Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dusty Miller, Silver Ragwort
Jacobaea maritima

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Jacobaea (jak-koh-BAY-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: maritima (muh-RIT-tim-muh) (Info)

Synonym:Senecio bicolor subsp. cineraria
Synonym:Senecio cineraria
Synonym:Senecio maritimus
Synonym:Cineraria maritima
Synonym:Othonna maritima

One vendor has this plant for sale.

25 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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20 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jenlee On Nov 13, 2012, jenlee from Collierville, TN wrote:

This plant grows well in my zone 7 garden without any mulch. I planted a couple of them and they return year after year. It is low maintenance and tolerates drought well. It is really eye-catching!

Positive JeffBigSky On Jul 18, 2012, JeffBigSky from East Missoula, MT wrote:

I am in area 3 in western Montana. Usually I buy and plant Dusty Millers as an annual. However, the last couple of years of mild winters, not below zero, many plants have wintered over very well. This year, I have several DMs that are flowering. One that is potted always outside and others in beds. I never knew they flowered until this year. Simply loved their silvery foliage. Perhaps this winter I will cover them with straw to winter over.

Positive Jen_Munoz On Apr 21, 2012, Jen_Munoz from Brownsville, TX wrote:

I live in Brownsville/Olmito, Texas. I bought a few of these last spring for added interest in my containers. I mixed them with dianthus, marigolds, and ageratum. Since they are listed as annuals, I never expected them to make it through to this year. They did and they are three times as big and ready to bloom! I loved them so much; I bought more this year and planted them in my garden beds between pentas and ixoras! Gorgeous addition to my flowery garden beds! Everyone who comes to my house asks what they are and where I got them.

Positive speediebean On Feb 19, 2012, speediebean from Somewhere in, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

I bought 2 (two), 4" pots at the nursery late last Spring, (2011) intending to plant them on the Eastern-facing side of my house. I sat them, in their pots, on the ground where I planned to install them, and promptly forgot about them. I ignored and neglected them all this time until yesterday when I finally brought them inside and re-potted them into larger pots... and they're still alive!!! True, the roots had grown out of the holes in the bottoms of the pots into the soil beneath them, but they're green through-and-through. Talk about tough plants!

Positive mcombs On Dec 12, 2010, mcombs from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have his plant in my front yard adjacent to the sidewalk where it gets morning sun. It's currently over 3 feet tall and wide with 2" diameter stems. It loves the mild winters of the Bay Area. The white leaves provide a stunning contrast adjacent to a dark red Japanese maple.

Cuttings also seem to root quite readily.

Positive cah1947 On May 15, 2010, cah1947 from Prior Lake, MN wrote:

I planted dusty miller on the east side of my yard which is shady all day. I'm in Zone 4 Southern Minnesota and planted it as an annual. After a cold and snowy winter I was surprised to find the dusty miller alive and kicking. It was a bit weather-worn, but by May it was fine.

Positive egweaver73 On Jun 10, 2009, egweaver73 from Comanche, OK wrote:

It would seem that if it is green, I can kill it! When we moved to this house and was getting ready for a house warming party, I saw some nice looking plants at the grocery store didn't even know what a Dusty Miller was. Well they only had to live through the weekend, so I got 5 of them, planted them in front of my porch, & literally forgot about them. I have managed to kill everything else, even my grass is brown most of the year, but I have gorgeous Dusty Millers, bigger and fuller than ever! Hey, thank goodness my kids aren't green!!

Positive bcwendy On Sep 1, 2007, bcwendy from thetis island
Canada wrote:

This year, I planted Dusty Miller with Lavender in a border that gets sun for most of the day. The effect is truly beautiful. Being plagued with deer, I have to be choosy about what to plant and this combination is completely inpalatable to them. I live on a Gulf Island on the West Coast of Canada in Zone 8.

