Researchers around the world have proven that the term ‘allergies are caused by elements or pollutants that are found in the outdoors’ is nothing but a misnomer. Here, we will check the 20 worst indoor plants for allergies.
On a general note, most humans tend to spend more time inside their homes than outside, and therefore, giving special attention to allergy-causing elements within your house is a great idea! More often than not, house plants that we grow indoors can affect our health, mostly positively but sometimes, they can cause unwanted negative reactions too.
Indoor plants almost immediately come under a scanner with three major unfavorable elements that they tend to bring with them into our homes which can have an ill-effect not only humans but also on our pets animals. The three harmful components are –
- The growth of mold – Damp soil of indoor plants can cause the growth of mold which in turn causes allergies and aggravates many grievances especially for that of an asthma patient.
- Indoor pollen – While choosing your indoor plant go for the ones that do not emit too much pollen as this can be a major cause for allergies.
- Dust – Often overlooked but dust can be a prime cause for allergies. The dust that accumulates on the leaves and flowers of indoor plants can scatter harmful bits into the air that we breathe in fact spoiling the air purifying qualities than indoor plants are known to have. This can be avoided by wiping the dust off as often as possible and keeping your plant clean.
The various health hazards that one may experience with some of the worst indoor plants for allergies are numerous. These allergies can come in the form of headaches, skin rashes, itching, fatigue, allergic skin or bodily reactions, asthma attacks, and in extreme cases sometimes lung diseases and even the big C!
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Given these commonly known facts, you must be very careful when choosing the right plant to suit your individual needs mainly when scouting for a plant to place inside your home, and especially your bedroom. Your new green roommate might be giving you allergies and you wouldn’t even know it.
20 Worst Indoor Plants For Allergies
Here is a list of the worst indoor plants for allergies that are definitely best avoided for the safety of you and your loved ones –
#1- Weeping Fig
Beautiful and easy to care for, this indoor plant has a downside and that is its allergy-causing elements. The symptoms are similar to latex allergies. The dust particles from the leaves or the stem can enter the air and when combined with the sap of the plant, it can prove toxic in nature.
This plant can cause skin rashes and respiratory problems. In a nutshell, although the beauty of the Weeping Fig might tempt you if you are prone to allergies refrain from adding it to your collection of indoor plants.
It is sad but true that the Orchid plant is a surprise inclusion in our list of the worst indoor plants for allergies. For some of us, this might be our favorite flowering plant however these beautiful looking plants can cause skin infections to those with sensitive skin.
In extreme cases, touching the Orchids can cause swelling in the eyes and the mouth and can even cause an anaphylactic shock.
Bonsais trees are very popular household plants especially created for the indoors. Unfortunate for those who are prone to tree allergies, the Bonsai can be a cause of aggravating negative reactions because after all, the Bonsai is in fact nothing but a mini tree that is placed inside your house!
The two varieties of the Bonsai that are most likely to cause allergies are the Juniper and Cedar. Since this variety of indoor plants need to be pruned regularly, be sure to wear gloves for your protection.
#4- African Violets
This is a rather pretty-looking plant with its pink, purple, and violet flowers sitting against a fuzzy set of foliage. Unfortunately, this is where the problem lies. The fuzzy leaves of the African Violet attract dust and for those of us with dust allergies, this plant can cause unwanted problems and is a big no-no.
One way to keep the dust under control is by regularly wiping the leaves with a clean cloth and best to keep these plants away from bed rests and side tables.
This beautiful and versatile indoor plant has many beneficial uses besides being a treat to the eyes. It is used as a relaxant and is consumed by being brewed in tea. However, for those of us who are naturally prone to allergies, this plant variety can sadly exasperate such problems.
The Chamomile plant is related to an allergen known as the Ragweed and hence it is one of the worst indoor plants for allergies.
#6- English Ivy
This alluring variety of Ivy grows out effortlessly from its container and adorns many homes across the United States as it is a popular choice for an indoor plant. A not-so-popularly known fact is that the English Ivy plant can sometimes be the cause of skin infections.
This can result in severe itchiness, rashes, or even the appearance of blisters on human skin. If consumed by your children or your pets, this Ivy variety can prove toxic, and in effect it can evoke breathing problems, paralysis and in some extreme cases, it can even lead to coma.
Palm plants are known for their stately presence and very commonly given a place of pride in most gardens, whether placed indoors or outdoors. The dismal fact about the Palm plant is that the male variety of this plant can create problems for those who are allergic to pollen.
Therefore, when purchasing a Palm plant, it is important to be sure to pick a female variety especially if you are planning to place the plant indoors. Better safe than sorry, they say!
We are also giving a special call-out to the Areca Palm in our list of the worst indoor plants for allergies. The reason for this? Well, the Areca Palm is known to breed allergy-causing pests like spider mites.
These unruly bugs are nearly impossible to get rid of and eventually cause the leaves of the plant to be eaten away. Not only the leaves, but these mites also tend to attack humans and pets and leave behind itchy red marks that can resemble a skin rash.
#8- Ficus Tree
Fiscus Tree is another great option for an indoor plant however it can cause allergies for humans due to the dust that accumulates on the leaves.
If you have a tendency to develop allergies from dust, this might not be the best plant for you. Of course, wiping the dust off the leaves on a regular basis is a temporary solution but it can prove to be quite a cumbersome task.
