Bonnie Plants Onion Chives are easy to grow and pack a lot of flavor for their small size. The plants form neat grass-like clumps of tubular leaves that contribute an onion flavor to salads, creamy soups, potatoes, egg dishes, and others. A wonderful addition to an herb garden. Great for containers, and also makes a neat border. Enjoy the light purple blooms in the spring–they are edible, too. Frost tolerant.
- Type Perennial in zones 3 to 10
- Planting time Spring, fall
- Features Waxy, grass-like leaves flavored like onion, purple blooms
- Light Full sun
- Soil Fertile, well drained
- Spacing 8 to 12 inches
- Plant size 1 foot tall
- Garden use Herb garden, flower border, containers
- Culinary use For dishes that need a mild, onion-like flavor
Quick Guide to Growing Chives
- Plant chives in early spring 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. They’re a wonderful option to use as a perennial garden border among flowers or in a culinary container garden.
- Space chives 8 to 12 inches apart in an area that receives full sun and has nutrient-rich, well-drained soil.
- Give your native soil a nutrient boost by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter. Consider a premium bagged potting mix for growing in containers.
- Check soil weekly and water when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
- Encourage better blooms and leaf production by regularly feeding with a water-soluble plant food.
- Harvest leaves once they are large enough to eat. The flowers are also edible.
Add to dishes at the very end of the cooking process, because their mild flavor is destroyed by heat. The purple flowers of onion chives, which are also edible, float beautifully in soup. In late summer, dig up a couple of plants, pot them, and move them to your windowsill for a nice winter source of fresh snips.