How to grow chives from seeds in pot indoors? This must have been the thing that you would ask after knowing one or good things about chives. Yes, as you might have known, chives grow with long thin leaves. These leaves are the things that people would usually use in their cooking in order to give similar flavor to onions. While indeed chives are beneficial for cooking use, they are actually capable of benefiting you in other ways as well. It might also be the reason why people are interested in growing it since a long time ago.
If you are so wished to do the same yourself, the first thing you need to do is to learn the proper way to do so. Fortunately, you have come in the right place. We will tell you everything you need to know about it here in this article, right from learning what this plant really is to what we have to do with it after having it grown in the pot. We will cover them all, so pay attention to what will be told to you here. There is no need to worry though. Chives are not difficult plant to deal with. Let’s see below.
What Are Chinese Chives / Garlic Chives
Before learning the way to plant Chinese (Garlic Chives) chives from seeds, it’s better if we know more about this plant first. So, what do you know about this plant? Commonly, people simply know it as plant that has very similar attribute to onions. This attribute is the very flavor of the chive itself. It resembles a lot to the flavor of onions. So, it would make good substitute for onions when the chives are used in cooking. Well, there are actually many more things you can learn about this plant. What are they?
You see, as you might have known, Chinese chives include as onion species. It’s native to southwestern parts of Chinese province Shanxi. Because of that, this plant goes by the name of Chinese chives. That being said, this plant has also been cultivated in Asia and around the world. That is why it’s known by other names as well, like garlic chives, Oriental garlic, Asian chives, and Chinese leek, while it’s scientifically known as Allium tuberosum. At least, you should have heard about this plant being called with one of those names.
It might have originated from Siberian, Mongolian, to even North Chinese steppes. However, Chinese chives have been indeed cultivated and also naturalized widely around the world. You would even be able to find them growing wild in many regions of United States, like Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Alabama, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. This plant isn’t something that can only be grown in Chinese lands. So, you should have been able to find it just anywhere around you. Even when you need to find the seeds to grow the plant, it should not be a difficult thing to do anymore.
As an exotic herb, you can find its seeds and seedlings available, especially in North America. Other than that, it does widespread across various regions in the world. Chinese chives are perennial plant. They bloom from the late summer through the autumn season. Due to its being able to wildly grow in various parts of the world, this plant is even considered as noxious weeds. It spreads rapidly and is said to often create monocultures. That is why Chinese chives are considered a highly aggressive kind. However, you don’t have to worry. It’s not like it would be harmful to us in any way.
If that is the case, it won’t be so popular to be cultivated in the garden and used for various purposes. If you are worried about it affecting your other plants in the garden, it would be the best to grow it in a pot, not in the ground. Chinese chives in the pot would still be a good way to grow them as an ornamental plant in your gardens. Of course, they can still be harvested and used for purposes, like cooking. Also, you will not be limited to one variety if you plan on growing this plant on your own.
It’s because a number of its varieties have been developed. One development is meant to improve the leaves and it results in one variety called Shiva. Other development is meant to improve flower stem instead and it results in Nien Hua variety. There is also the so-called Monstrosum that is resulted from selective breeding of chive’s varieties. This variety would serve for purposes, like being a giant ornamental plant for your garden collection. You can choose which variety of Chinese chives to grow in pot indoors by considering what it can offer for you.
What Does Chive Look Like
Now that you know more things about Chinese chives, there is one thing that we want to ask you. Have you seen this plant already? Did you know how it really looks like? It’s not some uncommon plant, so you must have seen it at least once. However, let’s go into more details here to better know the look of this perennial plant here. Chinese chives actually grow from a small, elongated bulb. It should be around 10mm across in size. It’s usually tough and fibrous as well with its stem growing strongly and horizontally under the ground.
You can also say that Chinese chives have quite distinctive growth habit compared to other plants. Why, of course, it’s because this plant grows strap-shaped leaves. It’s completely different even from the real onion and garlic. Speaking about the size of the leaves, they would go around 1.5 to 8mm wide. See? By looking at the form and the size of the leaves, you should be able to notice the difference between Chinese chives and onion or garlic. Even when they have similar flavor, they are still different kinds of plant with different look as well.
