Cut leaves for salads, potatoes, soups.
Days To Maturity
Direct Sow/Indoor Sow
Plant Shipping Information
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Chives may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost or sown directly in the garden.
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow chives seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the average last frost date in spring using a seed starting kit.
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days
- As soon as the seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill, or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Sowing Directly in the Garden:
- Direct sow in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost. In frost free areas sow from fall to early spring.
- Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inches of fine soil.
- Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days.
- Thin to 3 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun where water drains quickly after a rainfall.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball, if tight, with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Do not allow plants to dry out, but never let the soil stay wet.
- Sow outdoors in spring after the average last frost date.
- Sow in average soil in full sun.
- Sow seeds thinly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
- Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge7-14 days.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant's stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Cut leaves to the ground after blooming to encourage the production of fresh new leaves.
- For garlic chives, pinch off spent flowers in fall to prevent rampant self-sowing.
- Divide clumps every 3 to 4 years to keep them vigorous.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Harvest the leaves by clipping them back to 1 inch above the ground; new leaves will emerge.
- Add fresh leaves to salads, soups, cream cheese, butter, or sandwiches.
- Sprinkle the florets on salads.
- The leaves and flowers also make flavorful vinegars. Try adding the pink-lavender blooms to white vinegar—they will give it a light onion flavor and a beautiful pink color.
- After garlic chives plants flower, the attractive seed heads may be harvested and used in herbal wreaths and arrangements.
- Include garlic chives in perennial borders, herb gardens, vegetable and containers, indoors and out.
SunFull SunDays To Maturity80-90 daysLife CyclePerennialHeight12-18 inchesSpread3-4 inchesAdditional UsesContainer PlantSow MethodDirect Sow/Indoor SowPlanting TimeFall, SpringThin3 inches
Chives, Common is rated out of 5 by 10.Rated 5 out of 5 by sunflowerlover from Nice! Awesome chives! They are very tasty in my recipes, and definitely add a kick. They are performing greatly, even in the unseasoned 20s in Virginia! I would highly recommend these chives to anybody else.Date published: 2014-11-27Rated 5 out of 5 by irelamanda from Great and Full of Flavor These have been in my garden for the past 5 years. They come back each year after winter with beautiful purple blossoms. The blossoms are great to use in spaghetti sauces, salads and anything else that you may like a onion flavor with. I use them in taco meat and soups!Date published: 2014-08-29Rated 4 out of 5 by MonkeyGardens from Slow starting, but once they get going....Wow! I started my chives in a container this year so I could being them inside to enjoy over the winter. They started out a bit slowly, but they've really picked up the pace! I think next year, they may get an official spot in the garden! I can't wait for flowers, as I love that peppery taste in a salad!Date published: 2014-05-28Rated 5 out of 5 by ConcreteyardGardener from very reliable and cold-hardy Since starting it from a little seed this plant comes back strong and reliable every year. This year, it started coming up in early March. Now, by late March it is already 6-inches high and a healthy green. Meanwhile, it's only about 30 deg F outside. Chives are a staple for any herb garden. I only wish I could find more ways to use it!Date published: 2011-03-28Rated 5 out of 5 by TheHappyGardener from Performs Consistently Every Year!! I grow these every year in a raised bed where I also grow onions, shallots, garlic and scallions. These perform consistently every year for me and they just love to be clipped and used as often as possible. They come back over and over as long there is plenty of sun & warmth. Likes moist rich soil but which drains good. Fortify soil with bone meal, blood meal and good 10-10-10 slow release fertilizer. A bag of composted manure mixed into the soil where these will grow will add to their sweetness. Don't ask me why, but when I add composted cow manure to the soil where I grow chives, onions, garlic, shallots and scallions they are extra sweet and give up bigger yields!Date published: 2010-10-15Rated 5 out of 5 by Peapicker from Bountiful chives One of my earliest memories was heeding my Mother's request to reach off the backdoor step to grab a fistful of chives to top our cottage cheese. No amount of abuse would kill that clump. Trying to replicate the experience for my grandson, we set out to plant "a few" chives. It was not my most graceful day in the garden... I tipped over the packet of seeds and easily half of the contents landed in the soil. I removed what I could, and since the spill was at the base of the spigot, they received nothing more than drips and splashes. Nevertheless, I was potting up and giving away seedlings all Spring. Now, 5 years later, I have a perennial/reseeded clump of chives, plus volunteers throughout the garden. It's not possible to miss with chives, planted intentionally or otherwise. You'll only need to buy these once.Date published: 2010-03-08Rated 5 out of 5 by GardenGirl88 from This is a Gotta Have Herb There's nothing like going out the garden, digging up a fresh spud, stopping by the chives to pick some spears, and making one of the best baked potatoes EVER!! Extra better and sour cream, please! They started very easily and had a germination of about 85-90%. Not bad, and doesn't bother me since they reseed themselves. Am looking forward to a strong patch in the future. If you want to keep them somewhat contained, you may want to plant them in a pot and bring them in during the cold winter. They'll love a sunny windowsill.Date published: 2009-08-26Rated 5 out of 5 by 7im8 from Mainstay Herb If a chive is a chive, then this is it. Fall bunches were a little slow to produce, but they survived the AZ winter and came back this spring looking just like the picture, edible flowers and all. Great subtle flavor for 'taters and in omelets. Plant shallow in fine soil for best results. Splurge once in a while... baked potatoe, real sour cream, and fresh chopped chives. Makes you feel like you're eating like a king on peasant's budget. ;)Date published: 2009-04-19