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How Much Water Do Chives Need? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 11:21 am

Maintaining an adequate soil moisture content is key to a successful farm practice. Chives, like every other plant, require water for their growth and survival.

So, as a gardener growing chives for the first time, you might wonder just how much water it needs.

Mature chives need at most one inch of water weekly to go about their activities. But in dry seasons, when the overhead sun can be scorching, it’d be best to provide about double the usual amount of water you provide your plant with to avoid dehydration.

How Much Water Do Chives Need?

When it comes to watering, moderation is a key for every plant, a specific amount of water is required for the plant to do well. However, the quantity of water should not be too much or too small.

Nonetheless, chives need a lot of water to survive because they are moisture-loving plants. But even with these needs, the amount of water it requires is also dependent on the stage of the plant.

Typically, chives need to be watered with about one inch of water daily during the period of germination from seeds and about one inch of water weekly after they have grown and are ready for splitting and transplanting.

It would be best to reduce this amount in average cold weather. But during the summer, dry days, and as well as during prolonged dry seasons, up to two inches of water or more is required by the plant to grow well.

Moreover, the water provided during germination helps chives with the formation of roots and also allows the seeds to germinate better.

If the soil is too dry, especially during the germination stage, the seeds may die off, and even the ones that struggle to grow will have very light and shallow roots. This shallowness may make them susceptible to erosion and possibly death over time.

Do Chives Need a Lot of Water?

Chives need a lot of water to germinate, grow well and have their roots deeply rooted. Chives are classified as one of the shortest rooted plants with roots that max out at three inches long.

Nonetheless, chives still need to be deeply rooted or rather firmly rooted to the soil so that they can not be easily washed away.

Water needs to be available for the formation and firmly rooting of the roots of chives just like other plants, as most nutrients and substances to be absorbed chiefly need water to dissolve for proper absorption.

Water, which all plants need for healthy growth, also needs not be too much. As mentioned earlier, moderation is key.

Although chives need damp soil to do well because they are water-loving, drainage is essential as they still require well-drained soil to prevent drought, allowing room for the right amount of nutrients to be absorbed.

Too much water in the soil with chives planted can cause bloating and possibly rotting of the leaves.

Also, with lots of water, there are possibilities of chives having edema as water will be accumulated in the soil, which can cause the roots to become soaked up with water.

How Much Water Do Garlic Chives Need?

Garlic chives are a variety of chives but are different in a few ways from the typical chives.

Being a variety of chives, garlic chives also require much water for growth and survival — about one inch of water daily during their period of germination from seeds, and at least one inch of water weekly for healthy growth and survival.

Mainly, the differences between chives and garlic chives are in their physical characteristics, such as; the color of flowers, leaves, height, etc., and as well as in their taste.

Moreso, it would be best to provide prolonged and intense watering of garlic chives, with up to about two inches of water in dry periods and summer seasons.

Doing this will help the plant continue to thrive and live longer, even as a perennial.

Can You Overwater Chives?

Chives can be overwatered. Even with chives being water-loving, they lack abilities to manage overwatering. Overwatering can be from how frequently water is applied to the plant and the quantity of water applied at a time.

By whatever means, overwatering chives is not good and has terrible effects on the plant.

In fact, instead of overwatering chives, underwatering would be preferred because they can survive with little water.

This adaptability means that chives are drought-tolerant, although under watering is still not good and affects chives. Nonetheless, too much water can cause too much harm than good when compared with underwatering chives.

Possible results from overwatering chives include the following:

1. Drooping

Drooping is characterized by a loss of vigor by roots of chives. Overwatering can cause drooping, which occurs when a lack of oxygen is available to the plant’s roots.

When the roots of your chives drown, the plants lose their vigor as they cannot exchange gases properly and begin to droop.

2. Yellowing of leaves

When yellowing of leaves occurs, the terminal part of the leaves and their veins become darker. In addition, Overwatering causes the yellowing of leaves as nutrients would not be adequately absorbed by the plant.

3. Root Rot

When water is accumulated in the soil due to overwatering, the roots will drown and die. And like all organisms, the dead parts of the plant will begin to decay due to the activities of microorganisms.

Root rotting often occurs when the soil is moist with low oxygen available to plants.

4. Loss of flavor and aroma

Overwatering chives can lead to a loss in the actual taste and aroma of the plant, even if it survives afterward. This is because nutrients required to compensate for these will be lost to the water.

5. Thinning

Thinning and weakening of chives will occur as nutrients will not be absorbed by the plant. When plants lack nutrients, thinning will occur, leading to stunted growth, and sometimes it could even lead to the death of the plant.


Chives are water-loving plants. So, as a gardener, what you need to know is how to properly water the plant, which is included in this article.

My points focused on the right amount of water required, the application frequency, the possible consequences of overwatering, and much more.

For optimal performance of your chives plant, it would be best to follow the guidelines in this article.


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