Chives Turn Yellow: What To Do?

Actually, the chive is a very robust herb – only rarely the plant is attacked by pests or fungal diseases, even care errors it forgives quite quickly. With one exception: great heat and drought do not agree with the chives at all, which it indicates by a yellowing of its leaves. But do not worry: withered chives can be saved.

Schnittlauch wird gelb

Drought leads to wilting

Drought damage initially manifests itself in the form of isolated yellow stalks, which, however, quickly multiply and also turn brown and scrawny. Such withered chives can, of course, no longer be used in cooking, as they have lost their intense aroma as well as their characteristic juicy firmness. Yellow leaves usually appear in summer heat periods, as well as when especially chive plants in pots have not been sufficiently supplied with water. Chives are among the herbs that need a lot of water – the warmer it is and the sunnier the location, the thirstier the chives – and should therefore be watered regularly. Potting soil is at best always moist, but not wet. In no case should chives dry out.

Save withered chives

Fortunately, however, withered chives, unlike other plants, can be saved with a fairly simple measure: radical pruning. Cut off not only the wilted leaves, but the entire plant to about two inches above the ground. The still green stalks are great for freezing or otherwise preserving. The cut-down chives will sprout again within a few weeks, so you can harvest again in four to six weeks at the latest.

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Strengthen chives with fertilizer

Additionally, you can strengthen the plant, which has been severely weakened by the drought, by using fertilizer to stimulate its growth. Use a liquid herb or vegetable fertilizer,(15,00€ at Amazon*) preferably on biological basis, and enrich the watering water with the additional nutrients. Fertilizer in liquid form reaches the roots faster and therefore becomes effective more quickly.

Tips & Tricks
In some cases, it is not drought but, on the contrary, too much water that is to blame for the yellowing of chive leaves. Waterlogging promotes the colonization of fungi, which in turn cause root rot. Due to this, the plant can no longer adequately supply its above-ground parts and dries up. In the case of waterlogging helps only to immediately transplant the plant into fresh substrate.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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