Tips for Successfully Growing Chives from Seed: Essential Planting Advice for Chive Seeds


Chives, scientifically known as Allium schoenoprasum, are a popular herb used in culinary dishes due to their mild and flavorful taste. These onion-like plants can be grown from seeds in containers or directly in the garden. If you’re a gardening enthusiast looking to grow your own chives, we have some tips to guide you through the process.

First, consider the time and location for growing chives. Chives prefer a sunny site with well-drained soil. They can be started indoors in seed trays or directly sown into the ground after the threat of cold weather has passed. In most areas, chive seeds can be planted as early as 4-6 weeks before the last frost date.

To start chive seeds indoors, lightly sprinkle the seeds on top of a potting soil-filled tray and lightly cover them with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist and the tray in a warm area, around 60-70°F (15-21°C). In about 7-14 days, the seeds should germinate, and you’ll see tiny chive seedlings begin to emerge.

Once the chive seedlings have grown a few inches tall, they can be transplanted to their final growing location. If planting in containers, choose a container that is at least 6 inches deep and wide. Chives can also be directly sown into the garden, spacing them about 6 inches apart. Ensure that the soil is well-drained and amend it with organic matter if needed.

Chives grow in clumps, and their foliage is hollow and tubular. They will continue to grow throughout the season, producing green stems and purple flower heads. The flowers can be used as a garnish or added to salads for an extra burst of flavor. When it comes to harvesting chives, you can simply snip off the leaves as needed. However, avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the plant’s foliage at a time to ensure continued growth.

If you already have chives in your garden, they can also be propagated through divisions. Simply dig up an established clump and separate it into smaller individual plants, making sure each division has its own set of roots. Replant the divisions in their new location and water them well.

Chives are not only flavorful, but they also have many uses in the kitchen. From soups and scrambled eggs to potato salads and garlic bread, chives can be used in almost any dish that could benefit from their mild onion-like flavor. With their easy growing requirements and versatile uses, chive plants are a welcome addition to any home or local community garden.

For more information on growing chives from seeds, you can contact your local MSU Extension or join a gardening club—get in touch with fellow chive enthusiasts and exchange tips and advice. So, if you’ve ever wondered “how to grow chives from seeds,” just follow our planting tips and you’ll soon have a bountiful supply of this flavorful herb.

How To Plant Chives – Growing Chives In Your Garden

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a popular and flavorful herb that can be easily grown in your garden. They are a member of the onion family and are known for their hollow, tubular leaves that have a mild onion flavor. Chives can be used fresh or dried to flavor a variety of dishes, making them a versatile and useful herb to have in your garden.

When choosing a site to plant your chives, make sure it receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Chives prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, consider amending it with compost or sand to improve drainage. Chives can be grown in containers as well, making them a great option for small gardens or balconies.

Chive seeds can be started indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Fill a seed tray with well-draining potting soil and sprinkle the chive seeds evenly over the surface. Lightly press the seeds into the soil, making sure they are covered with a very thin layer of soil. Keep the soil consistently moist and place the tray in a warm location with temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C).

Once the chive seedlings have grown to about 2 inches tall, they can be transplanted into your garden. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling and gently place it in the hole. Backfill the hole with soil and firm it gently around the base of the plant. Space your chive plants about 6-12 inches apart, as they will grow into clumps over time.

Chives are fairly low-maintenance plants. They require regular watering, especially during dry spells, and can benefit from a light application of fertilizer during the growing season. Chives will usually grow back year after year, but if you want to ensure a continuous supply, you can divide the clumps every few years in the early spring or fall. This will promote new growth and keep your chive plants healthy.

To harvest chives, simply cut the leaves about 1-2 inches from the base of the plant. You can use a sharp pair of scissors or garden shears to make clean cuts. Chives can be harvested throughout the growing season, but it’s best to avoid cutting more than one-third of the plant at a time. The cut leaves can be used fresh, stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or dried for later use.

In conclusion, growing chives in your garden is a great way to add flavor and versatility to your cooking. Whether you choose to start with seeds or divisions, chives are easy to grow and require minimal care. They can be used as a garnish, eaten fresh or dried, and even attract pollinators to your garden. Follow these tips and enjoy a bountiful harvest of this flavorful herb!

How to Plant Chives from Divisions

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a great addition to any garden, both for their culinary uses and their attractive foliage. While chives can be grown from seed, planting them from divisions is an easier and faster way to establish new plants.