Since Chinese chives grow stalks, how high do you think it would be? Normally, the stalks of Chinese chives would just be around 25 to 60cm tall only. It’s not some high-looking plant after all. Also, this plant often grows in perennial clumps that expand slowly. Well, of course, it would easily sprout from seeds as well. That is why it’s possible to grow this plant ourselves in the garden. Many gardeners do find growing plant from seed is more interesting to do. So, if you feel the same as well, look for the seeds instead of looking for the seedlings of the plant.
If Chinese chives can be grown as ornamental plant, does it have flower then? Although plants don’t have to grow flowers in order to become suitable ornamental kinds for your garden, it’s still better to have them around, right? You don’t have to worry. Chinese chives grow with flowers on their stalks. The flowers are many in number and usually grow in a round cluster. As for the color, they are commonly in white or purple. With green stalks and leaves, the flowers would stand out much when you see the plant. It makes perfect addition to your garden, don’t you think?
Still, the color of Chinese chives might be different, depending on the climate of the region they grow in. This is another important thing to know before you learn how to grow chives from seeds in pot indoors. By knowing it, you won’t be that surprised if the color would be unusual for you. You see, Chinese chives growing in warmer regions and cold regions grow in different color and state. In warmer areas, they will normally grow in green color, just like most of the plants planted in the garden. In fact, they would most likely to be green all year around.
However, things would be different in cold areas. Chinese chives won’t be green all year around. In fact, their leaves and stalks would die back to the ground for they can survive cold climate. That being said, it’s not like they are completely die without a chance of being alive again. When the spring comes, they will actually re-sprout from the roots or the rhizomes, giving you new life of Chinese chives in your garden. So, don’t be so surprised if they seem to die in winter. These are what you need to know about the look of Chinese chive plants.
Where to Find Chives Seed for Sale
Chinese chives can be grown from both seeds and seedlings. If you don’t want to or can’t spend time to grow them from seeds, you can always buy the seedlings instead. Of course, seedlings would cost more than the seeds. However, they would make a helpful choice if you want Chinese chives to be readily grown in your garden. They should save you the time from giving extra care for the seeds to grow into healthy seedlings. That being said, not all people are fond of this way of planting chives.
In fact, most people like the fun of growing them from seeds. Indeed, there are more things you need to learn and more things to do if you decide to choose the seeds instead of the seedlings. Not to mention, you will have to spend more time to do so as well. However, growing Chinese chives from seeds is the best way you can choose if you love gardening. Besides, it’s cost-effective thing to do if you ever want to have Chinese chives growing in your garden. So, make your choice then! Depending on your situations and conditions, you should know the best choice to choose yourself.
If you decided on buying Chinese chive seeds then, you should be able to find them easily everywhere. As it was discussed above, this plant has been growing and even wildly in various regions across the world. It means that it’s both easy to grow and easy to find. So, you should have been able to get the seeds from any plant stores near where you live. If there is such store nearby, you can just head there and purchase everything you need to grow this plant in pot indoors or in the ground in your garden.
What if there is no such store near us? Won’t we be able to grow Chinese chives from seeds indoors? You don’t have to worry. There is one alternative you can try. Yes, we are referring to making your purchase through online shops on the internet. There is no need for us to even mention what store you need to go to. You will find a bunch of them there. You can get recommendations from your fellow gardeners if you want to make sure which store is reliable and can be trusted.
Or you can always browse through various sites yourself and see which one would be the best place to buy the seeds. Either way, making your purchase from online stores can be beneficial for you in various different ways. It’s the easiest, the fastest, and the most convenient way to make your order at the comfort of your home. Why not? All you need to do is to browse through the options you are given, pick one or two, order it, pay for it, and wait till it gets delivered to the front of your house. What can be more comfortable than that?
What’s great is that you get a bunch of Chinese chive varieties to choose. It might just be possible to find all of its varieties from online shops. All varieties are not always ready in plant stores after all. Besides, you will have to move to other store if you can’t find the intended one yet. If it’s through online shops, you just need to click on other websites that sell Chinese chive seeds even when you can’t find the intended variety in one shop too. All of this can be done on your desk without moving an inch from there. So, consider it when you are going to make purchase of Chinese chive seeds.
