Landscapers can make outdoor areas more comfortable for those who suffer from allergies and asthma by planting female plants instead of males, according to author Thomas Ogren.
In his book, The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies With Smart Landscaping, Ogren argues that male plants, which produce pollen that can irritate allergies, have been overused in modern landscaping because they are less expensive than female plants and also do not produce the fruit that can litter public streets and yards.
More male species means more pollen. Female plants, on the other hand, don’t produce pollen, but rather trap it and turn it into seeds.
Ogren says landscapers who are sensitive to the increase of allergies and the number of people who suffer from them should use female plants, self-pollinating plants like fruit trees, or flowers, such as orchids that solely depend on insects for pollination.
According to Modern Healthcare, he believes that hospitals in particular should make sure that its landscaping choices are not irritating sick patients.
Ogren has a master’s degree in agricultural science and is the creator of the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS), a plant-allergy ranking system now used by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The book features a full-color guide as well as an allergy scale, assigning plants an allergy ranking between 1 and 10.
“All plants are not created equal,” writes David A. Stadtner in for book’s foreword. “Certain plants cause no allergy, some cause very little, and some cause a great deal of suffering. Ogren’s allergy scale addresses this problem head-on.”
The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies With Smart Landscaping is available at Amazon.com.