Scorpionfish, Dracocephalum moldavica - care and cut

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dragon head

The dragon's head plant provides convincing proof that aesthetics and ecology in gardening are not mutually exclusive. The one-year, herbaceous ornamental, spice and tea plant boasts lilac-colored flower clouds, which emanates a beguiling scent, reminiscent of lemon. In addition, the dramatically formed lip blooms provide plenty of nectar to industrious bees, bumblebees and butterflies, turning the garden into a paradise for beneficials. The following instructions for the care of a Dracocephalum moldavica convey their frugal unpretentiousness.


As part of successful care, the location is considered the main pillar. If the scorpionfish plant finds a place in the garden with adequate conditions, it even takes one or two omissions without complaint. A quick look at their favorite natural sites in Eastern Europe and Asia indicates what the optimal planting site should be. There, the Turkish Melisse likes to thrive along stony rivers, on dry hills and on sunny slopes. So the location should be in the garden:
  • A warm place with many hours of sunshine
  • Normal, medium-weight, often loamy garden soil
  • Fresh and well drained
  • Neutral to slightly calcareous pH
Considering their demands on the location, a settlement in the rock garden seems just as useful as in the herb garden, in the cottage garden and in flower beds.
Tip: The dragon head plant also sets decorative accents in the bucket. The substrate used is commercially available potting soil, upgraded with a little sand, perlite or expanded clay.

Pouring and fertilizing

Rule normal weather conditions, the Moldavian dragon's head is content with the average rainfall. Only during prolonged periods of drought is the flower watered. The water should not trickle down from above on flowers and leaves, but should be poured directly onto the roots. In the planter, the casting requirement is usually higher, given the narrow substrate volume. If the thumb sample points to a dried-on soil, it is cast.
  • Fertilize Turkish scorpionfish in the bed from May to August with compost and horn shavings
  • Apply dilute liquid fertilizer weekly in the tub during the growing season
  • Do not apply fertilizers to dried substrate
An organic fertilizer is especially advisable when the flowers and leaves are used for the preparation as a tea, for the flavoring of food and drinks or as a salad.
Tip: Since the Turkish dragon's head copes well with a calcareous soil, no special irrigation water, such as trapped rainwater, has to be used. It can also be used here stale, mixed with lime tap water.

To cut

A targeted pruning is not required in the course of growth. Regular cleaning of withered flowers and withered leaves, however, supports a lush flowering. After the first frost, the Dracocephalum moldavica dies, but has previously completely out to secure the next generation. If this activity is not desired, the flower stems are cut in time before the inconspicuous claw fruits can scatter the seeds in the garden.

dragon head

Tip: The dragon head plant is wonderful as a cut flower for small vases. Over a period of 10 days, the flowers adorn the house and exude a wonderful fragrance.


Anyone who settles Moldova's melissa in the garden for the first time or wants to see it in more places than the natural release, chooses the uncomplicated sowing. There are two divergent approaches to choose from, with very specific benefits. In March behind glass preferred plants start in the garden season with a robust growth advantage. The result is an earlier flowering and a higher resistance to diseases and pests. Since not every household has sufficient space capacity for the many seed pots that a hobby gardener would like to cultivate in the spring, an alternative is direct sowing in April or May.

Sowing behind glass

With the brighter light conditions in March, the window of opportunity for sowing the seeds on the windowsill, conservatory or greenhouse opens. Here's how to do it:
  • Several 12 cm pots fill with Saaterde, peat sand or coconut fibers
  • Distribute the seeds on the substrate
  • As light germ the seeds should be covered with sand or vermiculite for a maximum of 0.5 cm
  • Moisten carefully with water from the spray bottle
  • Alternatively, place the pots in water to water the seed from below
At half shady location at 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, germination takes 7 to 21 days. During this time, the substrate should neither dry out nor be thoroughly soaked.A cover made of glass or foil has a beneficial effect on the process. Once the two cotyledons show up, remove the hood again. Since the little dragon's heads do not respond well to a pikieren, pluck the weaker specimens from a height of 5 centimeters. By mid-May, the remaining seedlings have completely rooted the pot and are strong enough for planting in the bed or tub.

