En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 21, 2012

From: Simi Valley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Problem Plants, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Skin allergies; is Juniper the culprit in Simi Valley, CA?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My husband and I have had terrible skin allergy problems this spring (for me it's been 3 years) and think it may be the juniper bushes outside our bedroom and kitchen windows. Is there a fast growing, non-allergenic bush or hedge that we can plant in place of the junipers? I know that privet also causes allergies. We have lived here 25 years and never had a problem until 3 years ago. Thanks much. Simi Valley, CA resident

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has a couple of questions for you. What changed three years ago that would cause an incident of skin allergy problems? Why do you think that juniper is the culprit? People here in Austin suffer from juniper allergy, but it  is mostly respiratory problems caused by the juniper pollen.

Before you start removing the junipers and replacing them, you should determine what you are allergic to. It could be juniper, but it could be something else entirely.

I’m going to give you links to three sites with helpful advice on allergies and gardening.

University of Vermont Extension

gardenweb.com

Thomas Leo Ogden, author of; Allergy-Free Gardening: The Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Landscaping

 

More Shrubs Questions

Pollination of Fendlera rupicola
July 17, 2014 - How/by what is Fendlera rupicola pollinated?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting large Silverado Sage bushes from Mesa AZ
August 19, 2013 - We just bought a condo with three Silverado Sage, each one is 6-8 ft tall, trained to grow as "trees" with bare branches for the bottom 4 feet or so, and beautiful flowering branches on top. They ar...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Hill Country nitrogen-fixing plants
June 07, 2006 - Please help me find a listing of native (TX Hill Country) nitrogen-fixing plants.
view the full question and answer

Something damages leaves on Tecoma stans from Austin
November 08, 2013 - Help! Something is chomping my Esperanzas. I thought it was deer but they don't seem to be eating other yellow bells in my neighborhood. I think it's an insect. Something is completely stripping the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center