Introduction to Growing Lovage in Pots
Lovage plant is a member of the Apiaceae or Umbellifer family. Growing Lovage herb is a perennial herb and you can grow a Lovage plant in a container or the ground. The leaves and seeds of the Lovage plant have rich in flavor and fragrance. Use the leaves of Lovage fresh or dry in salads, soups, and stews. Lovage plant prefers a richer soil than most other herbs and can be added to a herbaceous border. It is also known as love parsley, sea parsley, smallage, Maggi plant, and old English Lovage. Lovage has a rounded stem in the form of a tube and the height of the stems of this grass, and Lovage is grass, can reach 2 meters. Branches only the upper part of the plant. The entire Lovage plant looks like celery, but on a larger scale. It’s a tall plant that can grow to 6 feet or taller depending on the soil and growing conditions. In this article we also discuss the below topics;
- How long does Lovage take to grow
- Does Lovage plant need sunlight
- Lovage seed germination period
- Lovage plants growing tips
- Care for potted Lovage
- How often do you water Lovage in pots
- How fast does Lovage grow
- Is Lovage the same as Parsley
A Step By Step Guide to Growing Lovage in Pots
Growing Lovage in pots is relatively easy. This herb looks similar to parsley, is a tough long-lived perennial. Potted Lovage plants require a large, deep, well-draining pot, at least 12 inches wide and 10 inches deep, because it has a vigorous root system. It can be grown from seed or plants, but growing from plants is said to be much easier.
Difference between Celery from Lovage
Lovage is a member of the parsley family. This leafy herb can be quite large, growing up to 7 feet in height, with large, and dark green leaves that resemble celery. It is used for its leaves, stalks and seeds
Lovage is twice as high as celery and blooms with another color scheme, and these differences are striking. If you look at the Lovage and celery plant even more closely, then it is easy to find the difference in the foliage of the same type in the Lovage and the two species on the same plant in the celery. The different shape of the roots is not visible from the surface but also testifies in favor of the fact that celery and Lovage is not the same thing.
Soil Requirements for Growing Lovage in Pots
A rich, well-draining, sandy loam soil is most ideal for growing Lovage plants in containers. The container growing Lovage should be placed in a location that receives full sun or partial shade. Keep the soil in the container consistently moist do not overwater the plant and try not to let it dry out during its growing season. Feed container-grown Lovage plant monthly with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. Plant Lovage in a sandy loam soil and add aged compost or commercial organic planting mix to the soil. Lovage prefers a soil pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.
Conditions Required for Growing Lovage in Pots
- Start Lovage seeds indoors in the early spring season in individual pots under fluorescent lights. Seed germination can be erratic if the seed is not fresh; fresh seed harvested in fall and immediately planted is optimal.
- Lovage germination takes 10 to 14 days. In cold winter regions, sow indoors in autumn and transplant out in the spring season.
- Lovage plant prefers full sun to light shade and a rich, moisture-laden, organic soil. Before you plant Lovage, consider how much space can be devoted to growing this herb.
- Soil should be sandy and loamy with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0
- Sow indoors 5 to 6 weeks before the date of the last frost and do so in pots.
- Sow the Lovage seeds on the surface of the soil and dust with sand. You can also direct sow seeds outdoors once temperature levels have risen to at least 16°C.
When to Sow Seeds of Lovage
An easy to grow herb, Lovage is grown from seed must be started in the spring. It can be jump-started and sown indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting outside. Lovage seed germination takes 10 to 14 days.
Growing Lovage in Pots from Seed
Lovage seeds are quite small and are planted in shallow seed trays. Lovage plants grow well from seed. Start indoors 6-8 weeks before planting outside. Sow seeds about 1/4 inch deep and seeds will germinate in 10-20 days. Transplant after the danger of frost has passed and apply an all-purpose organic fertilizer to promote healthy plant growth. It likes rich soil so add plenty of compost or organic fertilizer to the soil. Lovage plants in pots need to be fertilized regularly with liquid fertilizer and regular watering is a must. Plant them in the sun and part shade will also be tolerated.
Planting Lovage Seeds – Loosely scatter the Lovage over the surface of the compost, and then add a final covering of supplementary compost. The perfect depth for Lovage seed germination is about 1 cm. Fresh Lovage seeds can germinate quickly, and the plants take time to reach a suitable size for planting out. Consequently, planning in the spring is advisable, so that the seedlings are some 6 to 8 weeks old before they’re planted out in their final location.
Direct-sow Lovage seeds outdoors once soil temperatures levels are above 15°C. Sprinkle the Lovage seeds on prepared soil and lightly cover them with sand. Alternatively, start seeds indoors 5 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Place seeds on top of fresh seed starting mix and then cover lightly with sand. Cutting the Lovage plant back after flowering will produce nice new foliage. If you want to use the Lovage seeds let them develop before you cut the plant back. Select a large, deep pot for them, and don’t mix them with other herbs. Lovage does not make a good companion plant because of the strong smell that it also excretes through the roots. Lovage needs a rest during the winter season. Let the stems die back and cut them off in late autumn and then store the pot in a cool place until spring.
Having ensured your selected container has suitable drainage holes, loosely fill it with rich compost to a depth of at least an inch. Then water the compost thoroughly, which will not only provide the perfect condition for seed germination will also mean that the compost level drops as it compresses.
