Dusty Miller - annual or perennial?

Edison, NJ(Zone 7a)

My aunt had Dusty Miller in her garden bed, and I always liked the look of it. She said she had them for many years without replanting new ones (except for the occasional one that died). All she did was trim them back in late fall. We both used to be zone 6b but are now in 7a.

A few years ago I decided to plant some Dusty Miller in some large planters, along with some hosta and dianthus (the annual dianthus). When I bought the Dusty Miller, it was labeled as an annual, but it's now in it's third season! I never cut them down like my aunt did, and they have grown very tall and leggy. But there is a lot of new growth at the base of the stem.

So, is it really an annual and just hardy? Or is it a perennial in these zones?



Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

The various species sold as "dusty miller" are generally perennials that survive the winters in warmer climates, such as yours.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

I love dusty miller and DH hates it for some reason. I have one DM plant that I've had several years also and I keep thinking it won't make each winter but it still growing. Do you have good luck taking cuttings to root from them? For some reason, they always seem to rot..

Edison, NJ(Zone 7a)

I've never taken cuttings, but I might try it now! Last winter was pretty mild, but most NJ winters are generally quite chilly with a fair amount of snow. At least, where I live. I think that's why I get so many Bleeding Heart babies every spring! I didn't get that many this year, because of the mild winter with no snow and little rain.

My Dusty Miller is getting ready to bloom. I don't recall whether it bloomed last year. I don't think so. But this year it looks like they will bloom quite a bit. I'll take a picture when they do and post it.

It really is a nice plant. If I can get some cuttings to root, I might put some out in front of the house. If they can survive in planters, they should do well in the ground, right?



Duxbury, MA(Zone 7a)

I was successful rooting 2 out of 3 cuttings I took of Dusty Miller last fall. They really haven't grown at all over the winter, but hopefully will take off now that it's spring.

Ellijay, GA(Zone 7a)

I wondered the same about DM after buying a flat for ten bucks. They'll root under the right conditions. Here's a greenhouse in north Georgia that roots all kinds of annuals. Of course their conditions are perfect for anything.

Thumbnail by kdfisher
Hazelcrest, IL(Zone 5b)

my dusties always come back i cut them dowm in yhe spring to the new growth. im in zone 5 they shouldnt survive here,but mine always does

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Cindyeo..do you recall when you took your cuttings of Dusty Miller? Maybe I should try to do the same. It is shooting up a yellow spike now..which I assume it is like coleus, gone to seed. I've always snapped that off when it appears. Is that the wrong thing to do?

Did you do anything special to the cuttings when you took them? Grow them indoors "under lights" or in a nursery pot outdoors, than transplant them?

Duxbury, MA(Zone 7a)

I'm trying to remember. I think I waited until just before frost, which where I live is quite late, November, and pinched off the tops. Then I stuck them in some potting soil and put them under some grow lights that I have in the basement, and kept them slightly damp all the time. It took a really long time, and like I said above, even when I knew there were roots, they didn't grow for a while. But they did finally grow over the summer. I'm away right now, or I'd go out and check on them, but I think it was a success, I think they did perform as well as if I had bought fresh ones.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I know the DM will survive the winters here--but then they want to "bolt" (bloom) the second year.
If you cut the bloom completely off--you will still have a nice plant.
Not sure if it comes back the third year....???? I think not. Gita

Spring City, TN

Down here in Tennessee, if you cut the blooms off and hedge them back by half when they start to get leggy, it comes back for 4 years and counting.... My coreopsis and DM are planted together so get pruned back together...

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