Are you looking for a quick and easy way to grow chives at home? This article will give you all the information you need to know about how to grow chives in your own garden.
In this article, we’ll be covering what you need, how long it takes, and why growing chives is beneficial.
Table of Contents
- 1 When to Plant Chives Outside
- 2 Starting Chives from Seeds
- 3 Growing Chives in Pots or Containers
- 4 Selecting A Spot for your Chives
- 5 Sunlight Requirements
- 6 Soil Requirements
- 7 Spacing Requirements
- 8 Watering Requirements
- 9 Enhancing Growth
- 10 Companion Plants
- 11 Bad Companions
- 12 Pests
- 13 Harvesting
- 14 Storage
- 15 Culinary Uses
- 16 Frequently Asked Questions
- 16.1 Can I grow chives from cuttings?
- 16.2 How do you harvest chives without killing the plant?
- 16.3 Should I let chives flower?
- 16.4 Do chives multiply?
- 16.5 What not to plant next to Chives?
- 16.6 Can you root chives in water?
- 16.7 How do you get seeds from chives?
- 16.8 Are chives invasive?
- 16.9 Can you plant chives with onions?
- 16.10 Do you deadhead chives?
- 16.11 Are chives bad for dogs?
- 16.12 Are chives poisonous to cats?
When to Plant Chives Outside
Chives is the type of plant that prefers cool weather. This plant grows best in early spring or fall. These plants can grow to 24″ in height to about 24″ in width at full maturity.
Starting Chives from Seeds
Starting your chives herb plant from seeds takes quite a long time. The easiest method would be to start from starter plants from a nursery or to propagate by division.
It usually takes around 9-10 weeks for you to start seeing seedlings coming out. Start your seeds indoors 10 weeks before the last spring frost. This will give your plants a head start.
Fill the trays with sterilized seed mix, and even them out. Next sow your seeds in less than 1/4” into the seed mix.
Fill up a spray bottle with water and spray the soil with some water.
Spray the soil until moist, do not over water. Next cover the seed tray with the provided lid.
Chive seeds need to be in total darkness for them to germinate. Seeds should germinate in approximately 2 weeks.
The temperature of the soil needs to approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.56 °C) for the seeds to germinate.
Once the seeds have germinated and the seedlings have come out, you will want to move the seedlings out of the dark and close to a windowsill or window to allow them to receive some sunlight to allow further growth.
Once the plants have grown to about 6-7″ in length, they are ready for transplanting outdoors in late spring.
Growing this herb in containers or pots is best. Planting in pots has the benefit of moving it around your yard as well as indoors once the weather gets cooler. It will continue to grow indoor all winter.
Growing Chives in Pots or Containers
To start growing chives indoors is easy. You will need chives seeds, a light well draining potting soil and clay pots or containers. Recommended pot size is between 6 – 8” inches.
Make sure the clay pots have holes in the bottom of them so that water can escape.
Fill up the pots with a well draining potting soil like a sandy loam soil. Next moisten the soil just a little using a spray bottle containing water. Do not to water the soil too much. Next you will want to plant the seeds into the soil about 1/4” deep.
Now place the plants near a window or on a windowsill that receives about 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Do not place them near air conditioner or heating vents. When the soil looks or feels dry to the touch, water the plant.
Water every few days. A simple way to check the soil moisture is by sticking your finger in the soil about an inch deep. As, the plants grow bigger you can transfer them to bigger 10″ pots. Harvest your chives when the leaves are about 7″ inches tall.
Using scissors or a knife, cut the leaves close to the bulb of the plant. Do not cut it right down to the soil level, just leave about a 2 -3” of stem. Doing this will also enhance growth of the chives plant.
Herbs grow great in all types of pots. Some of the most popular are terracotta, plastic, resin, metal and ceramic. If you’re new to herb gardening, you may want to start with self watering pots. These pots water your plants whenever it’s needed, making it easier for the beginner.
I personally use the Classic Garden Planters for my Rosemary plants. You can find both of these products on Amazon.
Selecting A Spot for your Chives
Chives have a tendency of dominating a garden, so take this into consideration before selecting a spot for planting.
Select a spot that gives a minimum of 6-8 hours of full sunlight a day, proper moisture and warm soil temperatures.
Chives can grow in many types of soil but the best soil is well draining, fertile and loose. I would recommend a sandy loam soil or a commercial fertilizer soil with organic matter.
The optimum pH level of the soil should be between 6.0-7.0.
