How To Plant Chives - Growing Chives In Your Garden

Purple Chives
(Image credit: Acik)

If there were an award for "easiest herb to grow," growing chives (Allium schoenoprasum) would win that award. Learning how to grow chives is so easy that even a child can do it, which makes this plant an excellent herb to help introduce children to herb gardening.

How to Plant Chives from Divisions

Divisions are the most common way to plant chives. Find an established clump of chives in early spring or mid fall. Gently dig the clump and pull away a smaller clump from the main clump. The smaller clump should have at least five to ten bulbs. Transplant this small clump to the desired location in your garden where you will be growing chives.

How to Plant Chives from Seeds

While chives are frequently grown from divisions, they are just as easy to start from seeds. Chives can be started indoors or outdoors. Plant chive seeds about 1/4 inch (6 mm.) deep in the soil. Water well. If you're planting chive seeds indoors, place the pot in a dark spot in temperatures 60 to 70 degrees F. (15-21 C.) until the seeds sprout, then move them into the light. When the chives reach 6 inches (15 cm.), you can transplant them to the garden. If you're planting the chive seeds outdoors, wait until after the last frost to plant the seeds. The seeds may take a little extra time to sprout until the soil warms up.

Where to Grow Chives

Chives will grow just about anywhere but prefer strong light and rich soil. Chives also don't do as well in soil that is too wet or too dry.

Growing Chives Indoors

Growing chives indoors is also easy. Chives do very well indoors and will frequently be the herb that will do the best in your indoor herb garden. The best way to grow chives indoors is to plant them in a pot that drains well but is filled with a good potting soil. Place the chives where they will get bright light. Continue harvesting chives as you would if they were outdoors.

Harvesting Chives

Harvesting chives is as easy as growing chives. Once the chives are about a foot (31 cm.) tall, simply snip off what you need. When harvesting chives, you can cut the chive plant back to half its size without harming the plant. If your chive plant starts to flower, the flowers are edible as well. Add the chive flowers to your salad or as decorations for soup. Knowing how to grow chives is as easy as knowing how to chew bubble gum. Add these tasty herbs to your garden today.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.