Dusty Miller



Dusty Miller gets its name from the white/gray "dust" which covers the leaves, giving them a grayish frosted look. It is a beautiful plant which requires ABSOLUTELY NO work when purchased from a garden center.
Just stick it in the ground and water.

This plant is grown for its unusual foliage. It is bred not to bloom in the normal growing season in temperate conditions. If it does manage to start blooming, it will get tall and weedy looking, but that has never happened in my garden or in any plantings I have seen. The only time I observed this was at a market where they had been started way too early and transplanted into 6-inch pots. The stressful conditions (variable watering, low light) of the market are probably what brought on the early bloom.



WORK ALERT!

Growing this plant from seed is WORK unless you are very good at getting tiny seeded plants to sprout and stay growing. I know of no way around it.
The little seedlings are prone to damping off (seedling rot) disease, will die if they dry out, and will wash away if you are not extremely careful when watering.
If you desire to grow these from seed, here are some general hints for growing small seeded varieties:

Water from the bottom of the container by sticking it in a pan of water until the water soaks UP to the top. Better yet, use some type of self watering container system. That way, they won't dry out either. USE WARM WATER! Cold water can shock tiny seedlings into oblivion.

Damping off is a common seedling disease which can make the tiniest seedlings rot away and disappear. Captan, while often recommended, has become ineffectual in my area. This is due to disease organisms getting "used to it". I've even seen fungus grow IN IT! Unfortunately, I do not know of another fungicide (damping off is usually a fungal disease) which is both labelled for consumer use in normal conditions and is still effective. The best bet is to use sterilized soil. Make sure to keep anything which has been in contact with other soil or plants away from the new seedlings. This will cut down on infection from non seed-borne disease.


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