A Guide To Growing Chives Indoors: Planting, Harvesting, and Drying

Chives are a delicious herb that can be used in many dishes. Growing chives indoors allows you to enjoy this delightful herb all year long and is not as difficult as it sounds!

In this blog post, we will discuss the process of growing chives indoors, from planting them on your windowsill to harvesting and drying, including all the information you may need.

How to grow the most flavorful chives indoors?

Growing flavorful chives is all about providing them with the right amount of sunlight. Growing chives indoors is best done on a sunny windowsill. This will encourage ample amounts of sunlight to reach their roots and promote flavorful growth!

Chives are great for spicing up various dishes, so this is a great herb to grow indoors. Growing chives in your home allow you to access the herbs year-round and use them as needed!

There are two types of chives, so make sure you’re growing the right type of chives.

The first, Chives or Allium schoenoprasum, is the variety of chives typically found in grocery stores. It is much more challenging and more tolerant of colder climates than the other type, Allium tuberosum.

The second variety is Allium tuberosum, commonly called garlic chives. Growing garlic chives indoors is a little more complex than the Allium schoenoprasum as it prefers warm and humid conditions like those found in a greenhouse or garden shed. 

Garlic chives are the variety you will find in Asian cuisine and specialty markets for garlic flavor.

Regardless of whether or not garlic chives are grown indoors during the winter months, this herb’s flavor should last for a few weeks with proper care. Growing chives indoors affords plenty of time to harvest them at their peak freshness!

If you are not sure what type of chives you have, grow it for a few weeks and see how well it does. Then decide if to keep growing it indoors or if you should start over with another variety!

Are chives and green onions the same thing?

Green onion vs Chives

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are not green onions (scallions). They are related to green onions, but they have a much more delicate flavor. 

Growing chives is also a lot less work than growing green onions!

How long do chives take to grow indoors?

Chives will take about two to four weeks from planting until they are ready for harvesting. Growing chives indoors typically takes less time than growing them outdoors, as the roots have fewer hurdles to overcome!

Will chives grow all year round indoors?

Yes! Unlike many herbs, chives will continue to grow back every year and thrive as long as they are given the right amount of sunlight. Harvest the chive leaves and stalks, but leave a few in the pot to regrow for next season!

What You Might Need to Grow Chives Indoors

what do you need for growing chives

For successfully growing chives indoors, you don’t need too much. What you do need is:

  • A sunny window that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • Potting soil (check the package for light requirements)
  • Pots or planters with drainage holes.
  • Bag or clump of chives, either from a grocery store or online plant nursery

What type of soil is best for growing chives indoors?

When planting chives indoors, it is essential to choose potting soil that provides the right growing conditions.

For instance, if your plants need more light than they can get in a windowless room or basement area, use an indoor plant mix.

If there’s plenty of sun and heat available outdoors but no humidity for most of the year, try using a cactus/succulent potting mix, so moisture doesn’t evaporate too quickly from their roots.

How to Plant Chives Indoors

Chives are a delicate herb that doesn’t need much space. One plant can be grown in a container as small as about six inches across, but make sure there’s enough room for the roots to grow and spread out.

Fill your pot with soil or planters with drainage holes, filled halfway to three-quarters full of soil, and a layer on top of potting mix to discourage weeds from growing up through your plants. You can use peat pots as a great alternative.

It is recommended that you use pots instead of planting directly into the soil because chives will multiply, spread, and take over the garden if they’re planted outside.

If planting them outdoors, just place them in any sunny spot where their height won’t pose problems such as blocking views or casting shadows onto other areas close by when they grow in height.

 Chives typically do well with a six-inch pot or larger. A smaller container would not be large enough for their needs and could stunt their growth if you wait too long between watering. 

Choose your containers wisely so that there is room for them to comfortably grow without worrying about being pruned back soon after planting!

Plant chives roots about an inch below the surface with the pointy end down. This allows them to grow downwards into the ground, where they need more light! 

If you ask where to grow your chives plants, start by selecting a sunny windowsill in your kitchen or other room. Remove any plants from the window sill and place newspaper underneath it to keep the area clean as you work with chives.

Chive plant pots should be about 12 inches apart on each side for optimum growth. Fill these potting containers up halfway with a moist soil mixture of compost, organic peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite (we recommend Dr. Earth’s organic potting mix).

Tip: If you’re experiencing frost or snow during wintertime, bring your potted chives inside for a while until conditions are more favorable outside again. 

Chives can handle freezing temperatures if they stay moist. Don’t let them freeze solid before bringing them back into an area where there is warmth available such as on top of your refrigerator overnight. 

Tip: Planting chives in a container is easy to have fresh, flavorful herbs on hand, even when the natural climate doesn’t allow for outdoor growth.

