Levisticum officinale, Lovage
Flat clusters of tiny pale, greenish yellow flowers, followed by brown seeds. Deeply divided toothed green leaves, celery scented when crushed. Culinary; flowers, seeds and leaves are all edible. They taste of meaty celery.
• Hardiness: H5 (-10 to -15C)
• Type: Herbaceous Perennial
• Height: up to 2m
• Spread: 1m
• Soil type: Fertile Loam
• pH: Neutral pH
• Habit: Upright
• Flowering colour: Green, Yellow
• Flowering time: Summer
• Uses: Culinary & Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide To Culinary Herbs and Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: Yes (Read Jekka's Guide to Pollinators for more information)
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: No
• Caution: Those who are pregnant or have kidney problems should not take this herb medicinally.
• Indoor Sowing: In spring, into prepared plug trays or pots, cover with perlite. Bottom heat, 18°C, aids germination.
• Outdoor Sowing: In early autumn, into rich well-drained soil, dug with manure. Sun or light shade. Thin to 60cm apart.
• Propagation: Division
• Maintenance: (Read Jekka's Blogs on Early Spring, Late Spring and Autumn maintenance)
• Harvest: N/A
Lovage is a strongly aromatic plant considered in medieval times to have warming and drying qualities. The medieval word for ache is ‘age’ which is a clue in its name as to one of the conditions it was used for. It is traditionally used as a diuretic for water retention and urinary conditions such as cystitis. It was also used to promote menstruation. Its warming and calming effects on the stomach are seen as an aid to poor appetite but also helpful for indigestion and colic. Regarded as having antibacterial qualities, it can be used as a gargle for tonsillitis and a mouth wash for aphthous ulcers.
Caution: Excessive use can cause kidney problems so should be avoided by those suffering from kidney disease. As it promotes menstruation, avoid in pregnancy.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
Growing indoors? Check out Jekka's blog on indoor herb gardening for some advice.
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
Please note, the compost in Jekka's Kits will have enough natural food for approximately 6 weeks.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.