Georgia’s pollen season peaks in early-to mid-April, recedes in mid-May and resurfaces in mid-August—which is also prime Georgia gardening season.
“Flowers, trees and grasses in our backyards produce billions of pollen grains each spring,” said Walter Reeves, host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Gardening in Georgia.
During the height of the pollen season, there are often thousands of pollen grains in every cubic meter of air. Most airborne pollen is so small it’s barely seen.
“Pollen counts are higher on sunny, dry days and lower on cool, cloudy days, or after a rainfall. Pollen is lower at night when winds are calmer,” said Gary Peiffer, a UGA Cooperative Extension agent in DeKalb County.
Some landscape plants known to cause problems for allergy sufferers include roses, star jasmine, citrus trees, eucalyptus trees, narcissus, rosemary and gardenia.
“One way to select ‘sneezeless’ plants is to examine the flowers,” Reeves said. “Plants that produce the most frequent allergies are wind-pollinated.”
Most colorful and showy flowers are safe. For lawns, Bermuda grass produces abundant pollen and can shed pollen when the lawn is very short as quickly as a few days after mowing. Keep it mowed and edged often. Blends of tall fescues or other varieties of bunching grasses are better choices.