Pruning dusty miller plants is relatively easy, and doing so will encourage healthier growth and more attractive flowers. Following these steps will help you prune your dusty miller plant correctly:
1. Inspect your plant for any dead or damaged growth, and prune these sections away using a pair of garden shears or scissors. This should be done at the beginning of spring or early summer.
2. Cut away any sections at the end of the branches that are overgrown and don’t look healthy. Make sure to make cuts at an angle so the cut edges don’t form a ‘V’ when the branch is put back in place.
3. If you want to encourage bushiness in your plant, you can pinch off the growing tips of the branches in the early season. This will create a bushier, fuller plant.
4. Regularly deadhead the flowering sections of the plants. This is done by cutting away the stem just below the flower, but above the next leaf. Doing this will prevent the plant’s energy from being used to form seeds.
5. If necessary, you can use a light fertilizer specially designed for dusty miller plants. Follow the instructions on the packaging for proper application.
Following these steps will help you stay on top of pruning and help you enjoy a healthier, more beautiful dusty miller plant.
When should dusty miller be cut back?
Dusty miller, or Senecio cineraria, should be cut back annually in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning is necessary to maintain its neat, mounded shape and prevent the formation of woody stems.
Additionally, cutting back the plant will result in new and plentiful growth each season. Pruning should also take place when the plant is finished flowering, as cutting back after the flowering period will help encourage additional blooms in the following season.
When pruning, avoid cutting off the emerging buds, as this will significantly reduce the amount of blooms the plant produces. For best results, prune dusty miller just enough to keep the desired shape of the plant.
Can you cut back dusty miller plant?
Yes, you can cut back dusty miller plants. Pruning is a great way to keep the plant healthy and attractive. Dusty miller is a fairly easy plant to prune and can be handled with a few simple steps. First, remove any faded, dead, or discolored leaves with pruning shears.
If the plant is growing too tall, you can cut the stem back to the desired length. Be sure to make your cuts at a 45-degree angle, about one-third of the way down the stem. This will help prevent the plant from becoming leggy.
During the spring, you can also deadhead any spent blooms that remain on the plant. When your dusty miller is in its dormant state in fall and winter, it can be cut back to the base as a means of spring renewal.
Does dusty miller come back every year?
Yes, dusty miller is an annual flower that returns every year. It is a low-growing herbaceous perennial, so it will die back and go dormant over the winter months, then return to its growth in the spring when the soil warms up.
It does best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil, and will often re-seed itself in the garden to start anew each year. With proper care, you can expect to have dusty miller return in your garden each year.
Does dusty miller spread?
Yes, dusty miller (Senecio cineraria) spreads by seeds, although it is not considered an invasive species. It is best to start it from young seedlings in the spring. Dusty Miller will naturalize and spread slowly.
It may take a few years for it to become established and start to spread by self-seeding. To help with the naturalization of your dusty miller, let a few of the plants flower and go to seed as they will provide food for pollinators and will help encourage more plants to form in the desired area.
How big do Dusty Millers get?
Dusty millers can range in size quite significantly depending on the variety or cultivar. The standard dustymiller (Senecio cineraria) can grow up to three feet tall and wide. Other common varieties, such as Silver Dusty Miller, are considerably smaller, growing only 6 to 8 inches tall and 8 to 10 inches wide.
Some cultivars, such as ‘Esparanza’ Dusty Miller, tend to stay more compact and only grow up to 12 inches tall and wide. The twolobe dustymiller (senecio serpens) is one of the smallest varieties, reaching a maximum of only 6 inches tall and wide.
It is important to select the appropriate dustymiller variety for the area it is being planted in, as some can quickly outgrow their intended area.
Should I cut the flowers off dusty miller?
It is generally a good idea to cut off the flowers of a dusty miller plant. Pruning the flowers encourages healthier and more robust growth, encourages bushiness, and helps to prevent disease. It also helps keep the plant tidy and looking its best by getting rid of the spent blooms.
When pruning, it is best to cut off the flowers at their base near the stem, but avoid cutting too close to the stem so you don’t damage the plant. Try to clip just above the leaves and not the stem.
It is also important to sterilize garden scissors or pruners between each cut to prevent the spread of disease.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to cut away a plant’s flowers, it is actually beneficial for the plant and can also shape it, keeping it looking its trim and tidy best.
What is a good companion plant for dusty miller?
Dusty miller is an attractive, easy to care for ornamental plant. As an annual, it won’t last long, but it can still be a good addition to your garden. Since dusty miller isn’t a particularly tall plant, it makes a great choice for edging or lining pathways.
It also offers some bright silvery foliage, which stands out nicely in gardens with lighter-colored blooms. When looking for companion plants, think of other annuals with similar coloring and height.
One great companion plant for dusty miller is verbena. Verbena is a small, bushy plant with bright-tinted petals. It’s usually used as an edging or background plant, so it’s great for adding plenty of color around the silvery foliage of the dusty miller.
