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Melianthus Major

Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
I have just been given one of these plants.  Can anyone share pictures, information or any other helpful advice on growing this plant please.


  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose Posts: 574
    I had one a few years ago, unfortunately it succumbed to the frost, but very attractive for a short while.
    This link may help.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,054
    Hello GD 2
    Yes , I've had this plant for years in my own garden , and looked after others in different gardens  . I can't post a picture as I'm still the proud owner of a dumb-phone(!) .
    They seem to like a free draining soil in as sunny a position as possible .
    Flowering during warm-summers consists of chocolate/purple spikes with a scent reminiscent of vanilla if I recall .
    I class it as a 'sub-shrub' , growing luxuriantly in the warmth , but often razed to the ground in severe winters . They always come back in the spring .
    Good luck with yours !
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    Thank you Paul and Yorkshire rose for sharing your experiences.  I am in a quandary as to growing it in a border, or in a pot.  I imagine that since it will eventually grow quite large (if it survives the winters) in an open border would be best. Thanks again.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,054
    There are some excellent images on Google ; they do look good in large pots though .
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    They do grow very big. They grow outwards under the soil, too, and pop up several feet away from the parent. Mine die down in a cold winter but survive light frost so I don't think you would have a problem.
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Posts: 1,089
    GD I have six in pots grown from seed can see them here in April just before I moved them outside.
    They like it hot and sunny in a moist but not wet soil, these did flower last year but again they do need it hot and sunny for best results, have a nice perfume and drip honey which the bees love.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,685
    Beautiful plants.
    I grow them in the border, but pot them up to over winter in the greenhouse, not fully hardy here.
    In spring I cut them down to about 6 inches from the ground, and off they go again, getting to about 3X3 foot by the end of the year.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Mine live out. They sometimes die right down like a perennial but in mild winters they don't check at all. They are about six feet tall and perhaps twelve across.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    I will share some of your comments with my friend who also bought one of these Melianthus plants too. I will put mine in a larger pot but once we have dug out and moved the Rhodo in our border, perhaps in the Autumn, I will pop the Melianthus in it's place.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    edited May 2019
    I now have ownership of the Melianthus, in what is probably a 5" pot.  I will re-pot into a larger ceramic pot tomorrow and probably add a stake to secure the plant and prevent wind rock.
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