Do you love your garden, but find that it doesn’t love you back? Many of us end up wheezing and sneezing when we venture outdoors, with allergies or asthma forcing us to limit the amount of time in the garden. Some of the most notorious sneeze producers include the ever-popular daisies and chamomile.
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But not all plants provoke strong responses. Did you know that female plants are less likely to trigger allergic reactions? There are also hypoallergenic hybrids, as well as sterile plants, available. Here is a list of garden alternatives that are worth a try if you want to limit allergic sensitivities.
Hibiscus (rosa-sinensis) is a gorgeous, flashy plant with an abundance of colorful flowers. This showy plant is a favorite among butterflies and birds, and averages around 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Looking for something just as dramatic, but in a smaller version? Dwarf varieties are available!
The chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) is another show-stopper, dripping with long, bright-crimson flower constellations. The chenille plant also makes a good houseplant, since it does well in partial shade. Expect outside plants to grow upwards of 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, with container plants much smaller.
Sweet pea (Lathyrus spp. and L. odoratus.) is an eager but well-behaved climber that emits the loveliest of fragrances. The cheerful little plant does well in all climates but prefers full sun. You can purchase sweet peas in vine, bush, heirloom, early-flowering, summer- or spring-flowering varieties.
Fall phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a hardy plant that comes decorated with fragrant blooms ranging in color from lavender to red and pink to white. The colorful buds bloom throughout the summer, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
With their abundance of yellow blooms, native goldenrods and goldenrod hybrids are the perfect plant to usher in late summer/early autumn. These lush plants are a low maintenance choice that birds and butterflies find irresistible! Goldenrods can tolerate partial shade to full sun, and moderate watering.
Did you know that scientists have managed to breed hypoallergenic sunflowers? Lucky for us, these bright blooms still attract the birds and the butterflies! Popular annual varieties include ‘Sunbeam,’ ‘Apricot Twist’, and ‘Lemon Éclair.’
Sturdy, verdant Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has the added bonus of being a cook’s delight. Plants come in bushy, upright, creeping, or weeping varieties, and the fresh, highly fragrant spikes are a flavorful, healthy, and economical addition to a variety of dishes.