- Learn Growing Chives in Pots without much space so that you can have fresh scapes of this versatile herb in your salads, pasta, scrambled eggs & sandwiches.
- How to Grow Chives
- Types of Chives
- Choosing a Pot
- Requirements for Growing Chives in Pots
- How to Care for Chives
- Grow Chives Indoors:
- How to Divide and Pot Up Chives
- Caring for your New Chive Plants:
- Harvesting Your New Chives
- Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden.
- Growing Chives Indoors Properly
- Container & Soil
- Water & Feeding
- Growing With Other Plants?
- How to grow the most flavorful chives indoors
- Culinary Uses
- How to grow chives
- Planting Chives
- Care of Chives
- Harvesting & Storing
- How To Grow Chives Indoors
- How to Grow Chives Indoors
- Tips for Planting Chives Indoors
Learn Growing Chives in Pots without much space so that you can have fresh scapes of this versatile herb in your salads, pasta, scrambled eggs & sandwiches.
Chives look similar to green onions and taste between mild onion and garlic. Its purple to mauve flowers set the difference. Some people call it “blue jeans herb” as it can go with anything.
Also Read: 12 Versatile Vegetables & Herbs for Containers
Even if you live in an apartment, you can have this herb as growing chives in pots is super easy. You can plant chives indoors as well as it doesn’t mind living in partial sun. A windowsill that receives direct sunlight would be fine.
Botanical Name: Allium schoenoprasum
USDA Zones: 3-11
How to Grow Chives
You can grow chives from seeds or get the young plants from the nursery. Once the plants are well established, you can multiply them by division.
Growing Chives from Seeds
Growing chives this way is not difficult, but if you’re growing anything from seeds for the first time, it’s better to buy ready to grow plants from a nearby nursery:
- Start sowing seeds indoors one month before last expected frost date or wait for the warm weather to arrive to start seeds outdoors.
- If you’re living in a hot climate, grow chives after the summer.
- Best seed germination temperature is between 60-70 F (15-21 C). But you can grow seeds in the temperature range of 50-85 F (10-30 C).
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep in the seed mix, and keep them in a warm spot that receives indirect light.
- Generally, you see the seedling appearing in 1 to 2 weeks (depends on the weather condition), and they’re ready to transplant in 3-4 weeks or 2-3 inches tall.
Growing Chives from Division
This method of propagation is more common, easy, and requires division of clumps:
- Find an established plant, which will be actually several chives plants growing together.
- Water your chive plant well to soften the soil around it.
- Dig from the sides of the clump without damaging the delicate root system and bulbs.
- Separate young little plants from the main clump gently to form new clumps.
- Each new clump can have 3-5 plants, and you can plant them together in 8 inches wide and deep pot.
- You can divide chives in spring, late or after the summer, and in fall (autumn). After flowering, fall is the best season to do this.
Also Read: Herbs You can Grow from Cuttings
Types of Chives
There are different types of chives to choose from, and it all depends on your needs to select one:
Onion Chives or Common Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): The most popular and commonly known type of chives. It usually grows up to 10-12 inches tall. As the name suggests, chives taste like mild and raw onion. The delicate flavor makes it an excellent addition to salads, omelets, and anything you want them to add in. *The flowers are also edible.
Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum): Also known as Chinese chives, it’s usually grown for culinary purpose and can be up to 12-24 inches tall, larger than common chives. The leaves are used in cooking, usually in stir-fries, meat dishes, and salads. The taste is sharper than chives and much similar to garlic. Its white flowers are also edible and attract bees and butterflies.
Giant Siberian Chives (Allium ledebourianum): It’s a variety of chives that’s larger in size than the other ones and grows to around 18-30 inches in height. Flavored like an onion, they can be added to various dishes or used as a border plant because of their size.
Blue Chives (Allium nutans): Also known as Siberian chives, this species of chives usually grow up to 10-12 inches in pots and prefers moist soil. It has blue-green leaves, thus the name. You can grow it in small pots–the flavor is mild garlicky.
