Pull chives in the pot - How to manage the care in the apartment

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Chives are not only a plant for the garden bed, also in the pot in the home, the leek can be cultivated well. This requires sufficient air and light. Who knows only the small pots from the supermarket, thinks that the chives can not be cultivated in this way, because it quickly turns yellow. But what many do not realize is that these pots were designed for immediate, fresh consumption. But Allium schoenoprasum is not annual and can live long and be harvested regularly with proper care.


The ideal location for the chives in the apartment is bright and airy. Therefore, a bright window sill is best suited for opening the window in summer. In general, the herb should be in the kitchen, as it is also used here. If there is no windowsill, the space can also be designed differently:
  • on a table under the window in a bright corner
  • On this, a small herb garden can be created
  • on worktop near the window
  • Place pot hanging from the ceiling in front of the window
  • in attic apartment the pot outside on the Dachbefestigen
  • search for a place that is easily accessible from the window
  • is the window seat in the kitchen too dark, alternative search
  • Windowsill in the staircase
  • Windowsill in the dining room
  • if available, in summer on balcony or terrace
Tip: Allium schoenoprasum should never be planted with other herbs in a bucket or a bowl. An own pot should always be offered to leeks, who can then find a decorative place together with other pot herbs.

Substrate & soil

For the substrate is potting soil, bucket soil or herbal soil for the pot in which it is cultivated. This already brings with it the permeability that the leeks desire. So the ideal earth looks like this:
  • nourishes-rich
  • slightly damp
  • Alternatively, mix garden soil with loam powder or sand



For the sowing potting soil is needed, because the commercially available potting soil has too few nutrients for the seeds of the leek. Chive is a cold germ as well as a dark germ. The sowing takes place directly in the vessel, which was selected for the cultivation. Since the leek does not tolerate any waterlogging, the pot must be created with a drain before filling the soil and sowing. For this purpose, small pebbles are spread over the drainage holes, above it comes a plant fleece. This prevents soil from getting into the stones with the irrigation water and thus clogging the drain. Once the pot has been prepared, sowing is continued as follows:
  • Chives can be sown in the apartment at any time of the year
  • put the seeds from the trade in the earth
  • distribute well in the pot, do not put too close together
  • cover with earth
  • water well and keep moist
  • Helpful is a transparent foil pulled over the pot
  • Air well daily
  • do not place the pot in the direct sun
  • since they are cold germs, do not put too warm
  • the warmer it is, the longer germination takes
Ideal is a germination temperature between 5° and 10° Celsius. Therefore, if a bright garage or a bright, cool basement room is available, this is the ideal location until the first seedlings show up.
Tip: If too many seeds are put in a pot, then the later plants could suffocate. Therefore, only a few seeds per pot are sufficient, which should not be too close to each other. Because Allium schoenoprasum needs a lot of air and space, also between the stems of the individual plants.


The small pots with chives available in the supermarket are usually intended for immediate use and therefore do not last long on the windowsill. However, immediate measures can be taken so that this chives grows and thrives. The pot in which the chive plants are offered in the supermarket is usually too small, the soil often dry and without nutrients. If such a plant is therefore cultivated in the apartment for longer, this should be done as follows:
  • choose larger vessel
  • Apply drainage
  • Fill potting soil with enough nutrients in half
  • Water the chives well
  • total remove the pot
  • Carefully remove the old earth as best you can
  • put in a new container
  • fill in remaining soil and press well
  • water well
  • after half an hour, drain off excess water from the plate
Tip: In this way, the chives from the supermarket can reach a ripe old age. However, if it remains in the supplied pot, it will turn yellow after some time and will not form any new or stunted leek stalks.

to water


The advantage of Allium schoenoprasum is that it is very good in lime.Therefore, it can easily be poured with tap water, which always contains, depending on the municipality, a proportion of lime. The leeks like it moist, so it has to be watered regularly and care must be taken that the soil does not dry out. If this happens, it will not only harm the leek stalks, which will turn yellow and dry, but also the roots. Chives that have been exposed to drought for a long time usually do not recover. In the casting process, attention should be paid to the following:
  • when the upper soil dries, pour
  • always from the bottom to the roots
  • do not pour over the leek
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • avoid drying out
  • do not pour in full sunlight


Chives should be fertilized regularly every two to three weeks. For this purpose, liquid fertilizer can be supplied with the irrigation water according to the package. Ideally, herbs and leeks should always use a bio-based fertilizer as it is a plant that is consumed. Chemical-based fertilizers can alter the taste and are not so ideal for the human body when consumed frequently by the fertilized plant.

