Perennial – How To Grow ‘Common’ Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Common Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)  is a hardy, bulbous-rooted, perennial plant, indigenous to France and Great Britain. The leaves, which are produced in tufts, are seven or eight inches in length, erect and cylindrical, or awl-shaped. The bulbs are white, oval, and of small size; usually measuring about half an inch in diameter. The flower-stalk rises to the height of the leaves, and produces, at its extremity, a globular group of purplish, barren flowers.

Uses

  • Leaves have mild onion flavor. Chop them and add to salads egg and cheese dishes, cream cheese, mashed potatoes, hamburgers, sandwich spreads, soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Chive bloom in mid to late summer make this an attractive border and edging plant.

Companion Plant

  • Bulbs exude a substance that makes plants good companions for carrots by discouraging a harmful fungus.

Hardiness

  • Hardy perennial.

Height

  • 6-10 inches

Spread

  • 12 inches Location

Requirements

  • Chives grow best in full sun in a fairly rich, moist soil, which is high in organic matter and has a pH of 6 to 8. Chives will, however, tolerate partial shade and most soil types. Chives should be fertilized several times during the growing season with a balanced commercial fertilizer or bone meal and manure.

Planting:

  • Sow seeds in spring or fall, in. deep in rows 12 in. apart. As soon as seedlings are established thin to 6 in. apart. Or set out nursery grown plants in early spring,

Harvesting:

  • Leaves can be cut 4-6 mo, after sowing: then cut often and close to ground. 

Preserving:

  • Leaves lose color in drying. Instead of drying, grow winter supplies indoors by potting a few clumps in fall and keeping them near a sunny window, Can also be preserved by deep freezing

Propagation

  • Lift and divide clumps every 3 or 4 yr.

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