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How to Grow Chives

chive, chives herb plant, images, picture,

Perennial, Allium Shoenoprasum

Without a doubt, Chives are the absolute easiest herb to grow. Chives might be the easiest plant to grow, period. Indoors or outdoors, chives are a gardeners' favorite. Once you plant this perennial herb, you've got Chives forever!

Chives are native to Siberia and Southeast Asia. Folks over there could not keep this wonderful herb a secret. As a result, chive plants are commonly grown by millions of home gardeners. A member of the onion family, Chive herb plants have narrow, tubular leaves that are delicious snipped fresh into any dish where onions are used. If you let them grow, they will produce pretty lavender blooms, and be right at home in a flower garden. Hardy plants need little care outdoors, and just a little love indoors.

There are two types of chives. The first and most popular has a mild, onion-like flavor. Garlic Chives have a slightly stronger, garlic flavor.

Growing just 6-10 inches, chives are perfect in window boxes or patio containers. It's cousin, Garlic Chives, grows a little bigger , about 12 to 40 inches, and has a white flower.

Chives are a great, edible houseplant. Grow chives all winter in a sunny window, and harvest them as needed.

Popular Varieties: Chives, Garlic Chives


Grow Chives from seed. Try starting Chive plants indoors at least six weeks before you want to set them out. Start Chive seeds in the winter, and you get to enjoy your first cutting long before you set them out into the garden.

You can also sow Chive seeds directly into your garden.

Once your chives are well established, they can be separated by division.

Days to Germination: 10-14

How to Grow Chives:

chive, chives, herb, plant, plants, image, pictures

Chive plants prefer full sun, but tolerate a fair amount of shade. Almost any soil will do. It is best if the soil is well drained soil. They will do well in average soils and tolerate dry soil conditions. Water them during dry periods, if they start to wilt. In most cases you will not need to add fertilizer, but it won't hurt if you add some once or twice a year.

For indoor plants, use liquid fertilizer every four to six weeks.

Harvest Chives, as needed. We recommend cutting the plants back, if they reach six inches tall, as  mature stems get woody. Cutting back plants promotes tender, new growth.

Tip: Grow Chives in a flower bed next to the back door. These hardy perennials can still be harvested long after frost, and very early in spring.

Growing Chives Indoors:

Transplant chives into an indoor pot or container, about six weeks before the first frost. Or, start new plants in containers.

Bring plants indoors, and keep them in a sunny window.

Keep soil moist.

Add a liquid fertilizer once a month. Or, use indoor fertilizer spikes.

You can harvest them all winter long.

Main Cooking Uses:

Chives shine in the kitchen. Use them in salads, soups (chives in tomato or potato soups are great!), in tuna fish, baked potatoes with sour cream, cream cheese(on bagels), Mexican dishes, and wherever you would use onions.

Medicinal Applications:

Chives are high in vitamin C.

Other Gardening Resources:

How to Dry Herbs

How to Grow Herbs:
Balm Lemon

Chinese Parsley


Corn Salad / Mache


St. John's Wort

Drying Herbs

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