Growing The Dusty Miller Plant
Dusty Millers: Add Silvery-Gray, Fern-Like Beauty in Your Flower Garden
The Dusty Miller plant has captured the eyes of many gardeners and landscape lovers because of its silver-gray and fern-like foliage.
In fact, its yellow or purple blooms are often overlooked and sometimes cut off to promote leaf growth. Dusty Miller is usually grown in formal bedding schemes, although it also looks great in cottage-style designs.
There’s no doubt that Dusty Miller can bring out striking contrast to the vibrant colors of your flower garden and lawn. Moreover, it is a perfect addition to a colorful container garden, edging the plants or acts as an excellent border. With its height of only around 12 inches, the Dusty Miller plant can be an ideal ground cover around bigger plants.
Dusty Miller Propagation
Dusty Miller is grown from seed. You have the option whether to plant the seeds directly into your garden outdoors or started indoors for transplanting at a later time.
It is best though to start the seeds indoors 10 weeks before the last frost. Its seeds are very fine and tiny and the germination process requires light. Plant the seeds on top of moist soil without covering the dish/plant box. Germinate seeds at 65-75 degrees. Germination will usually take 10 to 15 days.
Stem cuttings during summer is another way to propagate Dusty Miller. In fact in some areas, it grows back on its own year after year. Plant the cuttings in a mixture of moist peat and perlite.
Cover them with plastic and situate in an area with bright light. Keep in mind that the soil must have good drainage. If not, the roots will rot.
How To Grow The Dusty Miller Plant
Dusty Miller plants likes warm temperatures, full sun, moist and well drained soil. That’s it!
It is in fact easy to grow and can last for several years if properly cultivated. Initially, the soil must be mixed with plenty of compost. Replenish the soil by adding organic mulch every season. The ideal spacing is 10-13 inches apart. Water your Dusty Miller once or twice a week during dry periods.
Since moist soils contain insufficient nutrients, adding a general purpose fertilizer once or twice every month can greatly provide additional nourishment. Water soluble fertilizers must be mixed properly according to instructions and applied every 2 weeks. Slow release fertilizer must be mixed with soil once every growing season.
Final note about Dusty Miller Flowers
You might not want to cut off the yellow or purple blooms because they are pretty. However, as mentioned above, the flowers suck nutrients from the plants which cause less bushy and less attractive foliage. For healthier Dusty Miller, its nutrients and energy must go directly to foliage production, thus the flowers need to be removed.
You might want to trim the plants as well. Apart from maintaining a compact and attractive shape, this will also encourage abundant foliage.
Growing Dusty Miller is undemanding. It does not require expensive gardening tools or luxurious pampering. All you need is basic gardening skills and tools and you’re good to go. Start now and say hello to a more dazzling garden in no time.