Flowering Shrubs That Cause Allergies

Written by shawna kennedy
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Flowering Shrubs That Cause Allergies
Jasmine flowers cause an allergic reaction in some people. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Flowering shrubs add structure and colour to the landscape by bridging the distance between trees and flowering ornamentals. Unfortunately, many flowering shrubs cause allergies. Allergies are most often triggered by the release of pollen. Only male plants produce pollen, so one way to reduce it in your garden is to plant only female plants. Knowing which plants are more likely to cause an allergic reaction, though, and avoiding them, makes for a more pleasant gardening experience.


Privet (Ligustrum) is a common landscape shrub, according to the University of Florida, because of its rapid growth and ease of pruning to a desired height. Privet shrubs are often used as a formal or informal hedge or accent shrub. The foliage of this plant is deep green to variegated green and ivory, depending on the cultivar. White flowers decorate this shrub in the spring and summer. Some gardeners are highly allergic to the pollen of these flowers. Privet grows in full sun and well-drained soil.

Flowering Shrubs That Cause Allergies
The popular privet hedge bears flowers that cause an allergic reaction in some. (Privet Hedge at Night image by Gary Chorpenning from Fotolia.com)


There are more than 170 species of juniper (Juniperus), according to the Clemson University, with some of the most common being the Chinese and Japanese juniper. Junipers are evergreen shrubs with small white flowers. Female and male flowers are borne on separate shrubs and only the female flowers mature into berries while the male shrub causes the worst allergies. Juniper foliage is scalelike and grows in colours from light green to bluish-silver or yellow. Juniper is commonly used as a screen or hedge, with cultivars ranging from ground covers to towering shrubs 60 feet tall. Juniper is tolerant of many growing conditions from full sun to shade.

Flowering Shrubs That Cause Allergies
Female juniper shrubs are preferable for allergy sufferers. (Utah Juniper image by Carol Hyman from Fotolia.com)


Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) grows as a flowering vine, large shrub or ground cover. The foliage is dark green and glossy. Small white flowers bloom on this shrub throughout the summer and are highly fragrant. Stanford University warns that jasmine can cause an allergic reaction not only from its pollen, but from the intense fragrance this flower emits. Jasmine grows quickly, gaining up to 24 inches a year until it reaches its mature height of 15 feet. This evergreen grows in full to partial sun and well-drained soil. It needs frequent pruning to maintain its shape but is used in the landscape as an informal hedge.

Flowering Shrubs That Cause Allergies
Jasmine has a memorable fragrance. (fleurs de jasmine image by Unclesam from Fotolia.com)

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