Chives (Allium schoenoprasum), with their delicate onion flavor, are a popular herb to grow in gardens or even in containers.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, cultivating chives can be a rewarding experience.

In this blog post, we will explore the basics of growing chives and provide you with useful tips to ensure a successful chive harvest.

So, let’s dive right in and learn how to grow chives!

Annual Vegetative Calendar for Chives

Chives, with their delicate onion flavor and attractive purple flowers, are a must-have in any kitchen garden. Easy to grow and perennial in many climates, they provide a steady supply of fresh herbs.

Let’s dive into the annual vegetative calendar for chives to ensure a bountiful harvest.

Spring

MonthTasksDescription
MarchPlantingStart seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost, or prepare to sow directly outdoors in well-draining soil.
Soil PreparationAmend garden beds with compost to enrich the soil before transplanting or direct sowing.
AprilTransplantingTransplant seedlings outdoors when the soil is workable and the threat of frost has passed.
Direct SowingSow seeds directly in the garden if not started indoors.
MayWateringBegin regular watering as the weather warms, keeping the soil consistently moist.

Summer

MonthTasksDescription
JuneHarvestingStart harvesting chive leaves as needed by cutting them about 2 inches above the base.
JulyContinuous CareContinue watering and weeding. Apply a light mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
AugustFertilizationApply a balanced, liquid fertilizer if growth seems slow, especially in poorer soils.

Fall

MonthTasksDescription
SeptemberAdditional PlantingPlant more chives for a late fall harvest, if the climate allows.
OctoberPreparing for WinterIn colder regions, mulch heavily around the chive plants to protect them over the winter.
NovemberLast HarvestHarvest any remaining chive leaves before the first hard freeze, if they are still viable.

Winter

MonthTasksDescription
DecemberRest PeriodAllow chive plants to rest and go dormant. In milder climates, they may continue to grow slowly.
JanuaryPlanningPlan for the next growing season. Order seeds if needed and plan garden space.
FebruaryEarly StartIn warmer climates or with indoor setups, start seeds indoors for an early spring transplant.

Caring for chives involves minimal maintenance, making them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. By following this vegetative calendar, you can enjoy fresh chives from early spring through late fall, and even year-round in milder climates.

Adjust planting and care schedules based on your specific climate zone and weather conditions to ensure the best results.

How to Grow Chives Plants

Looking to add a punch of flavor to your home-cooked meals?

Perhaps it’s time to delve into the world of herb gardening, and there’s no better place to start than with chives.

Chives, those slender green sprigs with a mild oniony flavor, can bring a fresh, zesty touch to your dishes.

Growing chives isn’t just for master gardeners, it’s for anyone who wants a sprinkle of gourmet right in their kitchen garden.

So, if you’re ready to dabble your green fingers into the world of herbs, here are some pointers to get your chives journey started:

  • Choosing the variety: There are two common varieties of chives: Common Chives, with their onion flavor, and Garlic Chives, known for their garlic taste. Depending on your culinary needs, you can choose the variety that suits your palate.
  • Starting the seeds: Chives can be easily started from seeds. They can be sown indoors around 8-10 weeks before the last spring frost date. Make sure to place the seeds about a quarter inch deep in seed-starting mix.
  • The sunlight factor: Chives plants love the sun. They require full sun exposure for optimal growth, so ensure your plants get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.
  • Watering needs: These hardy plants prefer well-drained soil, so be careful not to overwater. However, during the growing season, chives do appreciate consistent moisture.
  • Fertilizing the plants: A slow-release granular fertilizer applied in spring can provide the necessary nutrients for the chives to thrive.
  • Pruning tips: Regular trimming encourages growth and maintains the plant’s health. Cut the chives about two inches from the ground to stimulate new growth.
  • Harvesting time: Once the chives are about 6 inches tall, they are ready to be harvested. Use scissors to cut the leaves from the base.

Where to Grow Chives

Got your chives seeds and can’t wait to plant them? Before you do, let’s talk location.

Because believe it or not, where you plant your chives can make a significant difference in their growth and productivity.

