En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

Tropical plants for a pool-side planter in Cape Coral FL
April 19, 2010 - I live in Southwest Florida and have a pool inside a cage with a pool planter built into the deck around part of the pool. What kind of tropical plants can I put in the planter that are not root inva...
view the full question and answer

Can non-native coleus grow in mulch from San Antonio
May 12, 2013 - Can Coleus plants grow in Mulch only?
view the full question and answer

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
view the full question and answer

Sources for ruellia from Houston
January 19, 2014 - I want to get a bunch of either ruellia nudiflora or ruellia drummondiana in my butterfly garden. But I cannot find it anywhere, and I have no idea where to get plants or seeds. Seems most vendors...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center