Thursday, 20 March 2014


Chives are members of the lily family grown for their leaves and flowers. Both onion and garlic chives are grown and used in a similar fashion. Some gardeners use onion and garlic chives as a perennial edging or border plant in a flower border or an herb garden. I have mine growing with all of my other herbs in pots. Great for renters and for the option to move them around to chase the seasonal sun.

Onion chives are grown for their leaves and rosy purple flowers with a mild onion flavor.

Garlic chives also known as Chinese chives, are grown for their mildly garlic-flavored leaves and pretty white flowers. The leaves are flat, not hollow like those of onion chives

Chive plants grow in clumps. When the clumps get too large after a few years, they can be divided in early spring.
Chives prefer full sun, but plants also grow in partial shade, especially in the warmer climates such as we have here in Brisbane.

To be honest I just stuck my seedling in the pots, water it occasionally and hope for the best. It has survived three years this way.
However, here are some "instructions" on how to grow and care for your chives: Set out plants in early spring in soil amended with plenty of compost or a good slow-release fertilizer, placing them 8 to 12 inches apart. For fast growth, plant in rich, well-drained soil. (Plants are tough enough to withstand poor soil, but just won’t grow fast.) Be sure that the soil drains well. They need little care other than watering until well-rooted. It is recommended you harvest often, and fertilize every 3 or 4 weeks with a liquid plant food. Although the flowers are nice, the plants produce more leaves if you pinch off the flower buds.

If your plant starts to struggle, such as mine is just starting to, cut the plants back to the ground. They will come back in spring. I just cannot bring myself to do this as I cook with this herb several times a week.

You can begin harvesting leaves as soon as they are big enough to clip and use. Cut from the outside of the clump, about 1/2 inch above soil level, always leaving plenty to restore energy to the plant. Although fresh is best, you can store extra for winter use by chopping and freezing the leaves, or you can also preserve them in herb butters, oils, and vinegars, where they blend well with parsley and tarragon.

Not much of a food stylist, so Jarvis helped with the photography. He thought my images needed a bit of yellow car to complete the look. 


  1. We grow garlic chives from food scraps. Plant a few garlic bulbs and they'll regrow. I've also done this with celery, rosemary cuttings, potatoes and more! It's amazing what you can regrow from food scraps!

  2. I have tried this with sweet potatoes, and got amazing results. But yet to try anything else... you have just motivated me not to feed all of our scraps to the chooks


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