How to Harvest Chives Without Killing the Plant

Both flowers and leaves can be harvested from chives. In this article, we will explain how to harvest chives without killing the plant. We will also tell you how to promote the growth of chives to have an abundant harvest for longer.

Chives are an easy-to-grow and maintain herb, and add a lot of flavors to your meals. As we mentioned, chives are easy to grow, but if the chives are harvested incorrectly, the plant can be killed. You should be able to grow herbs at home so that you always have herbs for your meals.

When to Harvest Chives

When to Harvest Chives? You should be able to harvest chives when the leaves are at least 6″ (15 cm) long. If you planted chives from seed, you should wait 60 to 70 days to be able to harvest chives without killing the plant. But if you already have the chive plant, and you just transplant it, you should wait about 30 days to harvest chives.

You should be able to harvest chives from spring until the first frosts of autumn. If you have the chive plant indoors, you should be able to harvest all year round. When the chive plant is 1 to 2 years old, you should harvest chives every month if you have its indoors during the winter or if you live in a warm area.

when to harvest chives
When to Harvest Chives? Only harvest chives when the chives are over 6″ (15 cm) long. This way, you should be able to harvest chives without killing the plant.

Why Harvest Chives?

Why Harvest Chives? Harvesting chives will promote the growth and development of the chive plant. Chives are a fast-growing herb, and a single plant can provide an abundance of chives for consumption.

The chive is an ideal herb to have in the kitchen in a pot and always have fresh chives for your meals. I have a chive in my kitchen window and others in the garden.

How to Harvest Chives Without Killing the Plant

How to Harvest Chives Without Killing the Plant? To harvest chives without killing the plant, the most important thing is not to harvest the chives if they are less than 6″ (15 cm) long. You should harvest the chives when they are between 6″ and 10″ (15 and 25 cm), that is the right time to harvest.

If you transplanted your chives, you should wait about 30 days to harvest them and if you planted chives from seed, you should wait at least 60 days to harvest chives.

The best way to harvest chives without killing the plant is to use sharp scissors or herb snips. Be sure to disinfect the scissors before using them so as not to transmit any disease from another plant.

You could pull the chive leaves by hand, but this could cause damage to the plant, and we don’t want that to happen. Also, pulling the chive leaves could cause the plant to move and damage the roots.

At least leave 2″ to 3″ (5 to 8 cm) of leaves from the ground to regrow. Harvesting the chives will encourage the growth of the plant. I recommend harvesting the chives early in the morning, that’s when they have the best flavor. Start by harvesting the outer leaves of the chives.

On the first harvest of your chives plant, leave 1/3 of the plant. Then you should be able to harvest up to 2/3 of the plant.

In winter, if you grow chives indoors, do not harvest them too often because they take longer to recover during the winter. You may need artificial lighting for better growth if the chive plant is not placed in a window with good lighting. Learn more about How to Plant Chives.

how to harvest chives without killing the plant
How to Harvest Chives Without Killing the Plant? To harvest chives without killing the plant, be sure to use sharp shears and do not harvest leaves shorter than 6″ (15 cm) long.

How To Harvest Chives for Regrowth

How To Harvest Chives for Regrowth? The only rule you must keep in mind to regrow chives is to never harvest leaves that are less than 6″ (10 cm) long. Of course, it is also important to leave a few inches of the chives to grow back properly.

The chive is a perennial plant, if you harvest the chives correctly and give them the care they need, you will have chives for a long time. That is why it is better to pick the chives with sharp scissors and not pull the leaves so as not to damage the roots.

During the first year of your chive plant, you should be able to harvest less quantity so that it grows and recovers better. Then you should be able to harvest chives approximately every 30 days.

How to Harvest Chive Seeds?

How to Harvest Chive Seeds? To harvest the seeds of chives, you must select ripe flowers. The mature flowers of the chives are whitish, when the flowers are violet, they are not yet ripe to obtain the seeds.

Store chive seeds in a cool, dry place for no more than one year, it is best to use them in the next season to have a high germination rate.

The chive blossoms should be consumed in soups or broths, harvest the chive blossoms when they are purple.

how to harvest chive seeds
How to Harvest Chive Seeds? Obtain the chive seeds from the ripe flowers.

How to Store Chives After Harvest

How to Store Chives After Harvest? It is best to consume the harvested chives for no more than 24 hours. Chives quickly lose their freshness and flavor. You should also store the harvested chives in the refrigerator for no more than 48 to 72 hours.

Another way to store harvested chives is to chop them and store them in hermetic containers in the freezer.

There are some containers to store herbs fresh for more than 10 days. These herb containers are inexpensive and will serve to store all types of herbs that you harvest from your garden.

Prepara Eco Herb Savor Pod, Green 6.2 x 2.9 x 10.7 inches
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Prepara Eco Herb Savor Pod, Green 6.2 x 2.9 x 10.7 inches
  • Triple the life of your fresh herbs Our BPA-free containers are designed to prolong the life of your fresh herbs, while being easy to use and fit into any fridge door. The advantage of our design is the clear windowed, hard shell protect leaves from being crushed by other items in the fridge and they let you see what’s inside, while letting them breath at optimum hydration levels. Now that’s better than wrapping them in a damp cloth!
  • It's so simple- rinse and pat dry your basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, chives, rosemary, oregano, thyme, dill or even your asparagus. Place them into the Pod and add some fresh water through the tethered filler cap. Remember to empty the old water and refill every 3 to 5 days and the herbs will be happy for up to 3 weeks!
  • Designed in the USA by a very prolific team, famous for many household ‘must-have’ tools and gadgets. We invented The Herb Savor to maximize the life of your tasty herbs and greens keeping them fresh and crisp. We love food and it’s especially good when you use fresh herbs to enliven your dish.
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.