So, if you’re thinking of growing these charming green sprigs and are a bit stumped about where to plant them, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Outdoor Garden: If you have an outdoor garden, consider planting chives there. They grow well in flower beds, vegetable gardens, and herb gardens. Their beautiful, pom-pom-like purple flowers add a lovely aesthetic touch to the garden.
  • Containers: Chives do exceptionally well in pots and containers. This makes them a great choice for those with limited gardening space or for people who prefer to have their herbs close at hand in the kitchen.
  • Windowsills: A sunny windowsill can be a perfect home for chives, especially during the colder months. These plants love sunlight, and a south-facing windowsill can provide them with the required light exposure.
  • Raised Beds: Chives thrive in raised beds. The elevated soil warms up faster in spring, giving your chives a head start on the growing season.
  • Companion planting: Chives are great companion plants. They can be planted near carrots, tomatoes, and roses to help deter pests.
  • Indoor herb garden: If you have an indoor herb garden, chives can be a great addition. They grow well indoors and their slender, dark green leaves add a lovely contrast to other herbs.

Remember, no matter where you choose to plant your chives, ensuring they get plenty of sunlight and are planted in well-drained soil will help them thrive.

How to Plant Chives Plants

Chives, the smallest species of the edible onions, are a perennial plant that offer a plethora of benefits for your garden.

Not only do they add a delicate flavor to culinary dishes, they also have a stunning aesthetic appeal with their bright green stems and lavender flowers.

Let’s learn how to plant chives.

  • Location selection: Choose a location that gets full sun for at least six hours each day. While chives can tolerate partial shade, they prefer sunny conditions.
  • Soil preparation: Make sure your soil is well-draining. Chives prefer soil that’s rich in organic matter. Add compost or a slow-release fertilizer before planting to enhance soil fertility.
  • Planting time: Chives can be planted in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked.
  • Planting procedure: Sow the seeds lightly, covering with a fine layer of soil. The seeds should be spaced about 8-10 inches apart to give room for mature plants.
  • Watering needs: Water the newly sown seeds until the soil is moist, not waterlogged.

How to Care for Chives

Once you have successfully planted your chives, maintaining their health and growth becomes the next priority.

Chives are generally hardy and easy to care for, but they do require some attention to flourish. Let’s delve into the steps to care for chives.

  • Watering requirements: Chives like their soil to be consistently moist, so regular watering is necessary. However, avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.
  • Fertilizing needs: Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in the spring to promote vigorous growth.
  • Harvesting method: Harvest chives 30 days after you transplant them or 60 days after seeding. Always leave at least 2 inches of growth so plants can regrow.
  • Pest and disease control: Chives are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, regular inspection for common garden pests like aphids and thrips is necessary. Remove affected parts immediately if you spot any disease.
  • Winter care: In colder regions, chives will go dormant in the winter. Cut back the foliage and add a layer of mulch for winter protection.

Remember, like any plant, chives have their own unique set of requirements. Respect their needs and they will reward you with their aromatic presence.

How to Prune Chives Plants

Every gardener knows that pruning is one of the most important things you can do for the health and productivity of your plants.

And when it comes to chives, these tasty, ornamental herbs are no exception.

Pruning isn’t just about making your plant look good, it’s also about improving its vitality, encouraging fresh growth, and enhancing its flavor.

So grab your shears, because it’s time to give your chives a much-needed haircut.

  • Timing is key: The best time to prune chives is after they have flowered. By removing the spent blooms, you encourage new growth and keep the plant looking fresh.
  • Remove the flowers: Deadheading, or removing the flowers, prevents chives from spreading all over your garden. The flowers are edible, but if left unchecked, they can lead to a chive takeover.
  • Cut at the base: When you’re ready to prune, always cut the stems right at the base. This encourages new growth and helps to maintain the plant’s tidy, clump-like appearance.
  • Regular trimming: It’s a good idea to regularly trim your chives, even if they haven’t bloomed yet. This encourages a continuous supply of tender, flavorful leaves.
  • Don’t be afraid to be harsh: It might seem harsh, but you can cut your chives back to about an inch above the ground. They’re tough and will bounce back quickly.
  • Maintain your tools: Make sure your pruning shears are sharp and clean. This not only makes your job easier but also prevents the spread of disease.
  • Rejuvenate your plant: Every few years, consider dividing your chive plant to rejuvenate it. This is a form of pruning that helps the plant grow more vigorously.

How to Propagate Chives

Chives are a gardener’s dream when it comes to propagation. With their robust nature and uncomplicated requirements, these perennial herbs offer an easy entry into the world of plant multiplication.

So whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or a novice in the garden, you’ll find that propagating chives can be as simple as pie.

  • Division is the simplest method: The most straightforward way to propagate chives is by division. Every few years, you can divide your mature chive plant into smaller clumps and replant them.
  • Spring or fall is best: The best time for division is in the spring or the fall. During these seasons, the plant is in a dormant state, and it will better tolerate the process.
  • Choose healthy plants: Always use healthy, vigorous plants for propagation. This will increase the chances of successful growth and establishment.
  • Prepare your soil: Chives like well-drained soil, so make sure your chosen spot or pot has good drainage.
  • Proper spacing: When you replant your divided chives, give them plenty of space. Each new clump should be planted at least 8 to 12 inches apart.
  • Water thoroughly: After replanting, water your new chives thoroughly and keep the soil moist as they establish.

Pests and Diseases

Chives are not just a delicious addition to your dishes; they are also a tough plant resistant to many common pests and diseases.

But that doesn’t mean they are invincible. Like all plants, chives can occasionally encounter problems, and it’s good to know what to look out for and how to fix it.

  • Beware of black bugs: If you see small black bugs on your chives, they might be aphids. These pests suck the sap from the leaves, which can stunt the plant’s growth. A strong water spray can often dislodge them.
  • Keep an eye out for powdery mildew: Chives can sometimes be affected by a fungal disease known as powdery mildew. This appears as a white powdery coating on the leaves. If you notice this, remove and dispose of the affected leaves and make sure the remaining plants have good air circulation to prevent further infection.
  • Watch for rust: Another fungal disease, rust, can also be a problem. It appears as orange or red spots on the leaves. Again, remove and dispose of affected leaves, and consider a fungicide if the problem persists.
  • Thrips can be troublesome: Thrips are tiny insects that can cause damage to chives. You’ll notice silvery patches on the leaves if you have a thrip problem. Insecticidal soap or neem oil can be effective at controlling these pests.
  • Prevention is key: As with most plants, keeping your chives healthy and stress-free is the best way to prevent most pests and diseases. This includes providing them with plenty of sunlight, the right soil conditions, and the appropriate amount of water.

Chives are a wonderful addition to any garden or kitchen. They’re relatively easy to grow, require minimal maintenance, and have many culinary uses.

As long as you keep an eye on potential pests and diseases and regularly prune and propagate your plants, you can expect to enjoy your chives for many years to come.

Advice On Buying Chives Plants

Chives, a member of the onion family, are easy-to-grow herbs that lend a subtly sweet, onion-like flavor to a wide variety of dishes.

They not only serve culinary purposes but also add a hint of decorative aesthetics to your garden or kitchen. Here’s some advice to bear in mind when you are in the market for chives plants.

  • Understand the plant: Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) form clumps of tiny bulbs that sprout cylindrical leaves. The leaves can be harvested from spring to autumn and will re-sprout every spring after dying down over winter.
  • Choose the right time: Chives can be bought and planted at any time of the year but spring planting will give them a full growing season to establish themselves.
  • Young plants or seeds: You can buy young chives plants or raise them from seed. If you choose to start from seeds, be prepared that it may take a little longer for the plants to establish.
  • Check the plant’s health: When buying chives, ensure the plants are free from any signs of disease or pest damage. Healthy chives plants should have a vibrant green color and firm leaves.
  • Know your space: Chives can be grown in the ground or in containers. If you’re planning to grow in a container, ensure it has adequate drainage as chives don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil.
  • Consider propagation: Chives multiply easily, so even if you start with a few plants, you can divide them every few years to make new ones.

Where to Buy Chives Plants Online

In this digital age, purchasing plants online has never been easier. Buying chives plants online gives you the advantage of a wide variety, easy access, and the comfort of having them delivered to your doorstep.

Here’s where you can look online for your next chives plants purchase.

  • Online gardening stores: Many gardening stores have an online presence where you can browse and buy a variety of plants, including chives.
  • General online retailers: Websites like Amazon and eBay also sell chives plants or seeds.
  • Specialist herb sellers: There are online stores dedicated to selling herbs. These stores often have a wide variety of chives plants and seeds.
  • Nursery websites: Some local nurseries have websites where you can order plants for home delivery or pickup.
  • Online farmer’s markets: Websites like Etsy have sections dedicated to plants and seeds, where you can buy chives directly from growers.

