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ShrubsHerbaceous Perennial

Melianthus major
  • RHS AGM

honey flower [2]

M. major is a sparsely branched, medium-sized evergreen sub-shrub of sprawling habit, with handsome glaucous, pinnate leaves to 45cm in length. Small, tubular maroon flowers in erect racemes to 30cm in length in spring and summer

Other common names
great honey flower
honey bush

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green Grey Silver
Summer Purple Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Francoaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Melianthus are evergreen shrubs, often grown as herbaceous perennials, with handsome pinnate leaves and small, tubular flowers in narrow, erect racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
South Africa

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Shelter from cold, drying winds and provide a dry mulch in winter to protect from excessive winter wet. Alternatively, grow in a container and keep outside over the summer and bring under glass in late autumn

Propagation

Propagate by basal softwood cuttings in spring or propagate by division in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wall side borders
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 7 or pruning group 8

Pests

May be attacked by glasshouse red spider mite and glasshouse whitefly under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free

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