Do Chives Continue To Grow After Flowering?
Chive plants are a beloved herb that can add a unique oniony taste to any dish. But what happens when these hardy perennials flower? Can you still use them in the kitchen, or do they need to be discarded? Fortunately, chives can continue to grow and be used even after they’ve produced flowers, making them an ideal herb for the avid gardener and cook alike!
In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about post-flowering chive care and harvesting tips, as well as how you can utilize your post-flowering chive bounty in the kitchen. Let’s get started!
What are Chives?
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a member of the Allium family, which also includes garlic and onions, but they have a milder flavor than their cousins which makes them a popular choice for cooks who want an onion-like flavor without the harshness of raw garlic or onion.
They are small perennial plants with long thin leaves and small round purple flowers that bloom in the early summer months. The leaves of the chive plant are edible and can be chopped up and used in salads or as a garnish for many dishes, while the flowers can also be used as an edible garnish if desired.
What is Flowering?
Flowering refers to when a plant produces blooms that contain its reproductive organs (stamens and pistils). Once these flowers die off they will no longer produce seeds and will instead focus on producing foliage again until they flower again in subsequent years.
This is why it’s important to deadhead or remove spent flowers from your plants – it will ensure that your plants don’t waste energy producing seeds and can instead focus on growing healthy foliage again next year!
What Happens to Chives After Flowering?
Once chive plants have finished flowering, they’ll still be growing but at a much slower rate than before they flowered (this is normal). This slower growth rate means it will take longer for new leaves to form but once they do start forming you’ll be able to enjoy their unique flavor once again!
Additionally, even though chive plants may not flower every year, their roots will still remain alive and healthy beneath the soil so you won’t need to worry about replacing them each year like some other herbaceous perennials require.
Benefits of Chives Post-Flowering
Chives offer many benefits even after flowering has occurred – firstly, their foliage will still provide plenty of flavor without being too overpoweringly oniony like raw garlic or onions can sometimes be!
Additionally, if you’re planning on harvesting your chive crop throughout the season then post-flowering chives may actually provide more bang for your buck since each individual leaf will likely last longer than pre-flower growth due to its slower rate of growth (meaning fewer leaves need replacing each week).
Finally, depending on where you live, post-flowering chive foliage may also provide more visual interest than pre-flower growth since it tends to look more lush and full due its slower rate of growth!
How To Care For Chives After Flowering
Once your chive plants have finished flowering it’s important that you continue caring for them properly so that they remain healthy and productive throughout their life cycles – here are some tips:
• Water regularly – Ensure that you keep your soil moist but not soggy by providing approximately 1 inch of water per week during periods of drought or extreme heat, water less frequently during cooler weather months, avoid over watering as this can lead to root rot or other diseases/insects attacking the plant’s roots,
• Fertilize – Feed your post-flower chive plants with a balanced fertilizer every six weeks during peak growing season, avoid over fertilizing as this may lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowering,
• Mulch – Mulch around your post-flower chive plants with a layer of organic material such as bark chips or compost, this helps retain moisture in soil while also preventing weed growth,
• Deadhead – Regularly remove any spent flowers from your post-flower chive plants in order to promote new foliage growth,
• Divide – Divide large clumps of post-flower chive plants every few years in order to ensure good air circulation around the base of each plant which helps prevent disease/insects from attacking roots,
Common Problems After Flowerings
Although caring for post-flower chive plants isn’t overly complicated there are still some common problems associated with them – here are some tips on how best to combat these issues:
• Pest infestations – If aphids or other pests become an issue then spraying with insecticidal soap may help, alternatively hand picking can also work if there aren’t too many bugs present,
• Leaf yellowing – If leaves start turning yellow then this could indicate an iron deficiency which can be rectified by adding iron chelate fertilizer according to package instructions, alternatively adding composted manure may also help if an iron deficiency isn’t present,
• Root rot – Root rot is caused by overwatering so make sure that you’re not providing too much water per week, additionally removing any dead leaves or debris from around the base of your post-flower chive plants may help prevent rot from occurring in future seasons as well,
Harvesting Tips For Post-Flower Chives
When harvesting post-flower chive leaves there are several things that you should take into consideration – firstly make sure that you only harvest what you need so that there’s plenty left over for future harvests (and give those leftover leaves plenty of time between harvests so they don’t become over harvested), secondly use sharp scissors when cutting rather than pulling out whole stems (this helps keep your plant looking neat), finally make sure that any harvested stems have been washed thoroughly prior consumption so any dirt particles don’t end up in food!
How To Use Post-Flower Chives In The Kitchen
Now onto one of our favorite topics – cooking with post flower chives! Since these little herbs offer such mild flavor compared with their oniony cousins they make an excellent addition to any dish requiring a subtle onion note such as omelettes, quiches or potato salads just name a few!
Additionally their pretty purple flowers make an excellent garnish when added fresh – simply scatter over top dishes prior serving for added color and texture!
Finally chopped up post flower chive leaves can make an excellent addition when added straight into dressings or sauces (such as pesto) offering yet another layer of flavor without being too overpoweringly oniony like raw garlic or onions would be!
Chive plants are such hardy perennials with multiple uses both before and after flowering has occurred – whether it’s using their flavorful foliage as an ingredient in salads, sauces or dressings or utilizing their pretty purple flowers as decorations atop dishes before serving there’s no denying how versatile these little herbs truly are!
And best yet due their slow rate of growth even after flowering has occurred there’s plenty opportunity for avid gardeners/cooks alike who want maximum bang for their buck when it comes time for harvest! So get out there today and start planting those lovely little Alliums – we guarantee you won’t regret it!