By Jennifer Poindexter
Do you love chives? They’re one of my favorite plants. Chives are gorgeous to look at and have a wonderful flavor. What makes them even better is they can be grown indoors.
You read that correctly. Now, you can grow chives in the convenience of your home. If you’re interested in having this gorgeous herb as part of your home décor, you’re in the right place.
I’ll walk you through how you can properly grow this herb. If you’re interested in adding more fresh herbs to your dishes, here’s how you can grow chives in your kitchen.
What You Might Need to Grow Chives Indoors
When growing chives indoors, you need only a few basic items. You’ll need a planter with adequate drainage holes.
You should also choose a quality soil that’s well-draining. Another option is to grow in a soilless planting medium.
Finally, you’ll need a proper growing location. If you can’t supply the herb with eight hours of sunlight, you’ll need to invest in grow lights or other LED lighting to supplement the plant’s lighting needs.
If using grow lights, be sure you have a flat surface to sit the planter on in an area where the light can hover over the plant.By creating an ideal growing location, your chives should do well inside your home.
Growing Conditions for Indoor Chives
If you aren’t one who enjoys growing a challenging plant, you’re in luck. Chives are, perhaps, one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.
For the herb to grow properly, it needs three things: sunlight, well-draining soil, and a container that drains well. Supply the plant with approximately seven hours of sunlight.
Keep in mind, if you don’t have a sunny location in your home, you can always place the plant under a grow light. However, for every hour your plant would be sitting in natural light, it needs two hours under the grow light. Make the grow light is 12 inches above the plant. This should avoid the herb having to stretch too much to reach the light.
Chives do need well-draining soil because they don’t enjoy having soggy roots. It’s also wise to use a soilless planting medium. I’ll cover this in greater detail in a later section.
Finally, choose a growing container which can handle the plant’s root system but also drains well to avoid soggy roots.
If you can supply these few basic needs, your chives should do well under your care. It’s now time to discuss how to begin the growing process of chives in your home.
How to Plant Chives Indoors
There are two ways to grow chives in your home. You can start them from seed or divide a mature plant to create more plants.
If you choose to grow chives from seed, you’ll begin by choosing a well-draining container. Fill it with well-draining, quality soil.
Create a trench in the container that’s approximately ¼ inch deep. Sprinkle two to three seeds in the area. Keep the soil moist by spraying it with a bottle of water over the next two weeks. The seeds should germinate during this time.
Once the seeds have sprouted, choose the strongest plant. Cut the other plants, with scissors, at soil level. This should avoid damaging the roots of the remaining plant.
If you’d prefer to use an outdoor chive plant, that you already have, to create an indoor plant, you can. In the early fall, cut your established chive back to where it’s only a half-foot tall.
Dig the plant up and divide the roots into multiple smaller plants. Use a spade to slice through the foliage and roots to avoid causing any damage to the plant. Once you have the smaller plants, pick the one you’d like to bring indoors and plant the remaining chives into their new locations.
Plant the chive you’re bringing indoors in a container. The planter should be well-draining, filled with well-draining soil, and have a hole dug in the center which is large enough to support the root system.
Place the chive into the hole and fill it in with dirt. Push firmly around the base of the plant to avoid any air from reaching the plant’s roots.
This plant will need to have time to acclimate because it’s used to outdoor lighting. Begin by placing it in a shaded location beneath a tree. In a few days, move it to the edge of a garage, carport, or a covered porch. Wait two to three more days and bring it indoors.
Wait one month before trying to harvest from this plant. These are two ways to produce chives indoors. Pick the method which works best for your gardening level and start your trek with growing chives indoors.
How to Care for Chives Indoors
Chives require little care when being grown indoors. The plants need humidity, water, and fertilizer. When watering your chives, use the deep watering method.
You’ll place the container in your kitchen sink, use the spray nozzle (if you have this option), and apply water until it’s running out of the bottom of the container.
Leave the plant in the sink to finish draining. Once all the water has run out of the bottom, place it back in its growing location. Allow the plant to dry fully before repeating the process. You’ll know it’s’ time to add more water by sticking your finger into the soil.
If the soil is dry to your second knuckle, it’s time to add more water. If not, wait a few more days and test it again.
Your chives will need fertilizer supplied to them to ensure they always have the appropriate nutrients. Choose an all-purpose fertilizer but dilute it to 50% potency. Apply the fertilizer two times per month.
Finally, you’ll want to keep the humidity level up around your chive plant. You can do this by growing it in naturally humid areas of your home such as a kitchen or bathroom. If you don’t have this option, due to lighting constraints, you can spritz the chive plant with a spray bottle of water multiple times per day.
You can also place the planter inside a larger container which has rocks in the bottom. Water should be poured over the rocks.
The rocks should be covered, but the water should never reach the container where the chives are planted. This will increase humidity around the plant in any area of your home.
By supplying these few basic needs, you’re giving your herb the greatest chance at thriving and producing a quality harvest for you.
Pests and Diseases Which Impact Chives Indoors
Chives don’t face many threats when growing inside your home. The greatest diseases which can impact the plant are fungal based.
You can avoid this type of disease by either growing your chives in a soilless growing medium or by heating your potting soil. If you choose the second option, place the dirt in a pan. Place the pan in the oven and heat it through. This should kill any pathogens which are living in your dirt.
Allow the dirt to cool prior to planting your chives. By using a soilless base, you’re removing the environment for fungus to reside.
If you see signs of fungal disease in your chive plants, spray the plant with a fungicide. You should also increase air flow around the plant and back down on the amount of water the chive is receiving.
Outside of this type of disease, there are no other threats chives commonly face when growing indoors. Chives don’t have any common pests which impact them indoors either.
How to Harvest Chives
If you can work a pair of scissors, you can harvest chives. Once the foliage of this plant is at the length you desire, use scissors to cut as much from the plant as you’d like. You can use the herb fresh or dry it for later use. Be sure to rinse the herb in cold water, and pat dry, prior to use if using fresh.
Chives make a great finishing touch to soups, pasta dishes, and even salads. If you’re trying to increase your fresh herb intake, chives are an excellent way to go about it.
I hope this has encouraged you to consider adding chives to your plan for an indoor herb garden.
They’re a delicious herb, easy to grow, and look great as well. Pick the growing method you prefer, follow the tips provided above, and start growing chives in a sunny location of your home.