Plants that spread are not usually considered fit to be cultivated in the garden since they can be a nuisance to fellow plants.
Therefore, most gardens are best characterized with herbs because they are organized and do not spread. This belief was borne out of majority count as some herbs do spread.
As herbs, do chives spread? Yes, chives do spread. Once it is sowed and develops to maturity, a natural reproduction process makes your chive spread throughout your herb garden. It is natural and cannot be ignored, so you will have to control it.
Reproduction is a fundamental concept in plants as it ensures continuity. But it can sometimes be frowned at based on the reasons why the plant is cultivated.
Chives do multiply indeed. They grow up to produce flowers which give rise to seeds. If the flowers are allowed to develop fully, they will eventually scatter the seeds. These seeds drop at different points in your garden and begin to grow.
Reproduction usually occurs during spring when your chive plant begins to send pretty flowers, which shows that it is prepared to multiply. Chives can also sprout and multiply from bulbs beneath the soil.
The bulb splits and forms new bulbs, which creates a larger cluster of chives. The plant’s undergrowth dies back after each fall, and the bulb beneath the soil goes inactive.
But once the weather becomes warm in spring, the bulb begins to send up new green foliage.
Chives spread very fast about the growth rate of the plant itself. Within one to two months, it takes chives to spread throughout your garden once it has grown to maturity. It depends on how you cultivated it.
If you started your cultivation from seed, it would take quite some time to spread because of the workload and stress involved in starting plants from seed and how difficult it is to germinate.
It takes a shorter time before your chive plant starts spreading when cultivated from divided clumps or a transplant. In general, once your plant becomes six (6) inches tall, it is matured already and set to spread.
Another thing that influences the growth of chives is climate. Although chives are very compatible with varieties of climates, it is better planted sometime after the last frost of winter. Your chive will still grow very fine in the shade, but that makes the growth rate slow.
It grows very fast when it receives full sunlight. This condition will also make the flowers bloom fast and aid the bulbs to develop better. And once the flower and bulb of your chive develop fast, your plant will follow suit and spread faster.
Once you notice that your chive has begun to spread, you need to stop it before it starts to affect other plants in the garden. But, can you stop your chives from spreading? Sure, you can.
You have to be consistent with your approach in getting rid of the flowers and bulbs that develop on your chive plant.
They are two methods you can employ to stop your chives from spreading around your garden. They are;
1. Physical Method
One of the ways chives can spread is via their seeds which are contained on the flower. So the first thing you should do is to remove all the blooms before they begin to wilt.
Your chive plant can as well be trimmed and mowed down. You might be thinking mowing down your chives will lead to the failing of the plant.
No, mowing your chives will not kill them; instead, the plant’s growth will become uneasy as your chives will find it challenging to sprout up fast.
When trimming your chive, do not pull it out of the soil. Instead, what you should do is cut with a sharp cutting tool or scissors. Cut at the base of the leaf on which the flower is attached.
Since the flowers are edible, you can prepare delicacies with them to help control the spread of the plant. For example, you can add it to your salad to add a little bit of style and garnish it.
You can also use them in making soups and also a key ingredient in the production of vinegar. Chives can also spread through their underground bulbs, which are in clumps.
These bulbs give rise to new chive plants from beneath the soil. Since it is an underground plant, you have to get a good trowel and dig into the soil.
You have to be careful when digging bulbs out of the soil to prevent your plant from becoming damaged. Dig out your soil carefully and gently remove your bulbs from the soil.
2. Chemical Method
You can also stop your chive from spreading by using chemicals (herbicides). However, this method of stopping chives from spreading is not very effective and safe.
The waxy coating on the leaves of chives shields them from the full effect of the herbicide.
A 2,4D, dicamba, or mecoprop herbicide is the best chemical to use in spraying your plant. However, you will need to be careful as it can also be very unfavorable to other herbs in the garden.
The necessity of some plants in your garden makes them unavoidable even though they connote nuisance. There is no doubt that chives can inconvenience some other plants in the garden by spreading and minimizing the nutrients needed by other plants.
It is hard to deny that chives have flowers that bloom so bright and add to the beauty of your garden, which is one of the most enticing things to see in any herb garden.
The flowers also attract beneficial insects to the garden. Most importantly, chives are edible in both flowers and bulbs.
Still, you cannot possibly ignore the fact that it deters the growth of other herbs. Frequent removal of the blooms and extra bulbs that grow will help prevent your chives from spreading stubbornly.