Started Sneezing Yet? The Best Allergy Friendly Houseplants

Allergy friendly houseplants - Golden Pothos to control formaldehyde levels in the air. Formaldehyde causes irritation of your nose, mouth and throat which may exacerbate allergy symptoms

Thousands of people suffer from hay fever at this time of year – including my wife. As soon as rapeseed flowers, she starts. Her eyes get sore and she starts sneezing. One of our Plant Technicians doesn’t like the milky sap from Ficus (fig) trees. Her skin flares up and swells. And then the other day I visited an office considering having plants. But one of their staff said she didn’t want plants near her as she was allergic to them. So that got me thinking. Which are the best allergy friendly houseplants for allergy sufferers?

Allergy friendly houseplant - Golden Pothos to control formaldehyde levels in the air. Formaldehyde causes irritation of your nose, mouth and throat which may exacerbate allergy symptoms

What are Low Allergy Houseplants?

Some houseplants collect pollen and pollutants in their leaves, helping to clean the air in your home or office. Houseplants for allergy relief generally have larger leaves and make an attractive statement in your home. Most take very little care, and some low allergy houseplants even remove dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde, from the air. What you don’t want is plants that produce excess pollen which can make allergies worse.

Every plant can be a dust catcher if you put it in a corner or on a shelf and never do anything but water it now and then. Wipe down the plant leaves with a damp paper towel once a week or so to prevent dust build-up.

Only water the soil in houseplants when the surface and first inch below become dry. Excess water leads to the soil being constantly damp, and this can be the perfect environment for mould to grow.

The Best Allergy Friendly Houseplants

Once you realize that having plants in your home – or office – can actually be a good thing, the question remains: Which houseplants relieve allergies the best? NASA conducted a Clean Air Study to determine which plants would work well in closed environments such as Mars and Lunar bases.

The top allergy friendly houseplants NASA recommend include the following:

Golden Pothos and Philodendron: can control formaldehyde. You might wonder how formaldehyde gets in your house in the first place. But almost every paper bag, paper towel, napkin, or tissue brought into your home is treated with it.

Areca Palm and Kentia Palm: to humidify the air. The proper amount of humidity, can improve allergy symptoms, like nasal congestion and irritation, making it easier to breathe.

Lady palm and bamboo palm: as general air cleaners

Dracaena: well known for grabbing allergens from the air and holding them in its leaves

However, a word of warning. One houseplant that is not particularly allergy friendly – and one you should know about if you are allergic to latex – is the Ficus or Fig Tree. Fig tree leaves give off a sap that includes latex in its chemical makeup. Skin contact with figs or fig plants can cause an allergic reaction. So, if you’re pruning your fig tree you must wear gloves – don’t get sap on your skin.

Read more about the amazing benefits of plants here.

Allergy friendly houseplant - The Lady Palm (or Raphis Palm) is great at cleansing the air of ammonia

The Lady Palm (or Raphis Palm) is great at cleansing the air of ammonia

Allergy friendly houseplant - The beautiful and versatile Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ renowned for trapping allergens in its leaves

The beautiful and versatile Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ renowned for trapping allergens in its leaves