Positive lee_ro On Jun 17, 2007, lee_ro from Raleigh, NC wrote:

I've got dusty miller growing out front that has been going strong for at least 3 years now here in zone 7, and the dusty miller out back is in its second summer. They're flowering right now. I expected them to be annuals and I watched for signs of the plants' demise, ready to pull them out, but it never came. It seems to love our NC summers and hangs on in the winter. Since the one out front started looking a little straggly with the flowers I did some trimming and placed the cut flowering stems in a vase which has been looking good (and kind of interesting as a cut stem) for two weeks. Looks great next to the purple foliage of Setcreasea and also next to the foliage and blooms of Lavender.

Positive Photographer On May 2, 2007, Photographer from Moxee, WA (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant is hardy to USDA Zone 5 without a doubt. I have had it growing in a difficult spot for 3 years. I finally took 2 root divisions after 3 years of growth. It also puts down roots from branches as it grows wider. I prefer to cut it back in the spring to eliminate the 2nd year growth and do without the yellow blooms. They are pretty but the plant itself ends up looking tired and like its cousin ..... ragweed. This is a great plant to place in between greenery for a contrast in the garden. For the drier climates ... this is a hardy plant that thrives.

Positive burnettterrace On Jun 26, 2006, burnettterrace from West Orange, NJ wrote:

I planted this as an annual but learned that it works wonderfully as a perennial. Here in NJ, Zone 6b, I leave the plants in through winter. After a thaw, I break out the rotted centers of the plants. In spring it sprouts again peripherally, coming back stronger and thicker than before.

Neutral Suze_ On Apr 3, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've found it easy to grow, but I just don't personally care for the appearance.

Positive isom On Mar 22, 2006, isom from Mission BC
Canada (Zone 8b) wrote:

I agree with henryr10 about the climate rating for this. I'm in 7b & this comes back from year to year & often, never dies down. I grow mine for the foliage - a nice contrast with purples, blues, & pink coloured flowers or sun-loving coleus.

Personally, I think the yellow flowers clash with the foliage so don't allow mine to flower. I've noticed it gets very sad looking by the end of summer - I think powdery mildew gets mine as I don't have enough air circulation around them. But I trim it down & it grows back again. Not the most fantastic plant but is a good workhorse to mix among other, more spectacular flowers.

Positive skaz421 On Jan 26, 2006, skaz421 from Wesley Chapel, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grow them in zone 9a. They die out by the middle of the summer, but most of the annuals that I plant in the spring do the same thing. It must be the heat.

Positive hanna1 On May 17, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A beautiful contrast to other plants

Positive darylmitchell On May 16, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

Dusty millers are grown as annuals in zone 3, where they are prized for their silvery-grey foliage. The leaves are actually green, but covered in tiny hairs which reflect light, giving them their silvery colour. This also minimizes moisture loss, making them drought-tolerant, and able to withstand hot temperatures. They make a good contrast for darker flowers or foliage... a common companion is pelargonium (geranium). They are also good in "moon gardens" as their foliage reflects moonlight. I've never seen them flower, probably because the growing season here is so short. They can withstand a light frost and will often outlast most other annuals into the late autumn. Even when killed by a hard frost, they largely retain their form and can be kept until spring for winter interest.

Positive ladyannne On May 2, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This was placed at the edge of the front walkway (filtered sun and full late afternoon full sun) and must be trimmed continually, especially the leggy, lower limbs and dried undergrowth. Despite a hacking, it quickly comes back to a lush, lovely bush that adds a grand colour of gray to the area, espcially wiht its yellow flowers. Planted next to daylilies and amaranth, its perfect.

Positive bluebunniess110 On Oct 24, 2004, bluebunniess110 from Brownville, NE wrote:

I have grown this BEAUTIFULLY in containers with other plants in SE Nebraska, but NO FLOWERS, perhaps it's just the particular variety. Flowers or Not, I hope it comes back next year. If not I'll just get some more!

Positive henryr10 On May 31, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Here in Cincinnati it is very well behaved but rarely, in my experience, flowers.