Also Read: Types of Oregano
Choosing a Pot
Select a pot that is at least 8 inches wide and deep. You can grow several chives plants in such pot, usually 5 to 6 young plants together. This will form a small clump, which will become bushier after some time. Once you see your pot is overcrowded, split the plants to multiply them. Grow chives in 3-4 pots, so that rotate the harvest and have this herb successively, fresh and flavorful.
Tip: If you’ll grow an individual plant in each pot, it’ll take forever to become thick and bushier, so avoid that.
Also Read: How to Grow Rosemary
Requirements for Growing Chives in Pots
At least six hours of sun a day is required for optimum growth, so place it at a sunny spot. When growing chives indoors, keep the pot in a south-facing window. Chives can grow well in part sun, receiving 4-5 hours of direct sunlight, especially in hot tropical climates.
Use light and porous potting soil for growing chives. You can treat it with aged manure or compost, mixing 1/4 of it at the time of transplanting would be fine. This will improve the texture and nutritional value of the soil.
Do regular watering to keep the soil slightly moist. To avoid overwatering, the golden rule of thumb is to check if the topsoil is dry before watering.
Water thoroughly and deeply, allowing the excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot. When using it as an ornamental plant, you can cut back watering to promote blooms near the flowering season.
Tip: In winters or during the wet weather, reduce watering.
Also Read: Best Way to Water Plants
How to Care for Chives
As the nutrients in the soil deplete over time in pots due to regular watering, it’s important to feed this perennial herb from time to time:
If you mixed compost at the time of planting, again side dress your plants with it during the mid-season. If the plant needs a boost, feed that with organic fish emulsion fertilizer at the recommended dose on the product.
If you’re not using organic fertilizer, apply half-strength complete liquid fertilizer like 20-20-20, once in every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how your chives plant is performing.
Deadheading and Pruning Chives
Deadhead the spent flowers regularly as soon as you see them, to maintain the fresh look. Chives will be ready for harvest in 60-90 days after planting, regularly trimming the leaves for harvest will do the work, and you won’t need to perform the substitute pruning. Prune fading and yellowing leaves and scapes anytime. If you need, the proper time to prune is between mid to end of the fall. Learn more on how to prune herbs here.
Pests and Diseases
Common garden pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, scales, aphids, and whiteflies can affect this herb. If any such infestation occurs, spray the chives with insecticidal soap every week till the problem persists. Root rot can also occur but can easily be avoided by proper watering technique.
NOTE: Wash the chives thoroughly before using it in your kitchen as traces of insecticidal soap might remain on the leaves.
Chives are ready for harvest as soon as they grow above six inches or more in height. Snip of the leaves from the top using sharp scissors and use them fresh in your cooking. Make sure to leave at least two inches of the plant intact from the bottom. You can also freeze the leaves by placing the chopped leaves in a plastic container. Flower stalks lack flavor, and it’s up to you to cook them or not. Check out these tips to harvest herbs successfully.
Prized for the delightful onion or garlic flavour of their leaves, chives are a member of the onion family native to Europe, Asia and North America. Chives are perennial herbs that are much easier to grow than traditional onions and garlic, with the added benefit of not taking as long between planting and harvest time. Chives are ideal plants for pots, make attractive grass-like plants in herb beds and can be used as pest repellent plants as well.
Planting Time: September – March
Position: Full sun – part shade
Water Needs: Low
How Long: Any time is a good time for chives!
Both garlic and onion chives will thrive in a full sun to partially shaded position, provided they are protected from strong winds. When there is a dry period, water deeply to ensure the root system is well hydrated and mulch well to retain moisture. If planting in a pot, go for one at least 30cm wide as chives can form clumps of up to 50cm wide. To encourage continuous supply of leaves, cut off the flowers; they are edible too so toss them in a salad to dress it up.
