USDA Zones: 3 - 8
Height: 72 - 78 inches
Bloom Season: Mid summer
Bloom Color: Yellow-green
Environment: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type: Grows well in any deep, well drained soil, pH 6.1 - 7.8
Average Germ Time: 7 - 14 days
Light Required: No
Depth: 1/4 inch
Sowing Rate: 4 - 5 seeds per plant
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 24 - 36 inches
Lovage (Levisticum Officinalis) - The kitchen herb garden would not be complete without Lovage, the hardy long-lived perennial. Lovage seeds grow quickly and the herb plant can reach over 72 inches in height. It prefers full sun to partial shade, and it develops a long taproot, so cultivate the bed deeply before adding the Lovage plant. This herb is also commonly referred to as Garden Lovage.
As a culinary herb, Lovage has a similar taste to celery. It is a wonderful addition to soups, stews, and vegetable dishes. Use it as you would celery or parsley, but it does have a stronger flavor, so less is usually needed. Historically, Lovage was used as a medicinal herb. The ancient Greeks used it as a remedy for stomach ailments and to aid in digestion.
How To Grow Lovage From Herb Seeds: If your growing season is long, start the Lovage seeds directly outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. For cooler climates with shorter growing season, start the herb seeds indoors 6 weeks before the end of frost season. Harden the seedlings off and transplant them to the herb garden after frosts have passed. To help the Garden Lovage plants establish well, keep them well watered the first season, and use a balanced fertilizer a couple of times. The plants will only reach 24 inches the first year, but the leaves can be used when it reaches 12 inches in height.
Lovage herb plants can be harvested for both the leaves and the seeds. The leaves should be picked before the herb plant has flowered, chop the leaves finely and freeze them. For the seeds, allow the seed stalk to ripen and turn brown. Cut the stalks and finish drying the seeds in a warm, well-ventilated place. Cut the seed stalks to prevent the Lovage plant from re-seeding.