Step-by-Step Guide: Growing Chives in Your Garden


Chives are a type of herb that are easy to grow and care for. They can be grown in a garden, or in pots indoors. In addition to their home gardening appeal, chives are also a healthy addition to any diet, as they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this article will answer all of your questions on how to grow chives.

Chives are typically planted from seeds, which can be bought from a garden store or online. The seeds should be planted in well-prepared soils, with a planting depth of about 1/4 inch. The soil should be moistened before planting, and the chive seeds should be watered regularly, about once a week, to ensure optimal growth. Chives prefer full sunlight, so it is important to place them in a location that receives at least eight hours of sunlight a day.

In addition to starting chives from seeds, you can also divide existing chive plants. Simply dig up a clump of chives and gently separate the individual plants. Each plant should have its own set of roots, which can be planted in a new location. This method of propagation is an easy way to increase your chive yields.

Chives are relatively low-maintenance plants, making them a perfect choice for beginner gardeners. They require minimal fertilizing and are generally resistant to most diseases and pests. However, if you do encounter any problems, such as weeds taking over your chive patch, there are simple solutions to control them. We recommend using frost covers during cool weather to protect your chive plants.

When it comes time to harvest your chives, you can snip the leaves with a pair of sharp kitchen shears. The leaves can be used fresh or dried for later use. If you choose to dry your chives, it is best to do so in a well-ventilated area to prevent mold growth. Store the dried chives in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, and they will last for up to two years.

Chives are also a great companion plant for your garden, as they help deter pests and attract beneficial insects. They grow well alongside other herbs and vegetables, such as tomatoes and carrots. By planting chives next to your other crops, you can naturally control pests and improve the overall health of your garden.

So, whether you have a green thumb or are new to gardening, growing chives is a rewarding and easy endeavor. With minimal care and the right conditions, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh chives for years to come. Why not start growing your own chives today?

How to Plant Chives

Chives are perennial herbs that are easy to grow and have a delicious onion-like flavor. If you want to enjoy fresh chives all year round, follow these steps to successfully plant and grow them.

Choosing the Right Chives:

When selecting chives to plant, you have two options: starting from seeds or purchasing young chive plants from a nursery. Both methods are effective, but if you choose to start from seeds, make sure to plant them in the fall for a spring harvest.

Preparing the Soil:

Chives prefer well-drained soils with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds and loosening it with a garden fork. You can also add compost or aged manure to improve the soil’s fertility.

Planting Chives:

Chives can be planted indoors 8 weeks before the last frost date or directly outdoors when the soil is workable. If planting indoors, sow the seeds in a seed tray and keep them near a sunny window. When planting outside, space the chive plants about 8 inches apart.

Watering and Care:

Chives need regular watering, especially during dry spells. Water the plants deeply once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. Chives have minimal pest and disease problems, making them a low-maintenance plant.

Harvesting Chives:

Chives can be harvested once they reach a height of about 8 inches. To harvest, snip the leaves near the base with scissors or shears. Harvesting should be done frequently to encourage new growth. Chives can be used as a garnish, added to salads, soups, and many other dishes.

Dividing and Replanting:

After a few years, chives tend to clump together, which can result in smaller, less flavorful shoots. To solve this problem, divide the clumps and replant them. This should be done in early spring or fall to ensure the plants have enough time to establish themselves before the next harvest.

Chives are a great addition to any garden or kitchen. They not only provide a flavorful herb to enhance your dishes but also act as a companion plant, keeping insects at bay. Follow this planting guide, and you’ll be enjoying healthy chives in no time.

Why Grow Chives

If you’ve ever asked yourself why you should grow chives, here are several reasons:

  • Chives are easy to grow and can be divided to propagate new plants.
  • Dividing chives allows you to increase your chive production and yield.
  • Chives are a common kitchen companion plant and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Buying chives from a store can be expensive, so growing your own can save you money.
  • Chives require minimal care and are relatively low maintenance.
  • Chives can be grown indoors in pots, allowing you to enjoy fresh chives year round.
  • There are several varieties of chives to choose from, each with its own unique flavor and growth habits.
  • Chives can help control weeds in your garden and attract beneficial insects.
  • Chives are frost tolerant and can be harvested even in colder weather.
  • Chives can be used fresh or dried for storing and can be divided again for more plants.