If you don’t already have chives growing in your garden, you can typically find chive divisions at local garden centers or plant nurseries. Chives are a popular herb, so they are usually readily available.

To plant chives from divisions, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a sunny location in your garden or find a suitable spot in an indoor herb garden. Chives prefer full sun, although they can tolerate partial shade.
  2. Prepare the planting site by removing any weeds or grass and loosening the soil with a garden fork or tiller.
  3. If planting outdoors, dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the chive divisions. If planting indoors, fill a tray with potting soil.
  4. Divide the chive clumps into smaller sections, ensuring that each section has several leaves and a healthy root system.
  5. Place the divisions into the prepared holes or tray, making sure the roots are spread out and the foliage is above the soil level.
  6. Backfill the holes or gently press the soil around the divisions in the tray to secure them in place.
  7. Water the divisions thoroughly after planting and keep the soil consistently moist until new growth appears.

Chives are relatively easy to care for. They don’t require much fertilization, but a light application of balanced fertilizer in early spring can help stimulate growth. Chives can also be divided every three to four years to keep the plants healthy and productive.

When the chive plants are mature and have established, you can start harvesting the leaves. Cut the leaves close to the base of the plant, but avoid cutting all the foliage at once, as this can weaken the plant. Chive leaves can be used fresh or dried for culinary purposes.

In conclusion, planting chives from divisions is a convenient and reliable method for starting chive plants. Whether you have them in your garden or in a container indoors, chives will provide you with a steady supply of mild onion-flavored foliage that can be used in many dishes.

How to Plant Chives from Seeds

Chives are a versatile herb that can add a burst of flavor to almost any dish. If you’re a garlic enthusiast, you’ll love the mild, garlic-like flavor that chives bring to the table. The best part is, chives are easy to grow right in your own backyard or even in containers. Here’s a smart planting guide to help you get started.

Choose the Right Site: Chives thrive in a sunny and well-drained site. Make sure to select an area in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. If growing in containers, choose a potting mix that is lightweight and free-draining.

Sow the Seeds: Chives can be planted directly outdoors in the spring after the last frost date. Alternatively, you can start them indoors in late winter for an earlier harvest. Sow the seeds lightly in the soil, about 1/4 inch deep, and water gently to keep the soil moist.

Provide Care: Chives don’t require much care or attention. Water the plants as needed to keep the soil evenly moist, but be careful not to overwater. Chives are generally tolerant of a range of soil types and can even handle some cold temperatures.

Harvest and Use: Chives can be harvested when the foliage is about 6 to 8 inches tall. Simply cut the leaves back to the base of the plant, leaving a small inch or so of foliage to allow for regrowth. Chives can be used fresh or dried and added to a variety of dishes, from salads to soups. They also make a great garnish for your favorite dishes.

Additional Tips: Chives are a member of the onion family and can be easily divided to create new plants. They also produce pretty purple flowers, which are not only a beautiful addition to gardens but also a valuable food source for pollinators. If you’d like to save the seeds, be sure to let the flower heads dry on the plant before collecting them. And for more information, sign up for our newsletter and receive a free printable guide on how to grow chives!

Where to Grow Chives

Chives are versatile plants that can be grown in various gardening environments. Whether you have limited outdoor space or prefer to cultivate plants indoors, chives can thrive in different settings.

If you have a garden, consider planting chives in a well-drained area with full sun exposure. Chive plants require at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day. They can tolerate partial shade, but their growth may be slower. Good air circulation is also important for healthy chive plants.

If you don’t have a garden or if you want to grow chives all year round, you can plant them indoors. Choose a container with drainage holes and use a high-quality potting mix. Place the container near a sunny window or use grow lights to provide sufficient light for the chives.

Chives can also be grown in containers or raised beds on a porch or balcony. Make sure the containers have good drainage and provide enough space for the chive plants to grow. They can be grown alongside other herbs or vegetables, but make sure they have enough space and air circulation to prevent diseases.

Another alternative is to grow chives in hydroponic systems. This method allows you to grow chives without soil, using nutrient-rich water instead. Hydroponic systems can be set up indoors or outdoors, and they provide an efficient way to grow chives with minimal space requirements.

In conclusion, chives can be grown in a variety of environments, including gardens, indoor containers, raised beds, and hydroponic systems. Choose a well-drained area with adequate sunlight and good air circulation for outdoor planting. If growing indoors, provide sufficient light and choose a suitable container. With the right care and proper growing conditions, you can enjoy the flavorful foliage and delicate flowers of chives all year round.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.