Should I let chives flower is one of the most commonly asked questions by most gardeners who don’t know the right thing to do with the blooms.
Chives (allium schoenoprasum) are perennial members of the onion family. They have a light onion flavor and their hollow green leaves grace the summer salads, omelets, soups, and any other recipe that needs a hint of chives. This herb is a classic match for potato salad and versatile enough to work with any cuisine.
They sport beautiful edible flowers that are a loved delicacy. Chives are cool-season, cold-resistant perennials best planted in the early year to mid-spring for an early summer harvest.
When planting chives be mindful of where you are growing them as it will take over your garden easily especially if you allow the flowers to develop fully. Once fully developed they scatter seeds and growth starts immediately.
However, this plant is easy to dig up and move if it ends up invading other parts of your garden. Chives is a wonderful companion that discourages pests. They are a good companion plant to celery, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and peas.
Types Of Chive Plants To Grow
Chives have two species commonly grown in most gardens. These are the two Common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and Garlic chives (A. tuberosum).
The Common Chives. These consist of clumps that have smaller and slender bulbs. They produce thin, tubular, blue-green leaves reaching 10 to 15 inches in height. The flowers are white, purple, pink, or red depending on the variety and they grow in zones 3 to 9.
Garlic Chives. These are also called Chinese chives and look similar to common chives but their leaves are greener, flatter, and grow up to about 20 inches in height. The leaves have a mild garlic flavor with more intense bulbs. Their flowers are white densely clustered than the common chives. They are not as hardy as the common chives and do well in zones 4 to 9.
Should I Let Chives Flower?
My chives are blooming with purple flowers, should I let them continue with the bloom or what should I do?
This is one of the many questions we get from gardeners who don’t know what to do with blooming chives. There is really no harm in letting your chives flower. Well, your harvest might get smaller if you allow it but you get to enjoy eating these flowers too.
Once chives produce flowers, their stalk gets hard and you cannot eat it. It’s like sacrificing one thing for another. The flowers are there only for a short while and you can choose to enjoy them while you can.
Did you know the entire plant is edible – the leaves, blossoms, and even bulbs. Pollinators are also attracted to the flowers of the chives making them useful in the ecosystem.
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Trimming Your Chives And Their Flower For New Growth
The best way to get a good harvest and beautiful flowers is to trim the plant down. When the first flower buds are developing, trim half the tuft and leave the rest.
This way you will get the best of both worlds. One-half of the tuft will start developing flowers while the other trimmed will produce a nice fresh harvest of chives.
But Why Should You Trim?
Prune so you can grow and harvest lots of chives, but note, it’s important and beneficial to the plant. It’s a good habit to prune your chives regularly and here are a few reasons why.
It promotes new growth – Trimming the chives will help promote new growth on the plant. The tender new plants taste better than the older ones.
Keeps the plants looking nice – If you don’t prune the chives, they overgrow making the plant look woody and overgrown. Cutting them down makes the garden look neat.
Prevents chives from spreading – If you don’t cut back the mature chives, they will reseed very fast. It is an aggressive re-seeder and if not controlled you will have more chives than you need within a short while.
Growing Chives Conclusion
Now that we know it’s okay to allow your chives to flower, we are free to grow our own and enjoy the blooms.
You can plant your chives next to tomatoes and carrots but not near beans and peas. Chives repel aphids ad Japanese beetles; you can therefore grow them near susceptible plants.
Bunches of chives hung in the home believed to drive away diseases and evil, go ahead and hung some chives around your home.
Finally, chives are a symbol of usefulness – because everything in a chive is useful for your food!