Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller
Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
dusty miller and marigolds
Credit: Tom McWilliam
dusty miller and marigolds

Dusty Miller

A timeless garden staple, dusty miller will probably never go out of style. With its striking silver foliage and lacy texture, this plant looks good throughout the whole growing season. Whether you use it as a backdrop for bright and bold flowers or as a statement piece in a container, this beautiful plant lasts and lasts.

genus name
  • Jacobaea maritima
  • Sun
plant type
  • 6 to 12 inches
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • Up to 2 feet
flower color
foliage color
season features
special features
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Colorful Combinations

With its trademark silver foliage, dusty miller looks good in any combination. The silver look of the leaves actually comes from numerous tiny white hairs. These hairs are most prominent on the undersides of the leaves and on the stems. On older plants, the hairs can actually become worn off and you will begin to see the green underneath.

A good use for dusty miller is as a cut flower. The bright silver foliage acts as a clean contrast to bright florals, and it is a nice filler that's different from your typical green foliage. It is not the most long-lasting cut flower, but it adds a wonderful elegance to any arrangement. Also try drying dusty miller!

Dusty Miller Care Must-Knows

One of the main reasons that dusty miller has stuck around for so long is because it is extremely easy to grow. This plant seems to thrive in almost any situation and is great both in the ground and in a container. Dusty miller prefers to be grown in full sun but will tolerate part shade. In more shade, the silver look of the leaves will be less intense and the plants will look greener.

Dusty miller also likes well-drained soils. In too heavy or too wet of soil, there is a much higher risk that root rot will develop. So make sure to plant in well-drained soils to prevent any problems. Once the plants are established, they are very drought-tolerant, which makes them great container plants.

As far as regular maintenance goes, these plants don't require a whole lot. Sometimes you may see plants trying to bloom. Dusty miller is really only grown for its foliage, as the flowers are fairly boring—yellow blooms held on long stalks, which many people pinch off. Overall, dusty miller doesn't mind being pinched or sheared back. This will actually help promote new growth and keep the plants lush and bushy. You can cut the plants back to promote a flush of new silver growth late in the season, when plants often become scraggly and leggy.

New Innovations

Since dusty miller has been around for quite some time, it is surprising that very few varieties are available. The few that have been introduced are generally more silver than the straight species, or they offer more heat tolerance. A few have notably lacier leaves as well. Recent developments by botanists have focused on broader leaf varieties rather than lacy types. Presently, most of this work is being done in Europe, so hopefully soon these new varieties will be making their way across the pond.

More Varieties of Dusty Miller

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