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Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Aromatic
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater This plant is resistant to deer
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets) From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse From seed; stratify if sowing indoors From seed; sow indoors before last frost From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On May 8, 2010, pgcarroll from Belleair, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
So, I'm not really certain that this is the type of chives that I have in the back yard, but the green parts look like what we have - not your "typical" round chives, but ours has rather flat leaves. Great flavor in anything we use it for (a favorite in homemade hummus), and this plant keeps going and going. We've had it in for about 7 years now, and it makes it through blast-furnace summers and freezing temperatures whenever we get them in the winter. I couldn't ask for a better herb. Ours has never flowered. On the issue of spreading, ours is not invasive and pretty much keeps to its original location; of course, it spreads a little bit, but this is not a problem at all.
On Nov 19, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
Keep one outside your kitchen door for quick clips. If the plant gets too thick, comb through it aggressively with a garden fork to thin out. I've not tried to bring some in for winter, sounds like a good idea since fresh is much better than dried or frozen.
On Apr 6, 2008, jic from Camberley United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:
A tough plant that is tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, but prefers well-drained soil. They are relatively drought-tolerant once established.
Chives are a versatile herb that work well in a variety of styles of cooking, even those in which their use is not traditional (eg Chinese). They are excellent finely-chopped as a raw garnish. Cooked, they develop a distinctive sweet taste. They are generally mild, but they can become very pungent in hot summers, especially if their soil is a little on the dry side.
I buy my chives in the little 'windowsill' pots they sell in the produce section at the supermarket. They are usually between a half and a quarter of the price of the pots sold in garden centres for planting out, and I've had little trouble transferring them to the herb garden. I have found that it's beneficial to let the pots acclimatise on the patio for a few days before planting them. This advice also applies to all supermarket 'windowsill' herbs (commonly chives, basil, mint, coriander, curly parsley, and flat-leaf parsley; others (eg sage) are not unknown). Leave the garden center for less common herbs or unusual/decorative varieties.
This winter, I attempted to bring a pot of chives indoors to provide a winter crop. They became heavily infested with aphids. Since I have never seen chives affected by *any* pests before, I can only assume that I weakened them by mistreating them in some way (overwatered? Underwatered?). I placed the pot outside, where a frost killed the aphids. The pot remains outside, and it has now bounced back with a healthy crop. I may attempt to bring it indoors again next winter.
On Jun 30, 2007, cmccrell from Honeoye Falls, NY wrote:
I have this planted in a self-watering tub on my deck. Hardy and, although it seeds profusely, it keeps fairly contained to the tub. Sprouts in very early spring...I was able to cut pieces for baked potato and sour cream while we were still getting snow showers.
On May 4, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
One of the easiest herbs to grow from seeds or transplants. Should be (& usually is) in every culinary herb garden. Grows well under various soil conditions, as well as in containers outdoors & in. Makes a lovely kitchen window addition for the winter.
I grew a long border of chives to edge an herb garden, as well as some roses, & when in bloom they were gorgeous. I didn't find them invasive at all, but I used the flowers liberally in salads & to make herb vinegars. The purple blooms turn white or white wine vinegar a lovely pink color & infuse it with a light onion flavor. Any flowers I didn't use in cooking, I consistently deadheaded before they threw seed.
On Nov 9, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
I was given a clump of of chives and planted them at the top of my hillside garden as one of the first plants I put in. It is true they are a little invasive, however, they can be controlled if you're willing to dig and pull out those clumps that spring up. What I've found is that they have become a good deer deterrent to the flowers around them and keep them out of that side of the garden. It's also nice to be able to go out and cut a few if I need them for cooking.
On Jul 29, 2004, kadawn74 from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
This is one of the first plants I ever planted, and I remember it being in the yard as a child, always with the purple heads. Last year, for Thanksgiving, I cut what was left, diced it into small pieces, and mixed with cream cheese to put onto celery. It was a nice twist on an old standby. Currently they are growing great under the shade of a lot of potato plants, getting only 2 hours of sun in the afternoon.
On May 16, 2004, RabidWolf from Stoughton, MA wrote:
Planted from division, in sunniest location available in condo patio, approx. 5 years ago, when also planting tomato plants and annuals. Later closed bed and filled with stone mulch, except for this Chive. Lives year-round on the immediate opposite side of a fence from an old Rhododendron and Dogwood. (Roots were a problem when initially creating the original planting bed.)
