Lovage

The young leaves of this perennial herb are ideal for adding to salads, soups, stews and potato dishes, while blanched shoots can be eaten as a vegetable, and the roots are edible as a cooked vegetable or raw in salads. The stalks can be candied like angelica, while dried leaves can be used to make a tea. Thanks to its ornamental good looks, it is perfectly at home grown among other plants in a sunny or partially shaded border.

Jobs to do now

  • Cut back foliage

Month by month

Sow

Start plants from seed in spring. Sow a few into a small pot filled with seed compost and cover with a thin layer of perlite – don't sow too many seeds, due to its size one plant is generally enough in the garden.

Place in a heated propagator to germinate.

When seedlings are large enough, prick out into individual pots.

Plant out well rooted plants into the garden in late spring or early summer.

Alternatively, save time and buy ready grown plants in spring.

Grow

Plant in rich, deep, moist soil in sun or partial shade.

Lovage is a prolific self seeder. Retain some seedlings if you like, but weed out others to prevent the plants from smothering other plants in the border.

Trim plants in summer to encourage a flush of new shoots.

Plants start to die back in autumn. At this time, cut stems back to just above ground level.

Large clumps can be divided in spring.
 

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.