Light requirements: Full sun. Plants can also grow in part shade in the South and Southwest.
Planting: Space 8 to 12 inches apart.
Soil requirements: Plants grow fastest in rich, well-drained soil, but also tolerate a range of soil types.
Water requirements: Keep soil moist after planting until plants are well-rooted. Once established, plants in beds survive on rainfall.
Frost-fighting plan: Onion chives are perennial in zones 3 to 10. Plants can survive light frost (29-32º F). Protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season by covering plants with a frost blanket.
Common issues: Give chives a midsummer trim if plants are floppy and scraggly from lack of harvest. Keep an eye out for aphids.
Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Flowers are edible, too; break them apart into individual blooms before adding to dishes for less intense flavor. Cut from the outside of the clump, about ½ inch above the soil level.
Storage: Store in water at room temperature to enjoy fresh clippings for a few days. Otherwise, wrap unwashed stems loosely in a paper towel and stash in a very loosely closed plastic bag in a warmer spot in your refrigerator, like a compartment in the door. For longer storage, dry or freeze leaves.
For more information, visit the Onion Chives page in our How to Grow section.