Growing and Saving the Seed Of Lovage
Latin name Levisticum officinale is a perennial member of the Apiaceae, or carrot, family. This tall, leafy plant is a culinary treat, with edible leaves, roots and seeds. Plants are hardy from USDA zones 4-8.
Native range is debated; speculation ranges from the Middle East to Eurasia. It has been cultivated in Europe since ancient times.
- Ornamental and edible
- Seeds germinate in 7-21 days.
- Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost and transplant after danger of frost has passed.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep.
- Ideal germination temperature is 65-80 F.
- Prefers full sun to part shade.
- Provide rich, moist soil.
- Space plants apart 2-3 feet apart.
- Plants reach 4-6 feet tall.
- Typically a pest- and disease-free plant.
- Lovage is biennial; it will flower in the second season of growth.
- Lovage is insect pollinated and will need to be isolated from other varieties, including wild relatives such as Queen Anne’s Lace, by about a mile to ensure pure seed.
- The next season, plants will produce an umbel of flowers. Leave them on the plant in the ground until they are completely dry; the seeds will easily shake from the plants.
- Place in a paper bag for 2 weeks to completely dry, and store in a cool, dry place.