How to Grow Lovage


Lovage is a large, hardy perennial herb that tastes similar to celery. Its seeds are often used as seasonings, as well as its leaves. The stalks of lovage are sometimes cooked and eaten as a substitute for celery. The roots have been used as a diuretic and as a treatment for colic in folk medicine for hundreds of years. Pregnant women should never eat lovage; it can cause miscarriage.

Step 1

Choose a spot in full sun and soil that is relatively rich and well drained. Lovage will not grow well in heavy clay soil.

Step 2

Prepare the soil. Spread 1-inch of compost and 1-inch of peat moss on the surface of the soil. If you have heavy clay soil, double the amount of compost and peat moss. Turn the soil over with a spade to loosen it up and incorporate the compost and peat moss. Rake the planting bed smooth when finished.

Step 3

Plant lovage seeds in fall. Plant the seeds about 6 inches apart and ½ inch deep. Firm the surface of the soil with your hand. Do not water or put down protective winter mulch. The seeds will overwinter and germinate in spring.

Step 4

When the seedlings are about 4-inches high the following spring, transplant so they stand 2 to 3 feet apart. Water so the soil stays evenly moist but not wet.

Step 5

Put down a 2-inch layer of hay or shredded leaves to keep weeds down and keep the soil evenly moist.

Step 6

Cut the plant down to about 1-foot high in late fall and cover with a protective mulch that covers the plant by about one foot. Lovage is hardy but needs winter protection. Do not cut the plant all the way to the ground before winter; it needs some top growth to help ensure its winter survival.

Step 7

Side dress lovage with compost in spring. Pull back the mulch and spread a 1-inch layer of compost around the plant. Replace mulch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lovage has been known to cause miscarriages, Pregnant women should not ingest it in any form or quantity.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Mulch


  • Growing Lovage

Who Can Help

  • More information about lovage.
Keywords: how to grow lovage, grow lovage, lovage

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.