Chives 101

Okay. Lets learn about some herbs.

To start with, chives!


Chives are hardy perennials, that you can grow outside or on your windowsill! (I’m hoping to grow them in my apartment so that I can snip them off whenever I want to add them to my scrambled eggs, and/or salads, or simply use them as a garnish for a nice dish.)

For the longest time, I always used the terms “chives” and “green onions” interchangeably. However, chives are much smaller and thinner than green onions, and have a milder flavor.

I would like to start my chives from seeds, but they do take awhile to germinate, and actually need cooler temperatures to germinate (less than 15̊C). Seeds should be planted 1/2″ deep, in rows 12″ apart. Which translates to a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and about the same width if growing indoors. Outdoors, you can clump your chives. Meaning that you can plant them close together along the row (say about 25 seeds along 8 inches).

Chives will grow to be about 6-10″ tall. When you cut them for use, leave about 1-2″ of stem, and this will encourage them to regrow.

Et voila! There you have it. Fresh chives for any occasion. (Chives also freeze very well, and you can even dry them out, or use them to make infused vinegars).

You can grow them in the kitchen within arm’s reach or grow them in your garden. “Chives planted in the garden will grow for years once established” (

If growing them in the garden, it is good to grow them alongside carrots, celery, grapes, roses and/or tomatoes. However you should not plant them near beans.

Happy Planting!


Apartment Gardening by Amy Pennington


2 thoughts on “Chives 101

    • There are no dumb questions.
      Chives are perennials. So if you were able to transplant it successfully (the bigger it is, the more difficult it is to transplant), and let it establish well in a garden, it will regrow year after year.
      You can snip the chives that you have at the moment, and it will regrow a few times before you can no longer use it.
      I don’t believe it will spread or get larger if left in a pot (unless there are seeds that haven’t sprouted yet). It would probably only get bigger if allowed to go to seed, and if it had enough room to regrow (this is much more likely to happen in a garden setting).
      But then again, you can always try things out, and see how they work. I truly believe gardening is a trial and error process. And it can be fun to experiment!

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