How to Grow Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

by Yolanda Vanveen


Please view our chive growing video following the post below:




Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)  are so easy to grow and the flowers are a pretty purple that stands out in the garden! All parts of the plant are edible.  You can start chives by seed in the spring or by a root division from another plant. They grow quickly so you will have many starts in no time. To harvest the flowers or the greenery, trim them down as needed. They will grow right back. You can plant them in a container, raised bed or in the soil and you will be rewarded with pretty purple blooms and a yummy addition to salads and dishes. Chives are great mixed in with flowers, herbs and vegetables.  They can be eaten cooked or raw.  They are one of those plants you can grow and harvest from all summer long.  They are really easy.




You can start chives from seed or you can actually buy chives at the grocery store.  Many times they will have the roots along with them. You can turn around and plant them. They’re really easy to plant as long as you put them in a sunny spot with good drainage, have really good organic composted soil and make sure that you don’t give them any fertilizer because they don’t need it. Good soil is perfect. When you plant them you want to cover the roots at least a few inches deep and then have the greenery coming out. You can either plant them from seed only an inch deep or just start them from a division from another plant. You can plant them pretty much anytime of the year. Usually they are started in the fall or the spring. So you just want to cover that up at three inches deep. Kind of pat it down and you’ll have a great plant.



Chive plants



Harvest from your chive plants anytime they are growing and add the greens, flower buds as seen in the above picture or add the flowers to your dishes that easily.  and it will just keep growing more greenery. So it’s really that easy to grow chives as long as you have a sunny location and good drainage.




Chives grow from seeds or roots . They bloom in early summer and produce foliage through the first heavy freeze or year round in warm climates.


They do best in climates that go down to near freezing or freezing temperatures in the winter with mild summers.

Chives grow well in sun to part shade and take little space to grow.


Edible Flowers UK





Gardening tools-shovels, wheel barrows, clippers and scissors.


A small gardening shovel is best for planting. As they multiply, use a shovel to divide plants.


Corona Tools:
Durokon Tools:
Ace Hardware:




Chive seeds or plants, a small or large container or a garden bed with soil and good drainage.




Streambank Gardens:


Garden Harvest Supply:


There is a great deal of information about chives on the internet. According to Wikipedia:



The chive (Allium schoenoprasum) is the smallest species of the edible onions.  A perennial plant, it is native to EuropeAsia and North America.   A. schoenoprasum is the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old World.  The name of the species derives from the Greek skhoínos (sedge) and práson (leek).  Its English name, chive, derives from the French word cive, from cepa, the Latin word for onion.





Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in grocery stores or grown in home gardens. In culinary use, the scapes are diced and used as an ingredient for fishpotatoessoups, and other dishes. Chives have insect-repelling properties that can be used in gardens to control pests.


Farmers would plant chives between the rocks making up the borders of their flowerbeds, to keep the plants free from pests (such as Japanese beetles). The growing plant repels unwanted insect life, and the juice of the leaves can be used for the same purpose, as well as fighting fungal infectionsmildew and scab.  Its flowers are attractive to bees, which are important for gardens with an abundance of plants in need of pollination.



Chive flower



I found this blog post from and it is full of good chive information:


Growing Chives in the Home Garden

by Filip Tkaczyk






Growing chives is easy, fun and rewarding! Chives are in the Allium family, which includes onions and garlic. They are used as a food, medicine and to add color to a garden. Chives are an excellent choice for permaculture gardening as they make good companion plants, act as dynamic accumulators, suppress grass, act as beneficial insect attractors and have other important uses.


Getting Started


There are four commonly planted species of chives: common chives (Allium schoenoprasum), giant Siberian chives (Allium ledebourianum), Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) and Siberian garlic chives (Allium nutans). All four species are edible and have different flavors.


There are several easy ways to growing chives in your garden. Here are some ideas you can try.  The first is to purchase starts from your local nursery. The second method is to divide from existing stands of chives from your friend or friendly neighbor. This means physically separating a clump of chives off of an existing stand. Make sure you include bulbs and roots in each clump.




The third technique is to grow them from seed. Growing them from seed requires patience, as they can take up to two years to grow to full size. Don’t harvest them until at least late summer of the first year. They can be started from seed indoors, just make sure they have plenty of light. The last two methods can be used to continue to perpetuate chives in your garden without added cost.






Chives like mostly sunny locations with moist, well-drained soils. As the plants mature, the flowers die back to dry seed bearing pods. These can be cut and saved, to act as a future source of more plants. Keep them in a cool, dry location. Some species, especially garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) can spread fairly aggressively through self-seeding. If you want to control them, cut the flowers off as soon as you see them wilting.


Chive flower







When growing chives, there are several ways you can increase your harvest. One method to get more growth is once the flowers start to die back, cut the entire plant down to 2 to 3 inches. This will encourage it to put out more fresh growth. After three or four years, it is helpful to divide the plants to allow them more room to grow. During the cold season, your chives may die back to the ground. Not to worry, as the underground bulbs are still alive and will produce new growth in spring.




Chives are useful in a variety of ways and are an excellent addition to almost any garden. For example, the flowers attract beneficial insects to your garden, as well as repel some unwanted pests such as Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) and other garden pests.


Growing chives can also provide a splash of color. These plants also have medicinal properties similar to their relative, garlic. This includes being a mild stimulant, diuretic, antiseptic properties and are rich in vitamins A, C as well as iron and calcium.


If planted in an apple grove or orchard, they can help prevent apple scab. Chive tea can also be sprayed onto cucumbers and gooseberries to prevent powdery mildew and directly onto apple trees to get rid of apple scab. Chive infusion can also be sprayed onto cabbages to repel the cabbage white butterfly(Pieris rapae).



Salad platter.jpg



Culinary Uses


Chives can add flavor to many different kinds of foods. Many people are familiar with putting chives on baked potatoes. These wonderful little herbs can be used for much more. They make an excellent addition to salads – the flowers and the chopped greens can add some zest and spice. Chives are good on cottage cheese, in sandwiches, on practically any meat or fish, and are excellent in many soups. If added to a sauce, chives are best used towards the end so as to best retain their flavor. Chives are best fresh or frozen, because drying tends to lose much of their flavor.



Thanks to Wilderness College for the additional information!






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