It is not without reason that lovage is one of the most popular herbs. The umbellifera is rich in essential oils and has a particularly spicy taste.© Marek Gottschalk - Fotolia.com
Lovage (Levisticum officinale) is also known as Maggi herb, because the taste is strongly reminiscent of Maggi flavor. Lovage is not an ingredient of the product. Cultivation is child's play, because lovage grows and grows and grows. The plant is adaptable and basically thrives in every garden bed. There, however, the maggot herb can quickly take over the rule, grow meters high and displace other plants.
Find the right location
If you are looking for a location, you must first ensure that you offer the plant sufficient space. Pushing the plant in the bed as well is not a good idea. A distance of at least one meter from neighboring plants is a must. This is so important because the plants grow quickly to man-height and inhibit the growth of planting neighbors that are too close. Do not plant lovage in the immediate vicinity of berry bushes. Otherwise, these could take on the intense taste of the maggot herb. Alternatives are the unique position in a previously unused area of the garden or the cultivation in the bucket.
But note: lovage is self-incompatible. You should therefore not put new plants back in their old location. It takes several years for the substrate to recover from the maggot herb, which is very draining.
The plants generally prefer a bright and warm location. Blazing sun does not harm the lovage, provided you water it frequently. The ideal location is in penumbra. The plant does not mind prolonged drought there either.
The ideal location in brief:
Choose the ideal substrate
Lovage actually tolerates any garden floor. However, the herb prefers a deep, well drained and chalky soil. The roots can spread particularly intensively there. However, waterlogging is not tolerated. To make the soil more permeable, you can mix coarse sand or gravel with the substrate when planting. Loosening of the substrate is particularly necessary for heavy clay soils.
The pH of the soil should ideally be between 6 and 7. If you add compost to the garden soil when planting, the plant is supplied with long-term organic fertilizer from the start.
The ideal substrate in brief:
When is the best time to plant?
Lovage can be planted both in spring and autumn. So that the plant can still root well before frost, planting from mid-October is not recommended.
Plant lovage - step by step instructions
- Select location. Do not plant lovage in the same place again.
- Keep planting distance.
- Dig out the planting hole. It should be 1/3 larger than the root ball.
- Prepare and loosen soil accordingly.
- Use plants.
- Cover roots completely with soil.
- Optionally lay drainage and install root barrier.
- Close the planting hole.
- Water the plant well.
If you want to plant several lovage plants as a group, half a meter planting distance is sufficient. If you want to restrict the growth of maggica herb, it is advisable to install a root barrier (also called a rhizome barrier). You can find instructions on how to do this in our article Installing a rhizome barrier - How it is done.
Cultivate lovage in a bucket
Having a versatile and fast-growing spice herb on hand, even without owning a garden, is only one of the advantages if you cultivate lovage in the tub instead of in the bed. Other advantages are obvious:
- The maggot herb cannot spread freely.
- There is no danger to surrounding plants.
- You do not have to install a root barrier.
However, container plants are also more demanding to care for than is the case with outdoor cultivation. Just stick to the points below. Then nothing stands in the way of successful cultivation in a bucket:
First of all, you have to choose a sufficiently large planter. Give the roots the opportunity to spread out. If you choose a small planter, the Maggikraut is able to blow up planters from less robust material. So treat the herb to a tub of sufficient size.
By the way, waterlogging can be prevented by covering the bottom of the vessel with a layer of pottery shards.
There is only a limited supply of substrate available to the maggot herb in the bucket. So that the heavy feeder receives enough nutrients, you should prepare the soil with humus. You should then replace the used earth regularly in spring. In addition, the herb needs liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growth phase.
To prevent the roots in the tub from freezing, lovage in winter needs protection from garden fleece. You can also cover the root area with leaves or brushwood.