Choose a country to see content specific to your location

Skip to main content
A picture of a Chives


Allium schoenoprasum

Also known as

Cive, Onion Grass, Schnittlaugh, Seithes, Seives, Giant Garlic, Wild Chives

Allium schoenoprasum by Kompak~commonswiki (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Chives

A close up of some bright pink Allium schoenoprasum flowers
A photo of Chives
A photo of Chives
A photo of Chives
A photo of Chives

Chives Overview

Allium schoenoprasum is commonly known by the name Chives. It is a low-growing onion-like plant from the Amaryllidaceae family. It grows from a bulb and will come back year after year. Chives are low-maintenance, high-yielding, versatile and easy to grow. Clumps of well-established plants can be divided every 2-3 years. It produces long slender grass-like foliage and decorative, bell-shaped purple flowers. The green stems are hollow and tubular, with a pungent onion-like smell. The pretty flowers are also edible and make attractive edging and flower arrangements. They make good container plants, provided they receive enough sun. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Chives

Chives Companion Plants

Beans, beetroot, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, eggplant

How to harvest Chives

Harvest leaves throughout the year. Cut leaves down to the base from the outside of the plant first, but don't harvest all at once. Though if you do, it will grow back next season.

How to propagate Chives


Divide plants every 2-3 years.


Direct sow seeds in spring or summer, 6 mm deep and 10-20 cm apart. Start seed indoors and transplant when they are 5 cm tall. Germinates in 7-10 days.

Special features of Chives

Attracts bees

Repels harmful insects

Repulsive to insects in general, including carrot flies, aphids, and cabbage worms

Pot plant

Easily grown in well-drained pots placed in the sun. Maintain even soil moisture.

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

butterflies, moths, range of flies, range of bees

Other uses of Chives



The immature flowers, bulbs, stems, seeds and leaves are edible

Edibles to Sow Outdoors in March

If the soil is warm enough, get an early start on the growing year by direct sowing these into prepared beds.

Explore all

Edibles to Sow Under Cover in November

Grow these on a sunny windowsill or heated propagator for winter picking.

Explore all