Monday, October 28, 2013

Overwintering Dusty Miller - Senecio cineraria

Here in zone 5a-6b, by fluke this Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria) over-wintered last year. This time, I prefer to make sure it happens again.

The main reason I believe it overwintered last year was because of the snow coverage we had and the fact that there was a good layer of leaf matter that was never removed. This year it has the added benefit of deep roots and companion plants (coleus) which will be left to die back to the ground. Acting as an insulation barrier.
Both the fern leaf cultivars ('Silverdust')...
...and broad leaf ('New Look') cultivars flower:

Yet, here in Ontario, they don't flower their first season. Only when they develop...

...woody stems (the second year woody growth).

Add lots of leafy matter. Water regularly. Don't let it dry out. Up till heavy frosts. Heap with snow overwinter. Avoid salt.  Next year watch to see new life emerges from the woody stems and trim back to a tidy shape.


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