Easy to grow, this long-lived herbaceous perennial, which is part of the onion family, is an essential addition to the herb garden. The edible leaves have a mild onion-like flavour and make an irresistible garnish for potatoes, omelettes, fish, salads, soups and many other dishes. The pinky purple, star-shaped flowers are also edible and are best picked just before opening to add a pretty and savoury highlight to your dishes.
Chives can be grown indoors on your windowsill for year-round harvesting, although will grow more vigorously and achieve bigger plants when grown outdoors. As well as being a perfect choice for your vegetable beds, they can also make a great edging plant or provide some low-growing contrast in a mixed bed or border. They are equally happy growing in pots and containers. All they require is a moisture-retentive but well-drained fertile soil or compost in a sunny or semi-shaded position.
The flowers produce nectar in abundance, so will attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to your garden, with blooms appearing successively over a long season. In addition, this herb’s slightly pungent aroma will repel insect pests such as carrot root fly, making it a great companion for vegetables or other herbs that are prone to infestation.
Sow indoors all year for your windowsill or for planting out from May to June. Or sow outdoors from March to May, in beds or containers directly where they are to crop, where they can be cut for culinary use from late spring through to the first frosts of autumn. Plants will grow less vigorously through the winter, when they will die back somewhat, although it may be possible to still cut some leaves fresh for the kitchen.
Supplied as a packet of 500 (approx.) seeds ready to sow indoors or outdoors in pots or directly into a bed or border. Grows to 40cm height by 30cm spread.
Supplied as a packet of 500 (approx.) seeds ready to sow indoors or outdoors.
Performance subject to growing conditions.
How to grow Chives