Chives are definitely not needy and will thrive in just about any type of soil. A little bit of compost mixed through the soil prior to planting is ideal and if planting in a pot, go for an organic potting mix. Chives in pots should have their soil replaced every three years to ensure flavour and performance is top-notch!
For those of you who with limited garden space, chives can be easily grown in pots indoors. A bright and sunny position, good quality well drained potting mix and good pot drainage is all you need. During winter when light is poor, you may notice that the plant will not grow much and may even die back a bit, but should spring back to life with the return of brighter sun in spring. It’s advisable not to fertilize during winter.
Possibly the least demanding of all our herbs, chives are generally happy not to be fed at all. If growth seems a little slow, or you have been harvesting a great deal, give them a drink of compost tea. Do the same if re-potting, or dividing up large clumps.
Chives are fairly drought tolerant, although those grown in pots (especially terracotta) have a tendency to dry out fairly quickly. A drink once or twice a week is sufficient if chives are planted in a rich soil or potting mix and mulched well.
Harvest as needed throughout the life of your chives.
As well as being hardy, chives are an excellent companion plant in the vegie and flower patch. Said to repel aphids, many rose growers swear by garlic chives as companion plants. They are also said to prevent apple scab, but keep them away from your beans though.
Passionate home cooks recommend that chives be eaten fresh – much better flavour. Extra chives can be frozen by chopping up prewashed leaves into small pieces and freezing them in plastic containers, or in water in ice cube trays. There is no need to thaw pieces out before using.
Here are a couple of recipes to get you inspired:
cheese chive scones
lemon chive dressing
Photos: Elaine Shallue & Mary Trigger
Chives have a mild onion flavor and are delicious eaten raw on salads or as a colorful garnish. Late summer into early fall is a great time for potting up chives into containers to grow indoors. Grow chives all year even when the garden is under snow.
Chives are one of the most dependable herbs in the garden. They are the first to emerge in early spring, pushing their spiky foliage through the snow and mulch.
I begin clipping a few shoots from established plants when they reach several inches high and sprinkle chopped chives on everything from vegetables and soups to salads and pizza. The mild flavor of chives invigorates almost any dish with its fresh fragrance and slightly sharp essence. The vivid green color adds vibrancy that wakes up any dish.
There are two main varieties of chives; Common Chives (Allium Schoenoprasum) are mild onion flavored chives with the round hollow foliage, and Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) have a light garlic flavor and flatter foliage. Both are perennials and share similar growing conditions.
Lavender flowers of Common Chives (Allium Schoenoprasum).
By June, edible lavender flowers of Common Chives bloom and attract pollinators to the garden. Some of the chive blossoms are snipped and used to make Chive Blossom Vinegar. Garlic Chives bloom in late July with edible white flowers.
After blooming, the chive plants are trimmed down to about 6-inches and allowed to grow a fresh flush of spiky foliage that continues to provide harvests well into fall. As winter approaches, the chives go dormant and wait for the spring soil to thaw so they can emerge once again.
Grow Chives Indoors:
You can enjoy the mild chive flavor all winter long. Chives are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors over winter. They tolerate the lower light of the winter sun and typical temperature fluctuations that they may experience on a kitchen windowsill. See 5 Herbs that Thrive Inside All Winter for more herbs that withstand indoor winter growing conditions.
Indoor chives thrive on a south-facing window that receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight per day. Alternatively, you can grow chive plants under Growing Lights.
Chives can be started from seed, but they will produce quicker when grown from divisions from established garden plants.
How to Divide and Pot Up Chives
Late summer into early fall is the perfect time to divide and pot up chives to grow on a sunny windowsill indoors for fresh harvests all winter. This allows time for the plant to become established in the container and adjust gradually to the lower light levels inside the house before winter.