To cut

Allium schoenoprasum is usually not cut, but the cut is made by the harvest. The leeks can always be harvested when needed throughout the year. So a rejuvenation cut is not necessary, as is often the case with other herbs. If it is a young chive plant, then this should hardly be cut, so it can grow better. However, a small harvest is usually possible after six weeks after sowing. The thinning of the plant, however, takes place when it is harvested, even if only single stalks are needed in the kitchen, it can be cut daily fresh. The procedure is as follows:
  • Cut stalks about two to three centimeters above the ground
  • always cut the outer blades
  • the new shoots are reproducing inside
  • Cut in time before a flower
  • Straws that bloom, do not taste
  • only leave flowers when seeds are to be harvested
  • Flowers are also decorative and even edible
  • Use a clean and sharp pair of scissors for cutting
Tip: If the individual regrowing stems form brown spots on the tips, then this has no significance. This is the injury that was inflicted on the stalk before it regrown. Before consumption, these brown spots can be easily removed.


The chive can be increased by division. However, this is not only useful to obtain more plants, but also an important part of the care. So the leeks should be divided usually every three years, because if it is not regularly reduced, the stems have too little space and air and then grow less and less fine. The division should proceed as follows:
  • not during hibernation
  • otherwise the division of potted plants can be done at any time
  • Remove the leek altogether from the pot
  • Share the root ball with a sharp, clean knife
  • plant all parts individually in additional pots
Tip: Since chives should be harvested on a regular basis, as otherwise the stalks turn yellow and die off, many chive plants can experience an excess of harvest. However, the stems can be chopped and frozen in portions



In order for the plant to live long and become very old, Allium schoenoprasum has to be cultivated in the house for the winter season. Because the leek plant is hardy and should not be brought in the apartment at constant warm temperatures over the winter. So it is better if he is offered a few weeks hibernation in a cooler place so that it can drive out quickly again next year. Therefore, the hibernation for the chives should look like this:
  • Cut the chives completely
  • Use straws in the kitchen or freeze them to perfection
  • then place the pot in a bright, cool room for about two months
  • Pot can also hibernate outside, then it should be covered with mulch
  • otherwise an unheated conservatory is ideal
  • even a windowsill in a staircase can serve the hibernation
  • do not let it dry out
  • but do not pour too much
  • adjust the fertilizer over the hibernation
  • reset to the original location after the rest period
Tip: With proper care, the approximately 50 cm high chives can be up to 20 years and older, without having to change its location. So chives do not have to be sown again every year.

Care mistakes & diseases

A big problem that can occur with chives are dry and yellow leaves. These multiply very fast, but are absolutely not suitable for kitchen use. Therefore, you must act immediately at the first sign of yellowing. This can have the following different reasons:
  • Chives are too dry or too hot
  • for example, behind a window pane with long solar radiation
  • then change location or pour more frequently
  • Chives are too wet
  • it causes root rot
  • then remove plant from the earth
  • Divide all defective roots
  • then pour less
Tip: In plants cultivated in the home, fungal diseases that affect the plants due to wet summers usually do not occur.


Actually, chives are indeed planted in the garden beds to combat various pests. However, it can even be attacked by aphids, even if it has been cultivated on the windowsill in the apartment. Because the chive plants in the pot are less robust than those planted out in the garden bed. In addition, the pests often have no other alternative and sit down for this reason on the chives. To keep the stalks edible you should spray them with nettle sud. Due to the consumption, insecticides from the trade are not a good choice.
Chives are a very frugal plant that requires only regular fertilizer and watering. If it is light and warm, it can be cultivated in the home throughout the year and harvested regularly. In addition, flowering Allium schoenoprasum is also pretty to look at, the flowers are also edible and are often used in modern kitchens in a salad. Only in winter, the plant should be allowed a short rest period, in which it is not fertilized and poured only very sparingly. Afterwards, the chives are even more beautiful. A single plant can live up to 20 years and older, as it grows again and again after a big harvest.

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