How to Grow Chives in Pot Indoors
As you know, Chinese chives are aggressive kind of plant. It can take over your garden if you leave its flowers to ripen and scatter its seeds around. Well, the plant can be easily dug out and moved to prevent such thing from happening. However, if you don’t want to experience the hassle or mess up your garden, it’s only wise for you to grow them in pot indoors. We will tell you the way here if you want to start from seeds. You can skip the seed steps if you want to start from the seedlings though.
- Prepare the soil for the nursery area. When you start from the seeds, you need to set up nursery area first. So, prepare the workable soil for the seeds to grow. It has to be moist, fertile, rich, and well-drained. Start with around 4 inches of well-composted organic matter and give around 2 tablespoons of fertilizer for each square foot. Work both the compost and the fertilizer into the soil. It should be to a depth of around 6 inches in the nursery area.
- Start the seeds and plant them in the prepared soil. Growing Chinese chives from seeds require you to start the seeds 8 to 10 weeks indoors before the last spring frost. Make sure the soil of the nursery area is workable in the spring with 60⁰ to 70⁰ F of temperature. Then, you can plant the seeds around ¼ inches deep. Water them well and wait for the seedlings to start emerge from the soil. Good growth of the seedlings is important for the final planting later after all. It’s if you want healthy plants to grow from the seeds.
- Final planting the seedlings in large pot with well-draining potting mix. Now that the seedlings have grown, you need to plant them in the final pot. The pot must be large with 6 to 8 inches of diameter and drainage holes at the bottom. Use light, well-draining potting mix for the pot, but spare at least ½ inch deep space in the pot for watering and fertilizing later. Then, you can start planting the seedlings. You can plant them as individual. However, if you want to plant multiple of them, plant them 6 inches apart from each other in the pot.
- Give good intake of sunlight and water throughout the growing season. You can’t ignore the fact that Chinese chives love full sun. So, at least allow them to be bathed in sunlight for 6 hours per day. Then, you can have them indoors and care for them the rest of the day there. Of course, it needs good watering throughout its growing season. Planting and caring Chinese chives from seeds need many things to do, so don’t miss the detail. For watering, you need the soil to dry out first before you can water them again.
- Fertilize the seedlings and discontinue it in the right time. Yes, you need to fertilize the seedlings. So, from spring through late summer, use balanced granular fertilizer to fertilize your chives every two weeks. 2 tablespoons are enough for large pot. Sprinkle the fertilizer at the base of the plant and water it after that. Be sure to discontinue it in the winter. It will allow the plant to rest. Soon, you will notice its growth and it will bloom from late summer to autumn season. Then, you can ripe the benefits of its harvest.
How to Care Chives
You have learnt the way to grow chives from the procedure told to you above. After successfully growing them in the pot, you still have some job to do here. Any plant would need care for as long as they can live. Rest assured! Not all of them need special care every day. Just make sure you know what and how to do so. If they are not cared properly, they might die without you even harvesting them or cause you other inconveniences that you never expect before. Care is important, indeed.
That being said, the care for each plant is different. It depends on the plant you grow. For example, if the plant is drought-tolerant, you can’t water it every day. Plants like this often need watering at least once a week. That is the simplest example of all. If your plant is cared wrongly, you can’t expect it to live and grow healthily. So, what do we have to do with Chinese chives then? If you do want to care for your chives properly, let us tell you the right way to do so. There are some things you need to do for growing and caring Chinese chives indoors. Let’s get down to it then.
- Give consistent watering at first and mulch the chives. You might have known this before, but Chinese chives do need consistent watering throughout their growing season. This is important to give you high yields of the plant, especially when it’s still small. Be sure to moisten the soil thoroughly as well when doing so. You can conserve the moisture by mulching the plant. This will also protect it from the weeds and keep it healthy as it grows into full-grown plant. Even for other plant, weeding is an important thing to do.
- Side-dress the plant and minimize the care at the right time. Besides the watering, you will have to side-side dress the plant with fertilizer as well. For Chinese chives, it’s better if you do it in May and July. Use only 1 teaspoon of 21-0-0 for each square foot. This should promote food production of the plant. Just be sure to not over side dressing it. Also, when your chive plant has grown into a fully grown one, you can minimize the care you used to give to it. Chinese chives are pretty much easy to deal with, aren’t they?