Shovel or digging fork
6 to 8-inch pots for transplant
All-purpose potting mix
1. Water Well: Chives grow in clusters of small bulbs that are close to the soil line. Their roots extend several inches beyond the cluster and downward. Water the chives well a few hours before you begin dividing the clump to help ease the stress of the procedure.
2. Prepare Your Pots: Fill the bottom of your pots with damp, all-purpose organic potting mix. If you are also transplanting some chive divisions to other parts of your garden, dig your holes and work in some compost and organic fertilizer.
3. Trim Foliage: Use scissors to snip back the tops of the chive plants to about 6-inches.
4. Dig up the Chives: Use a shovel or digging fork to loosen the soil around the clump. Push the blade into the ground and work it around the cluster using a back and forth action to release the roots from the soil. Work the shovel into the ground beneath the cluster and pull back to lift the plant from underneath.
Chives grow in clusters of small bulbs that are close to the soil line.
5. Divide the Cluster: Lay the cluster on its side. Often times, it will break apart on its own. Separate small clumps of small bulbs in clusters of around 8-10 plants. This may take some effort if the roots are dense. Discard any bulbs that become damaged around the edges of the cluster.
6. Replant the Divisions: Replant your chive divisions into your prepared pots about 1/2-inch deeper than they grew before. Hold the foliage upright as you fill in the sides of the pot with potting mix. Use your fingers to work the potting mix down the sides of the pot. Press gently to eliminate air pockets without compacting the soil. Transplant remaining clumps to the prepared holes in your garden setting the crown about 1/2-inches below the soil surface.
Repot the chives about 1/2-inch deeper than they originally grew
7. Water Well: Water your newly transplanted chives well and allow excess water to drain out the bottom of the containers. Keep pots evenly moist until the plants are established, then water when soil surface feels dry.
Caring for your New Chive Plants:
Keep newly potted plants out of direct sunlight until they adjust and begin growing. You should see some new growth in about a week. Slowly acclimate your chive plants to indoor conditions and reduced sunlight.
To help your chive plants adjust to their new growing environment, start bringing the pots indoors and place them in their winter location for a few hours. Then return the plants outside. Increase indoor exposure a little each day for about a week or two until the plants are indoors permanently.
Choose a south-facing window that receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight or set plants under Grow Lights for 14-hours per day. Water when the soil surface feels dry.
Chives will grow slowly on a windowsill during the darkest winter period, but begin to flourish once the daylight increases. At this point, feed your chives lightly with diluted fish emulsion fertilizer to give your plants a boost. Take care to water the soil and avoid the foliage.
Harvesting Your New Chives
Your new chives will begin to grow in a few weeks after transplanting. Allow the plant to adapt for about 4-weeks before harvesting so it can adjust to the new environment.
Once the plant is established, begin harvesting by trimming foliage, leaving at least 2 inches of growth above the soil. The plant will continue to grow and produce more chive foliage.
When spring rolls around, harden off your chive plants and transplant to larger pots or in the garden.
- See How to Grow Chives
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden.
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.
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- Chive Blossom Vinegar Infusion
A common item for many gardeners to grow in their home is herbs. Herbs serve a dual purpose of being both beautiful additions to your home, while also being useful in the kitchen. One of the most popular and easy to grow herbs is chives! Growing chives indoors is an excellent choice as they are easy to grow for the beginning gardener and used in many different recipes. If you’re looking for an excellent herb to add to your collection try chives out.
There are two types of chives that are usually grown. These two are the following:
- Common Chives (onion)
- Garlic Chives
The main difference between the two is the taste. Garlic chives have a garlic taste (go figure) while the common chive tastes more like a weak onion. Both also bloom small flowers of different colors; common being purple and garlic white. Which one to grow comes down to personal preference and which one tastes better to you. They both require similar care to grow properly, so it truly is a personal choice.
