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Hi - my sister and I spent a couple of hours yesterday cutting back a rather large Buddleia in our front garden and since then we have both had sore throats and feel like the start of a cough.  I've never heard of Buddleia being poisonous and wondered if anyone else had experienced similar symptoms?


Pruned a lot over the years and never had a sore throat after doing it. Some plants can do funny things like that. I've done gardens at the Chelsea flower show before and the pollen from the plane trees there really irritate your throat and make you cough, it's even called the 'Chelsea cough'!

Thanks for that.  I've searched on Google but nothing about Buddleia causing problems either so maybe it's just a coincidence that I've got a bad throat at the same time!

Not with buddleia, but I've had it with crocosmia.  I cut a load back and chopped up the leaves to go in the compost.  When I got back inside I had difficulty in breathing for about an hour.  Just as I was thinking I ought to call an ambulance, it stopped as soon as it started.  So if you're susceptible to plant allergies you may want to be cautious around crocosmias too.

Whenever I prune a Buddleia it always makes me sneeze, nose runs and end up coughing. Likewise my husband, so there's obviously something that is released when you cut it.



I always where a mask when pruning Buddleia. If not, almost immediately I get a tickle in the throat which gradually gets worse. It's the only shrub/ plant in the garden which has this affect on me.

Thanks guys for all your responses.  It's interesting to know that it's affected other people in a similar way to me.  It took days for the effects to wear off after I pruned the beast and I won't be letting it get so big again, that's for sure 

yes i too have allergic response when pruning a buddleia. iain c

Janice Stapleton

I brushed against branches of a buddleia when accessing my water butt-I have a large swelling plus a circle of bright red above on my arm -could it have caused this


Anyone can be allergic to anything Polly. A red swollen circle sounds more like an insect bite though

It's the fuzz on the leaves of the buddliea and plane trees. Both my husband and I reacted badly when pruning buddliea but now i am on my own, I have just pruned back the plane tree and honestly thought i was going to die. I choked and dry retched for about 15 mins. Not nice when you are on your own. It's definately the fuzz on the leaves, gets into your throat. Will be wearing a mask in future!


Phlomis fruticosa and Viburnum rhytidiphyllum do this to me, in the shredding of branches it's even worse. I think it's little bits causing irritation, not an allergy or a poisoning


I was just about to mention Phlomis F. but you've beaten me to it nutcutlet. I eventually dug mine up from my last garden.


I dug out my Phlomis fruticosa last year, and shredded it with a scarf over my face and goggles. Even then I had to have a long soak in the bath to get rid of all the irritant hairs.

No problems with buddleias but beware other shrubs in the immediate area when pruning.  

I once pruned a continus royal purple and began sneezing,,itching eyes and coughing.  the culprit was a fremontodendron Californica just behind it.  A beautiful shrub but beware



Fremondtodendron is notorious, much like the Phlomis, it's the tiny hairs which are the problem.

I had a Buddleia bush for a while but had to get rid of it as every time I pruned it I had breathing problems afterwards, it made me short of breath and took an hour or so afterwards to recover. I removed it as we had young children and I was concerned of effect it might have on them.

Lizzy CJ

Privet, Fir and Elder flower always get me.  Privet is the stinkiest blossoming tree Ive ever known!


Hate the smell of privet

and philadelphus

I suffer from this problem with buddleia.  It can cause coughing, itching eyes, sore throat and constricted breathing.  Our garden is surrounded by these bushes and I wondered for years what was causing this, and have determined it to be buddleia.  There is a plant near our bedroom window, which is open at night, and I often develop the symptoms overnight, and now realise it is something from this plant blowing in the air.  Seems to be worse just after dawn so don't know if something is released when the light comes up.  The symptoms need treating with antihistamine, and sometimes a ventolin spray as it is like asthma.