The dusty miller is a treat for the eyes because of its silver-gray and fern-like foliage. It can bring out the contrast to the various flowers in your garden. Moreover, it can fill the gaps in the borders.
Despite being very easy to grow, propagating dusty miller requires some work.
Propagating any plant kind of plant needs precision. If you’re not sure how to do it, then don’t worry because we’re here with our guide.
This article will guide you through every step of propagating a dusty miller. So, without further delay, let’s start.
Types of Dusty Miller
Many plants with silver-colored foliage have the name dusty miller. But the original dusty miller is the Jacobaea maritima. Although, many varieties of this plant have been cultivated by breeders. Here are some of the originals-
This variety of dusty millers has less serration on the foliage giving it a less delicate look. The ‘Cirrus’ doesn’t grow that tall, reaching only up to 1 foot.
It can spread easily, making it ideal for ground cover. Once it starts spreading it can fill out the gaps in borders and flower beds.
The ‘Cirrus’ variety can live up to 10 years if taken care of properly.
This variety of dusty miller is considered as the most elegant of all. It’s delicate toothed leaves give it a lacy look and the name ‘Silver Lace’.
This variety grows up to 8 inches in height. It’s suitable for both containers and beds. ‘Silver Lace’ enjoys dry soil with regular fertilization and adequate amounts of nitrogen.
‘Silver Dust’ variety of dusty miller grows up to 18 inches in height. It also reaches maturity in just 4 months. This fast-growing plant is excellent for pruning.
You can encourage lower growth by cutting the height of the plant. Moreover, this plant is drought-resistant and works perfectly with plants that have this feature.
Silver Filigree/ Silver Cascade
This award-winning variety can reach up to 4-8 inches in height and 14 inches in width. It has a deeply toothed look with a soft wool like texture.
Ramparts is the most low-maintenance variety of dusty miller. It can survive easily with casual watering and sunlight.
10 Steps of Propagating Dusty Miller
Dusty millers can be propagated by cuttings in the spring. At that time, dusty millers happen to put out the most growth.
You need to be careful when propagating any kind of plant. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions and you’ll be good to go.
Tools and Materials
- Razor blades or Scissors
- Pencil or Stick
- A Parent Plant (parent plant)
- Plastic Bag
- Soilless Potting Mix
- Rooting Hormone
- Containers For Planting
Step 1: Select a Plant for Cutting
Choose a healthy parent plant from which you’ll be cutting. Remember to avoid any diseased plant or any plant that has dying foliage.
Look for plants that have plenty of new growth. Although, don’t look for plants that many too many flowers or blooms. You see, having too many flowers or blooms can affect the ability of a cutting.
In conclusion, the plant should be big enough that the cutting won’t do it any harm. So, avoid small plants if you don’t want them to die.
Step 2: Get the Container Ready
Fill up a clean container or pot with soilless potting mix to hold the cutting. A soilless potting mix is better than garden soil as it can offer evenly moist conditions.
On another note, never use ordinary garden soils as it’ll kill the stem even before it ever takes root. Ordinary garden soils contain pathogens that are harmful to stems.
Finally, don’t go for a large pot as you’re going to re-pot it eventually. A 4-6 in inches deep container is more than enough.
Step 3: Look for the Best Stems
Keep an out for green, non-woody stems. Newer stems are more likely to root than old stems.
A piece of advice, look out for stems that have a bump attached to the stem. These bumps or nodes are new roots.
Step 4: Cut the Stem
Take the plant cutting using a pair of scissors or razor blades. Although, make sure that the scissors or razor blades have been sterilized with alcohol.
Now, cut the stem just below a node. A longer cutting isn’t necessary, but make sure that it has at least two leaves. Longer cuttings have a reputation of drying out when in a medium.
Step 5: Prepare the Stem
First, put the cutting on a flat and clean surface. Now, cut through the middle of the node with a razor blade. This will enable roots to appear from this spot.
Also, remove most of the leaves. Even though the stem needs some leaves for photosynthesis, too many of them can divert energy from the roots.
Step 6: Use a Rooting Hormone
Rooting hormones are great for stimulating new roots for a cutting. Many plants root easily but it doesn’t hurt to use a little stimulant.
First, fill up two containers, one with water and the other one with rooting hormone. Now, soak the node end of a stem into the water and then into the rooting hormone.
However, you have to throw the excess hormone once it touches the cutting. The hormone becomes unusable after it’s been activated.
Step 7: Make a Planting Hole
Using a pencil or a stick, make a planting hole in the soilless potting mix. Try to make the hole a bit larger than the stem. By doing this, you’ll be making sure that the hormone won’t wipe away when you plant the stem in the pot.
Step 8: Plant the Stem
Now you have to plant the cutting into the hole you made. After putting it into the potting mix, gently push soil around it.
One potting mix can hold many cuttings. However, you have to plant them in a way so that they don’t touch each other.
Step 9: Put the Pot in a Plastic Bag
Put the potting mix into a plastic bag. By doing this, you’ll be able to hold the humidity and heat.
However, don’t seal off the bag as it can cause fungal rot.
Now, put the pot in a warm area in the house where filtered light is available. Don’t put the stems in full sunlight. You can put them in sunlight once new leaves start to grow on the stem.
Step 10: Monitor the Stems
Keep the soil somewhat moist until the roots grow. But don’t make it so moist that condensation forms.
Simply put, check for signs of rot and remove any suspicious cuttings.
You should check for roots after 2-3 weeks. If you feel any resistance, it means that roots have grown and the cuttings are ready for their own pot or ground.
Dusty miller is an undemanding plant, requiring no extra care or expensive gardening tools. You can even start your garden with this silver-foliage plant. So, we hope that we answered all of your questions about propagating dusty miller.
Before we finish, we have a piece of advice for you. Even if you like the yellow or purple flowers of this plant, cut them off. These flowers suck most of the nutrients from the plants.