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How to Grow and Care for Your Dusty Miller Plants

Senecio cineraria

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringSome or all parts of this plant may be toxic or poisonousWhite flowering plantYellow flowering plantorange flowering plantA photograph of a Dusty Miller plantHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper

Dusty Miller are compact, mound forming, evergreen perennial plants that are grown as annuals in areas that are cooler than USDA Zones 8-11, and in areas with wet summers. These 12" plants are great for borders or as companion plantings for brightly colored annual flowers.

Stew the Garden Gnome

The foliage is silvery-gray to nearly white and has a soft, felt-like texture. The leaves may be shallowly cut like an oak leaf to deeply incised like the fronds of a fern. Dusty Miller is best known for its striking foliage, but it also produces loose clusters of 1-1½", mustard yellow flowers.

Growing Requirements for Dusty Miller Plants

Dusty Miller should be grown in full sun, but they will tolerate light shade or partial shade in the heat of the day. Plant them in well drained garden soil and only water moderately until they have settled in.

Once established, Senecio cineraria are very drought resistant. This makes them a excellent addition to an annual container garden. Dusty Miller is also very tolerant of heat, salt air and poor soil conditions.

Pruning and Propagating Dusty Miller Plants

  • It is only necessary to cut Dusty Miller plants back if they become leggy during the growing season.
  • Cut them back by up to half and they will quickly fill back out.

  • In areas where it is perennial, cut it back to the ground in early spring when the new growth just begins to emerge.
  • Dusty Miller plants are easy to grow from softwood cuttings taken in the summer or from seed.
  • Start seeds indoors, 10 weeks before the date of the last killing frost.
  • Dusty miller seeds are very small and need light to germinate, so do not cover them with soil.
  • Sow them on the surface of moistened soil and maintain a temperature in the medium of 65-75°.
  • Germination takes 10-15 days
Dusty Miller - Senecio cineraria
A Dusty Miller Plant in the Garden, Senecio cineraria
A Dusty Miller Plant in the...
The Foliage of a Dusty Miller Plant
The Foliage of a Dusty Miller...

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