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Growing chives in home gardens

Quick facts

  • Chives thrive in full sun and well drained soil rich in organic matter.
  • The easiest and most successful way of growing chives is planting rooted clumps in spring, after frost danger has passed.
  • You can easily grow chives indoors in a bright, sunny location.
  • Harvest chives by snipping leaves from the base of the plant.
  • Chives are most flavorful when fresh.

The chive plant, Allium schoenoprasum, is a member of the onion family (Alliaceae). Lavender flowers, a clump-forming habit and cold hardiness make this plant an appealing garden perennial.

Its grass-like hollow leaves have a mild onion flavor and are common in salads and dips. The small puffs of flowers begin to bloom in late May or June. These are edible, and you can use them in salads and flower arrangements.

Soil pH and fertility

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Planting

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How to keep your chives healthy and productive

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Garlic chives

Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum, are a variety of chives known for their garlic flavor. This variety has flat leaves and fragrant white flowers that bloom later in the season, usually July and August. You can use it like regular chives: as a fresh or dried culinary herb, as an ornamental in the garden or in containers, and in cut flower arrangements.

Jill MacKenzie and Shirley Mah Kooyman

Reviewed in 2018

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