth (Pigweed), Chamomile and some Dahlia varieties.