How to Grow Chives – A Beginner’s Guide

chives plant growing in garden
Chives, which are known botanically as  Allium Schoenoprasum, are a type of herbs that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing chives as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Chives

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the chiv seeds early spring 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when chives are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Chives the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing chives in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your chives grow. Generally, your soil should be  fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 7.0.

12″ apart. 6″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about  .25″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your chiv seedlings  thin or transplant plants to 6 inches apart when they are 2 inches tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Chives

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your chives. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your chives should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Chives

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your chives do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your chives begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Chives to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your chives grow.

It takes approximately 15-21 days to germinate, and a total of 110-125 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Chives

The best time to harvest your chives is any time after the leaves have grown to about six inches tall. 

Chives can grow up to about 10-15 inches in height. .

What Can Chives Be Used For?

Food Use: Use to season salads, omelettes, and/or soups!

Flavor Profile: Delicate garlic flavor.

Can Chives Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will ideally need a 12″+ containerfor each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your chives around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Chives Safe for Bees?

Yes, chives are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing chives is bee-friendly.

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