Growing Chives Indoors Properly
Growing Chives Indoors – Add Delicious, Fresh Herbs To Your Kitchen
Container & Soil
Chives are quite popular to grow due to their ability to thrive in relatively small containers. In fact, many people choose to grow them in very small containers on windowsills. Obviously you’ll grow less in smaller pots, but their ability to be versatile makes them appealing to many gardeners. Our recommendation for containers is clay pots as they help with proper drainage, but really any container will do if cared for correctly.
The most important thing is to make sure there is proper drainage so that water doesn’t sit at the bottom of the pot. Small holes is usually enough to allow excess water out of the pot. Too much water sitting in the pot can lead to root rot, which can kill your plant.
For soil, you’ll want to use a well draining potting soil. Most commercial soils will work, as well as those labeled specifically for herbs. When planting indoors, always make sure get a potting soil and not a garden soil. Garden soil won’t allow for proper drainage.
When planting, you’ll want to pre-moisten the soil before sowing the seeds or planting the seedlings. Plant the seeds about 1/4″ deep, and cover the roots for seedlings.
If planting from seeds, expect them to germinate in around 2 weeks.
When growing chives indoors one of the prime considerations is light. Chives usually require about 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. If not possible, supplementing with a grow light is a good choice.
Using a grow light is perfectly fine, and should be positioned roughly 6-12 inches away from the plant depending on intensity.
If you notice your chives begin to bend, simply rotate the pot so they bend away from the light. They will correct themselves as they reach the opposite way to grow towards the light. It’s recommended to give them a rotation every week or so to ensure proper growth.
Water & Feeding
Chives are fairly hardy plants, so they don’t need to be watered constantly. Simply check every day or so to see if the soil is dry to touch, and if so give them a thorough dose of water. You’ll want to saturate the soil, but not soak it. Watch for any drainage holes to start leaking, and that’s usually a pretty good sign to stop as the soil is throughly saturated.
Chives also enjoy a bit of humidity. Following standard humidity practices is a good idea, and you can also lightly mist them between waterings to keep the humidity from getting too low.
For fertilizing, a low strength fertilizer is preferred. Use a water soluble fertilizer, and dilute to half strength 1-2 times per month during the warmer season. Chives tend to grow slower during the winter (even indoors) and therefore don’t need to be fed as often.
Chives are super simple to harvest. Simply take a pair of scissors, and cut the plant leaving roughly 2″ above the soil line. This ensures that they continue to grow back after each clipping. Don’t clip more than this or you risk damaging the plant
Growing With Other Plants?
It is not recommended to grow chives with other plants as they are technically weeds. They will easily spread out to fill their container, and since they are so fast growing they will usually out pace other plants. This will lead to the chives taking all the nutrients in the soil, and effectively choking out the other plants. If growing outdoors, it’s important to keep an eye on your chives or section them off to prevent them from taking over your garden. Indoors, give them a separate pot to grow in.
Here are some quick tips to remember when growing chives indoors.
- If you areÂ growing chives in one big pot, it is recommended to place them apart about 4-6 inches apart to help the chives grow individually well.
- Make sure that the soil that you are going to place on the pot will be fertile and rich in hummus. You also need to ensure that the soil is well drained before planting the chives.
- If you notice the tips of chives begin to turn yellow this is usually a good indication that they are not receiving enough water. Try watering them a bit more frequently, but be careful not to over correct the problem and water too frequently.
- You know when your chives are ready for harvesting when they are over 6 inches tall. When harvesting, make sure that you will still leave about a couple of inches above the soil so that the chives can continue growing. Chives are pretty quick growers, so look to harvest frequently. Harvesting actually helps them grow so don’t be afraid to cut them back. You can always freeze the cut herbs and they will retain their flavors.
- When fertalizing, use a low grade, water soluble fertilizer 1-2 times per month for best results. Using a strong fertilizer may actually weaken the taste of the chives.
One thing to keep in mind about chives is that they drop seeds in nearby areas after they being to flower. They will take about 2 weeks to germinate, and then they can grow quickly and can take on a “weed” appearance in the rest of your garden. Luckily they are fairly easy to pull, and will require only light maintenance to keep contained.
