Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Why grow chives?

Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow and their slight oniony flavour means that they go well in nearly every savory dish. 

We have several chive plants in our garden and spend the entire season (spring to autumn) adding them to stews, soups, salads, omelettes, sandwiches and stir fries. 

The leaves, bulbs & flowers are edible.

Chives are good companion plants and ward off pests and diseases to protect carrots, tomatoes, grapes and roses.

They grow well in the ground, in pots and on windowsills, so there is no excuse for not having this wonderful herb in your grow-your-own patch.

Young chives

How to grow Chives

Seeds are readily available and can be sown in spring in a pot. Once the seedlings reach around 10 cms they can be planted out.

They like sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

Treat them as cut-and-come-again crops, by cutting the leaves down to about 2 cms regularly and the chives will continue to grow all summer.

Once chives are established they will come back year after year, as they are hardy perennials.

Add plenty of well-rotted manure or compost in spring to encourage the chives to produce growth.

Chopped Chives

Every few years or so it is wise to dig up your chive bulbs and divide into clumps. Separate bulbs into groups of about 6-10 and replant in a different area/pot. This helps you to increase your number of plants and improve crop rotation.


Latin name: Allium schoenoprasum

Other Species to try: Garlic or Chinese chives – Allium tuberosum – a little slower to grow than regular chives, but have a more garlic flavour.