What we plant in our gardens can greatly affect our allergies. With some smart, well thought out plant selections you can reduce or eliminate the amount of allergens you and your family are exposed to. Here are some tips to help you get started on cleaning up the allergens in your garden.
*FEMALES ARE BETTER THAN MALES* in tree & shrub selection that is. Males produce pollen and are often sold as “seedless” or “fruitless” in variety. Female plants are your best bet when your gardening for the allergen sensitive, because they do not produce pollen. Females do however drop seeds and are not often planted because of the mess they make.
*PLANT A POLLEN MAGNET* If you already have lots of male plants in your garden and are not about to rip them out, add some females to your landscape. Female plants act as a magnet for pollen and actually trap it, reducing the pollen that is in the air. There are also varieties of female sod, for allergy free lawns and as a bonus they don’t grow as tall and require less mowing.
*CHOOSE DISEASE RESISTANT* Choosing plants that are resistant to mildew, rust, black spot and other diseases will help reduce allergens.
All plant diseases reproduce by creating spores. Spores get in the air and wreak havoc on those with allergies, so selecting disease resistant plants will help keep your garden allergy free.
*PLANT AWAY FROM WINDOWS & DOORS* If your an allergy sufferer and just HAVE to have that high pollen plant, make sure you give it a home away from your windows and doors. Remember that 99% of the pollen produced by the plant will typically land about 30 feet from the plant itself.
Mulberry Maple – OPALS Scale rating = 10 *REFER TO THE OPALS SCALE* The “O”gren “P”lant “A”llergy “S”cale was developed by Thomas Leo Ogren who is a horticulturist. He began researching plants and the levels of allergens they produce because his wife was an allergy sufferer. The OPALS scale lists plants on a scale of 1 to 10, with the safest, least allergenic plants ranked at 1 and the most allergenic ranked at 10.