Melianthus major

  • Botanical name: Melianthus major
  • Family: Melianthaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
Flower colour:


Foliage colour:


Formerly grown as a greenhouse and conservatory foliage plant, Melianthus major can be grown outside in mild regions. It has spectacular, grey-green leaves with deeply serrated edges, and occasionally tubular, red-brown flowers in summer. It makes a dramatic statement in a sunny, sheltered border or exotic garden scheme. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).


Grow Melianthus major in well-drained soil in full sun, ideally against the shelter of a south-facing wall. Alternatively grow it in a container, which you can move indoors in autumn. To stop it getting leggy, cut back in early spring. Protect from winter frost.

How to grow Melianthus major

  • Plant size

    2.25m height

    2m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border


  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Melianthus major and wildlife

Melianthus major has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Melianthus major poisonous?

Melianthus major has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People