Often described as a “very old herb”, Lovage herbs are actually among the lesser-known herbs. This easy-to-grow herb has an anise and celery flavor. All parts of the Lovage plant, including the thick, fleshy roots, are edible. So, for a real treat, start growing lovage in your herb garden.
Lovage is native to the Mediterranean region, the mountains of France, northern Greece, and the Balkans. It is also called “Garden Lovage”. This perennial plant lives for several years. Growing up to six feet tall in the first year, it is best placed in the back of the herb garden.
Did You Know? Lovage is used as a substitute for salt.
Plant Height: Grows up to six feet tall.
Hardiness Zones: 4 – 8
Perennial, Levisticum Officinale
Although Lovage has had a wide variety of uses over many centuries, it is seldom used today for medicinal purposes.
Medicinal uses include:
Use Lovage, fresh or frozen, in soups, stews, salads, and stuffing.
It goes well with potato and tomato dishes.
All parts are edible.
Try Lovage in herbal teas.
Lovage plants are grown from seed. Directly sow the seeds into your garden after all danger of frost. Cover lightly with fine garden soil.
For a jump start, start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost. After transplanting, keep the soil well-watered for a few weeks.
Lovage can also be propagated by the division of roots.
Space seedlings or thin plants to 2 to 3 feet apart.
Days to Germination: 10-14 days
These plants are easy to grow. They grow best in full sun but tolerate partial shade.
Plants grow best in average to rich soils. Soil should be well-drained. Established plants are tolerant of dry soil conditions. Water plants only during dry periods. Add a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice a season.
Begin to harvest leaves as soon as the plant is big enough, 2 to 3 feet. It can be used fresh or frozen.
Ideal pH: 5.5 – 7.5