Chives are an easy-to-grow herb that is often called “the kitchen gardeners’ crutch.” The plant is grown for its onion-like leaves, which can be used in soups, salads, and dips. It’s also a favorite of flower gardeners because it flowers beautifully in spring. However, this perennial rarely survives the winter in some areas of the country.
If you’re wondering if chives can survive frost and how to keep them going after the first frost hits your area, read on!
Can Chives Survive Frost?
Chives are hardy perennials and will usually survive light frosts. Once the temperature drops below -10C, however, chives are likely to die. To protect your chives from frost, you should cover them with a blanket or sheet when freezing temperatures are predicted.
How Tolerant Are Chives To Cold Weather
Chives are hardy and do well in cold weather. They can tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning chives can survive a light frost.
If the temperature falls below 20 degrees for several nights in a row, your chives may not make it—so if you live in an area where the temperatures drop below freezing regularly during winter, you should consider bringing your chive plants indoors or protecting them with mulch or other coverings.
How To Protect Your Chives From Frost
If you’re interested in keeping your chives healthy and growing, but you live in an area that experiences frost and want to protect them from it, there are a few things you can do.
Mulch Your Chives With Straw Or Grass Clippings
Chives grow well in rich soil that has been enriched with compost. If your soil is heavy clay or sandy loam, it might benefit from an application of manure or other organic fertilizers before planting chives. If your soil is light and sandy, however, these amendments may cause the chives’ roots to rot.
When you’ve collected all the materials needed for mulching your chives, spread them over the soil around each clump of plants until they are completely covered. This will protect them from cold temperatures during winter months when temperatures drop below freezing point at night time but rise above freezing during the day time when sunlight warms up.
Prune Your Chives
Chives that have been allowed to grow tall over the summer may have started to flower by mid-summer. The flowers are edible, but they’re not what makes chives so tasty — it’s the leaves. You should prune any spent flowers off your plants so that the plant can put its energy into growing new leaves instead of blooming. Once you’ve pruned all of your plants, wait until spring to replant them.
Cover Them With A Layer Of Newspapers Or Burlap
This method is similar to mulching except that it protects from above instead of below. Lay down a layer of newspapers or burlap over the top of your chives, tucking them under the mulch blanket so they’re covered completely. This method won’t help keep moisture in the soil as well as mulching does, but it will keep out most pests and make it easier for you to spot any problems early.
Water Your Plants Regularly
Chives need regular water throughout the growing season so it’s important that you keep up with watering them even when it’s cold outside so that their roots stay moist and healthy throughout the winter months. If you don’t provide enough water during this time period, your chive plants may die back from lack of nutrients or freeze. This is due to their roots aren’t protected by mulch or soil insulation like they normally would be during warm weather months when moisture isn’t needed as often because rain falls more frequently than in winter.
What Temperatures Will Kill Chives?
Chives grow best when temperatures stay above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C). Temperatures below this level will result in stunted growth and browning leaves. If you live in an area that gets colder than this, you can still grow chives, but you may need to protect them from the cold with mulch or some kind of covering.
If you want to make sure your chives will survive the winter, it’s best to plant them in an area that gets a lot of sun and heat during the summertime. If planted correctly, your chives should last through most winters without any problems!
Can I overwinter Chives?
Yes, you can overwinter chives. Chives survive most winters and will grow back in spring. If you have a good supply of chives but want to keep them going all winter long, it’s easy!
Chives can be grown in pots or planted directly into the ground. They make a great addition to any garden bed or container because they’re so easy to care for and produce beautiful flowers throughout the summertime.
As long as you provide them with shelter from heavy winds and snow cover during the winter months, they should be fine through cold temperatures too!
Chives are a great herb to grow in your garden, but when it comes to frost, they will need some protection to keep them from dying. This means covering them up with a cover such as newspaper or burlap. You can also bring chives indoors to protect them from the elements.