What not to plant next to Chives

Some plantings are definitely not suitable for companion planting. One such plant is potatoes, which can harbor a particular type of beetle that will quickly destroy your entire plot and all its contents, including those precious herbs!

Tomatoes, parsley, and sage are not the best friends with chives.

How to Care for Chives Indoors

How often should you water chives indoors?

Chives do not have deep roots. They do have extensive shallow root systems that grow in a circle about 24 inches from the center of the plant.

Chives need to be watered often and regularly, an inch or two of water each week. The soil should never dry out completely, or the plants will die.

Tip: If needed, use ice cubes as an alternative way of keeping moisture in the potting mix around the roots of houseplants that have finished their flowering season, where overwintering has been successful inside at least since early autumn months like September and October, which is when chives have been known to wither and die off in the home gardens.

Tip: If you are using aromatic herbs like rosemary, sage or lavender flowers between your pots of chive plants, be sure not to overwater so that these more sensitive herbs will flourish!

What should I feed my chive plants?

Chives will survive without additional food but for best results, provide fertilizer periodically during their growing season (spring to fall) with compost tea, liquid organic fertilizer, or manure diluted according to package instructions.

If you use fertilizers containing phosphorus, be careful as too much can promote leafy growth at the expense of chive flowers development which is what you want.

Tip: Chives need shelter from wind and extreme heat, so in hot climates, they can be grown much more successfully if planted near the southwest or west side of a building, where it will stay cooler even on summer days.

How To Harvest Chives Indoors

harvesting chives

Chive harvest is a great way to enjoy this herb year-round.

The best time to harvest chives is when their foliage looks completely dry because they have matured fully. The general guideline on harvesting maturity occurs after about four months, but different varieties vary.

Therefore it’s better to watch for this yourself by looking at color changes in the leaves and how brittle they get over time. It may help to use scissors instead of

You can cut as much as six inches from the top of your plant at any time during its growth cycle. You should harvest before flowering since there’s no need for seed production indoors.

If harvesting chives outdoors, then wait until after blooming because it would lead to seeding issues (not needed if planting the chive seeds).

How to dry chives?

To dry your fresh herbs like chives plant, hang bundles upside down in paper bags or plastic boxes near an open window.

Another popular method is to lay the bunches out on trays lined with newspaper or parchment paper inside a warm oven (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for two hours until they become crisp-dry.

Carefully remove them before opening the door again to avoid letting hot air escape! They can be stored this way indefinitely – just be sure to keep them out of the light and away from heat.

Whether dry or fresh, chive flavor is an excellent addition to your recipes. Sprinkle chives over burgers, on top of soups, or even in salads!

It is best when added at the end of cooking to prevent it from becoming bitter.

Chives meal ideas

Meal Ideas:

  • Use chopped chives in your favorite pasta dish instead of fresh parsley or basil.
  • They’re also good with eggs, soups, potato salads, fish dishes (especially salmon)
  • chicken soup/soup broth or make a compound butter for steak with garlic cloves and lemon juice.
  • Add it to cream cheese before spreading on crackers as an appetizer;
  • use leftover minced herbs to flavor scrambled eggs before serving breakfast pancakes topped with sliced bacon
  • add finely minced chives plant at the last minute when cooking wilted spinach
  • sprinkle over sourdough bread rubbed with a garlic clove before baking – yum!
  • For garlic flavor, try adding garlic chives plant when cooking broccolini, broccoli, green beans, or sauteed onions on even in salads.

Frequently Asked Question

What should be done with dry or wilted chive plants?

If your chive looks limp and tired, try giving it some TLC. That means watering more often, cutting off any yellowed portions of stem, or repotting into new soil that’s been well-draining.

If you cannot save your dried-up herb, harvest them before their time is gone!

Why are my chives dying indoors?

If you’re growing your chives indoors, they may not get enough sunlight. Grow them on a sunny windowsill or move to a place with more natural light and see if that solves the problem!

Why are my leaves turning brown?

If you notice some of the lower leaves on your plant have turned brown, it’s because they’ve been shaded by taller plants nearby or from other sources of overhead light.

Move them closer to the window so they can get adequate amounts of sun exposure for healthy growth!

Why is my chives plant wilting?

If the leaves are drooping, they may need more water. Make sure to read your instructions and keep them watered enough, so their soil isn’t dry!


Follow the instructions on your chives plant’s care tag and keep them happy! Chives are a fun herb, be it for cooking or just as decoration. With some of these gardening tips, you can ensure that they stay healthy and grow happily indoors all year round!

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Daniel Buckner is an indoor gardening enthusiast and hydroponic expert with years of experience cultivating a variety of plants. Passionate about sustainable living and urban gardening, Daniel shares his knowledge through engaging content to inspire and educate fellow gardeners. Discover the joys of indoor gardening with Daniel's practical tips and valuable insights.

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