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Living chives question

Hello

What's the difference between living chives and the other chives? I bought chive pot from a garden centre - it had a photo on it which showed a purple flower. Then I bought another small pot from a supermarket - it was called 'living' chives. On the label for latter it said treat like a houseplant. So I put the garden centre ones outside, hoping they'll flower and also hoping they keep bugs away from the roses and dahlias (read this somewhere - we shall see!!?), and the other into a terracotta pot on the window sill. The Living chives are thicker. Can you eat both? With the living will it come back after I pick it for cooking? Sorry for the basic question, it's just that I have never had chives.

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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016

    As far as I know there are the ordinary purple flowered chives, the finer white flowered chives and garlic chives.   I suspect "living" chives is just describing a plant with roots that can be cut and come again as opposed to ready cut chive leaves sold in small bunches or punnets in supermarkets.

    They can be grown in pots or window boxes or in beds and, as you thought, are good companions for roses.   The purple ones are prolific spreaders and self seeders and make great edging plants for veggie beds or paths.  The flowers of all three kinds can be eaten raw in salads along with the snipped leaves.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • iceice Posts: 332

    My chives flower purple. Originally they were supermarket chives reduced to 20p. They need potting on and hardening off before you consider planting out..

  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 975

    Thank you. I didn't pot anything on as it was established. With reference to the purple flower ones - they were extremely rootbound. I tried to loosen it with fingers but couldn't so used scissors to loosen before putting in ground. It hasn't flopped and looks fine.

    Thanks for the clarification about living chives. These were completely different. Not rootbound - in fact when I repotted it, it all fell away very loosely. Managed to get it in the pot and it's all standing up now. I just wonder if I use a handful, will it come back? I have always wondered this, that's why I never ventured into growing herbs. Same question for things like coriander or mint. Have some of the latter but hardly use it. If you pick them, do they just keep coming back all year round on the plant?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016

    Yes.   Just snip off the stems you need and they'll regrow.   Mint is a perennial and will last forever - do not plant it in the ground as it will take over the entire border!  

    Coriander is an annual and needs replacing regularly but you can cut and come again like parsley while it's going strong.   Eventually it will want to flower and set seed.  If you let it do this you'll get volunteer coriander coming up in the garden but you can cut off or eat the flowers if you don't want that.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,691

    You should be able to increase the chives from year to year by dividing the clumps so that you will eventually have a garden full of the things. The flowers are a great draw for insects.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860

    I've grown chives for years. They're great just as an ornamental in the border as the bees love them, and I just snip them when I want to use them. Cut the stems right at the base, and new ones will grow. They start into growth early too, and I'm still picking them in autumn.  They're also happy with some shade, so it's handy if you have a shadier garden and can't grow some of the other sun loving herbs. 

    A really useful plant  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 975

    Ceres - what type of insects? If it's bees, worms or ladybirds fine. If it's beetles and the like oh dear!

    Fairygirl - thanks. This is confusing to me. I always thought that bees went for sweet smelling flowers with open centres. So I was wondering if planting the chives would repel birds and bees. But as long as it repels slugs, snails and aphids I don't mind!

    I wish I understood things.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016

    The smell of onions and garlic deters aphids hence the advice to plant them with roses to confuse the pests.   I grow ornamental alliums near my roses but the best treatment for aphids are birds and hoverflies and ladybirds which hoover them up by the thousand so I put out bird feeders near my roses to attract the birds to feed the aphids to their chicks and other flowers to attract the hoverflies.

    Slugs and snails can, apparently, be put off eating our treasures if they are sprayed with an infusion of garlic in water.  I have never tried it as I don't want a garlic smelling garden and, besides, it doesn't work in wet weather which washes it off. 

    I just use wildlife friendly slug pellets around the most susceptible plants and leave the rest to get to get on with it.   When I find a slug in my treasures I lob it into the road to be splatted by traffic.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 975

    Haha! Yes I was wonderign about the garlic solution, because I read it is good for lily beetles. But then I thought do I really want a garden smelling of garlic. !! Plus as you say all this rain (well in UK).

    What plants attract hoverflies? I don't know where all ladybirds have gone. There are none in my garden. I wonder how to get them. Is there any way to increase the ladybirds?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016

    They come for the aphids as, like hoverflies, their larvae eat them.  Try the RHS for a list of plants to attract pollinators - https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/perfect-for-pollinators 

    Hoverflies are pollinators and are attracted to plants with nectar and pollen so you need to plant simple, rather than double forms of flowers which you will find on the list.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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