Chive Question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Nomad, May 15, 2005.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,212
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    I have a couple clumps of chives that are in their third year with me. I got one small clump and put it in my garden. Last year I had to move them because they were in the way. This year I expanded my garden and they had to move again. To keep them safe while I was getting the greenhouse up and ground ready I split the clump and put them into two pots. Now they have grown pods on the tops. My question is...did my potting them do that? Also, what do I do with the tops? I figure they are the seed pods. Do I need to let them do something...like bloom before I can cut them off? I always kept the plants cut back and used the chives. I don't wamt to cut any more until I know what to do about the tops. If it is seed, I would like to save it. I am more versed in tomatoes and cukes. Chives are not something I know anything about, except they taste good. Any information would be aprreciated. Thanks.


    Nomad
     
  2. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

    Messages:
    4,458
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast Michigan zone 4b
    http://www.gardenguides.com/herbs/chives.htm


    "chives produce large round flower heads consisting of purple to pink flowers."

    " If you grow your own, you will be blessed in the spring and summer with lovely lavender flowers shaped like a delicate puffball. These flowers are also edible, and make a strikingly colorful garnish for any dish. However, be aware that the flavor of chives becomes more harsh after flowering. To avoid flowering, simply keep snipping the leaves back. "


    Hope that helps.

    Kaza
     

  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,212
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    Yup they are purple and it looks like a few are opening. Guess I'd better cut the rest back to avoid getting too many. Thanks for the information.

    Nomad
     
  4. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Well, one thing you could do is to have a plant
    or two for strictly ornamental and seed saving
    purposes and cut the others just below the
    pods once you spot them forming...I think they
    look quite pretty in bloom, but it's a short-lived
    flowering...and we like to cut ours back often
    to dry and use fresh. Personally, I find it takes
    a long time to raise chives from seed, so I just
    usually divide established plants every now and
    then. I'm pretty sure Chives are similar to
    garlic and onions, in that, if left to form seed
    heads, they'll take energy away from the bulb.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Chive flowers don't have to be cut off. Since they don't make bulbs, it doesn't affect any later harvest. When fresh, you can even add them to salads as they are quite edible. There have been some early references which say that chives only bloom under stress but that's been proved to not always be the case. If grown in rich soil and full sun, they bloom every year until the cluster becomes too thick. Believe it or not, honeybees love them and will travel many miles to visit them.

    Martin
     
  6. Bonnie L

    Bonnie L Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,736
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Eastern WA
    Let the flowers bloom, then add them to salads or use as a garnish. If you let them go to seed, the leaves will start to die down. You can keep them in pots in the house all winter. Some of mine always go to seed & I've never had problems with lots (as in many, many, many!) of new plants coming up.