Chives Varieties to Grow

There are a few different varieties of chives that you can consider growing in your garden or kitchen. Each has its unique properties and uses.

Here’s a list of some popular chives varieties to consider.

  • Common Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): This is the most widely available variety, with thin, round leaves that have a mild onion flavor.
  • Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum): Also known as Chinese chives, these have a flat leaf and a mild garlic flavor.
  • Giant Siberian Chives (Allium ledebourianum): This variety has broader leaves and a stronger flavor. It is also more cold-tolerant than the common chives.
  • Pink Chives (Allium schoenoprasum ‘Forescate’): This variety is similar to common chives but produces pink flowers.
  • White Chives (Allium schoenoprasum ‘Album’): This variety also produces white flowers, adding a different aesthetic appeal to your garden.
  • Siberian Garlic Chives (Allium nutans): This variety is also more cold-tolerant and has a milder flavor compared to regular garlic chives.
  • Staro Chives (Allium schoenoprasum ‘Staro’): This variety is known for its compact growth and uniform foliage, making it suitable for smaller gardens or container planting.

Remember to choose chives varieties that best suit your culinary preferences and growing conditions. Whether you opt for the common chives, garlic chives, or any other variety, they will surely add flavor and beauty to your garden or herb collection.

Please note that availability of chives varieties may vary depending on your location and the sources you choose to purchase from.

Consider local nurseries, online seed catalogs, or herb specialists to find the specific chives varieties you’re interested in.

FAQs

What type of soil is best for Chives?

Chives grow best in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. They can tolerate a variety of soil types, including sandy and loamy soils. The soil pH should ideally be between 6.0 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral. Good drainage is important to prevent waterlogging, as Chives are susceptible to root rot. If your soil is heavy or compacted, you can improve drainage by adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to the soil.

How much sunlight do Chives need?

Chives require full sun to grow and produce abundant leaves. They should be planted in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Adequate sunlight is essential for the plant’s growth and the development of flavorful leaves.

When should I plant Chives?

Chives can be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. It is important to avoid planting Chives during extreme weather conditions, such as very hot or freezing temperatures. In warmer climates, Chives can also be planted in the fall for winter growth.

How do I plant Chives?

Start by preparing the soil by loosening it and removing any weeds or debris. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the Chive plant. Place the plant in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the plant. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil and provide moisture to the roots. Mulching around the base of the plant with a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, can help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth.

How often should I water Chives?

Chives require regular watering, especially during dry periods. While they are not very drought-tolerant, they also don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil. Water the plants deeply, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist, but not overly saturated. Mulching around the base of the plant can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

Do Chives require fertilization?

Chives generally do not require heavy fertilization if the soil is already rich in organic matter. However, you can apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer or compost in early spring to provide some additional nutrients. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flavor. It is always a good idea to conduct a soil test to determine if any specific nutrient deficiencies need to be addressed.

Can Chives be grown in containers?

Yes, Chives can be grown in containers, making them suitable for small gardens or balconies. Choose a container that is at least 6 inches deep and has drainage holes. Fill the container with a well-draining potting mix and plant the Chives. Place the container in a location that receives full sun and water regularly, as containers tend to dry out more quickly than garden beds. Ensure that the container has good drainage to prevent waterlogging.

Are there different varieties of Chives?

Yes, there are different varieties of Chives available, each with its own characteristics and leaf flavors. Some popular Chive varieties for home gardens include Common Chives, Garlic Chives, and Siberian Chives. Each variety has its own unique growing requirements and flavor profiles. Choose a variety that suits your preferences and growing conditions.

Are there any pests or diseases that affect Chives?

Chives are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can occasionally be affected by pests such as aphids, thrips, and onion maggots. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of infestation or disease and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or fungicides, if necessary.

How do I care for Chives after planting?

Once Chives are established, they require minimal care. Remove any dead or damaged leaves to maintain a tidy appearance and prevent disease. Mulching around the base of the plant with a layer of organic mulch can help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. Chives are generally hardy plants, but it is still important to monitor for any signs of issues and take appropriate action if necessary. Harvest the leaves regularly by snipping them from the base of the plant to encourage continuous growth and flavor.

Additional Resources

These additional resources provide valuable information and tips on how to grow and care for chives.

We hope you find these articles helpful in your chive-growing journey!