How to Grow Lovage – A Beginner’s Guide

lovage plant growing in garden
Lovage, which are known botanically as Levisticum officinale, are a type of herb that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing lovage as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Lovage

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the lovage seeds directly outdoors in early spring. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when lovage are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Lovage the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing lovage in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your lovage grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile, with added organic matter. Soil PH levels should be around 6.5 to 7.0.

1/4″ deep, 2″ apart in rows 12″ apart. 1/4″ deep, 6″ apart in rows 18″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 12-18″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your lovage seedlings 12-24″ apart when seedlings are 2-3″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Lovage

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your lovage. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your lovage should be getting full sun to partial shade

How Much to Water Lovage

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your lovage do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your lovage begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Lovage to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your lovage grow.

It takes approximately 10-14 days to germinate, and a total of 85-95 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Lovage

The best time to harvest your lovage is in the morning when the essential oils are the strongest.

Lovage can grow up to about 4-6′ tall.

What Can Lovage Be Used For?

Food Use: great for flavoring soups, stews, and salads.

Flavor Profile: strong, celery-like taste.

Can Lovage Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant 1 plant per 12-18″ container. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your lovage around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Lovage Safe for Bees?

Yes, lovage are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing lovage is bee-friendly.

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