Herbs forum: What's the secret to growing chives?

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Name: Val
Near Boston, MA (Zone 6a)
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vma4922
Feb 8, 2016 2:08 PM CST
This is the 2nd winter I've tried to grow chives inside and I've had very little germination: last year 2, that didnt make it long enough to get put in the garden, and this year ONE that's actually looking like more than ONE strand of thin grass.

Is there a secret to growing chives. I didnt plant any outside in my herb garden. Maybe they do better direct sown??
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Feb 9, 2016 10:56 AM CST
Give your chives a hair cut to three or four inches tall, till plant out.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Feb 9, 2016 3:55 PM CST
Mine grow well outside, but I'm a couple zones warmer so that may make a big difference. I tried to bring some in a few seasons ago to have fresh chives during the winter, and that failed. Don't remember why. I'd try direct sowing, or buying a small plant from the grocery store and setting it out.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Feb 9, 2016 4:03 PM CST
Mine failed indoors when I tried it. They're great outside but obviously not meant for indoor growing.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Feb 9, 2016 7:44 PM CST
I can't grow mine indoors, either, Arlene. I can overwinter lots of other things, but chives are not one of them. Sad
Name: Val
Near Boston, MA (Zone 6a)
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vma4922
Feb 10, 2016 2:06 PM CST
Thank you all! The one I have that I sprouted inside is about 3" tall, so I'll not let it get too much taller
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Feb 10, 2016 11:26 PM CST
Chives detest being inside.
Best to directly plant outside has been my experience. Once they take hold, they do well here in Zone 5B.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Feb 11, 2016 8:38 AM CST
You're 100% correct yet all of us who have tried know they resent any attempt to grow them inside, but that doesn't stop us from wanting the taste of chives. I've frozen chive butter and that helps for winter.


Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Feb 11, 2016 11:04 AM CST
I wonder if they might do ok in a cooler setting, like a basement. Perhaps I'll give that a try this next winter.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Feb 11, 2016 11:16 AM CST
I'm just guessing here. Since they pop up so early in spring, I wonder if a cool window, northeast facing, would help. I'll give it a try (if I remember).
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 11, 2016 12:44 PM CST
Although I agree that they don't do that well inside, your chives still should have sprouted for you; I suspect the seed may not have been fresh enough, most onion-type seeds don't stay viable for very long. Outdoors they are about the easiest thing in the world -- they grow fine in the ground or in pots, survive our winters here with no trouble, and bees love the flowers Smiling
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Feb 11, 2016 6:46 PM CST
Thumbs up
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Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Feb 25, 2016 8:49 PM CST
I bring in one or two pots of chives, or start a new pot from fresh seeds. Chives need full sun. Mine go in an unobstructed window that faces due south, and they get 9 or more hours of full unobstructed sunlight per day. I've tried them away from the window, under bright interior lighting supplemented by grow lights, but they don't do well without a whole lot of actual direct sunlight.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Feb 25, 2016 9:13 PM CST
I believe all herbs do best outdoors and the sun brings out the oils in the leaves that we all enjoy so much. They can be grown indoors, and under lights, but the best flavor comes with the sunshine outside.

The rosemary, Madeline Hill, which I brought indoors in November, tasted much better when it was outside.

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