An accent plant that has always bored me a little worked its way into my heart this past summer and I now declare “I love Dusty Miller.”
Botanically speaking, its Senecio Cineraria. Native to southern Europe (but with less attitude), it is a perennial to zone 9, but an annual up in these parts. When it is grown as a perennial it flowers in a lovely, little yellow way its second year. But I will have to take the southern gardening books word on that one.
I think it works so well in the landscape pallet because it has the brightening, highlighting aspects of a white plant, but toned down enough to not over-pop. I used it in a pot in my sunny perennial border when celosia I had planted petered out. I loved how it filled in and added a nice texture.
Over in the shade, pond area, it acts as a lovely focal point; an unexpected spray of featheriness. And it is great in my planters that flank my French doors (one side gets sun, the other-not so much). It gets just a little leggy when it doesn’t get a lot of sun. But just a bit.
Dusty Miller works great in arrangements and guess what, it is reported to be deer-proof. You can root cuttings of it and it dries nicely, so try bringing in cuttings of it for a fall arrangement. When dried, it actually looks exactly as it does when it is alive and growing.
Dusty Miller, you have elevated above the other hoop house spikes and vinca vines. You are a star.