Melianthus major

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF

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Melianthus major

South African Honey Bush that we grow from seed. This bold sub-shrub/perennial entrances people with the large blue symmetrical, pinnate, serrated  leaves. Large plant to 6′ x 6′ in 5 years. Semi-evergreen it can freeze to the ground below about 20ºF and will vigorously regrow from the base in spring. Its important that Melianthus be very well established the first season going into its first winter. A large root mass ensures re-sprouting from the coldest winters. If the winter is mild 1′ tall inflorescences of black and red are odd, spectacular, and an ode to goth gardening in early summer. Rich soil that is never boggy in a warm, protected location with regular water to establish. Even if winter is only semi-cruel and the stems stand but with tattered leaves the whole plant can be cut to the ground AFTER ALL THREAT OF FROST HAS PASSED. Mulch for the first autumn w/ dry leaves and compost. Excellent at the base of a warm wall or a south facing aspect. Appreciates good care and water.. Mix with other large, bold perennials- Aralia californica (Elk clover) and Lobelia tupa (Devil’s tobacco) .  Very dramatic in containers.  Container grown plants should be protected from arctic cold (below 20ºF). The large leaves have the odor of peanut butter when disturbed/bruised. Its pungent and spot on. Not often bothered by deer. Might be somewhat rabbit resistant. Nice bold, tropical affect.We offer two other named cultivars, to be honest any one of these seedlings could be as good or exceed those cultivars.

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