A foliage plant that can be grown at the front of the border as a feature plant, or toward the rear of the border where Melianthus major with its height still makes an impact.
The foliage is divided with serrated leaf margins, grey green in colour and with a distinct tropical appearance.
In the garden, it is a star in spring and again in autumn. It puts out its tall flower spikes in spring, and these stand well above the foliage.
In the garden this is a foliage plant, however the actual look will depend on how, and if you prune it.
Pruned back hard each winter, the foliage is close to the ground. However, if treated this way flowering can be limited.
You can let the plant grow, and it will form long stems with the foliage held high above. This looks great, however they can fall over, so plant them at the back of the border and give them some support.
Grown in a humus rich soil in a sunny to part shaded position this is a very easy care plant.
Decide on you pruning regime, and if you decide to prune, the best time is in winter when you would cut it right back to the ground.
Any general purpose liquid fertiliser will do. The time to fertilise is in spring. We like to add some compost and aged cow manure in early spring as well
- Botanical Name – Melianthus major
- Common Names – Honey Bush or Touch Me Not
- Position – Full sun to a little shade, best in a warm protected position.
- Soil – Humus rich moist soil.
- Height – Generally to around 3 – 5 metres
- Spread – Will spread to around 2 metres.
- Growth Rate – Medium to Fast
- Foliage – Greyish green, deeply divided, when rubbed it has a rather unpleasant odour, hence one common name of ’Touch Me Not’.
- Flowers – Deep red to brown tall spikes.
- Flowering Time – Spring to summer.
- Frost tolerant – No
- Drought tolerant – Medium