My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

Growing Dusty Miller – 3 Varieties For Containers

Like almost everyone else on the planet, Dusty Miller, or Senecio cineraria, is my favourite annual silver foliage for containers and garden edges. While buying a small flat is relatively cost-effective, they are easy to grow from seed or cuttings.

This is my personal garden growing guide. I use it to track seed sources, when to start seeds and if I should adjust growing conditions in my own greenhouse and garden. Please don’t consider this professional grower’s advice. I like the plant information cards from Ball Seed. Here is Dusty Miller Silverdust.

FAVOURITE VARIETIES AND SOURCES

In 2021, I tried “New Look” for the first time. While I still grow Silverdust, the traditional scalloped edge dusty miller, it’s hard to say which is my favourite.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds

  • Dusty Miller, New Look – 100 pelleted seeds
  • Dusty Miller, Silverdust – 100 pelleted seeds

From Cuttings

  • Sececio candicans Angel’s Wings

Senecia candicans Angel’s Wing is a semi-hardy perennial Dusty Miller. Angel’s Wings looks much like New Look, but it’s much larger and hardy down to -10°C. Angel Wings can’t be grown from seed. Instead, I propagate by pulling side shoots from my established plants in late August, rooting them in soil, then overwintering and growing 9 to 10 new plants for the following year.

Hardiness Will survive to -5°C to -10°C
Exposure Full sun
Deer resistant Yes
Bloom time & length No blooms. Grow for silver foliage
Deadheading None, remove damaged foliage at bottom
Water/soil Dry to medium, drought-tolerant
Height 10-15 inches
Width 12-15 inches

My own notes:

2023 was a very wet year. Many of the Angel’s Wings and Dusty Miller had slug damage on the leaves, especially those grown in the ground.

SEED STARTING

  • 10 weeks is Mar 11
  • Sow into cell packs / small pots – use starting mix / airy mixture
  • Press into soil, do not cover. Needs light to germinate.
  • Germinate @ 75°F/24°C for 10-21 days.
  • For Angel Wings, take cuttings or side shoots from the mother plants in late August. Roots in well-draining potting soil very easily. No need to cover.

All Dusty Miller can be overwintered, so you can probably take cuttings from regular dusty miller as well. However, given the number I need, growing those from seed is easier.

GROWING CONDITIONS

  • Grow cooler 60-65°F (16-18°C) (as low as 55°F at night)
  • Keep foliage dry, don’t overwater as small plants can rot easily
  • Transplant into 4 inch pots
  • Watch for mealy bugs on Angel Wings, spray with 50/50 isopropyl alcohol

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