The miniature Oleander is a rather glamorous variety of indoor plants that grow tiny pink flowers. This plant can however prove to be very dangerous for you and your pet animals. In fact, the consumption of even a small leaf can be toxic.
A Canadian research had shown that in the past many individuals have lost their lives by simply using the stems of the Oleander plant as natural skewers.
Directly touching the plant may cause skin infections while consuming any part of it can lead to digestive disorders, seizures, coma, and sometimes even death.
#10- Euphorbia Trigona
Popularly referred to as the African Milk Tree, this beautiful succulent has a cactus like appearance producing countless bright green stems. It originates from Africa however is grown as an indoor plant in many parts North America.
The sap of this plant is pretty toxic and can cause skin irritations which can result in a burning sensation or blisters. If the sap comes in contact with your eyes it can possibly cause blindness.
This is the real reason you will observe that most gardeners when handling the African Tall Cacti will wear gloves and ensure that they shield their eyes for protection.
#11- Elephant Ears
These unevenly textured plants make a bold statement wherever they are placed in your house. They possess very distinctive heart-shaped green leaves.
The Elephant Ears are poisonous for your pets especially cats and need to be kept out of their reach. Chewing of these plants can release a substance known as calcium oxalate crystals which can cause irritation and burning in the mouth region and invoke vomiting and commonly an infection in the gastrointestinal tract.
The pretty feather-like ferns are sometimes known to create allergies in our respiratory tracts which then become visible with symptoms that resemble that of asthma.
The cause of their toxic nature is the spores that are emitted from these indoor plants. In some cases, they could irritate your skin upon plainly touching them.
These multi-colored flowering plants can spread joy and are vivacious in both, your outdoor garden and as well as in your home as house plants.
Unfortunately, for people who are sensitive to pollen, the flowers of this plant can cause skin irritation and allergy symptoms. This normally occurs when you come into close physical contact with the flowers.
#14- Spider Plant
Beautiful, long, and thin. The green-leafed Spider plant has many beneficial powers. Unfortunately, for those who are prone to allergies, the Spider plant is not a good option for an indoor plant.
Do not make the mistake of placing these plants near a window that gets a lot of breezes or near a fan as that would only spread the pollen further aggravating allergic reactions.
One of the most common indoor varieties, the Jade is very easy to care for and grows well as a house plant. However, Jade plants prove to be dangerous for your pets especially dogs.
This plant is known to cause stomach ailments like pain due to indigestion, heartbeat irregularity, and even depression in some pets.
For human beings, on the other hand, the Jade plant is only mildly toxic causing mainly skin reactions and if eaten, stomach pain from indigestion.
The lovely blooms of this bright multi-colored blossoming plant are a great temptation for you to want to grow them indoors. They are so very fragrant and that could sometimes be the root problem hence you must be cautious when deciding to bring them into your home as it is a closed environment.
Although the pollen levels of the Hyacinths are low, the strong fragrance of the flowers can be a major problem for people who are prone to allergies. Additionally, the Hyacinth bulbs can cause itching and inflammation in the skin.
The oxalic acid present in this plant makes them poisonous. It is important to wear gloves while handling the Hyacinths.
#17- Flowering Maple
The Flowering Maple plant, also known as the Indian Mallow; with its beautiful bell-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves can certainly leave you mesmerized. However, by growing this plant indoors, you might be inviting trouble.
They are known to trigger skin irritation and respiratory allergy symptoms.
#18- Gerbera Daisies
Very popular as an indoor flowering variety of plants, the Gerbera daisies bloom in variations of the vibrant colors. The beauty of the flowers is irresistible. However, because of the high pollen content of the plant they can be a cause for allergic reactions.
The major reactions that can be caused or aggravated by these plants are seen in the form of conjunctivitis, asthma, and minor respiratory problem along with nausea.
#19- Dumb Cane
It is owing to the lush green foliage of the Dumb Cane that it is one of the most attractive and decorative indoor plants. It gets its name from the temporary speechlessness that occurs after chewing a piece of the stem of this plant.
The juices of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals along with other substances that irritate the mucous membranes and cause swelling and inflammation of the tongue and throat. It is a highly dangerous plant, especially for cats and dogs.
The consumption of this plant can result in burning in the mouth of your pet and sometimes in extreme cases, could be fatal for your pet.
This plant is also known as the Devils Ivy and is naturally popular across the United States, for its air-purifying qualities. However, it can prove lethal for your pets. If consumed, the allergic reactions in us human beings are mild in comparison to our little furry friends.
Humans are known to get away with some itching, burning, and vomiting but for dogs and cats, the issues could be major like chocking, difficulty in breathing, swelling, and even renal failure which can eventually prove to be fatal.
Although there are enough reasons not to keep certain plants indoors owing to their toxic nature, one cannot completely ignore the many beneficial powers of having indoor plants.
To overcome this dilemma, you can follow a certain natural, safe and effective methods of combating the toxicity of these plants.
These methods include regular cleaning of your surroundings with disinfectant products, ensuring good ventilation of your home, filling your home with the plants known for purifying the air, and keep your plants clean and out of reach.
You must ensure that the soil of your indoor plants’ containers does not remain too damp as this becomes a breeding ground for mold and other infectious pests.
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Choose the right plant regularly wipe off the accumulated dust from the leaves. It would not be wrong to conclude that plants benefit us more than they cause harm, and by taking the right precautions one can avoid being exposed to the harmful effects even if they are known as the worst indoor plants for allergies!
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.