If you’ve got hay fever - or know someone who does - here are some of the best hay fever friendly flowers to send (and which to avoid too!)
Hay fever is an allergy to pollen and it’s one of the most common allergies, with 1 in 5 people affected. It’s not usually dangerous, but its symptoms can be very annoying - sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses are all common signs!
You might think that it’s best to avoid cut flowers if you have hay fever, but luckily this isn’t the case! There’s plenty of low pollen blooms that are safe for people with hay fever to enjoy.
Which flowers cause hay fever?
Although most people with hay fever are more allergic to grass, some cut flowers can also be a problem. Wind-pollinated flowers are usually the worst for hay fever, as their pollen is light and naturally breaks away from the plant very easily. On the other hand, flowers which are pollinated by insects tend to be much less irritating, as their pollen is heavy and sticky, and doesn't disperse around the home.
Here are some flowers to avoid if you have hay fever:
Gyphsophila’s dainty and delicate blooms aren’t as innocent as they look; they have a surprisingly large amount of pollen and can cause a nasty reaction.
Another popular flower for bouquets, chrysanthemums have a high pollen count which make them likely to trigger allergies.
Asters are a large family of plants, which includes popular cut flowers like daisies, gerberas, and germini. Their flowers typically have lots of pollen, and are best avoided if you have hay fever.
Lilies are probably one of the most well-known flowers that can trigger hay fever. They’ve got an intense fragrance, along with very visible pollen. Unsurprisingly, they’re not great for people with hay fever (especially varieties like oriental and stargazer lilies), but some of the problems can be reduced. It’s really easy to remove the pollen from the flowers, and some varieties have been bred to not have pollen.
Calla lilies aren’t true lilies, and tend to be a bit better for hay fever. They do have dense, sticky pollen inside their flowers, but it’s easy to remove and doesn’t become airborne.
Best Flowers for Hay Fever
There’s plenty of cut flowers that won’t cause hay fever symptoms. Here are some of our top picks:
Roses don’t have a lot of pollen, meaning they’re very unlikely to cause hay fever symptoms. They’re probably the most popular flower for bouquets too, meaning you have plenty of options for a hay fever friendly gift.
Peonies are a true summer favourite, and luckily you don’t have to miss out on their ruffled blooms if you have hay fever. Peonies are pollinated by insects, so their pollen is heavier and stays put, rather than drifting around your home.
Hydrangeas' huge blooms and blousy petals make them a show stopper in any bouquet, and they’re also a good choice if you have hay fever. Like peonies, they’re insect-pollinated, and have sticky pollen that doesn’t tend to become airborne.
Once prized as a symbol of wealth and luxury by the Victorians, the orchid’s elegant blooms still bring a touch of extra opulence to bouquets, and they’re one of the longest lasting cut flowers as well! They don’t have airborne pollen, making them one of the best hypoallergenic flowers for bouquets. If you want to enjoy orchids for longer, an orchid plant is an excellent hay fever friendly house plant too.
Carnations have been cultivated since ancient times, and their popularity hasn’t waned; they’re still one of the most popular cut flowers for bouquets. Their long vase life is another benefit, with the blooms typically lasting two weeks or more in a vase. They’re great for anyone with allergies, as their flowers are also low in pollen.
Tulips are one of our most popular spring flowers; their colourful cup-shaped blooms are always a welcome sight after winter! They have a low pollen count, and what pollen they do have is quite heavy and doesn’t tend to get blown away from the stems.
Bright and cheerful daffodils are always a sure sign that winter’s on its way out, and their blooms are the perfect spring pick-me-up. Like many of the flowers on this list, they’re pollinated by insects, so they’re a safe bet if you have hay fever.
Snapdragons are perfect for that whimsical, just-picked look, and their tall stems also create a lovely tiered effect in bouquets. They’re only pollinated by bees, and even they have to work quite hard to get into the flowers as their blooms don’t open much. The upside of this is that the pollen can’t get to you either!
We hope this article has helped you find the perfect bouquet for someone with hay fever! We've got a gorgeous selection of beautiful, florist-styled flowers, so take a look today to find a stunning, hay fever friendly bouquet.