dusty miller plant
Fri, Feb 18, 2022

Dusty Miller Plant: How to Make an Intriguing Landscape Accent in Any Garden

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Dusty Miller Plant: How to Make an Intriguing Landscape Accent in Any Garden Article Preview
dusty miller plant

The silvery-gray leaves of the dusty miller plant (Jacobaea Maritima) make it an intriguing landscape accent. The dusty miller plant’s lacy leaves compliment a wide range of blossoms in the garden. When the plant is established, care for it is minimal.

Let’s take a closer look at this amazing plant and learn all about dusty miller care.

What Is Dusty Miller

Dusty miller is a perennial herb with segmented leaves and a silvery fuzz on top that gives the appearance of silver-gray foliage. It is a plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family and is also known as silver ragwort. It’s a low-growing shrub that grows to be between six and eighteen inches tall when fully grown. Furthermore, it’s a favorite blooming plant partner of many gardeners because its bland foliage contrasts nicely with the colorful blossoms.

Dusty Miller Varieties

is dusty miller a perennial

Consider planting any of these popular dusty miller cultivars in your home garden if you’re seeking the appropriate cultivar.

  • Senecio cineraria (Silverdust) has thin, silvery leaves that form a snowflake shape. Drought tolerant, this cultivar grows in USDA zones 6-10.
  • Silver lace (Polygonum aubertii) is a lovely filigree-shaped plant with very fine leaves. It grows best in full light, although it is also frost-tender and hardy enough to flourish in cooler areas. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones three to eight and is deer-resistant and drought-tolerant.
  • Dusty miller ‘Cirrus’ (Centaurea cineraria) has large, silvery-gray leaves and button-sized yellow blooms. It can withstand the extreme weather conditions encountered in coastal locations, such as wind and temperature swings. USDA hardiness zones 7-9 are ideal for it.

How to Care for Dusty Miller

It is one of those plants that never ceases to amaze. Its ability to survive the winter in zones colder than it is hardy is one of its many surprises. Another pleasant surprise is the blooming of yellow blossoms in the second growing season. The plant isn’t promoted as a blooming one, and while the golden fuzzy blossoms aren’t produced by all plants, they do add to the attractiveness of mature plants.

Lighting Requirements

Where to plant dusty miller? To stay compact and maintain its beautiful leaf color, the plant needs full light. Shaded plants are leggy and develop fewer silvery villi that give them their color.

Dusty miller ‘New Look’ has huge, wide silvery leaves that sprout from long woody stalks. This newer kind of dusty miller grows quicker than older cultivars, especially when you trim and prune it periodically. It thrives in USDA zones eight through ten.

Soil Selection

Silver dust plants may grow in a range of soils, but they require adequate drainage to thrive. Compost may help enhance both the pH and drainage of your soil, whether it’s rocky or clay-based.

How to Water

Establishing the right watering schedule is an integral part of proper dusty miller plant care. Silver dust’s fuzzy growth, which gives it its gloss, also helps plants stay tall during droughts. This one, like other Mediterranean plants, can survive with only a little water after it has established itself. A covering of organic mulch will reduce the need for additional irrigation even further. Silver dust requires only one inch of water every week to thrive. It isn’t fond of wet weather.

Temperature and Humidity

The plant thrives in hot, sunny regions as a Mediterranean plant. Excessive humidity isn’t an issue as long as plants are spaced properly and placed in full light.

Do I Need to Fertilize

Silver dust plants are light feeders that only require additional fertilizer in regions where the soil is particularly poor. In this situation, adding organic matter such as well-rotted manure or leaf mold to the soil would both nourish and enhance it.

Pruning

These plants don’t need to be pruned to keep their attractive bushy structure. Shear off the yellow blossoms as soon as they develop if you think they detract from the plants.

Dusty Miller Plant Care Indoors

dusty miller plant care

Silver dust looks great in window boxes and hanging baskets, as well as other containers. The finely split leaves pair beautifully with bells or trailing petunias, and it also makes a lovely companion plant for other sun-loving plants like pentas, salvia, or zinnias. Keep your container in direct sunlight and water it more often than plants in the ground, at least every second day throughout the summer.

Silver dust may be planted in any commercial potting soil. Check for drainage holes in your container. Increase the acidity by adding a handful of peat moss. A layer of mulch on top of the soil will help to retain moisture and prevent dirt from splashing onto the leaves. When roots emerge from the drainage hole, it’s time to repot it.

Propagating Silver Dust

You may propagate the plant through cuttings in the spring when they are putting forth the fastest new growth.

  • Remove a 6-inch stem from the plant.
  • Remove the leaves from the base of the plant.
  • The rooting hormone should be applied to the stem.
  • Place the stem in a bowl of wet potting soil.
  • Maintain a moist and warm environment until new leaves emerge, then transplant as required.

How to Grow Dusty Miller from Seed

Start a flat of seeds 6 weeks before the last frost to sprinkle silver dust over your garden beds. Seeds should be lightly covered with sterilized potting mix and grown at a temperature of 70 °F. In around 10 days, you should notice germination. Plant 8 inches apart in containers or 10 inches apart in the ground when planting outdoors.

Will Dusty Miller Survive Winter

Although silver dust is cold-tolerant, you can minimize its watering in the late summer to prepare it for the winter. Cut it back to just above ground level with sharp scissors, and mulch with straw or pine needles.

Common Pests and Diseases

landscaping dusty miller plant

Slugs love these plants, especially in flower beds that get a lot of water. Handpick the pests or use traps to keep them under control. Excessive watering can be the reason for root rot, in addition to attracting slugs. This is more of an issue in clay soils, although it may be avoided by planting silver dust plants in containers or raised beds in heavy soil locations.

Is Dusty Miller Toxic

If your pet eats dusty miller, it can be poisonous, causing vomiting and diarrhea. Coming into contact with dusty miller might cause skin irritation in cats and dogs. Before growing this plant, gardeners with pets should think about these consequences.

In sunny areas, dusty miller makes an excellent complementing foliage plant for blooming annuals. As a contrast to darker blooms or leaves, use it as an accent plant in pots, as an edging, in borders, or mixed plantings. It goes nicely with other annuals, particularly those with pink, magenta, or violet blooms. Growing it is quite simple, and we advise you to see it for yourself! And as a reward for your efforts, you will receive a unique plant that can become both the main accent of any garden and a perfect background for brighter plants.

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