Chives need space for it to grow properly. This plant is capable of reaching up to 24 inches (60.96 cm) tall, and needs about 10-12 inches (30.48 cm) between plants, because it will spread.
Chives grow very well in moist environments, so water this plant regularly especially if the weather is very dry and hot. Make sure to water this plant whenever you notice the soil looks dry, or dry to the touch.
To check moisture in the soil, use your finger or little trowel to dig in and look at the condition of the soil. If you notice that the initial 2-4″ (5-10 cm) of soil which is dry, this is the time when the water is required.
Cut the flower buds off before it starts to bloom. Cutting off the flower buds will put the plant into rapid growth mode.
Chives makes an excellent companion plant. Some great companions are squash, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, eggplant rhubarb, potatoes, grapes, beans, parsnip, parsley, apples and more.
Planting chives near vegetables is an excellent idea to ward off any pests. Chives help repel aphids, cucumber beetles from lettuce and even celery. Tomatoes taste better and carrots grow longer.
It is not recommended to plant chives near spinach, beans, asparagus
beans and peas. They have a harder time growing when planted near chives.
Planting chives near vegetables or other plants can ward off any pests. Chives help repel aphids, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly.
It is best practice to harvest leaves early in the morning before the sun is hot. Harvesting chives is easy, just grab a bunch of leaves on the plant and cut 3″ above the base, leaving some stem. Start by clipping the outer leaves first. You can do this with scissors or a knife.
There are 3 ways to store your chives. Chives freshly cut leaves, last in your fridge for about 1 week. Wash your leaves, wrap them in a wet paper towel and put them into a ziplock bag and place in your refrigerator.
If you would like to freeze them, first wash them and then place them in ziplock bags and freeze.
How to dry your chives? You can dry your chives with a drying rack or a screen. Another way is to hang them in a cool dark area with plenty of circulation, like a cellar or basement until dry. They will be dry in about 14 days or when they are brittle. You can then place it in a sealed air-tight jar or container.
There are many ways you can use chives in your cuisine such as creamy chive potatoes, mashed or baked potatoes with chives, dips, soups, seafood dishes and don’t forget omelets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I grow chives from cuttings?
Chives don’t grow good with cuttings. My recommendation would be to grow it from bulb or propagating chives by division.
How do you harvest chives without killing the plant?
Harvest your chives when the stems are at least 7″ inches tall. Using scissors or a knife, cut off a piece six inches below where the flower blooms at the top of the stem. Do not cut it right down to the soil level, just leave about a 2 -3” of stem. Doing this will also enhance growth of the chives plant.
Should I let chives flower?
I would not recommend letting your chive’s flower because it will slow down the growth of the plant resulting in smaller yields. Once you spot the plant flowering just prune them. Doing this will revitalize your plant and will amplify growth.
Do chives multiply?
Chives can multiply and take over your garden if flowers are left to seed. It is recommended to divide and separate established plants every 2-3 years, to prevent this from happening.
What not to plant next to Chives?
It is not recommended to plant chives near spinach, beans, asparagus, beans and peas. They have a harder time growing when planted near chives.
Can you root chives in water?
Yes, you can root chives in water easily. Fill up a glass with room temperature water and insert the cutting into the glass. Place the glass in a sunny spot in your home, like a windowsill. Roots should be growing in a week.
How do you get seeds from chives?
Chive seeds come from the flower of the plant. Allow the flower head to dry on the plant. Once you start to see black spots on the flower it means the seeds are ready to harvest.
Are chives invasive?
Chives will grow into a bushy plant similar to other herbs and is not considered invasive. But it can become invasive if you fail to cut the flowers before they seed.
Can you plant chives with onions?
If you’re wondering if you can plant chives with onions, the answer is yes. Chives and onions both have similar needs when it comes to growing them in your garden. Chives are one of those vegetables that don’t need a lot of sunlight to grow and will thrive in your garden, especially if it’s shaded by an onion or other large vegetable plants.
Do you deadhead chives?
In most cases, you do not need to, instead just clip off any browning or dead leaves from the plant as needed. This will keep it healthy and looking great for weeks at a time!
Are chives bad for dogs?
Yes, chives are poisonous to dogs if they eat enough of it. Large amounts of chives, onions, garlic or leeks is very toxic to your dog. If a dog consumes high dosages, it can cause anemia.
Are chives poisonous to cats?
Chives are poisonous to cats if they enough of it. Large amounts of chives, onions, garlic or leeks is very toxic to your cat. If a cat consumes high dosages, it can cause anemia.