Chives are an easy-to-grow perennial herb that can be used in a variety of recipes, while also offering medicinal benefits and a bit of decorative appeal.

Check out all our chives varieties: Garlic Chives Seed, Chives Seed

Chives Uses

Chives Uses

Chives are not only a delicious culinary herb, they add ornamental interest to the garden and are a great addition to cut flower bouquets. They’re also useful for controlling soil erosion.

Chives are among a group of herbs that repel insect pests in the garden. Chives repel aphids, Japanese beetles, and carrot flies. Like most herbs, chives can be frozen or dried for later use in a variety of applications but they won’t be as good as they are when fresh.

Chives are also reported to have medicinal benefits including the relief of various digestive problems. Allegedly, they have antibacterial qualities which can help ward-off the effects of any dangerous bacteria in the food we eat. They also reportedly lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while boosting the immune system.

Interesting Facts About Chives Plants

Fact 1
Chives—Allium schoenoprasum—are among the world’s most ubiquitous herbs. Originally native to India and China, chives were first cultivated in Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, they’re wide grown throughout the world. There is an Asian variety called Chinese chives, garlic chives or kuchai.
Fact 2
Chives are members of the lily family which also includes onions, garlic, and leeks. Don’t substitute fresh chives in recipes calling for dried chives as the taste won’t be the same. Chives are delicate and taste better when handled carefully: snip them with scissors rather than chopping them and don’t subject them to much cooking.

Chives Gardening Tips

Difficulty
Difficulty

Easiest.

Sun
Sun

Full sun or partial shade in hot climates.

Water
Water

While mature chive plants are drought tolerant, freshly-planted seeds and newly established plants should receive gentle, regular watering to keep them consistently moist but not soaking wet.

Soil
Soil

Well-drained, enriched soil is best though they will grow almost anywhere. For best results starting seeds, soil should be 65°F.

Air
Air

Once established, chives will tolerate a wide range of temperatures even those that dip below zero.

Timing
Timing

Start chive seeds indoors about 8-10 weeks before your last anticipated spring frost or direct seed outdoors after the threat of frost has passed.

Planting
Planting

Plant seeds ¼-½ inches deep, tamp down soil and gently sprinkle with water. Thin and space according to seed packet instructions.

Germination
Germination

7—10 days.

Time to Harvest
Time to Harvest

Seeding to maturity generally takes 90 days or so.

Feeding
Feeding

Chives are not greedy consumers and don’t need to be fed.

Mulch
Mulch

Add mulch as the seedlings develop to retain moisture and discourage weeds.

Pests & Diseases
Pests & Diseases

Chives are hearty plants not susceptible to pests or disease.

Special Considerations
Special Considerations

As noted above, you will need to divide your vigorous-growing chives every couple of years to keep them under control.

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Chives are a helpful companion to a number of other vegetable plants including: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, mustard, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. The taste of your carrots will be particularly enhanced by the proximity of chives.

Container-Friendly
Container-Friendly

Yes! Chives look great in containers either alone or with flowers.

Harvesting Chives

Harvesting To harvest chives, snip the shoots close to the ground, several times a season. Note that if you snip the tips of the shoots, the stalks will become tough.

Growing Chives—Highlights

  • Chives are among the easiest perennial herbs to grow, requiring very little care and maintenance.
  • A grassy-flavored herb, with a mild onion flavor, chives are delicious as a flavor-enhancing-garnish in a wide variety of fresh and cooked food and sauces.
  • Their attractive light-purple flowers—which are edible—attract bees.
  • Chives are prolific growers which means you’ll probably want to divide them every few years to avoid having them take over.
  • Chives are packed with a number of important nutrients including vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, iron, calcium, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.

Here at Bentley Seeds, we want to set you up for success. Our growing guides are designed to give you all the information you'll need to start growing from seed, in an easy-to-digest format.

We also encourage you to print out a copy as a handy reference in your garden.