NO OTHER effort whatsoever. Never even water it!
Location is next to roof run-off, however. Occasionally (every other year) remove dead growth at end of winter, along with other leaf debris.
Always a pleasure to see, even if I forget to use when cooking!
On Feb 23, 2003, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:
Chives do well in our South-central Alaskan USDA zone 3 climate. The clumped bulblets can be divided periodically, and it will also self-seed around the plant. I've also started plants indoors in the spring from seeds I gathered the previous fall.
I grow chives among the flowers where it's lovely purple-lavender blooms add their own color and texture to the bed. Harvested chive foliage can be used fresh or dried and kept in an airtight dark container for winter culinary use.
A bulbous perennial widely grown across the Northern Hemisphere but are truely native to Northern Europe.
Has clumps of grass like, bright green, upright, cylindircal, hollow leaves which have the Allium marker of the distinctive onion smell. Bears tiny, purple or white, bell shaped flowers tightly packed into a rounded head which also carry the mild onion smell.
Likes a well drained, fertile soil in full sun. Will form a clump where happy and spreads by small rhizomes. May tolerate some shade and slightly moist soil too.
A must for any culinary herb garden, flower heads and leaves are edible and have a mild onion taste. The leaves are used in salads (flower heads can be used in salad too) mainly but impart a delicate flavour to sauces, soups, cheeses, herb butter, eggs and fish. To use Chives effectively in cookery the flower heads should be removed as they appear and the leaves cut as close to the ground as possible.
Chives are a good companion plant in the flower and vegetable garden too and will help to deter blackfly from roses and carrot fly from finding carrots. A Chive tea can also be made to spray on plant leaves prone to mildew.
Chives have been used as an aid to digestion and to treat anaemia.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Gaylesville, Alabama Bear Creek, Alaska Juneau, Alaska Glendale, Arizona Queen Creek, Arizona Canehill, Arkansas Brea, California Clovis, California Glen Avon, California (2 reports) Lawndale, California Los Angeles, California Lucerne Valley, California Merced, California Mission Viejo, California Mountain View, California San Diego, California San Francisco, California Yosemite Lakes, California Aurora, Colorado Denver, Colorado (2 reports) Edgewater, Colorado Belleair, Florida Umatilla, Florida Dacula, Georgia Fayetteville, Georgia Hawkinsville, Georgia Burr Ridge, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Chillicothe, Illinois Hampton, Illinois Jacksonville, Illinois Lake In The Hills, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Niles, Illinois Oswego, Illinois Thomasboro, Illinois Washington, Illinois North Manchester, Indiana Wichita, Kansas Cynthiana, Kentucky Cornville, Maine Falmouth, Maine Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Frederick, Maryland Mashpee, Massachusetts Quincy, Massachusetts Stoughton, Massachusetts Westford, Massachusetts Owosso, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Stevensville, Michigan Arden Hills, Minnesota Braham, Minnesota Lake George, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports) Young America, Minnesota Mathiston, Mississippi Marshall, Missouri St Louis, Missouri Lincoln, Nebraska Auburn, New Hampshire Nelson, New Hampshire Roswell, New Mexico Ballston Spa, New York Cayuga Heights, New York Deposit, New York Hilton, New York Honeoye Falls, New York Jefferson, New York West Kill, New York Zena, New York Clayton, North Carolina Fayetteville, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Belfield, North Dakota Medora, North Dakota Fort Jennings, Ohio Glouster, Ohio Greenville, Ohio Lorain, Ohio Newark, Ohio North Ridgeville, Ohio Vinton, Ohio Enid, Oklahoma Owasso, Oklahoma Ashland, Oregon Harbeck-fruitdale, Oregon Portland, Oregon (2 reports) Brookhaven, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Milford, Pennsylvania Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina Lincolnville, South Carolina Lenoir City, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Abilene, Texas Belton, Texas Deer Park, Texas Desoto, Texas Houston, Texas (2 reports) Pflugerville, Texas San Antonio, Texas Elk Ridge, Utah Nibley, Utah Fairlawn, Virginia Jonesville, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Colville, Washington Kalama, Washington Lake Goodwin, Washington Millwood, Washington Moxee, Washington White Center, Washington Altoona, Wisconsin Ellsworth, Wisconsin Marinette, Wisconsin Merrimac, Wisconsin Pulaski, Wisconsin Spooner, Wisconsin Wittenberg, Wisconsin Johnstown, Wyoming Riverton, Wyoming