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Lovage in pot on the balcony

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Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby Monica16 » May 22, 2012 8:08 pm

It's already my third year of trying - an partially succeeding - to grow lovage on my condo balcony. I now have 2 huge containers, the size of a very large bucket, that are home to four young plants every year. I was able to find Lovage plants at Sheridan Gardens - what a pleasant surprise! Every year, though, I seem to have the same problems: the plants seem to adapt beautifully after transplanting them from the small pot they are sold in to the big container, they grow for a few weeks, but then the tips of the leaves start to get yellow and the plants stop growing. Not long after, the aphids invade the plants. Plus - even though Lovage is supposed to be perennial, it has never survived winter, not even the last, unusually warm one. So I start fresh every year, with a new set of plants.
The story is happening again this year. After 3 weeks, my lovage is showing the first yellow-ing leaves. No aphids yet.
Does anyone have experience with lovage, either in the garden or on the balcony? My balcony has East exposure, so the plants get a good 3-4 hours morning direct sun, which is supposed to be exactly what lovage needs. I'm also very scrupulous with my herbs and water them every day, even though the soil is not dry.
I would appreciate your input. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby B_BQ » May 22, 2012 8:23 pm

I grew lovage at my last house. It did very well. South-facing but it was shaded from the western sun. I didn't water it at all but it was planted in the ground and it was still going strong when I left it! It must have been about 6 years old then.
It's a lovely herb and I used it a lot. Must look out for another plant.
Maybe you're watering it a bit too much and/or giving it too much fertilizer. Also, do you insulate the pots during the winter. Almost nothing will survive in a pot on a balcony for the winter without some protection.
~BBQ
Zone 5b
South/Central Ontario

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day
~ Author Unknown
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Re: Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby Monica16 » May 22, 2012 8:32 pm

I did not insulate the container, wanted to but had to go out of town and then forgot about it.
I am using an organic fertilizer recommended for veggies and herbs - I don't remember the brand and don't have the bag anymore. I will try to water it every other day and only if the soil is dry.
I know lovage does better in the ground, its roots grow a few feet deep, that's why I bought tall containers. They should be more that enough for the size of my plants.
As I said, there are no aphids yet. Do you have a miracle fix for that? I know they are to come in a couple of weeks or so.
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Re: Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby B_BQ » May 22, 2012 8:46 pm

I hate aphids. I'm pretty sure everyone does. There doesn't seem to be too much you can do to prevent them. Good air circulation might help. Some plants seem more susceptible than others. When you do see aphids, then a good spray with insecticidal soap should do the trick. Also, when I get aphids on my lupins I give them a very strong blast with water from the hose. That does the trick, but don't let your guard down because they may come back.
~BBQ
Zone 5b
South/Central Ontario

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day
~ Author Unknown
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Re: Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby Monica16 » May 22, 2012 8:50 pm

No water hose on the balcony :) I did use insecticidal soap but it was not very effective. However, I don't want to use a stronger insecticide since the whole point is not to use chemicals on my herbs.
Thanks for your input and advice B-BQ. Happy gardening! 8)
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Re: Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby earwig » May 23, 2012 4:05 am

I have had a lovage plant growing in my garden for a number of years. It grows in a fairly dry area and I think the problem with the yellowing leaves is from over watering.

Even if you do have good drainage in your pot, some plants just do not like having their roots constantly damp.

Fertilizer puts forth lush growth which I find attracts aphids so also go lightly on the fertilizer. Is it possible to take the pot to the tub and give the leaves a blast of water from the tap there?

Good luck.
Betty
"The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker, for it involves hours of walking round in circles, apparently doing nothing." --Helen Dillon
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Re: Lovage in pot on the balcony

Postby Monica16 » May 23, 2012 6:35 am

Thanks for the bath tub idea, I'll try it to see if it works. Meanwhile, I've stopped watering the lovage. I will check the soil every day and water only if it's really dry. My plants don't get any water from another source, the balcony above covers mine completely and the rain doesn't get to the place where I keep my pots.
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