The Quick And Easy Guide To Growing Chives

Use this super easy growing guide to raise and eat flavorful chives.

May 8, 2017

Chives have been added to foods for nearly 5,000 years. Native to Asia, they were probably first used by the Chinese. Colonists brought chives with them to America. 

Chives are bulb plants, although the bulbs are so tiny that you might not realize that's what they are. Chives produce beautiful, globelike pink and lavender blossoms. A perennial, they grow to about 18 inches high and thrive in zones 3 to 9.

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growing chives
Growing chives

Soil preparation
Chives prefer well-drained soil. Add aged compost to the soil before planting them. 

In spring, plant chive seedlings in full sun. Keep mulch away from the bases of the plants to improve air circulation and prevent disease problems. They compete poorly with other plants, so weed diligently. 

Plant clumps of up to six chive bulbs 5 to 8 inches apart. Divide large clumps about every 3 years. Dig up the plants and divide them into small clumps with four to six bulbs each. 

Avoid heavy applications of nitrogen.

Related: 6 Herbs That Grow Back Year After Year

harvesting chives
Harvesting chives

Use scissors to cut chives about 2 inches above the soil. Before the chive plants flower, harvest from the outside edges of the clumps. After flowering, cut back the entire plant to remove the spent flowerstalks. 

Related: 10 Herbs To Grow Inside Year-Round