Lovage

My lovage plant has been on the move. First in the house where it wasn’t happy but didn’t die. Then transplanted to the front flower bed where it was fenced in and happily came back last year to flower. Lovage grows foliage the first year and then you can either keep it trimmed or let it flower and bring forth seeds from then on is my guess from my whole whopping three years experience. I decided I was tired of fighting the fence in the front flower bed and took it down permanently. It looked tacky but kept the deer out. It is now a rock garden with a few deer deterrent plants.

Lovage dies back to the ground in the winter and comes back up when the weather warms. It is hardy down to zone 4 and takes 3-5 years to mature fully up to a 4 foot plant. My inner wisdom guru says I should keep mine trimmed to keep it from going to seed this year to send the growth to the roots but wisdom also tells me that I need to know whether saving seed to make celery salt is something I want to pursue. It should make up its mind. If celery seed it is then more plants will go in. Actually, I transplanted a shoot from the front flower garden I found and we shall see if it makes it because it has decided to turn hot.

Perennials are not forever plants. They have a life cycle of so many years and lovage usually last 7-8 years. Divide the plant in spring which will revive it and allow it to continue for 7 -8 years. That is easy.  It harder is to start from seed which they say is a 50/50 chance situation but I did not find it so.

I’ve dried some and like it in small amounts in soup. One site said it looses flavor when dried but with my temperature controlled dehydrator, I just set it quite low and I had to use it sparingly because it was potent.

They recommend blanching the leaves and stems and freezing them. I’m trying to get down to 2 freezers, not jump to 4. it’s drying for me.

They, as in the internet, recommends trying lovage seeds crushed and added to bread and pastries or sprinkled on salads, rice or mashed potato. I’m thinking putting it in dips and in crackers. My first priority is to put it in my canned chicken sandwich spread and then try it in soup. That would be handy and not take up much space for the flavor of celery over buying the stalk.

You can use every part of the plant and our 12 year old granddaughter ate some of the root when I was transplanting this spring and indeed it tasted like celery and dirt. It would have been better washed off. I was surprised and couldn’t even comment before she was munching away. Must have some of her papa in her. He likes food adventures too.

What is your experience with lovage?

 

7 thoughts on “Lovage

  1. My husband isn’t keen on celery, so I haven’t bothered with lovage before. I have succumbed now and bought myself a plant this year. Scots lovage does grow wild locally, but not on our plot, and the seed seems to disappear thanks to the birds. I don’t think S. will notice a little in a stew!

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    1. Some people have a strong dislike of lovage I find. Probably a taste bud thing. Just like Cilantro causes some people think it smells of soap and it tastes like smashed bugs but who goes around tasting bugs to find out such a thing? Apparently it is a genetic twist. I love the Cilantro and get no such unpleasantness. Peppers on the other hand give me nothing but heat. I can’t get past the burning to taste any flavor. Lovage is of course more pleasant and mild the younger the leaves used.

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  2. There is no reason why it must be limited to seven or eight years. If you divide it, and regularly replace the old plant with younger copies, it can last indefinitely, just like most other perennials.

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