Dusty Miller Annuals - Zone 5B - August 2023

Yesterday, I posted some photos showing the French Marigolds that I planted as bedding plants in our front porch bed/border and mentioned that some volunteer Dusty Millers arrived to change the look of that curved bed.  Last year, I planted 36 small Dusty Millers in front.  As annuals.   They're hardy down to Zone 7 - by all accounts.  But here in Zone 5B?  We had a bunch of them come back for year two.  

When I say a 'bunch of them', I really mean a BUNCH OF THEM.

I planted those French Marigolds across the front of the bed.  And today?  I can't see half of them.  

See below for the current state of this front porch bed and how vibrant the Dusty Millers - planted in 2022 in Zone 5b - are today:

There are French Marigolds under there.  Somewhere.

See below for a peek at the edge where the Marigolds run into these.  

Dusty Millers are grown for their white, ornamental foliage.  They provide a little Mediterranean vibe to the garden.  But, I am discovering that they also produce flowers.  Yellow ones.  See below for a peek at that tall flower stem that has emerged from the crown.  And the yellow flowers:

My immediate reaction to these flower stems turning up was to prune them off.  But....I've decided to try to 'get to know' Dusty Millers a little bit more and let this play out.  I'll leave these flowers on to see what the full lifecycle (and potential seed production) looks like.  

Will these non-cold-hardy annuals come back for year three?  Not likely, but I'm going to find out.


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