I do though take exception to the Zone rating.
We have it, both grounded and in hanging pots, and w/ no protection has reliably come back for 4 years now.
It will die back to the ground, or in some cases thicker stems, and by early/mid Spring is starting new growth.

Neutral nick89 On May 30, 2004, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a nice white leaved perennial that is abundant here in north Alabama. The yellow flowers are nice in summer but it spreads too much and the lower portions of the stem can look ratty during the winter.

Positive MotherNature4 On Apr 1, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The attractive white foliage blends well with other winter annuals in Florida.

It is difficult to carry over as a perennial.

Positive careyjane On Feb 18, 2004, careyjane from Rabat
Morocco wrote:

This plant is really useful in seaside gardens (Atlantic coast of Morocco, North Africa). It succeeds where not much else does, and is most attractive when grown for its foliage. The flowers are also attractive but the plant can get messy looking if the flower spikes are not cut down periodically.
Unlike other commentators, I have had no trouble growing this plant, but then my experience is in a Mediterranean climate which is apparently ideal for this plant.

Neutral htop On Sep 23, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
Senecio cineraria prefers summers that are warm and dry and winters that are wet and cool and is native to Mediterranean regions where it grows in arid locations.
Requiring full sun, Dusty Miller does best in well-drained soil (even sandy soil with frequent irrigation). Although once established, it is fairly drought tolerant, it should be watered during prolonged dry periods (do not overhead water). Until the root systems are well established, new plantings may require daily watering, especially in sandy soils. It contracts a rust disease during prolonged hot, wet periods, declines and eventually dies which is what happened to my plants. Planted where it does not receive full sun, it beomes leggy which is not very attractive. It may be pruned to encourage bushiness.

In subtropical habitats such as the Gulf Coast and Florida, it is usually grown as a winter annual. Tolerating extreme heat, it can not withstand frequent rain. In California that does not receive a lot of summertime rain, it is grown as a perennial. It should be grown as a summer annual in colder climates. It is easily propogated by semi-hard stem tip cuttings from semi-hard stem tips in in the summer. It can also by propogated by seed, but be sure not to cover the seed with soil.

I give it a neutral rating because this plant was beautiful for a while in my garden, but did not sustain itself over a 2 year period without frequent trimming which negates the production of flowers and because of the rust problem. However, I mainly grew them for their foiage. As an annual, they would be okay. I have them listed in my database as a plant to avoid.

Negative mlyin On Jun 24, 2003, mlyin from Houston, TX wrote:

I am in zone 9b, Houston area. I planted at least 16 of them last spring in different locations in my yard, and only 3 survived. I guess they like to be in the shade in this area. I'm disappointed because they are supposed to be easy.

Negative DerekSmith On Dec 30, 2002, DerekSmith wrote:

Have care. The plant is a close relative of ragwort and contains the highly damaging precursor toxins
If ingested or absorbed through the skin they destroy liver cells and can cause death from cirrhosis or cancer


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
New Market, Alabama
Chino Valley, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Yuma, Arizona
Castro Valley, California
Chula Vista, California
Citrus Heights, California
Clayton, California
Fairfield, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
Pleasant Hill, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vacaville, California
Littleton, Colorado
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Homosassa, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Port, Florida
Ormond Beach, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Clarkesville, Georgia
Loganville, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Tyrone, Georgia
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Naperville, Illinois
Bloomington, Indiana
Inez, Kentucky
Bordelonville, Louisiana
Evans, Louisiana
Maurepas, Louisiana
Mechanicsville, Maryland
Clinton Township, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Linden, Michigan
Elsberry, Missouri
Brownville, Nebraska
Las Vegas, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Deposit, New York
East Syracuse, New York
Poughkeepsie, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Mount Orab, Ohio
Comanche, Oklahoma
Eugene, Oregon
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Princeton, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Yantis, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Richmond, Virginia
Moxee, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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