Lovage is a herb that used to be extremely popular for kitchen and herbal use and is now largely forgotten by many gardeners. It was introduced by the Romans and was widely used in mediaeval times. Today, it is a great alternative to celery, where that is difficult to grow. A little of the plant goes a long way but different parts of the plant all have a variety of uses.

Growing lovage:

Lovage looks quite like celery and yet it is actually a member of the carrot family. It can grow up to six feet in height and will usually do well when planted in the correct conditions, though it will not always reach its full height. Lovage likes sandy, loamy soils but will grow well in any well-drained and fertile soil. One plant is usually enough for use in a household.

Lovage can be grown from seed. Sow seeds in around March in a small container and then transplant to the final growing position as soon as the plant is around 10cm high. Lovage can be grown either as an annual or a perennial plant.

If the plant begins to look a bit ragged over the summer, you can cut the lovage stalks down to the ground and this will encourage fresh new green shoots to grow. You can usually put these stalks on your compost heap but if the leaves turn brown you may have an infestation of leaf miner and these plants are best put in the rubbish or burned.

Lovage is great at self seeding as so you will usually have no problem replenishing your stocks of this useful herb. You can also divide the plants in spring or autumn if they are getting too big or you want to form new plants and relocate them. Any divisions or seedings can easily be transplanted to where you want them to grow.

Why grow lovage in the garden?

Lovage is great as a celery or parsley substitute and can be used for a variety of culinary applications. It is very useful to anyone who wants to add variety and flavour to their home grown diet.

Lovage has also been said to be a good companion plant for a number of vegetables and t thought to be a boon, improving the overall health of your garden. Like other useful companion plants like marigolds and borage, it has been called a 'magic bullet' of companion planting.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Levisticum officinale