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Care for a Dusty Miller Plant

Gardeners planting borders and flower beds often choose Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria) to fill in among brighter annual and perennial flowers. With its unassuming silver and lacy foliage, Dusty Miller complements a variety of different plants and flowers, adding just the right touch to many different landscapes. Dusty Miller grows well in either full or partial sun and is easy to maintain in planting areas because it does not have extensive planting or growing requirements.

Cultivate the growing area with the garden spade prior to planting the Dusty Miller. Work the soil 4-inches deep with the spade and sprinkle the slow-release fertilizer over the soil (consulting the fertilizer package for the recommended amount for the size of the planting area). Smooth the surface of the soil with the rake.

Dig holes for the Dusty Miller with the shovel, spacing the holes approximately 1 to 2 feet apart (depending upon how densely you wish to plant). Make each hole deep enough to place the plants in the soil at the same depth as they are growing in their temporary containers.

Remove each Dusty Miller plant from its temporary container carefully by squeezing the bottom of the container and pulling gently on the central stem of the plant to loosen it.

Place each plant into a prepared hole and fill soil in around the roots. Firm the soil with your hands around the base of each plant.

Provide a thorough watering of the Dusty Miller plants immediately after you finish planting them. Water until the soil is saturated.

Watch the Dusty Miller throughout the growing season and if you notice any blossoms (you will not see many), remove them by pinching them off. Dusty Miller grows best when its energy goes directly to foliage production instead of producing blossoms.


Dusty Miller is drought tolerant so it will not require water unless growing conditions become exceedingly dry. Provide water for these plants only if the soil is very dry and the plants seem to be suffering. Dusty Miller will continue to thrive well into the autumn, even through frosts. Also plant Dusty Miller in containers along with other annual flowers by following the same planting procedure. Provide water daily or every other day for container gardens, however, to ensure the plants do not dry out.

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