Senior Woman with Flowers

Bringing Flowers into an Assisted Living Facility? What About Allergies?

While flowers enliven the senses and often connect to cherished memories, for those with allergies or those living in a shared environment like assisted living or nursing homes, flowers (or more accurately, the pollen within) can bring on all the discomfort of allergy sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes.  Flowers can be one of the most common allergy triggers, though certain blooms have less of an effect on allergy sufferers.

When bringing flowers into an assisted living facility, hospital, or nursing home, it is important to select those with a low pollen content, ones that even people with allergies can enjoy.  Here is a dozen to choose from:

  1. Tulips – Tulips come in a wide range of colors and traditionally announce that “Spring has Sprung!”
  2. Snapdragons – Snapdragons are a great choice for the allergy-prone as it has barely a fragrance, but its colorful blooms will brighten a room.
  3. Roses – A favorite of so many, even a dozen of this allergy-friendly beauty will have low levels of pollen.
  4. Daffodils – A bouquet of yellow daffodils is the perfect way for an allergy sufferer to welcome Spring.  Keep them in a cool place and add cool water to their vase each day and you’ll enjoy them even longer!
  5. Hydrangea – This plant has beautiful large pompom-like blossoms that come in pink, blue, white, and purple.  A long-lasting beauty that can be planted outdoors.
  6. Lilies – The stunning blossoms of the lily plant are pollen-free.  Asiatic lilies come in pink, red, and orange.  Be aware that Oriental Lilies, such as Stargazer are very fragrant and many are sensitive to their intense fragrance.
  7. Pansies – The bold colors and “smiling faces” of the wonderful Pansy make a great house plant and the low pollen levels please allergy sufferers.
  8. Azaleas – Azaleas typically bloom in early Spring, making them a good choice for rooms needing a little extra color after the long winter.
  9. Irises – The Iris is a dramatic and colorful flower that is the star of a bouquet and it won’t bother the sensitive noses of those with allergies.
  10. Hosta – Another popular choice is Hosta, whose blooms can range from chartreuse green to gold or white.  There may be small flowers inside that are pale violet or white. Most Hostas are unscented and require minimal sunlight or water.
  11. Geranium – Bright blue, pink, or magenta flowers decorate the abundant green foliage.  These, too, like Geraniums, Hosta, and Azaleas can be planted outside after enjoyed indoors.
  12. Orchids – Orchids are tropical and stunningly beautiful — and nearly all species produce very low pollen counts.


When selecting flowers to take to an assisted living facility, hospital, or nursing home, ask your florist for “perfect flowers,” those that contain both female and male parts, like those listed above.  Pollen in plants that are dioecious (either male OR female) needs to be sent through the air to the female plant to make more blooms.  In this process, some pollen gets sent out into the air, aggravating those with allergies.

Following these guidelines, you’ll be sure to bring a grateful smile to your loved one, along with the lovely flowers.


Let Us Help

If you have questions regarding these or other concerns about assisted living communities in the Aurum Network, contact us at 978-282-9551 or use our facility locator tool.

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