Plant Profile: Chives

posted in: Plant Profiles | 2

Chives are a perennial herb that belongs to the onion family. I have two types of chives growing in the garden, each flowering at different times of the season.

The common chives have tubular leaves/stalks and blooms in May and early June with a mauve flower.

growing chives at

They have a mild onion taste, require minimal care and are a cool season crop. Both stems and flowers are edible.

growing chives at

When cutting be sure to cut back right to about 2-5 cm from ground. When diced they can be added to soups, stews,and omelettes. The flowers can be a garnish or added to a salad. They are low in calories but high in nutrients.

Garlic chives also known as Chinese chives bloom at the end of summer with lovely white flowers. These have flat leaves/stems and have a mild garlic taste. A bulb forms in the ground but it is not edible.

garlic chives at

The flowers turn to seed heads. You can collect the seeds for seed swaps at Seedy Saturdays. These seeds will drop and spread quickly and the next year you will have all sorts of new little plants.

garlic chives at

Just look how many seeds develop with one garlic chive flower.

garlic chives seed head at

Once the chive flower goes to seed they will spread rapidly. iI you don’t want this to happen be sure to pinch off the flower heads before they go to seed. If you collect the seeds they are great to give to other gardeners, share at Seedy Saturdays or plant somewhere else in your garden. Here is a little label you can print off to go with your packet of seeds.

garlic chive seed label from
garden line

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2 Responses

  1. Diane H

    Thanks for this. I have a package of garlic chive seeds that I will throw in the garden this year. Happy Gardening

    • Crafty Gardener

      Hi Diane, hope those garlic chive seeds grow well for you. I’ve got them popping up in all sorts of places now. Hope you are having some nice gardening weather where you live. Thanks for stopping by.

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