Verbena also typically stays fairly low, just like the dusty miller.
Another good companion for dusty miller is lobelia. Lobelia is a smaller ornamental flower, which provides colorful accents to the garden. It only grows about 6 inches tall, but its lovely petals still really show off against dusty miller’s silver foliage.
Another great choice is ornamental kale and cabbage, which have similar growth habits and compliment each other well.
In general, another good companion plant for dusty miller are annuals with similar height and coloring. This will create an eye-catching landscape, as the dusty miller offsets the vibrant petals of the other plants.
Be sure to research the water and sunlight requirements of your plants, so you can find the right combination of companion plants for your garden.
Can dusty miller be rooted from cuttings?
Yes, it is possible to root dusty miller from cuttings. It is usually done in early spring or late summer, right before the plant enters its dormant phase. Make a cutting of a stem that is at least four inches long.
Remove the lower leaves and dip the stem in rooting hormone. Plant the stem in a well-draining potting mix. Water the pot until the soil is evenly moist. Place the pot in a warm, shaded area and cover it with plastic, but make sure not to seal it in a plastic bag because this can encourage mildew growth.
Check the soil regularly and moisten it if it has dried out. You may start to see roots forming in just a few weeks. Once the new roots have become established, you can move the new plant to a sunny area and care for it as you would a mature plant.
What kind of fertilizer for dusty miller?
The type of fertilizer you choose for your dusty miller will depend on the specific needs of your plant. Generally, a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 20-20-20 is recommended.
If your dusty miller is showing signs of nutrient deficiency, consider using a fertilizer with a higher level of phosphorus. Additionally, make sure to use a fertilizer that is labeled as “safe for flowering plants” as dusty millers produce beautiful white flowers.
Finally, always check the label for application rate and frequency, as over-fertilizing can be harmful to your dusty miller.
What temperature can dusty miller tolerate?
Dusty miller can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from mild winter temperatures down to USDA Hardiness Zones 5-10. In the colder extremes, it can tolerate temperatures as low as 0°F (-17°C). Although it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, it is generally happiest in mild climates.
In areas with long periods of extreme heat, it may struggle and even suffer dieback. In winter, it should be well-protected from frost, while in summer, it should be closely monitored for signs of drought stress.
With the right care and conditions, dusty miller can make a beautiful, hardy addition to any garden or outdoor space.
Will dusty miller keep deer away?
No, dusty miller (Senecio cineraria) will not keep deer away. A variety of other plants are usually recommended for keeping deer away from gardens, such as marigolds, garlic, and mint. These plants tend to have strong odors that deer find unpleasant.
Additionally, tall, flowing plants or thorny plants can also repel deer, as they don’t like feeling trapped by the vegetation. If you have a deer problem, a fence is often the most effective way to keep them away.
You can also apply deer repellent sprays to plants and trees to keep deer away.
When should you plant dusty miller?
Dusty miller is best planted in early spring before the last expected frost date for your area. Before planting, the soil should be well-prepared using an amendment, adding organic matter or mulch to create a looser texture and improve drainage.
In areas with mild climates, seeds can be sown directly into the garden during spring. In areas with colder climates, it is best to start them indoors in pots, approximately 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost.
When planting outdoors, create holes no more than 12 inches (30 cm) apart and lightly press the seedlings into the soil. As they begin to grow, thin the plants to a spacing of at least 1 foot (30 cm) to allow them adequate room to spread out.
When established, give them water deeply and regularly to keep the soil moist.
Is Dusty Miller New Look a perennial?
No, Dusty Miller New Look (Senecio cineraria) is not a perennial plant. It is actually an annual variety of Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria), which is a visually striking, silvery-gray colored plant with white-gray undersides.
It is native to parts of Greece and the Aegean Islands and is grown as a decorative flower in gardens and landscapes. In the northern hemisphere, Dusty Miller New Look blooms from April to October and often self-seeds itself in containers or garden beds.
It requires full sun but will tolerate some light shade and prefers well-drained soil. This variety of Dusty Miller usually grows to a height of six to twenty inches and a width of ten to twenty inches.
If given favorable conditions, it produces small yellow flowers. Dusty Miller New Look is sometimes used as a bedding plant or as a filler in flower arrangements.
Is dusty miller toxic to dogs?
No, dusty miller is not toxic to dogs. This plant is part of the daisy family and is sometimes known as “Lamb’s Ears” or “Silver Ragwort”. Not only is it not toxic to dogs, but it contains several beneficial compounds like flavonoids and natural tannins which can provide relief to mild digestive upset.
In addition, the fuzzy leaves and stems can help soothe minor skin irritations. However, while not toxic, dogs should not be allowed to chew on dry dusty miller leaves and stems. As with many plants, eating too much of the foliage can lead to an upset stomach or even choking and gagging if pieces of the plants block the airway.