Planting and Caring:
Dusty miller is one of those plants that is full of surprises. One of its surprises is that it sometimes survives the winter in zones colder than it is hardy in. Gardeners report plants coming back in zone 5 or even zone 4 landscapes. Another surprise is the yellow flowers that sometimes make an appearance in the second growing season of dusty miller. Dusty miller is not marketed as a blooming plant, and while not all plants will produce the yellow fuzzy flowers, they increase the beauty of mature plants. What a bonus on an already lovely plant.
Dusty miller needs full sun to stay compact. Plants growing in shade are leggy and produce fewer of the hairs that give them their silvery color.
Dusty miller plants adapt to a variety of soils, but good drainage is key for healthy plants. Whether your soil is on the rocky side or is characterized by clay, you can improve both your pH and drainage by amending it with compost.
The fuzzy growth that gives dusty miller its sheen also helps plants stand tall in periods of drought. Like other plants that hail from Mediterranean climates, dusty miller can get by with occasional watering once it is established. A layer of organic mulch will make plants even less dependent on supplemental irrigation. One inch of water per week is enough to keep dusty miller growing strong.
Temperature and Humidity
As a Mediterranean plant, dusty miller thrives in hot, sunny climates. Excessive humidity isn’t a problem as long as plants have adequate spacing and a position in full sun.
Dusty miller plants are light feeders, and only need supplemental fertilizers in areas with very poor soil. In this case, it’s better to feed and improve the soil at the same time by adding organic matter like manure or leaf mold.