Lovage!! I'm in lovage!!

dancinglemons(7B VA)October 11, 2010

Hello all,

This year is my first time growing lovage. I read on this forum about something that looked like celery but not quite. The folks who responded to that post said it must be lovage. I read up on lovage and went out and got some plants this past spring.

OMG!!! This stuff is fantastic. I have used it in chicken broth and in court bouillon for seafood. The flavor is fantastic!

If anyone reading this has not tried lovage - and if you have space to grow it - do yourself a huge favor and try some. I understand it gets quite large but I have it in an 18 gallon container for now and in spring 2011 will look for a permanent bed for lovage to live.

Just a bit of history. About 10 years ago DH and I went out for dinner and the place had a fresh seafood platter with cold king crab legs. I asked the waiter if the kitchen could warm the crab legs for me and he said sure. The chef came out to our table and presented me with this steaming platter of crab legs with a delightful flavor. For the past 10 years I have been trying to replicate that flavor with a varied number of herbs and spices - no luck. This year when I first added lovage to my court bouillon - eureka!! I now know what that chef used so long ago.



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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Very cool!

It does have a wonderful flavor (like celery to the max!) and is a wonderful plant for the back of an herb garden - as said, it can get big. It is rather hardy and has no special needs. It does seem to prefer moisture over dryness so it wouldn't be a good partner for your dry loving Mediterranean herbs like sage, thyme, and lavender.

DancingLemons, I'm glad it is working out so well for you! It is always nice to hear when herbs new to someone's garden turn out to be such a success. :)


    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:05PM
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I love lovage too! Google apple lovage chutney recipe. You'll like that as well.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 7:44AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Coolage! After a year or two, when the plants get big, you can cut the stems, which are hollow, and use them as Bloody Mary straws.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 9:49AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Be sure to plant enough for the black swallowtail caterpillars to have their share! They are a certainty on any plant in the Apiaceae family (lovage, parsely, dill, etc.) in my garden.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:40PM
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I like it too. It's good in soups or chopped finely and added to coleslaw.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:38PM
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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

This is the second year I've enjoyed my lovage plant. Such an amazing herb- I don't know why more people don't grow it.

I'm wondering if I need to do anything to it for winter though. We've had our first freeze, and they will continue into the overnights for the foreseable future. Should I trim the plant back now or just leave it be and wait for spring?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 5:02PM
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The reason we do not grow it here in the south is it does not like our climate.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:19AM
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I've tried growing lovage before and I cannot get the seeds to germinate. Tried several methods, including wintersowing, to no avail. I've never seen the plants offered at my local garden centers.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:18AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I believe this is one you need to have fresh seed for.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:40PM
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gosh, I can't remember where I got the seed. I started some in a large plastic pot late in the season. My husband put the pots under the barn but they still got some sunlight. The next spring a couple of plants sprouted. I planted one in the herb garden next to our kitchen porch. The plant is at the back on the west side so it doesn't get full sun even though the bed faces south. On the south edge I can grow sage. It's amazing how a few feet can make a difference to plants that have different growing requirements.

It got huge during the growing season then died back after blossoming. Then after awhile it re-grew. I should be trying some for turkey stuffing and soups. I only used a little bit last spring.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 3:45PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

I bought lovage seeds from richters and got 100% germination from the 7 I started in the papertowel method.

Sadly - Only 1 has survived - they are very slow growers and I forgot about them once or twice. but I think this one will make it. Going to keep it inside and in the mud room on milder days and plant it out next spring.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:46AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I haven't tried it, but I wonder if winter sowing would work well for lovage? I winter sowed angelica with terrific results. Maybe I'll have to try it...


    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Does anyone grow lovage for swallowtails. I just purchased seeds. I understand that they attract bees, which is my main reason for purchasing the seeds. Since it like bog conditions can it be planted in full shade?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:05PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I saw a wonderful crop of Lovage a few years ago in Live Oak, Florida. It is listed on Dave's Garden as a plant that will gow in this zone. I have a few seeds that I am going to put in the ground soon.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 3:35PM
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Thank you for the Live Oak, Florida lovage info. When you saw that pretty crop of it, was it winter or summer? I tried growing lovage in north central Texas a few years back. The lovage limped along until the heat hit in June-July, then died before the end of August. Sigh.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:08PM
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homegrown54(z6 SE Ohio)

ME love LOVAGE, too! Just got turned onto it a couple years ago. Thankfully, I have three or four established. Good way, if seed fails you, is to transplant from a fully established one during the summer. Oh my, I don't even buy celery (full of pesticides) from the store any more. Drys so well and retains flavor. Like Swiss Chard, it doesn't have the respect it deserves!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:03PM
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I purchased my lovage in 2009 as a plant, mail order from Companion Plants in Ohio. It was a very hot, dry summer and I had a difficult time getting it started outside despite watering. I bought 2 plants which both died after planting. Then bought 2 more and one survived. The plant is really big, so one is all you need unless you plan to sell at the farmer's market or use at a restaurant. Mine is planted next to the foundation of our porch, and is somewhat under the eaves of the house, so it gets some protection from our cold winters. The leaves and stems die off every winter and it grows back from the roots every spring.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:58AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

I let my lovage go outside and it froze, but I brought it back in and it started growing (the 2 sorrels did not come back).

It is still very small, just 3 springs with a couple leaves each..too tiny for me to try a sample....

Anyone know how big it will get by the end of summer? I wanted to plant it in an out of the way place, but wooried it won't get enough sun if it stays tiny for a few years.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:31PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Lovage's size really depends upon how happy it is with its location. I've had them get 5+' tall and 3+' wide when happy but a mere fraction of that when they are not.

Most perennials take about 3 years to reach their full size.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:11AM
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I've had lovage in my garden for many years - it returns reliably in zone 2. It gets huge, at least five feet tall and several feet wide. I hack it ruthlessly or it would take over the whole area!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:49PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

wow Donna! I'm impressed with anyone gardening in zone 2. Glad Lovage is working for you!

I can't wait for my first harvest.....still only 4" high, so I'll wait a month or so to take a little sprig.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:08AM
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