Purple chive flowers in full bloom.


Chives | Growing Guides
Growing Guides Vegetables and herbs
Chives are a great fuss-free addition to any garden. As a perennial herb you'll be able to crop them year after year. They produce beautiful purple flowers which, as well as being edible, are a good source of pollen for beneficial insects.
Growing calendar
Sow indoors Mar - Apr
Plant out/transplant May
Sow outdoors May
Harvest Jun - Oct

How to grow chives

Sow chive seed 0.5cm deep and thin or transplant seedlings to 25cm apart. Choose rich moist soil in a sunny site.

Water chives well in dry weather. Remove flowering stems to increase leaf production, unless you want to grow the flowers, which are also edible. Leaves die back to soil level in winter.

Harvesting and using chives

Cut leaves to use fresh or for freezing from when plants are 15cm tall, leaving 5cm of stem to regrow. Chive is perennial so the plants will crop year after year. Chive flowers are also edible.

Tips on growing chives

  • You can dig up and split established chive plants in autumn.
Growing notes
Difficulty Easy
Germination time 10-20 days
Average time to harvest From 12 weeks
Equipment needed None
Average plant size 30cm tall and wide
Family group to grow with Alliaceae: onion, shallot
Seed saving notes Perennial, can cross pollinate
Key nutritional content Vitamins A and C, calcium (when eaten fresh)