Chives Indoors?

jackz411October 27, 2007

During the winter I like having a chive plant in the kitchen for cooking. But, usually after bringing them inside in late October they go dormant on me. Is there a solution to this? Thanks, JK

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I have a wild onion that is very similar to the chive. Instead of going dorment in winter, they thrive, and go dorment in the hot weather. These send up small seed balls just before dormency and then I pluck them off and crumble them in soil nearby. The onion bulb part is very tiny, like the size of a pea. The tops can grow up to 20 inches tall and are great in anything a chive would be added to. Not sure if you can find the wild onion anywhere, but I do have the seed balls every summer that are returned to the patch. They are quite hardy and grow even through the snow of winter. Garlic chive is also good, but these tend to be like regular chives and also go dorment in winter.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 12:23PM
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I wonder if I can counter herb dormancy? Maybe if I start some new chive seeds NOW inside I will have chives inside through the winter? And maybe I can do the same for other herbs which like to go dormant??? Guess I'll have to try, Thanks, JK

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 1:24PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Many plants seem to 'know' when they are supposed to grow and when to sleep. Its a hit or miss thing. You could try, and that may give you some results. Chives seem to like to grow in clumps close together. Mine are not really 'seeds', but tiny onions all by themselves, and until recently I thought they were a winter chive, until I found a note someplace where its mentioned that they were a wild onion. Good luck..

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 4:34PM
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I too like to have chives indoors in winter, but had an
experience similiar to yours. Then my herb mentor, Bunny Foster, said to leave some pots outdoors until they froze and died down. Then bring them indoors at different times during the year when the warmth of your kitchen will cause them to break dormancy and sprout new growth. It's surprising how quickly they grow and you'll soon have chives to snip. I even bought a grocery store pot in winter, snipped it for cooking, set it outside, then after a few weeks brought it back in --- and it worked!
Re. the "wild" onions with little things on top --I think that these are Top Onions/Walking Onions/Winter Onions
(some call them Egyptian Onions)which some do grow indoors for green onions in winter, and they also make good early scallions when grown outside...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 1:42AM
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Thanks dearjane, that idea of leaving them to freeze and go dormant and then bring then in to break dormancy sounds good, I'll try it. Jk

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 8:49AM
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That's exactly what I've done in the past.
I first dug a few sections out and potted them up before the first frost. Then I let them sit outdoors until after a few HARD freezes...about 2 weeks of that. Then I just brought them in! Within about 10 days in room temps they woke up:D


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 1:57AM
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I am just a beginner to this website and the world of Herbs. I had a pot of chives onmy porch during the summer and have brought them in for the winter. So far they have not shown any signs of going dorment. I have them under a florescent light. They are thriving right now. Icut them back to use in a meal and they have since grown about 3". I have also have oregano, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Do these go dorment also?? I thought maybe they were dead and I was going to start over. What do you suggest I do, keep them or start over? Also what should you do about all the gnats (or whatever they are) that seem to be infesting my herbs?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 12:56PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I have a hard time with some herbs like rosemary and thyme keeping them alive indoors. Is it possible for you to plant them outdoors? I think you will have better luck with them there. I don't know the zone for Kansas off the top of my head but I suspect the winters are mild enough for your rosemary. I've never tried oregano indoors but I suspect it too may prefer the outdoors.

Parsley is a biennial which means it has a two year life cycle - dying after it completes its life cycle.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 4:36PM
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