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 allergyX allergy
An allergy is the exaggerated response of the immune system to a foreign substance that is generally safe and poses no threat to the human body.
, 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.

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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 pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance (typically yellow in colour) consisting of microscopic grains that are discharged from the male part of a flower (also known as stamens), or from the male cone of a tree.
or moldX mold
A parasitic, microscopic fungi which floats in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies, and grows well in damp areas of the home, such as a basement or bathroom. It can also thrive in an outdoor environment, such as damp grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch, or under…
.

  • POLLENX POLLEN
    A fine, powdery substance (typically yellow in colour) consisting of microscopic grains that are discharged from the male part of a flower (also known as stamens), or from the male cone of a tree.

    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 rhinitisX rhinitis
    An inflammation in the mucous lining of the nose.
    and urticariaX urticaria
    Also known as hives, urticaria are swollen, red bumps or welts on the skin that are itchy, and can appear as a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens. These bumps or welts can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat or ears.
    . If you have flowering plants at home, their pollen may be the reason why you’re sneezing so constantly or getting hivesX hives
    Hives (also known as urticaria) are swollen, red bumps or welts on the skin that are itchy, and can appear as a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens. These bumps or welts can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat or ears.
    on your skin.2
  • MOLDX MOLD
    A parasitic, microscopic fungi which floats in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies, and grows well in damp areas of the home, such as a basement or bathroom. It can also thrive in an outdoor environment, such as damp grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch, or under…

    MoldX Mold
    A parasitic, microscopic fungi which floats in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies, and grows well in damp areas of the home, such as a basement or bathroom. It can also thrive in an outdoor environment, such as damp grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch, or under…
    can be a factor in your allergyX allergy
    An allergy is the exaggerated response of the immune system to a foreign substance that is generally safe and poses no threat to the human body.
    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 allergenX allergen
    A foreign substance which your body perceives to be harmful; can trigger an allergic reaction.
    that causes runny, itchy, or blocked nose, eye irritation, and itchy, red skin.2

Symptoms of Plant Allergy

PollenX Pollen
A fine, powdery substance (typically yellow in colour) consisting of microscopic grains that are discharged from the male part of a flower (also known as stamens), or from the male cone of a tree.
and moldX mold
A parasitic, microscopic fungi which floats in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies, and grows well in damp areas of the home, such as a basement or bathroom. It can also thrive in an outdoor environment, such as damp grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch, or under…
in house plants can lead to allergic rhinitisX rhinitis
An inflammation in the mucous lining of the nose.
, also called hay feverX hay fever
See Seasonal Allergies
. 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 allergyX allergy
An allergy is the exaggerated response of the immune system to a foreign substance that is generally safe and poses no threat to the human body.
, manifesting as itchy rash, hivesX hives
Hives (also known as urticaria) are swollen, red bumps or welts on the skin that are itchy, and can appear as a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens. These bumps or welts can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat or ears.
, 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 pollenX pollen
    A fine, powdery substance (typically yellow in colour) consisting of microscopic grains that are discharged from the male part of a flower (also known as stamens), or from the male cone of a tree.
    .
  • Refrain from over-watering your plant babies. Too much water may encourage moldX mold
    A parasitic, microscopic fungi which floats in the air like pollen. Mold spores are a common trigger for allergies, and grows well in damp areas of the home, such as a basement or bathroom. It can also thrive in an outdoor environment, such as damp grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch, or under…
    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 allergyX allergy
An allergy is the exaggerated response of the immune system to a foreign substance that is generally safe and poses no threat to the human body.
sufferers3 include:

  • Peace lilies
  • Marginata
  • Golden pothos
  • Philodendron
  • Areca palm, Kentia palm, Lady palm, and bamboo palm
  • Dracaena

The worst house plants for indoor gardeners with allergies include3-4:

  • Weeping fig
  • Bonsai
  • Ferns
  • Male Palms and Yuccas
  • African Violet
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Orchids
  • Marigolds

Treating Your Allergies to Plants

Allergic rhinitisX rhinitis
An inflammation in the mucous lining of the nose.
due to pollen or mold from plants can quickly abate thanks to Clarityn®. A fast-acting, long-lasting antihistamineX antihistamine
A type of medication that is used to alleviate allergy symptoms by blocking histamine receptors.
, 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.