Surprise blooms on the Honeybush (Melianthus Major)

From what I had read about the Honeybush (Melianthus Major), I didn't expect it to bloom. That would have been okay as the foliage is satisfying enough. After cutting it down to the ground after the ice and snow back in February (it looked good up unto that point), it has rebounded and is already four feet tall. I grow it on the south side of the house and I'm sure it is happy in it's warm spot.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I think Melianthus major appreciates being cut back hard. Each time I've cut mine down to stubs I've feared I killed it, only to have it dramatically rebound as yours did. Mine (in partial shade) usually only produces a single bloom but this year, despite our pathetically low rainfall, I've got 4 bloom spikes this year.

  2. Very cool! I've not seen a Melianthus bloom before.

  3. No comment about the honeybush in particular, but I wanted to tell you how happy I was to find your blog. I too, live in Vanc, WA, and just this year have I started work on our postage-stamp sized back yard. I am envious of your rich soils as mine are compacted and I have alot of remediation work to do. It's backbreaking. We are transplants from the upper midwest and I am amazed at what I can grow here. Nice to see a neighbor!

    1. Thank you Kiyoko and so nice to hear from a neighbor!

  4. The bloom stem before the flowers open is the prettiest burgundy imaginable. Beautiful photo.


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