The Q&A Archives: What to plant for allergies?

Question: I have severe allergies and I have moved into a house that has a honeysuckle shrub! Smells great but it attracts a whole mess of bugs and pollen and yuck! I even have bees in the yard! Everytime I go thru the front door I am sneezing up a storm! What can I plant there that wont attract too many bugs, but will still provide the cover we need?

Answer: Roxanna,

I think you question is two separate requests. Plants that produce garden flowers and attract bees have a heavy pollen that is not wind borne and thus not likely to be the cause of your sneezing allergies. Plants that produce wind borne pollen include many types of trees, such as oak, elm, pecan, and Ashe juniper, as well as ragweed, and come grasses. I suggest you look into which plants may be causing your allergies. Noting the season you have that reaction would be helpful and then visiting your physician for testing to determine what types of things you are allergic to is a good way to narrow the list.

Bees visiting flowers are generally not aggressive if they are not disturbed, unlike bees near their hive which are defending their home and babies! If they are bothering you I suggest removing the honeysuckle or relocating it to another area of the yard away from where you tend to walk. Your County Extension Office can assist you by recommending locally adapted plants that bloom and are not attractive to bees.

Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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