FTD’s Guide To The Worst Plants For Allergies

As a plant and flower lover, you might get tempted to grow a variety of them, especially when the weather is still pleasant and favourable. But what about all those allergies that follow suit? 

Plants and flowers sometimes contain irritating pollen that leads to itchy eyes, running nose, sneezing and other allergic reactions. But the good news is that not all plants lead to allergies. In general, the more hybridized a plant is, the less likely it is to have a high level of pollen and the less irritating it will be. 

It might be a good idea to educate yourself as to which plants you can safely grow in and around your house without being affected by pollen. FTD’s guide brings you the worst plants for allergies that you can avoid while still enjoying your love for them.

What Are The Worst Plants for Allergies

Below we’ve listed down some of the worst plants for allergies that you want to avoid bringing home this season. 


This beauty with a center disk is a big no-no for people prone to plant allergies. A sunflower’s disk has a copious amount of pollen and gets dispersed by the wind.

Interestingly, there are some pollen-free varieties that you can still bring home. Both ‘Apricot Twist’ and ‘Joker’ varieties are pretty safe. These variations are hypoallergenic since their pollen is too heavy to be carried by the wind. 


Just because ferns don’t flower does not make them hypoallergenic. On the contrary, they reproduce through spores and are worst for allergy sufferers. Not only this, Fern fronds can lead to contact dermatitis in people with extreme sensitivity and can leave rashes. 

If you are too keen to grow them for their aesthetic beauty, then Boston and Staghorn fern are better choices than any other varieties. 


Dahlias are way too showy for many insect pollinators to attract this beautiful flower. Dahlias belong to the aster family, which in general are allergen-heavy plants. 

Again, you can choose to bring in their hybrid versions, known as formal doubles. These hardly come with any pollen. The plants come with fluffy flowers with several petals and stamens that have evolved into pollen-less staminodes.

You may also be interested in FTD Canada’s Top Unique Gifts for Pet Lovers

English lavender

Sure, English lavender is sheer beauty. But many people are allergic to both its pollen and its odour. In general, plants that give away fragrant flowers and bloom in clusters often cause nasal allergies and sneezing. 

You might want to check that off your list. 


Chrysanthemums have a strong aster family resemblance and also contain allergy-inducing pollen. These plants stretch the allergy season well into the fall. 

Since they are container plants planted indoors, one needs to be extra cautious to welcome them home. 

Top Worst Plants For Allergies


You might be fond of chamomile tea, but did you know that these plants are producers of pollen are one of the worst plants for allergies? Coming from the Aster family, Chamomile can make allergies worse for you. 

Chamomile flowers are used to make tea and can still harbour some irritants even after brewing.

Baby’s Breath

You might have come across these flowers at your local florist. Baby’s Breath is popular in cottage gardens. Despite their small size, these flowers pick up pollen extensively. 

Baby’s Breath comes in two varieties, and while it may sound counter-intuitive, the double-flowered variety is a preferred option over the single-flowered types. The double flowers are hybrids with lots of petals and lower pollen levels.  


A male palm isn’t a great choice for an allergy sufferer. Even though not all palms bloom indoors, their pollen can still cause some irritation to those sensitive to it. Since only male palms produce pollen, you can still think of housing a female palm but bear in mind that it might still cause mild irritation or allergy. 

If you’re highly sensitive to pollen, select plants with the least allergic reactions such as succulents. If you’re up for creating a beautiful indoor garden and arranging plants in your living room, this visual will help you choose the right allergy-safe plant!