Why is my Chive Plant Dying

Why is my Chive Plant Dying? (Here’s Why & How to Fix It!)

Chive plants dying may be caused by fungal/bacterial diseases, poor drainage, overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, excessive heat, or winter damage. If Chives are yellowing after the transplant, they are dying due to transplant shock. Check roots and growing conditions. 

The chive plant is a close relative of the onion, garlic, and shallot plants. This plant is grown indoors for its herbal properties.

Chive is used in various recipes around the world. The plant reaches a foot or two in height. Although the plant can be grown indoors, it does run into some issues.

Chive plant turning brown

Chive plants turning brown can be caused by fungal diseases, bacterial infections, excess heat, overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or winter damage. Brown spots are seen on Chives due to Botrytis Blight. Ensure proper cultural care and disease management.

Why are Chives turning brown on the tips?

Chives turn brown on the tips when they’ve been sitting in waterlogged conditions for too long. Water only when the soil feels dry up to 1/2 inch.

Chives do not like to be in waterlogged soils. Check the soil with your fingers if needed. Browning of the tips is commonly seen in Chive plants.

Botrytis Blight

Botrytis blight is a fungal disease that causes brown spots on the older leaves of Chive plants. Sometimes water-soaked spots may appear too.

This fungus turns a fuzzy gray and releases a lot of spores when you touch it. Check the plants occasionally for such symptoms.

To treat

Dispose of the infected plants/plant parts to avoid infecting other plants. Try to increase the air circulation around your Chives.

Get rid of the organic mulch if you have any as it can harbor the spores of the fungus. If it’s summer and you want to use mulch, use pea gravel as it doesn’t harbor spores.

Chives turning yellow

Chives turning yellow can indicate nitrogen deficiency, soggy soil, fungal diseases like rust, or the natural senescence of older leaves. Fertilize appropriately and improve drainage.

Why are Chives turning yellow after transplanting?

Chives turning yellow after transplanting can indicate transplant shock. Allow plants time to establish roots and recover before resuming watering and fertilizing.

Chives also turn yellow if you somehow damaged the roots of the plant while you’re transplanting. Transplanting Chives in unfavorable conditions causes foliage yellowing too.

Chives should usually recover in weeks after the transplant, if they haven’t recovered then they probably aren’t fond of the new growing conditions.

Why are the tips of my Chives turning yellow?

Tips of Chives turn yellow as they grow old. This is completely natural and you might want to cut off such chives to promote new, healthy growth.

If Chives turn yellow completely maybe it’s time to trim them off entirely. Throw these chives into the compost bin.

Black bugs on Chives

The black bugs you see on Chives are Black Aphids. They are the common pests of Chives.

Black Aphid infestations also cause leaf yellowing. Black Aphids suck the sap from the plant and cause great damage to your Chives.

You can get rid of these by cutting off the leaves that are infested with these aphids. This method is effective when there is a low population of aphids.

How to get rid of Black Aphids on your Chives

Here’s a homemade solution that you can spray on your Chives to get rid of those pesky Black Aphids.


  • 2 drops of dishwashing detergent
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil (any kind)
  • 1 tsp. Epsom salt
  • 1 24 oz. spray bottle


Mix all of these ingredients in the 24 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest of this bottle with water, and shake it well. Now you are ready to go!

I noticed that after one spray the Black Aphids disappeared!

Chives turning white

Chive leaves turn white due to Powdery mildew, a fungal disease. A powdery layer forms on the Chives that are infected with this disease.

Chives become vulnerable to this disease when the leaves are moist for a long time.

So, try not to wet the Chives when you’re watering. Water your Chives at the bottom of the plant to avoid running into this issue.

Chives infected by this disease fail to absorb adequate sunlight and thus, fail to assimilate the needed amount of carbohydrates.

To fix

Cut off the infected parts of the plant and increase the air circulation around the plant. Try to decrease the humidity in the room.

Why are my Chives so thin?

Thin chives may be caused by insufficient sunlight, overcrowding, excess nitrogen, or water stress. Provide full sun and adequate spacing, water, and balanced fertilization for healthy growth.

Such Chives can be brought back to life by careful pruning. Chives are hardy enough to take a good pruning.

Prune your Chives and make sure they are in optimal conditions viz., adequate sunlight and temperatures. If you give your Chives these conditions they should bounce back.

Why are my Chives not growing?

Chives fail to grow properly due to overcrowding, insufficient sunlight, poor drainage, or under-fertilization. Provide full sun, divide clumps, improve drainage, and fertilize appropriately.

Thrips are only about 1mm in size. They appear as black specks on the edible leaves of your Chives. Use a magnifying glass to confirm their presence.

The easier way to confirm their presence is by shaking the Chives on a white sheet of paper. If there indeed is a thrip infestation, you’ll see those bugs on the sheet of paper.

How to get rid of thrips on Chives?

  • Set up insect traps around your Chives. Get rid of these traps once enough insects are trapped.
  • Spray organic neem oil if you want to get rid of thrips efficiently.
  • If the infestation is severe you can spray organic insecticides.

Chives not flowering?

Chives may not flower due to overfertilization, inadequate sunlight, damage to roots or crowns, or planting immature divisions. Let the soil dry between waterings, increase sunlight, and plant mature divisions for best flowering.

Chives don’t flower till late August/September, so don’t panic early. Give your Chives some time. Some chives are a later-blooming variety.

If your Chives leaves are somewhat flatter than usual and have a garlic smell to them then they are a later-blooming variety.

How do you get chives to flower?

Get a cultivar of Chives that is proven to blossom. This is the only way to make sure your Chives will flower.

When you harvest your Chives make sure you cut them back to 1/2 inches from the ground. In the first year do this 3/4 times.

Why do Chives keep falling over/snapping?

Chives falling over can be caused by overwatering, heavy rains, excessive nitrogen fertilization, or damage from pests/disease. Improve drainage, reduce watering, moderate fertilization, and treat pest/disease issues promptly.


Excess watering suffocates the roots inhibiting the absorption of water, minerals, and oxygen. The exchange of gases fails to work properly too.

Veins of the leaves turn darker and the leaves turn yellow in color. Chives’ edible leaves turn yellow but are soft to the touch, not dry.

Water only when the soil is dry up to 1/2 of an inch. Check the soil with your fingers if needed.


Underwatering is not as harmful to your Chives as overwatering. Underwatered Chives can recover if you water them regularly.

Underwatered Chives droop and turn yellow. They may turn yellow but are dry to the touch because of the lack of moisture in the leaves.

It is hard to distinguish between an underwatered/overwatered plant. You can test the soil quickly with your finger/toothpick.

How often should you water chives?

A good rule of thumb is to water your Chives when the soil is dry up to an inch (or half-inch). Test your soil with a finger/toothpick.

You need to water your Chives abundantly when they are in the growing stage.

Happy Growing 🙂