Chives are green herbs with long, green stems used for flavoring a dish at the end of cooking or as a gar- nish. They are related to onions and garlic but have a much more mild flavor.


Benefits and nutritional information:

  • Chives have some impressive nutritional components but are not eaten in sufficient amounts to have much of an effect on nutrition.
  • Chives are also a wonderful companion plant that deters pests. including aphids and Japanese beetles. They’re a good friend to plant with carrots, celery, lettuce, peas, and tomatoes.
  • Avoid planting near beans, peas and spinach.


  • Most easily grown from potted starts, available in most garden centers.
  • If growing from seed, sow seeds about 2 inches apart and no more than 1⁄4 inch deep. Cover with a thin layer of soil.

When to plant:

  • Chives are cool-season, cold-tolerant perennials that are best planted in early to mid-spring for an early summer harvest.
  • For the best germination and growth, the temperature of the soil should be between 60 degrees and 70 degrees F

Thinning, training

  • Be mindful when planting this herb, as it will take over your garden if the flowers are allowed to develop fully (the flowers scatter the seeds). However, this plant is easy to dig up and move if it does end up invading other parts of your garden.
  • Since chives grow well in pots, an option for inclusion in your garden bed may be to have them in containers rather than in the soil.

Signs of over-watering, nutrient deficiency

  • Leaves that turn yellow may be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Others that are stunted could be deficient in phosphorus. Other leaf problems in beets may be due to deficiencies in micronutrients such as boron, magnesium, copper, etc. Mixing a well-balanced fertilizer into the soil is the best approach to resolving these symptoms.
  • Sprinkling coffee grounds on the soil lowers the pH, which can be beneficial for beets. They can also discourage crawling insects like slugs.

Pests and pest controls

  • Thrips are so small that they’re rarely seen. Instead you’ll notice dead/dying patches on the foliage where they’ve rasped the surface in order to feed on the sap.


  • Rust is a fungus disease that shows up as reddish or yellow patches.
  • Powdery Mildew shows up as a whitish dusting on the surface of the foliage. It spreads very rapidly and very aggressively.



  • Begin harvesting chive leaves about 30 days after you transplant or 60 days after seeding.
  • Be sure to cut the leaves down to the base when harvesting (within 1 to 2 inches of the soil).
  • Harvest 3 to 4 times during the first year. In subsequent years, cut plants back monthly.

Other resources and articles

  • Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, kohlrabi, mustard, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, and squash all do better when growing near chives.
  • Beans, peas, and spinach, however, have a harder time growing when planted near chives.
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