Once they begin to grow, follow the steps above and enjoy the delicious chives, fresh from the garden!
Get started with 150 chive seeds from amazon!
Can I grow Chives Year Round?
When growing indoors yes, you can grow and harvest year round. Otherwise, chives will grow dormant after the first frost.
Can Chives Get Pests?
They can, but it’s rare. The aroma of chives acts as a natural repellant, and can actually help keep pests off nearby plants. If by chance they do get get pests, you can use a soapy water mixture to help clean them and remove the pests.
Can I move My Chives Indoors in The Winter?
Yes, chives are quite hardy and will transplant easy. It’s best to remove them clumps at a time, and then divide them up into your pots once indoors. Make sure the new soil is moist, and the chives should continue to grow happily all winter long!
It’s only fair to share…
How to grow the most flavorful chives indoors
Chives, the delightfully flavorful cousin of onions and lilies, have existed for over five thousand years. However, they weren’t used culinarily until the Middle Ages, and It is believed that Marco Polo brought them to Europe from Asia (1). Their botanical name, Allium schoenoprasum, harkens back to a Greek description of their structure being both like a reed and a leek. Later, the French called them cive, which translated to chive in English.
No matter the name, chives have long been beloved for their diminutive stature– the smallest of the onion family– and their distinctive taste. Lacking the large bulb of other Alliums, chive plants resemble grass from a distance. They can grow to over a foot high and are prized for their purple flowers and the delicate character their flavor adds to dishes. What’s more, chives are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients (2).
Chives are used heavily in French cuisine, chopped finely and added as a garnish on bisques, creating colorful contrasts atop scrambled eggs, and bestowing buttery sauces with a touch of mild onion flavor. Not to be mistaken for garlic chives– the Chinese chives Allium tuberosum– common chives have a distinctly onion-like flavor, while garlic chives more strongly taste of garlic (unsurprisingly). Garlic chives can be easily distinguished by their broad, flat leaves and white flowers. Both varieties of chives bring life to any dish they are added to (3).
Common chives are a good alternative for cooks who find the flavor of onions too strong. Chopped finely, they can be added to dishes at the very end of cooking, so that they don’t lose their flavor or color, or they can be added raw as a garnish. Garlic chives are similar in that they are a garlicky alternative to garlic for those who find garlic too strong.
The flowers of both species are edible– the purple common chive flowers are delicious served raw, and the white flowers of the Chinese chive can be eaten raw or fried. The flowers should be harvested and eaten when they are young before seeds have formed. Chive flowers can also be used to infuse vinegar with a delicious, onion flavor.
How to grow chives
Both common chives and garlic chives are easy to grow indoors and are unfussy enough to make even the most inexperienced beginner feel like a master gardener. Chives will grow happily in containers and do not require any special treatment. They are perennial, which means that they have a twelve-month growing season, providing gardeners with a dash of fresh flavor at their fingertips year-round when grown at home.
To grow chives, the first thing required is a south-facing spot that receives full sun for at least eight hours a day, ideally a sunny windowsill. Like most of the plants found in herb gardens, chives benefit from a great deal of direct light, although they can tolerate partial shade. If a windowsill indoors isn’t suitable, consider a window box that is hung outside the window.
Once the growing location has been determined, a few supplies are needed:
Container and tray
An appropriate container for growing chives will be at least four inches deep and can be quite wide. Unlike many herbs, chives do not have an extensive root system and can thrive in more shallow containers than many other plants. The most important thing is to make sure that the container has adequate drainage, as overly wet soil can cause plants to suffer. A tray will be needed beneath any indoor pot, to ensure that surfaces are protected from any overflow from watering.
A well-drained potting mix is perfectly suited for growing chives indoors. It is possible to make a home-made soil using a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, organic matter and a touch of granular, time-released fertilizer, but the advantages of commercial potting soil are that it is ready-to-go and tidy to store.
