En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Problem Plants Questions

Controlling poison oak or poison ivy in Iowa
April 29, 2010 - We recently purchased a property that is VERY wooded and has been vacant for two yrs. with little upkeep previously. We have (we were told) l00 yr old poison oak vines hanging from trees. We hired so...
view the full question and answer

Bulletproof plants from Burleson TX
April 18, 2013 - I recently wrote you a question concerning planting a privacy plant consisting of wax leaf ligustrum on my country property. Your answer was immediate (thank you-I am impressed). I like the wax leaf ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
December 02, 2010 - I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
view the full question and answer

How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
May 01, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
view the full question and answer

Can fibrous roots of Chasmanthium latifolium damage house foundation
May 03, 2013 - Dear Mr.Ms. S-P, Can the fibrous roots of inland sea oats cause foundation problems? I was digging around my foundation and found a root about 1" in diameter that I am afraid might be from sea oa...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center