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Do Chives Need Full Sun? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 11:14 am

Are you gardening chives for the first time? We all know that the initial period of tipsiness when planting a herb that requires special care.

So to avoid this, most gardeners tend to look for herbs that serve a lot of functions without needing much maintenance.

Thus, with that mindset, you may plan on growing chives and want to know its requirements for growth. With sunlight being crucial for each plant, it’s probably the first factor you’ll consider.

So, do chives need full sun? Chives thrive best when allowed to bask in full sun. However, it does require a sufficient amount of shade so that it doesn’t dry out from excessive dryness.

How Much Sun Should Chives Get?

Excessive exposure to sunlight can dry out the soil, thus drastically reducing the moisture content of the soil. As a result, chives are not overly drought tolerant.

Chives need full sun, but only for a limited period. It is possible to grow chives entirely in full sun, but to do this, you must keep the plant adequately moisturized at all times. Chives also require well-drained soil.

As much as chives plants love to be watered, without proper drainage, the plant will quickly die out from soggy soil. Full sun and partial shade balance the equation.

Outdoor chives should get as much as six to eight hours of direct sunlight. It would be best if you placed indoor chives near a sunny, south-facing window so they can access direct sunlight.

Like I mentioned earlier, chives are tough adaptive plants; they can adapt and tolerate as little as four hours of daylight, no less.

Potted chives dry out faster than the garden and require regular watering. You can water it once or twice a week. During winter, the plant shrinks and does not grow much, but it springs back to life with the arrival of warmer and sunnier days.

Do Chives Come Back Every Year?

First off, the chives plant is a tough perennial, so it is sure to outlive the year and return in the next. It does not even have to be replanted when it dies; it simply resows itself.

But to promote the recurring growth of chives, you can take some simple steps. Firstly, it would be best to replace soil for potted chives annually to renew its fertility.

In addition, chives require soil rich in soil fertility. Therefore, you can add a bit of compost to the soil to top up its soil fertility. Compost manure also helps with soil drainage as it invites soil organisms responsible for loosening the soil.

Pruning a chives plant stimulates the growth of new and fresh leaves. The plant is sure to grow back with vigor after each cut, and with regular pruning, the plant is sure to last for a long time.

Furthermore, chives are best grown from seed. The germination process can take as long as 30 days. However, if the soil conditions are appropriate, your plant can germinate as quickly as two weeks.

Transplanted chives grow in about 30 days, while chives planted from seed will grow within 60 days.

The plant can reach maturity in 60-90 days. Feel free to harvest as many chives as you need once the plant gets mature, even add an extra helping if you may.

It will grow back. However, you should not begin harvesting if the plant is not up to six inches tall.

You should regularly pinch off the flowers of the plant as well. Chives flowers are an ideal addition to salads, soups, sauces, and potato dishes. You can also use them to flavor vinegar.

If your plant is not growing as it should, the most likely causes are either over-watering or under-watering. There are other possible factors, but these two are the most common. You must know the sufficient amount of water to give your plant.

It would be best to water chives at least once or twice a week, but do not water if the top of the soil is not dry to the touch.

When over or under-watered, the plant undergoes duress, which becomes evident in the appearance of the leaves. The leaves begin to turn yellow, dry up, and curl up before they eventually fall off the plant.

Since chives are perennials that can last up to two to three years, you should start dividing up the mature plants from the second year.

For example, you can dissect a single plant into small clumps and allow them to be produced individually.

Chives are more productive this way. Two chives plants should have a space of about two inches between them.

What Season Is Best for Chives?

Chives are best planted in spring or fall. The ideal soil temperature that encourages germination falls between 10 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can begin planting chive seeds indoors before spring but only transplant them outdoors when frost is gone and no longer poses a threat to the plant.

Chives are generally considered cool-season plants. They are very cold-hardy, but severe winters can cause them to die down to the ground. However, this does not mean they die off completely; they stay put and wait for less harsh weather.

Chives can grow during winter, but you might have to employ glass domes, cloches, or mulches to successfully have a bountiful yield, especially if winter gets very severe in your location.

You can have a fresh supply of chives all year round. There is no season in which a chive plant goes extinct. So no matter the season, be it summer, winter, autumn, or spring, you can be sure to find this tough guy living it up in a corner.

The weather hardly kills a chives plant. On the contrary, it can bloom amidst terrible growth conditions and live on until its lifespan elapses.

Can I Grow Chives in My Zone?

Whether chives can grow in your zone is an important question to ask. The different zones of the USDA possess diverse topography, weather, climate, and other factors that may or may not be suitable for the plant you intend to grow.

The chives are hardy to and do best zones 3-10. In addition, chives are both drought and frost-tolerant to an extent.


With as little as four hours of sunlight a day, the plant is sure to produce a substantial amount of yield. However, six to eight hours of daylight is the perfect deal.

Chives require full sun as much as they need partial shade. Adequate soil moisture is also necessary. It would be best to be careful not to over-water the plant; else, it dies off from soggy soil instead.

A chives plant is an adaptive plant. It can bend under unconducive conditions, though in dire situations, it requires help.

During winter, a chives plant is most likely to go dormant and pause its growth while waiting for more conducive weather before it can resume its growth.

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