Indoor plants and allergies become a problem if you suffer from allergies. One of the best ways to stop the symptoms that come with such allergies is to know what causes them. This can be a problem during the spring and summer when pollen count increases. While there are, several indoor plants that actually help to reduce allergens, some also worsen the problem. Indoor plants and allergies can be a huge problem.

When it comes to dioecious plants, choosing female plants will help you combat the problem of indoor plants and allergies.

Common Houseplants To Avoid For An Allergen-Free Home

Here are ten plants to avoid if you suffer from allergies. However, if you are a person who suffers from allergies, it is a good idea to check the OPALS scale (Ogren Plant-Allergy Scale), before you even acquire a plant. The brainchild of Thomas Leo Ogren, the OPALS rates plants on how allergic they can be on a scale of 1 to 10. With 1 being less irritating to allergy sufferers and 10 being most irritating to allergy suffers.

weeping fig

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

The ficus plant is a very common indoor plant because of their elegant look. This plant is common in many homes and workplaces, the allergies of the ficus benjamina plant is similar to that of latex since the weeping fig produces proteins similar to those found in latex. These allergen proteins are present in the sap of the plant. They attach themselves to dust particles and float in the air.

african violet

African Violets (Saintpaulia)

These plants have very amazing and vibrant looking purple flowers. And since they are tropical plants, they grow wonderfully indoors. The plants themselves are not allergic; however, they are notorious for collecting dust easily. This means if you do not wipe African violets down often, they will trigger dust allergies in those who suffer from them.


Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

The chamomile may not be the most common indoor plant; however, it can cause allergies especially when it starts to bloom. The chamomile like the daisy is part of the Asteraceae. Because of its wonderful looking flowers, this plant makes an appearance in many bouquets, table-scapes, and arrangements at events such as weddings. If you have weed allergies, it is important to allow chamomile flowers, as you will likely end up with a stuffy nose. The chamomile also makes a relaxing tea.

common daisy

Common daisy (Bellis perennis)

Daises have a high pollen count. This makes them irritating to allergy sufferer during the spring. Daisies are from the Asteraceae family. They are common at weddings, and table bouquets. Due to their high pollen count, they can cause allergic reactions for people with allergy problems.

english ivy

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

The English ivy is a common creeping plant that has an elegant color and patterns depending on variant. This temperate indoor plant is common in many homes found in the temperate zones of the world. They are very effective at clearing the air of dangerous toxins. They are also safe for almost everybody. There are, however, a few people who cannot stand the English ivy. Although the English ivy is not from the same family as the poison ivy, they can cause similar skin rashes to those who are allergic to the plant. Theses allergic reactions include skin rashes.


Juniper (Juniperus)

The juniper indoor plant is commonly cultivated as a bonsai tree. This is because it is very easy to work with and train. However, some types of juniper trees can cause allergies amount those who suffer from tree allergies. The juniper tree will cause rashes in some when it pricks the skin during pruning and caring for the tree. It is, therefore, essential that you wear a pair of gloves when working on the tree, doing so will largely reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

areca palm

Male Palm (Arecaceae / Palmae)

Female palms do not produce pollen and thus are safe for those who suffer from pollen allergies. However, male palms do produce pollen and can cause allergy flare-up, since they produce a very large amount of pollen. This makes them a regrettable acquisition for some. If you suffer from pollen allergies, it is best to acquire a female palm plant.

Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota / Ammi majus)

This is a plant with flowers similar to wild carrots; they can also refer to wild carrots. The flowers of the Queen Anne’s Lace are common components in wildflower and summer arrangements and bouquets. The bad aspect is that the Queen Anne’s Lace has a score of 10 on the OPAL Scale. This means that for those allergic to this plant, allergic reactions can be serious. Allergic reactions include skin rashes. Those who have weed allergies are likely to be allergic to the Queen Anne’s Lace flowers. The reactions are similar to that of Poison Oak.

sun flower

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

The sunflower plant has a warm yellow flower that makes it popular in summer bouquets, however, the blooms of the sunflower plant is highly allergic, and has similar allergic properties as ragweed. The sunflower’s flower affects as high as 30 percent of pollen allergic sufferers. Apart from the pollens of the sunflower, the touch and consumption of the seeds can lead to allergic reactions particularly the seeds hat contains leftover pollen. Reactions as severe as anaphylaxis are a possibility. This can be life threatening. It is important that immediate epinephrine injection is administered and the victim taken to the hospital. As such, it is important for allergy sufferers to avoid the flowers of the sunflower.

Other plants that cause allergies are (but not limited to) ragweed, carrot grass, orchard grass, cypress, yew, fern pine, oak, and alder.

Here are some plants that are least allergic:

  • Beautybush (Callicarpa dichotoma), also known as ‘Early Amethyst’
  • Catmint (Nepeta nervosa)
  • Cigar Plant (Cuphea)
  • Cranesbill (Erodium spp.)
  • Dianthus
  • Hollies (Ilex x)
  • Impatiens
  • Pansies
  • Salvia nemerosa
  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)

Indoor plants and allergies is an issue that should be treated with seriousness especially if you suffer from allergies.



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