Purchasing seeds for chives should be straightforward. Any garden center or garden section of a hardware store should have them. If not, there are a multitude of seed companies to order from online. One advantage of ordering seeds online is that it is possible to find organic seeds, which are not always available on the shelves of local retail outlets. Make sure that the seeds are from the current year, as chive seeds tend to lose their viability quickly. Leftover seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and may be good for a second year.
In areas that lack adequate sunlight in winter months, a grow light can help to maintain plant health year-round. Consider using a 75W grow light to supplement chive plants during winter months when days are shorter. Ideally, chives want at least five hours of direct sunlight each day. If providing supplemental light, make sure they get closer to eight hours.
For best results, sow seeds lightly over the potting soil surface, and press them into the soil lightly. Water the pot thoroughly, and continue to water every day or so, maintaining a high level of surface moisture until the seeds have germinated. Once the chive sprouts are about an inch or so high, thin them out so that they are at least three inches apart. This will give each plant the space it needs to thrive.
Care of Chives
Chive plants benefit from moist soil but will tolerate occasional dryness. The best policy is to check the soil by inserting a finger to an inch deep towards the edge of the container. It should be easy to sense if the soil is dry by testing this way, but there are also self-watering pots and devices that can be used to test soil moisture levels.
Because they are perennial, chives will continue to produce for many seasons, years even! They will, however, need to be divided every few years. After several seasons, the small bulbs beneath the soil will have multiplied and bunched together into clumps. To divide them, gently dig up the bulbs, separate them, and re-plant them, transferring the excess bulbs to a new container or harvesting the whole plant to eat. Fertilize plants at least once a year to keep them producing well.
Harvesting & Storing
Harvesting chives is best done with a pair of scissors. Leaves should be cut about two inches above the base and left until new growth is six or more inches long. If common chives are allowed to flower, the leaves may become bitter afterward. Chives are best fresh, but can also be frozen. Dried chives have some applications, but they lose their color and flavor and are less desirable than their fresh counterparts.
Chives are the ultimate “gateway culinary herb” for reluctant indoor growers. They are versatile and easy to incorporate into dishes and require almost no care– making them an awfully good return on investment.
How To Grow Chives Indoors
Growing chives indoors make perfect sense so that you may have them near the kitchen. Use chives liberally in dishes; chives growing indoors will benefit from a regular trim. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow chives indoors.
How to Grow Chives Indoors
A sunny south window offers the six to eight hours of full sunlight needed when growing chives inside. Rotate pots if chives are reaching toward the light.
If a sunny window is not an option, chives growing indoors can get the necessary light from a fluorescent fixture six to twelve inches above the pot. Two 40-watt bulbs work best when growing chives inside.
Chives growing indoors appreciate other growing pots close by to provide humidity as well as a fan for air circulation. Humidity for indoor chives may also be provided by nearby pebble trays filled with water or miniature water features nearby. Misting with a water bottle can also help prevent low humidity.
Chives growing inside should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch on the top.
Low dose fertilization is recommended for growing chives indoors. A water soluble fertilizer at half strength may be applied twice per month; heavier doses may weaken the taste of the chives.
When growing chives indoors, pests should be minimal. Often the aroma of chives acts at a pest repellent, but in the event of insect problems, spray well with soapy water. This can be applied as needed.
Tips for Planting Chives Indoors
To begin growing chives indoors, fill a 6-inch clay pot with well-draining potting medium which you have pre-moistened. Soil should form a ball when squeezed, but not be soggy or dripping water. Broadcast seeds over the pre-moistened medium and cover with a fine layer of the pre-moistened soil, about ¼ inch deep. Place in the lighted area. Seeds may be kept moist until germination with a mist of water, weak plant food or weak compost tea.
Chives germinate within two weeks, often more quickly. Growing chives indoors offers a handy and easy way to season your food and brighten your space.