- Remove the blooming flowers immediately. After quite some time, your chive plant would eventually bloom when the time comes. While it’s beautiful to have the blooming flowers from your plant, be sure to remove them as soon as possible, especially if you have their pot near the others. Once the flowers bloom, they will scatter the seeds around. So, even when you grow the plant indoors, you should be careful about this important detail. It’s especially so if you grow it in the ground of your garden. Don’t let it out of control!
- Divide the plant for more productivity. Every 3 to 4 years in the spring, we suggest you to divide the plants. Regular divide is what would help keep your chive plant produce more. Let the divided plants grow for several weeks. After that, you can start reap its benefits by harvesting them. So, rather than having them in one pot, you can always multiply them in other pots and get more production from the plant as much as you need. Isn’t it worth to do? In fact, you do get more benefits rather than growing some in one pot.
How to Harvest Chives
Now that you have known the way of growing and caring chives from seeds, it’s only right for you to concern yourself with how you should harvest them next. Of course, even harvesting needs you to do things in proper way. It’s if you don’t want to mess up the chive plants you grow yourself. You can kill the plant in only one harvest if you cut it in the wrong place. Surely, you don’t want to experience such thing, right? Besides, harvesting plants are something that can benefit you more than what you have been thinking about it all this time.
It’s not only about getting the production of the plant, but also about keeping good growth of it. Plants love being harvested, you see. By harvesting them, you can promote the next new growth. By that, you can expect to prolong the harvest season and get the second harvest from the same plants. See? There is no need for you to grow them again from seeds. It saves you the time and effort to do so. So, let’s see what you need to do to care for Chinese chive plants here in this opportunity below.
- Make sure the right time to harvest the chives. First than anything, this is the important thing you need to do. By knowing the right harvesting time, you won’t end up harvesting unripe chives. Well, each plant has its own cycle, so the time would be different from one to another. How does it go in Chinese chives then? 30 days after the transplantation are the right time to do so if you grow them from seedlings. However, you need to wait as much as 60 days before you can finally harvest the ones you grow right from seeds.
- Cut the chives down to the base properly. What we are going to harvest here is the leaves of the plant that sprout from the ground. Since it’s the leaves that we need, we have to cut them down to the base of the plant. Just make sure where you cut is 1 to 2 inches from the soil. It would give next chance for the plant to re-grow. Furthermore, you get long leaves to use from simply one plant. You will get a bunch of them if you grow and harvest lots of potted Chinese chives indoors at home. You get many benefits to reap.
- Harvest multiple times in the first year. Chinese chives include as perennial plant. So, during your plant’s first year, make sure to harvest them not just once. Do it 3 to 4 times. By doing so, it will still be able to keep alive until next year. In its subsequent years though, you need to cut the plant backs each month only. That way, you should be able to care the plant in proper way. You should be able to get more than enough harvest even if you plant the chives in pots. Really, growing them won’t be such a waste thing to do.
- Harvest the flowers in May or June. Chive leaves are not the only edible part of the plant. You know that Chinese chives are flowering plant, right? Actually, their flowers are edible as well. For the flowers, they would be great to harvest in May and June. Rather than letting them mess up other plants nearby by spreading the seeds, it’s better for you to harvest them instead. You will protect other plants’ this way. This is important to know when learning how to grow chives from seeds in pot indoors as well.
How to Dry Chives
Did you have too many chives from your harvest? Are you not going to use them so soon after being harvested? If that is the case then, you should consider storing them. One of the best ways to do so is by drying the chives, of course. In itself, there is more than one way you can follow to dry the chives. Let us tell you one traditional method that is still used up until now. It requires some time, but since you are going to store them, waiting shouldn’t be a problem, right? Let’s see here then.
- Gather the chives in the morning and secure the stems. For storage purpose, it’s best to harvest the chives in the morning after the dew has dried away. Don’t let the fungus or mildew to form to begin with! Once you have harvested them, gather them together and simply secure the stems with rubber bands. This should make things easy for you to move them around when needed. You don’t even have to worry about anything that might blow them away from where you will have to put them in the later step.
