En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - April 24, 2009

From: Dubuque, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Are dusty millers perennial in Dubuque, IA?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have dusty millers in my front yard. Last fall I did nothing with them as I wasn't sure if they will return or not. Do the dusty millers continue to grow year after year and should I cut them down or how exactly do you take care of them as far as if they come back year after year?

ANSWER:

This Floridata website Senecia cineraria says "At least 8 different garden plants are commonly called 'dusty miller'." Senecia cineraria is native to the western and central Meditteranean area and therefore not in our range of expertise. The Floridata site goes on to list the other 7 that go by the same common name. If, indeed, your plant is the Senecia cineraria, it is grown as a summer annual in cool areas, and is hardy in Zones 8 to 10. Dubuque, in central eastern Iowa,  appears on the USDA Zone Hardiness Map to be in Zones 4a to 5, with average annual minimum temperatures from -30 to -15 deg. F.  We think you will need to expect to replant them every year.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Root growth on non-native Pittisporum Tobira from San Francisco
October 29, 2011 - How do the roots grow and spread for the Pittosporum Tobira shrub? I have one that is about 20 feet tall and wonder how to care for it? Do you have a picture of how the roots grow?
view the full question and answer

Rose varieties for Alabama
October 26, 2009 - What climate and soil types will Rosa Rogosa, a plant that grows in MA, require?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of contaminants leaching from asphalt driveway to adjacent vegetable garden in Tucson
April 13, 2011 - We have planted a vegetable garden next to a driveway. The driveway has recently (within the last 2 years) been covered with asphalt. My concern is that the oil may leach into my vegetables. Is thi...
view the full question and answer

Native alternative to Japanese grass from Lake Jackson TX
May 16, 2013 - Is there a native alternative to Little Kitten maiden grass? I was asked to comment on a plan and don't want them to introduce another Japanese plant into our local habitat.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
August 26, 2011 - I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center