The scientific name for the Dusty miller plant is Jacobaea maritima. It is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the Asteraceae family. This plant is mainly grown for its ornamental foliage. They are mainly used for landscaping and can make gardens look beautiful.
Features of the Dusty Miller Plant
This plant can grow up to a height of 3 feet. It has silvery gray foliage and the texture of the leaves is very lacy. The leaves are covered with fine matted hair which gives the plant its silvery appearance.
When this plant is wet, the green color becomes more visible, peeping through the silver hue. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and are alternately arranged with the stems. The flowers are yellow in color and grow to full bloom in midsummer, which is the blooming season.
Once they are fully grown, they are very showy. This plant is drought resistant and thus remains fresh throughout the summer heat giving the garden a very colorful and bright look.
This tender perennial can tolerate frost very well and is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. It is a very low maintenance plant that can be used for containers and as cut flowers.
Cultivation of the Dusty Miller Plant
This plant needs full sun to grow and thrive. A temperature between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for this plant. Low to average humidity is best for this plant.
It needs to be fertilized every 2 to 4 weeks in order to ensure that the plant is getting all the required nutrients to grow to become a healthy plant. Well-drained soil with compost is necessary for this plant. It is adaptable to sandy loam or acidic clay type soil.
If this plant is being grown at home then it should be watered right after being planted so that the roots can absorb and withhold the water till the plant actually starts growing. Pruning is not really needed for these plants but in order to get a fresher looking plant, it is ideal to trim off the tops.
In order for the plant to look bushier, the blooms need to be removed too. This is because the blooms take up a lot of nutrients from the plant making it look lanky.
Problems Faced by the Dusty Miller Plant
The dusty miller can tolerate frost and drought very well, but not root rot. To ensure that there is no root rot, special care should be taken of the fact that the soil is draining well. Proper air circulation should also be ensured.
Other than that, this plant can face certain problems. These are listed below.
1. Powdery Mildew
Aphids are mainly the reason why this fungal disease spreads. If there are powdery spots on the leaves, then there are high chances that the plant has been infected with this problem.
Fungicides can treat this problem well. Another home remedy to treat powdery mildew is spraying milk and water on the plant in a 1:10 ratio.
Aphids can cause the leaves of the plant to get wrinkly or curled. In some cases, it can also cause the leaves to get detached from the stems. A mild insecticide can take care of this problem really well.
3. Aster yellows
This is a phytoplasma disease that can cause the plant to get severely deformed. Unfortunately, this disease cannot be cured. The only option left with is to remove the infected plant at the soonest.
Types of Dusty Miller
1. Dusty Miller ‘Cirrus’
This variety is characterized by large and round silver leaves. It can resist harsh weather conditions. The plant can give a very colorful and contrasting effect to any garden.
It is also known as Centaurea Cineraria. The flowers are button-shaped and are yellow in color. It is an annual plant and grows up to a height of 0.83 to 1 foot.
Its width can range from 0.67 feet to 2 feet. It is a mound-forming, showy plant that can tolerate deer and the seashore. It blooms from early summer to late summer and is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9.
Full sun is needed for the ideal growth of this plant, alongside soil that is either sand or clay loam with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. It has an average water requirement. This plant has an upright growing habit.
It is a low maintenance plant that does not require pruning. It does not have any negative characteristics either. It can best be put to use for mass planting, border edging, general garden use, hanging baskets and container planting.
It has a medium growth rate. When growing this plant, the individual plants should be spaced 16 inches apart in order for the plant to have enough space to grow, alongside proper air circulation. This variety lives to be approximately 10 years old.
2. Dusty Miller ‘Silverdust’
The scientific name for this variety is Senecio cineraria. It is a mounded plant that grows up to a height of 10 inches and is approximately 10 inches wide too. Other common names for this plant include Silver Ragwort and syn Jacobaea.
The leaves of this variety are slightly finer than the Cirrus leaves have more of a silver hue to them. The shape of the leaves is like that of snowflakes. This variety is mainly grown for its foliage.
It is ideal if the flower stems are trimmed in order to promote new growth. This is a low maintenance variety and can tolerate drought very well. It needs full sun exposure to grow.
The soil should be well-drained with average moisture levels. Special care should be taken of the fact that there is no standing water, otherwise, the plant can die. This plant is hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10.
