Alphabetical Plant Listing

Melianthus major (Honey Bush)

Honey Flower, Honey Bush, Great Honey Flower


Bold-looking, award-winning Melianthus major (Honey Bush) is a fast-growing evergreen open shrub of sprawling habit with attractive, deeply incised leaves, 18 in. long (45 cm), composed of jagged-edged leaflets that are a terrific blue-green color. Soft to the feel, the foliage emits a strong salty peanut butter-like smell when bruised. From spring to summer, spikes of honey scented, tubular, burgundy-maroon flowers are displayed in erect racemes above the foliage. Rich in nectar, they attract sunbirds and other nectar-feeding birds. They are followed by papery seed pods. Honey Bush makes a dramatic addition to containers or seasonal plantings. Use it in beds and borders as a focal point or specimen plant.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 6-12 ft. high (180-360 cm) and 8-10 ft. wide (240-300 cm).
  • Easily grown in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in partial shade in hot climates. Shelter from cold, drying winds and provide a dry mulch in winter to protect from excessive winter wet.
  • Great for beds and borders, wall-side borders or containers.
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for glasshouse red spider mite and glasshouse whitefly under glass.
  • Looks best if pruned hard and is often treated more like a perennial than a shrub. Cut the stems back to 3 in. (7 cm) just as growth resumes in spring.
  • Propagate by basal softwood cuttings in spring or propagate by division in early spring
  • The entire plant is toxic, especially the root. It contains toxic bufadienolides (cardiac glycosides) that produce, in humans and animals, increased salivation, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, cyanosis of the mucous membranes, rapid weak pulse and extreme exhaustion. The plants are extremely toxic, requiring only a small amount to produce poisoning.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses, toxic to humans.
  • Native to South Africa

Buy Melianthus major (Honey Bush)

Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 11
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 12' (180cm – 3.6m)
Spread 8' – 10' (240cm – 3m)
Spacing 120" (300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 11
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 12' (180cm – 3.6m)
Spread 8' – 10' (240cm – 3m)
Spacing 120" (300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders

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