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.
- Calories: 1
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Dietary fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Vitamin A: 3% DV
- Vitamin C: 3%
- Vitamin K: 8%
- Vitamin B6: 0%
- Folate: 1%
- Potassium: 0%
- Manganese: 1%
Chives, relatives of the onion and the leek, are well recognized by their long and slender green, hollow stems. The chive has a milder flavor than onions, and its delicate lavender-colored flower is also edible. Chives are a good source of Vitamin A, which helps the body metabolize proteins and sugar, and they contain a fair amount of calcium. A high presence of Vitamin K means that eating chives diminishes the risk of blood clots, reduces blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and aids in bone strength. When cooking with chives, add them toward the end to retain their flavor.