Can Houseplants Cause Allergies?
Are your house plants making you sneeze? Can indoor plants trigger your allergies?
Brace yourselves, plant parents. The answer is yes – your beloved plant babies may be causing your allergies.
But this doesn’t have to spell the end of your indoor oasis. There are plenty of house plants to choose from, and while certain types can lead to symptoms of allergy , many more are safe, harmless, and ideal in the home.1
Learn more about what triggers your allergies in plants, and how you can manage and minimise your symptoms below.
Allergens in House Plants
House plants can make your home feel like a sanctuary and elevate your home’s aesthetics. However, these same plants can sabotage your sanctuary if you’re allergic to pollen or mold .
Grains of pollen are tiny enough that the natural air flow within your home can keep them afloat at all times. These pollen particulates trigger a variety of allergic reactions, including allergic rhinitis and urticaria . If you have flowering plants at home, their pollen may be the reason why you’re sneezing so constantly or getting hives on your skin.2
Mold can be a factor in your allergy symptoms too. A type of fungi, mold can be found everywhere in the natural world. It feeds off of organic material in damp environments, which means mold can very much thrive in your indoor garden. You may find mold on dead or rotting leaves and branches, or in the very soil your potted plants derive their nutrients from. These colonies of mold release spores in the air, much like flowering plants. Mold spores are a common allergen that causes runny, itchy, or blocked nose, eye irritation, and itchy, red skin.2
Symptoms of Plant Allergy
Pollen and mold in house plants can lead to allergic rhinitis , also called hay fever . Watch out for these symptoms1:
- An itchy, runny, or congested nose.
- Sneezing or coughing.
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes.
- An itchy sensation in your mouth, throat, and ears.
- Loss of smell.
- Pain in your temples and forehead.
Certain secretions or sap from plants may also trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Touching a plant that has substances you’re sensitive to can lead to skin allergy , manifesting as itchy rash, hives , or bumps on skin.2
Preventing Allergic Reactions to Plants
Can you still be a plant parent if you suffer from plant allergens? The answer is YES, of course! There are many ways yet to reduce your allergic reactions to plants. Bear in mind the following:3
- Choose non-flowering plants, or plant species that produce very little pollen .
- Refrain from over-watering your plant babies. Too much water may encourage mold growth.
- Make sure your plants are getting enough sun. Dry heat and light prevent mold from taking root in your plants.
- Invest in a dehumidifier and an air purifier that can take care of allergens in your home. Use the dehumidifier to maintain humidity levels of below 50% in indoor spaces, which would minimise growth of mold. Use the air purifier to filter out these pollen and mold allergens from the air.
Choosing the Right Plants for Your Home
Choosing the right plants is also key to growing your indoor garden without suffering the consequences. Some houseplants can even help to clear and purify the air. 5
The best house plants for allergy sufferers3 include:
- Peace lilies
- Golden pothos
- Areca palm, Kentia palm, Lady palm, and bamboo palm
The worst house plants for indoor gardeners with allergies include3-4:
- Weeping fig
- Male Palms and Yuccas
- African Violet
Treating Your Allergies to Plants
Allergic rhinitis due to pollen or mold from plants can quickly abate thanks to Clarityn®. A fast-acting, long-lasting antihistamine , Clarityn® is non-drowsy and can effectively relieve allergy symptoms triggered by over 200 airborne allergens.
With Clarityn® products available for adults and kids, you can be sure that the whole family can rest safe and easy, while you get to keep a thriving and growing luscious garden at home.
- Hay Fever - NHS UK, Accessed November 4, 2021
- Houseplants Causing Allergies: Can You Be Allergic To Houseplants - Gardening Know-How, Accessed November 4, 2021
- The best and worst common indoor plants for allergy sufferers - Socialist Health Association, Accessed November 4, 2021
- 6 Indoor Plants To Avoid If You Think You Have Allergies - Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C., Accessed November 4, 2021
- Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement, Accessed February 24, 2022