- Cover a bundle of chives in bag with good air flow. Look for paper bags this time and use each of them to cover each bundle of chives you have. Make sure that the bags can offer you good air flow. So, get some and cut into the sides to make slits for it. While the bags will keep the dust away from dirtying the chives and the sunlight from bleaching them, those slits you make will ensure that enough air flows to prevent any molding. Be sure to check the bundles from time to time just in case, so it won’t happen.
- Hang the bundles upside down to dry the chives. Now that you are done covering them, you will have to hang the bundles upside down. The best place to do so would be either in the attic or the porch. Be sure that the spot you choose is warm and dry. Hang them there for as long as 2 weeks bathed in the sunlight. Within such length of time, the chives must have been brittle to the touch. Do check on them yourself by touching the leaves. If they feel brittle, you can put get them down from where you hang them.
- Gather the bundles and place them in wax papers. Get your bundles down from the attic or the porch. This is no done yet, you see. There are some other things you need to as well. After you have gathered the bundles, you need to crumble the dried stalks. Be sure to separate them from the tough stems while you do so. Then, just place the dried stalks in wax paper. This should be enough to prepare your dried chives for storing after this. Growing, caring, harvesting, and storing chives sure have lots of things to be done.
- Pour the dried chives into an air tight container. Once you have all the dried leaves crumbled onto the wax paper, the next thing you need to do is to simply pour those leave in an air tight container. It can be anything, like clean jar, vacuum sealer pouch, etc. as long as it really is air tight. Once you have the leaves in the container, don’t forget to seal it tightly and store it in the pantry. That should be enough to store it for future use in cooking.
What to Do with Chives
What do you intend to use the harvested chives for? Commonly, people would say that they will be using them in cooking. Yes, it’s the most common reason why people look for chives in the first place. However, chives are not useful for cooking only. There are various uses you need to know about this plant. Let us share you some of them here. They would surely benefit you in various different ways. We will also include the use of chives in cooking as well. Now, let’s get down to it and see what you can make from plants, like Chinese chives here.
First, Chinese chives would make a great way to discourage diseases. Sometimes, your plant will get sick because they are susceptible to mildew infestations. To fight against this problem, you can make use of chives’ ability. So, try to boil freshly chopped chive leaves in water and cool it down. That way, you can get chive tea to use. It’s not for a drink though. Pour the tea in spray bottle and spray other flowers, vegetables, etc. with it. It does a great job to repel the mildew and even the pests away too.
Second, Chinese chives would contribute good flavor to various dishes. This is the greatest benefit of growing Chinese chives indoors and outdoors at home. We can’t ignore the fact that it has similar flavor to onion or garlic after all. That is why the chives would make good addition to flavor salads, egg dishes, baked potatoes, fish, soups, and more. You can also use the chives to soften cream cheese or butter when you need to use either of them to eat bread or bagel. Although it can only give mild onion taste, the flavor is still noticeable and it can enhance natural flavor of foods as well.
Third, Chinese chives grow white or purple flowers that are edible as well. Chives flowers are part the plant that can contribute spicy hot flavor to your cooking. You can add them as a whole or break them down into florets and use in green salad. Also, chives flowers make great add for plain white vinegar too. It will result in rosy-looking and tantalizingly flavored vinegar. Either way you choose to make it into, you can benefit spicy hot flavor from the chives flowers. They are not something that is good only for ornamental use after all.
Fourth, Chinese chives flowers would make nice addition for some beverages, you know. To do so, we recommend you to harvest the flowers when they are at their most beautiful and most abundant. Then, freeze those flowers, each as a whole in individual ice cubes. For something like this, frozen chives flowers would make nice addition to a cold summer drink or a tall glass of sparkling water. Besides, you will like the look of the flower frozen in an ice cube in your glass. Really, chive plants are beneficial in almost all parts of them.
Fifth, Chinese chives would give you some great profit as well. Yes, it’s about getting money from it. As you know, this plant easily grows and spreads. You won’t find it hard to do so. In fact, it might just grow more than what’s needed. If you find that you have more than enough in your pots or your garden, you can consider selling them to local restaurants or markets. They would gladly accept your offer and get you some money in return. Learning how to grow chives from seeds in pot indoors would be paid off by earning benefits, like this too.
Description: How to grow chives from seeds in pot indoors? To do it in proper way, you need to learn how to do so and other important things while growing them.