Melianthus major / Giant Honey Bush / Seeds

(Code: KB_026)

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Melianthus major / Giant Honey Bush / Seeds

An unusual and dramatic shrub, with large serrated grey/blue leaves and dark-red flowers. The flowers come out on large spikes that grow out of the base of leaves in spring, typically April/May and sometimes again in the autumn in a hot year.  Mature plants can reach 2-3m in height.  They give a wonderful tropical feel to a garden.

Melianthus likes a sunny well-drained spot in the garden with rich soil and lots of water.  The honey bush grows fast and can be cut back in the winter, although is naturally an evergreen plant.  It is half hardy, but will survive a light frost in warmer UK gardens, sending up shoots from the base.  However it is best to protect with mulch or fleece over winter.  Or grow in large pots which can be sheltered from hard frosts.
 

Pack of 10 seeds.  Sow in spring to autumn.  Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet. 


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Hardiness Half-hardy evergreen perennial (RHS Hardiness H3)
Flowers April - May
Height 1.5 - 2.5m
Spread 1.5 - 2.5m
Conditions  Plant out in full sun and in rich and moist well-drained soil.
Sow

Sow in spring to autumn in well drained seed compost and lightly cover.  Scarifying the seeds (chipping gently with a scalpel) may improve germination, which takes 3-4 weeks at 20-25 C.  Move seedlings into pots when they are big enough to handle and protect over winter.  Plant out into the garden the following year after the last frost.  

Grow

Plants need little attention once they have established themselves.  In winter, mulch around the roots and with smaller plants, cover them in fleece.  They do not need pruning other than to remove dead material and old woody stems, which can be cut back after flowering.  Mature plants can be divided in early spring and basal cuttings can be taken in late spring and early summer.