Lovage Growing Guide

Levisticum officinale


Crop Rotation Group

Umbelliferae (Carrot and root family) 


Rich soil that retains moisture well.


Full sun in cool climates; partial shade where summers are very hot.

Frost tolerant

Lovage is a hardy perennial that survives winter even in very cold climates.


Topdress the soil around the dormant plant with rich compost each winter.


Single Plants: 60cm (1' 11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 60cm (1' 11") with 60cm (1' 11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start with a purchased plant or sow from seed. Frost areas: start seeds indoors in early spring. Frost free areas: sow in seed trays or seed beds in early spring. Lovage will reach its mature size in about three years. One plant is usually sufficient, but it’s a good idea to start a new plant every few years. At maturity, lovage will need a 90 cm square space. It is a very large herb. Because of its 1.5 meter height, lovage is best located at the edge or rear of the garden.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Tender young growth has the best flavour. In summer, consider pruning plants back to force them to push out a flush of new leaves.


Gather sprigs as needed in the kitchen for their celery flavour. Freeze extra leaves by covering chopped lovage leaves with water in ice cube trays.


Remove flowers should lovage produce too many unwanted seedlings. Or, gather lovage seeds and use them in cooking as a substitute for celery seeds.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Lovage