Lovage HERB SEEDS (Levisticum Officinalis)
Lovage (Levisticum Officinalis) - The kitchen herb garden would not be complete without Lovage, the hardy long-lived perennial.
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.
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.
Historically, Lovage was used as a medicinal herb. The ancient Greeks used it as a remedy for stomach ailments and to aid in digestion. 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.
Advantages of this herb
All parts of this herb can be used in various ways - in the kitchen, bathroom and medicine chest.
Medicinally, lovage is used for stimulation of digestion and as a remedy for an upset stomach. Lovage can also help get rid of flatulence. It can also be used to reduce water retention and can also be used as a deodorant.
Lovage seeds, leaves and stems have a similar flavour to celery and can be used in soups, salads and rice dishes. The leaf stalks and stem bases can be blanched and eaten as you would celery.
Lovage tea can be made from the dried leaves creating a very agreeable aroma.
The fruit and root are used as flavouring in liqueurs
- Season: Perennial
- 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
- Planting Directions
- Temperature: 68F
- 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