How to Grow Chives
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
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 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.
Chives are high in vitamin C.
Other Gardening Resources:
How to Dry Herbs