In summary, growing chives is a rewarding experience that can provide you with a versatile and flavorful herb for your culinary endeavors. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to gardening, chives are a great addition to any garden.

Choosing the Right Location

When it comes to growing chives, choosing the right location is essential for their healthy growth and bountiful yields. Follow these guidelines to select the perfect spot for your chive plants.

Chives thrive in full sunlight, so it is important to find a location in your garden that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. However, they can tolerate some shade, so areas with dappled sunlight or partial shade can also work well. Be sure to avoid placing chives in areas that are fully shaded, as this can lead to leggy plants and less productivity.

Chives prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Add well-composted organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve drainage and provide the plants with essential nutrients. Chives can tolerate a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0, so no additional adjustments are necessary.

In addition to their preference for well-drained soils, chives are also adaptable to different soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. However, they perform best in loamy soil that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged.

To control weeds and conserve moisture in the soil, apply mulch around the chive plants. A layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, will help to suppress weeds and regulate soil temperature.

When it comes to spacing, chives can be planted in rows or clumps, depending on your preference. For row planting, space the plants about 8 inches apart, while for clump planting, you can group several plants together with a spacing of 12 to 18 inches between clumps. This gives the chives enough room to grow and spread effectively.

Choosing the right location also involves considering the climate in your area. Chives are considered cold-hardy perennials and can tolerate frost and cool temperatures. However, if you live in an area with severe winters or very hot summers, you may need to take some additional precautions to protect your plants from extreme weather conditions.

By selecting the right location for your chive plants, you can ensure that they thrive and provide you with a flavorful garnish for your kitchen for many years to come.


When growing chives, choosing the right soil is essential for their productivity and growth. Chives generally prefer well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. A soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 is recommended for optimal growth.

Before planting chives, prepare the soil by loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Remove any weeds or grass from the area. Chives can be planted directly in the ground outside or in pots or containers.

The soil should be moistened before planting, but not overly wet. Chives do not require excessive watering, but they do need to be watered frequently enough to keep the soil consistently moist. Overwatering can lead to problems such as root rot.

If you’re planting chives in rows, space them about 8-12 inches apart. In pots or containers, one plant per container is recommended. Chives grow in clumps, and if left undivided for too long, their productivity may decrease. To ensure healthy growth, it’s recommended to divide chive clumps every 3-5 years.

Chives can be grown from seeds or divided from existing plants. If starting from seeds, sow them about 1/4 inch deep in well-composted soil. Keep the soil moist until the seedlings sprout. This may take several weeks.

To harvest chives, cut the shoots about an inch above the ground. You can harvest chives when they are fully grown, typically in their second year. Chives can be harvested throughout the growing season, and regular harvesting will promote new growth.

Chives thrive in a sunny location. They require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. If growing them indoors, place them near a sunny window.

Chives are relatively low-maintenance and are generally resistant to most insects and diseases. However, it’s still important to keep an eye out for any signs of problems and take appropriate measures to control them.

Overall, chives are a great addition to your home herb garden. They are easy to grow, require minimal care, and can be harvested multiple times throughout the season. Whether you choose to grow them outside or indoors, chives will add a flavorful touch to your kitchen.


One of the most important factors to consider when growing chives is sunlight. Chives thrive in full sunlight, which means they need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. In fact, chives are often referred to as sun-loving plants.

What makes sunlight so important for chives? Well, chives are perennials, meaning they grow year after year. In order for them to grow and thrive, they require ample sunlight. Without enough sunlight, chives may become weak and have stunted growth. Lack of sunlight can also lead to smaller and less flavorful leaves.

If you are growing your chives indoors, make sure to place them near a sunny window. Chives can also be grown under artificial light, but natural sunlight is usually preferred for their growth and flavor development. If you are growing chives outside, choose a spot in your garden that receives full sun, where they will be exposed to sunlight for the majority of the day.

It is worth noting that chives can tolerate some shade, particularly in hotter climates. However, they will still need a decent amount of sunlight to grow well. If you live in an area with very hot summers, providing some afternoon shade for your chives can help prevent them from getting scorched.

Overall, chives are sun-loving plants that require ample sunlight for their healthy growth. Whether you are growing them indoors or outside, make sure they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to ensure they thrive and produce abundant foliage.

✿ Read More About Herbs.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.