Dusty Miller question, take 2

hostarasta(z9)October 1, 2004

It's cool that a message I posted back in March is getting interest now all the way into fall. That's because Dusty Miller requires very little care, has marvelous foliage and color, and comes back year after year. If you are a Dusty Miller fan, tell me what you plant with it for drama and interest.

Marlene in Michigan

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BobaFett_73(Z4/SD)

With a Dusty Miller can you plant it outside in Zone 4 and will it come back after the winter? I bought it and it said annual, is Frost Miller an Annual or Perrenial? I would like to plant it outside if it will come back every year.

Mike

    Bookmark   October 6, 2004 at 7:40PM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Mine comes back hit or miss. Not reliably. Winter protection might help. I use scavenged Christmas trees picked up after the holidays. I cut the branches, and pile the over my perennial beds. It prevents the plants from emerging before winter is truly over, and helps protect against frost heave. I like to wait until after Christmas for two reasons: 1. The trees are available for free, 2. the little critters that would set up winter housekeeping have found homes elsewhere, so the won't be moving into my perennial beds (and eating everything! grrr..')

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 8:29AM
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Janine Starykowicz

You can get branches for free from any place that sells Christmas trees. They trim everything that comes in, toss the trimmings. I had the bottom of a tree, wired it into my circle garden last year. Added more branches for height, and decorated with little berries. I finally found the red wired berries this year, so will be decorating again.

I bought the lacy Dusty Miller this year, some died some lived. The ones that lived thrived though, so I'd love for them to come back. One of the biggest plants is at the foot of a hollyhock, near some red dianthus. Another is near a first-year daylily that didn't bloom yet, another at the base of a dwarf pine.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 1:18AM
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catlyne(z5b MI)

I just had someone identify this plant for me on another forum. But when I looked it up...the source said it was an annual. A friend at work gave me one in a paper bag that she got as a "gift" and didn't know what to do with it. She knew how I love to grow things and so I inherited this really cool plant. Now I'm reading that it's actually a perennial?? I stuck it in my bulb garden about a week ago as a holding place untill I could find out more about it. I live in zone5b and would love for this plant to come back next year. Cat.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 12:01PM
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applefan

I plant most of my annuals in pots so I can move them as they bloom to present the best "show." I love Dusty Miller because it fits in so well with many other annuals...especially my tall ageratum, snaps and
salvia.
Now that most of my annuals have been frosted, Dusty Miller plants look great with the ornamental cabbage and kale...which, by the way, is especially nice this year!
If I'm lucky, the Dusty Miller will stretch the season till Christmas for me. In other years I've had it peaking thru the snow...
I have never had it overwinter in pots, but I have 2 plants in my perennial garden that have come up for several years.
I like the Silverdust variety...I tried Silver Feathers this year and it really was not as sturdy as I would like...
Jean

    Bookmark   November 11, 2004 at 7:21PM
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wsw_michigan

I can't say that Dusty Miller (DM) is my favorite plant, but it definitely has its purpose. It's silvery color IS refreshingly pretty and it's one of the few plants that hangs in there looking good past frost and even freeze. We got down to 28 last night and the DM is un-fazed. It also overwinters fairly reliably for me here (Detroit suburb) without any winter protection (I lose maybe 20% of my DM plants and about 80% come back).

Marlene - you asked about favorite combos...I think DM goes with just about anything...and I find that its cool silvery white fronds are especially nice with bright pinks and purples (such as impatiens...DM seems to fair equally well in part shade as it does in full blazing sun). And I always strategically plan my front (road-facing) bed to hang in until early winter (so I can pretend I still have a garden as long as possible before Old Man Winter takes over!!)...so in that bed, I have the DM paired with alyssum and marigolds, which also hang in through the first frosts.

Does anyone else have suggestions for annuals which take a licking (from frost) and keep on ticking until early winter???

    Bookmark   November 11, 2004 at 9:39PM
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applefan

IAs for plants that look good late...

I know they will probably be frosted next week...but I still have alyssum, statice, pansies and snaps blooming. My spike plants also look great. Of course the plants that will really last thru the first of the year are the Dusty Miller and ornamental cabbage and kale. Also don't overlook the tall ornamental grasses for winter show.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2004 at 1:06AM
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applefan

I forgot to mention...the lobelia hung in there to the end!!!
Jean

    Bookmark   November 24, 2004 at 11:21PM
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grammatweety43_aol_com

I just planted the Dusty Miller for the first time this year and I have birds attacking it and tearing the leaves off. How can I keep them from doing this?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 5:27PM
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