direct sowing

The dragon's head is becoming more and more over the sowing, which takes place in the spring. If seeded early, the seedlings should remain inside, from mid-April can be sown directly into the garden bed at the desired location. Plants that are to be cultivated in the bucket can also be sown here immediately. The seeds are so-called light germinators, meaning that they should not be covered with soil, but should only be placed on the loosened earth and lightly crushed. The distance between the individual seeds should be at a distance of 30 to 40 cm, also to plants of other species that may be sown here in the bed. Germination of the Dracocephalum moldavica usually takes between seven and fourteen days. When sowing, you can proceed as follows:
  • Obtain the seeds from the trade
  • use own seeds from the previous year
  • after flowering the plant forms about 2.5 mm long Klausen
  • store them in a warm, dry place over the winter
  • use the seeds in the spring for sowing

dragon head

If sowing is to take place in early spring, around late February or early March, then the seedlings must be brought forward in small pots. For this purpose, well-permeable cultivation soil is used. In each seed pot, which should have a diameter of about 50 cm, only a single seed is given. So the plant can later be planted with developed root ball and the soil in the pot at their location. The cultivation in the pot is particularly advantageous in the areas where night frosts can develop long into the spring. The seeds are also protected from ant colonies or birds. Also, the seeds should be so far apart that the resulting plants have enough space later. Because a pikieren, as is usual with seedlings, do not tolerate these seedlings. Therefore, care must also be taken when sowing early in a seed pot that only one plant is sown in a pot in which it can develop its root ball before it is planted outdoors.
Tip: In order to protect the seeds from birds when planting in the garden bed, a net should be spread over the sowing bed, through which the seedlings receive enough air and sun, but the birds can not pick the seeds out of the ground.

Plants in the bed

The preferred dragon head plants plant in the garden from mid-May. While the planting site is weeded and loosened, the still potted seedlings are allowed to soak in water in a container. Proceed as follows:
  • At a distance of 30-40 centimeters small planting holes dig with twice the volume of the root ball
  • At the bottom create a drainage from small potsherds, expanded clay or grit
  • Mix the excavation with fine crumbled compost and horn shavings
  • Fill a thin layer of the substrate over the drainage, insert the dragon's head in the middle and pour
Make sure that the Moldavian lemon balm is planted exactly as deep as it was in the seed pot. A mulch layer of Lauberde, grass clippings or bark mulch keeps the bedding moist and warm for longer.

Plants in the tub

Of course, the dragon's head can be cultivated at any time with other plants and herbs or as a solitary in a bucket. So any hobby gardener who has no garden, this fragrant herb on the terrace, the balcony and even get to the kitchen window. Because on a bright window sill, where the window can be opened in the warm summer months, the plant feels well as well. Either the Dracocephalum moldavica is sown with several seeds in a large bucket, or as a solitaire in their own, small pots. The following should also be observed when sowing in the bucket:
  • The Turkish dragon's head does not tolerate waterlogging
  • therefore apply drainage before sowing
  • place pieces of pottery or stones over the drain hole
  • Plant fleece to prevent clogging by soil over it
  • Fill potting soil and sow

Care mistakes, diseases or pests

Nursing errors, diseases or pests are not known in the spicy dragon's head. The only danger is that the entire plant may dry out if casting has been neglected for a long period of drought. Then the dragon's head is usually beyond salvation and should be disposed of as a whole. However, the damage is limited, as it is an annual plant that dies of itself in the fall.
The dragon head plant completes the plant community in the natural garden.As a one-year herbaceous ornamental plant, it creates decorative eye-catchers in the flowerbed, in the rock garden or tub. The beneficials of the garden love the Dracocephalum moldavica, as it provides valuable nectar in abundance. One focus of care is the choice of location. If it is sunny here and not too humid, the Moldavian mint will thrive best. Regularly pampered with a dose of fertilizer and water in drought, the flower with the spectacularly shaped lip flowers gives it its best. The uncomplicated care results in an easy to handle seeding behind glass or directly into the bed.

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