Monday, 25 July 2016

Plant Profile - Chives

This is a garden's greatest gift - its ability to carry you into the future, to wake up every Saturday with a 'must do' list, to lay plans for the coming seasons, plant trees for future generations and take loss and calamity in one's stride." ~ Christine McCabe  

Garlic Chive plant

Chives are a hardy perennial of the Amaryllidaecae family.  Most commonly seen in gardens around my region are Onion Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum). I have garlic chives growing in my garden, as the name suggests the taste is more like garlic than onion. They are a lovely plant suitable for perennial veggie gardens, herb gardens, cottage gardens and for growing in pots.

They can be grown from seed, and the plant can also be lifted and divided. The divided plants can either be replanted back into the garden or into pots. If planting back into the garden plant at intervals of about 6 inches. When dividing leave a few small roots together in each slip. Chives like a well-drained rich soil with a pH of between 6-7.    They like compost and mulch but the mulch needs to be kept away from the base of the plant.

Close up of the garlic chive flower

Both the leaves and the flowers of chive plants are edible.  They are a useful edging plant. The flowers, as well as being very pretty, are attractive to bees and other beneficial insects are said to ward off pests.  My photos do not do the plant justice, they are very pretty and a worthwhile addition to the garden. 


  1. Chives are such a useful plant. I am in the process of dividing some clumps and planting a few under each of the citrus trees to help with pest control. I also often use them to liven up my scrambled eggs in the morning, along with a bit of parsley.

    1. I am going to try that next time I make scrambled eggs Hutchy.