10 Indoor Plants To Stay Away From If You Are Allergic

Lush green indoor plants are both soothing to the eyes and calming to the mind. However, not all green plants could mean well to you especially if you have a hypersensitive immune system. Indoor plants have been hailed for having the wondrous ability to purify the air we breathe but some of them actually expel more allergens like pollen in the air. This means that certain plant pollen can send you sneezing or wheezing with a runny nose or blocked airways. The Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS) has graded plants from 1-10 based on how allergic they can be.1

If you are one of those with a known pollen allergy, it’s best to avoid these 10 indoor plants for the sake of your health.2


1. Daisies

daisies can cause allergic reactions

Dainty looking daisies look so irresistible and can be easily found in most bouquets and gardens. Unfortunately, they have a high content of pollen so a whiff of their fragrance is enough to kickstart a nasty allergic reaction in you.


2. Cedar And Juniper (Bonsai)

bonsai plants are not good for allergy

Many love to flaunt that they have cute, miniature versions of large members of the cedar and juniper families as bonsai. However, many are unaware that despite their size, these bonsai can pack a punch when it comes to invoking an allergic reaction in you. They can also cause skin rashes if you handle them without protective garden gloves.


3. Chamomile

chamomile pollen can cause allergy

Chamomile tea is just the perfect if you need to catch up on a good nap. However, it’s closely related to the extremely allergenic ragweed that can cause respiratory tract problems like sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion and irritated eyes.


4. Ivy

ivy can cause respiratory and skin allergies

Ivy plants like poison and wax ivy are common sightings on walls and abandoned buildings. However, placing an Ivy indoors isn’t a good move for the safety of your loved ones. Skin reactions can be pretty intense for some hence it’s best avoided.


5. Sunflowers

sunflowers and seeds can be allergic to some

The vibrant yellow sunflowers are easy on the eyes but sadly they are known offenders to people who are allergic to pollen. In some hypersensitive individuals, even touching it or consuming its seeds could spark a moderate/severe allergic reaction.


6. Weeping Fig

weeping fig sap can cause allergy like latex

Available in a variety of contorted shapes, weeping figs are rich in sap that can attract dust particles to settle on it. Studies have even proven that latex and sap share the same allergic potential and it’s best avoided.


7. Queen Anne’s Lace

wild carrot flower can cause severe allergic reactions

This lovely plant scores a perfect 10 on the OPALS which means, it’s a strict no-no for households with individuals allergic to pollen. Queen Anne’s Lace flowers can also cause itchy skin rashes in people.

8. Male Ferns And Palms

male ferns and palms shed a lot of pollen

Male ferns and palms are problematic indoor plants because of their heavy shedding of pollen. The only alternative for the enthusiastic fern or palm lovers is to bring the female varieties home to prevent any allergy flare-ups.

9. African Violets

african violet's leaves collect dust

With wide leaves that collect a lot of dust, African violets are common indoor houseplants with attractive flowers. They don’t shed too much pollen but their leaves need to be wiped clean to protect you from any untoward allergic reactions.

10. Chrysanthemums

pollen from chrysanthemum is an allergen

Similar to daisies and ragweeds, these fragrant white flowers are not the best plants to keep indoors especially if you sneeze or wheeze whenever you come in contact with pollen.

This doesn’t mean that you have to dispose of all your indoor plants right away. Remember to bring plants home that don’t shed much pollen and are hypoallergenic like aloe and cacti. To be doubly sure, you can also take a look at the OPAL scale before you keep an indoor plant. Ultimately, choosing the right indoor plants with awareness can boost your overall energy as well as that of your home.