The plug crop time is 4 to 5 weeks and it takes around 7 to 8 weeks for the transplant to finish. This variety is perfect for beds, borders and container plantings. 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for this plant.
Around 8 inches of space should be left between each plant to ensure that there is ample amount of space for the roots of the plant to grow. This is a selected variety that is not originally from North America. It is a drought-tolerant plant and is the best choice for a low water garden.
3. Dusty Miller ‘New Look’
This variety is very productive. The leaves are very full. It is characterized by tall and thick stems with silver-edged leaves.
The more this plant is picked, the more it grows. It is a fast-growing plant that is ready to cut in only 4 months. It is a perennial plant that grows up to a height of 12 to 18 inches.
Full sun is ideal for the growth of this plant. It should be spaced at 9 to 12 inches in order to ensure proper air circulation. This plant approximately takes 90 to 120 days for maturity.
To grow this variety, the seeds should be sown 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost. It is recommended to water at the bottom so that the roots have enough water. The seedlings do not have a very strong silver color.
The color starts showing when the plant matures. This plant is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10. This plant has small flowers yellow in color but these plants are usually picked out, owing to the fact that this plant is grown mainly for its foliage.
This plant can best be put to use in fresh-cut flower displays and container plantings.
This plant should be watered twice a week for the first six weeks. After that, it requires a lesser amount of water.
Usual fertilizing is not needed. However, a timed-release fertilizer should be used at planting time. These plants can survive the cold weather really well.
4. Dusty Miller ‘Silver Lace’
This variety is the most delicate one. It is a compact plant that is excellent for borders, edging and pots. It has a slow growth rate and needs full sun to grow best.
It can grow to a height of 7 inches and can spread 8 inches wide. It is an annual plant that is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8.
Other names for this plant include Beach Wormwood, Sage and Mugwort. It has beautiful ferny foliage that has a lovely texture. It is resistant to deer.
Dry soils are ideal for this plant to grow healthy. This variety is also known for its foliage. The fruit and flowers are not ornamentally significant.
It has an upright growth habit. It needs regular maintenance in order to be healthy and to look good.
It is best to get the plant cleaned up before spring so that it can actively grow during the season. It is resistant to deer and is best used for mass planting, as a ground cover or for general garden use.
This plant looks best with the Garden Phlox, Gayfeather and Coneflower. This plant needs to be fertilized regularly. It can grow in any location and can tolerate heat well.
Pruning is highly advisable for this plant since the shape and size needs to be maintained. The flowers of this plant are not showy. The old flowers should be removed so that the plant looks healthy and there is enough energy in the plant to ensure that the foliage grows to become dense and thick.
It is a member of the Senecio family and the scientific name for this variety is Senecio cineraria ‘Ramparts’. This is a fairly low maintenance plant that is much easier to grow than the rest.
Basic care should be provided for this plant to grow healthy. It needs full sun and well-drained moist soil for best growth.
6. Silver Filigree
It is also known as silver cascade dusty miller. This variety is hardy in zones 5 to 10. It grows to a height of 4 to 8 inches and spreads 12 to 14 inches.
It needs full sun to grow healthy. More than 6 hours of sunlight are ideal for this variety. The foliage is silver in color.
This short height perennial is easy to maintain and grow and requires an average amount of water. It is best put to use in containers and landscapes. Pruning is highly recommended for this plant since they can look undesirable after blooming.
Pruning can keep the plant looking healthier for longer. It is an award winner plant.
7. White Diamond
The scientific name for this plant is Chrysanthemum cineraria folium. This variety belongs to the Asteraceae family. It grows to a height of 1 to 1.33 feet and has a width of 1 foot.
It is an annual plant with medium leaves that are very attractive and are in mounded form. The leaves are grayish-white in color and are dissected.
The leaves grow 12 to 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide. The flowers of this variety are mustard yellow in color.
They should be pinched if they start becoming leggy. Full sun is ideal for the growth of this plant, alongside well-drained soil. These are often used as edging or border plants.
Midsummer and early fall are the blooming seasons for this variety. The USDA hardiness zones are 8 to 10. Regular fertilizing is needed for this plant.
The fertilizer should be water-soluble, temperature-controlled or organic. Regular watering should be done in order to keep the soil evenly moist. Special care should be taken for overwatering as it can cause the plant to rot.
The dusty miller plant is the generic name given to a lot of plant varieties with gray or silver leaves. It is a beautiful plant whose foliage can make any garden look beautiful.