Seed Care – After planting goal should simply be to maintain the right conditions for your baby Lovage plants to thrive. Then, this means good levels of sunlight and warmth, together with frequent watering. Alternatively placing the seed trays into clear plastic bags to retain moisture. A sunny south-facing windowsill or greenhouses make a perfect place for your new plants to grow.
Propagate Lovage through Root Division
You can also propagate Lovage through root division. In the spring, after the Lovage plant has grown to about a foot tall, dig it up. To be sure that you’re getting enough of the plant roots, dig down a foot deep and dig out as wide as the plant’s crown.
It has a large and vigorous root system, with taproots up to 35 inches long. While you don’t need to dig up the entire thing, you do want to get enough of the plant roots to thrive after it’s replanted. Shake off any excess soil and carefully divide the crown and roots into two sections by using a garden spade, or knife. Remove any dead roots or branches from the Lovage plant, and then replant one half back where it was. Then, plant the other half in prepared soil in its new location.
Caring for Container Grown Lovage
- Lovage plant prefers partial or filtered shade and fertile, well-drained soil that is rich in compost and nutrients. Keep soil moist.
- Lovage plant can grow several feet (1 to 2 meters) tall. For container-grown Lovage, you may want to contain the height and encourage a bushy growth pattern, harvesting your Lovage frequently, and being sure to cut off the flower stalks as they appear.
- Cutting the flower stalks as directed will also keep the plant leaves from getting too bitter. Though, if you’re into Lovage for purely aesthetic reasons versus culinary, then you would be interested to know that the flowers are chartreuse (greenish-yellow).
- Cut the dead stems off and store the pot in a cool place, such as a basement or garage, until spring. Repot with fresh soil in the spring season, resume watering and fertilizing, and soon it will re-sprout and you will once again be blessed with fresh plant leaves. To keep the plant vigorous and you will want to divide the root ball every 3-4 years.
- Lovage is not easily found at the grocery store in the fresh herb section or the spice rack, which makes it a worthwhile venture in the garden.
- Lovage can be grown from seed or plants, but growing Lovage from plants is said to be much easier. It is a hardy perennial plant that survives winter even in very cold climates.
Lovage Plant Growing Problems
Lovage is normally fortunate to not be bothered much by pests and disease.
Aphids – Aphids can attack Lovage plants. If you see tiny little green, brown, yellow, black, grey, or pink, soft-bodied, wingless insects on your Lovage plants, you may have an infestation. Aphids suck the juices out of plants, so you can see stunted, yellowing, curling, or misshapen leaves. If things are still looking bad and you can’t get rid of them, use neem oil or spray Lovage plants with a mix of 1 part dish soap to 5 parts water. Spray neem oil or soapy water every few days for 2 weeks.
Leaf miners – Leaf miners chew tunnels into the plant leaves, and this can cause some serious damage. The miners themselves are tiny little worms and they are difficult to observe. So the best method to know if you have this pest is to look for the tunnels. You can control leaf miners by spraying neem oil on plants starting in the early spring and continuing through the summer season.
Parsley worms – The larvae are pretty attractive as far as pests go, with bright green, yellow, and black stripes along with their two-inch-long bodies. A close up of a black, and green caterpillar on the stem of a plant pictured on a soft-focus background. Handpick any parsley worms that you spot and relocate them if you can, rather than disposing of them. Use floating row covers in the late spring to prevent the adult butterflies from landing on your Lovage plants and laying their eggs. If you really can’t stand having them on your Lovage plants, use a spray that contains Bt.
Early blight – This fungal disease is caused by Alternaria solani. If you see circular brown spots on the leaves and stems of plants, either with or without yellow halos around them, it can be early blight. To control this disease, you can remove infected branches and spray plants with a copper-based fungicide. To prevent this disease infection, rotate crops regularly, and give your plants plenty of space. Prune them regularly to improve air circulation.
Leaf spot – Leaf spot disease may be caused by a variety of different types of bacteria and fungi. For this disease, you can see black water-soaked spots on leaves. There is no cure, but you can control this disease by a mix of 1 part baking soda, 3 parts vegetable oil, and 1 part liquid soap, added to a gallon of water and sprayed on Lovage plants, can help to slow its progression.
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When and How to Harvest Lovage
In the first year, only harvest the leaves of your Lovage plant. In the second year, you can start to harvest the stalks and plant roots. This hardy, vigorous perennial plant can be used in many ways and the entirety of the plant is edible, although the leaves are of primary use. This hardy perennial can grow up to 6 feet in height and is adorned with large, dark green leaves that resemble those of celery. In the summer season, the herb blooms with large, flat yellow flowers. Harvest Lovage herb after the first growing season.
Lovage leaves are best picked before plants start to flower. It can be used fresh or stored frozen in sealed bags or dried. To dry Lovage, tie cuttings in small bunches and hang them upside down in a dark room. Store dried Lovage herbs in a sealed glass jar in a cool, dark area. Use dried Lovage within a year.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Lovage in Pots
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Is Lovage easy to grow?
Growing Lovage is easy. The leaves, stems, roots and seeds of this Lovage herb are all edible and taste a lot like celery, but stronger.
How long does Lovage take to grow?
Lovage will reach its mature size in 3 years. At maturity, Lovage will need a 3-foot square space.
How long do Lovage seeds take to germinate?
Growing Lovage from seed is easy and seeds can take up to 20 days to germinate.
When should I prune Lovage?
Trim Lovage plants in summer to encourage a flush of new shoots. Lovage plants will turn back and start to die back in autumn. At this time, cut stems back to just above ground level and large clumps can be divided in the spring.
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