Chives from last year very thin like blades of grass

adelegApril 21, 2010

I'm wondering why my chives from last year this spring are really thin. While they are multiplying in numbers they seem anorexic. I purchased a new chive bunch and in comparison those chives look healthy, tall, deep green in color. While the ones from last year (that were growing next to mint and in a pot with rosemary, thyme and last summer parsley) are just depressing looking. I've heard that chives dont compete with other plants. Is this what might be going on?

Attached is a link to a picture of what the chives look like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of chives

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opal52(z7b GA)

Our container grown chives can look a little like your batch early in the season. In zone 7b, ours can start coming up in February and won't get good strong light. What I do is cut them back, and with better light and moderate temps as spring comes on, they put on strong thicker growth. The chives you buy at nurseries or plant retailers usually have been grown in optimum conditions before being presented for marketing.

Last year, I had a large container with Rosemary, Sage and Chives. Had to relocate the chives this spring because I found the rosemary roots seemed to be taking over the container. Chives in a large container with mature thyme bush and a small batch of oregano did well over winter and are growing nicely. Also, chives I overwintered in a container with a moderate sized sage are very happy. I added a Zinnia Profusion (dwarf zinnia) in that container just for fun.

Chives are fairly hardy, a good shearing could help.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Have you given them any feed? Herbs don't generally need very rich conditions, but when growing in containers, they'll need some additional feed.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 4:24PM
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They look fine to me. They're about the right thickness for 2nd year chives. I agree with both of the aobve people, in a way. I have some 3rd year chives. I always pick off the weaker looking stems (the brown or half brown ones in your pic). It's a great way to prune them that lets them concentrate on the thicker healthier pieces & allows them to still be able to reach a good size, and to be able to grow chive flowers. I would also consider giving them a light dose of whatever your preferred veggie fertilizer is.

- Steve

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 1:12PM
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You might want to give them some vitamins. Sometimes the soil they are in is not good enough.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:15PM
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Thank you for all the suggestions. I'll try prunning. I think the soil should be ok because I repotted the chives about a month ago in fresh soil with worm casings which is suppose to be nutrient rich. If nothing happens I'll try a fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:12PM
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Looks like the thin ones are clumped together, you might want to divide them carefully. Pruning always helps the roots produce more leaves and prevents too much strain on the bulbs when transplanting also.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:22AM
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