Allium schoenoprasum, Chives
Purple globe shaped flowers. Narrow cylindrical, mid green leaves. Culinary; both the leaves and flowers are edible, they have mild onion flavour. Add to salads, egg and cheese dishes.
• Hardiness: H5 (-10 to -15C)
• Type: Herbaceous Perennial
• Height: 30cm
• Spread: 30cm
• Soil type: Fertile Sand, Loam, Free Draining
• pH: Universal pH
• Habit: Clump
• Flowering colour: Purple
• Flowering time: Summer
• Uses: Culinary & Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide To Culinary Herbs and Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: No
• Container suitability: Yes
• UK native: No
• Caution: N/A
• Indoor Sowing: In spring in prepared plug trays or pots, cover seeds with perlite. Bottom heat, 18°C, aids germination.
• Outdoor Sowing: In early summer direct into a fertile free draining soil, in full sun. Thin seedlings to 15cm apart.
• Propagation: Division
• Maintenance: (Read Jekka's Blogs on Early Spring, Late Spring and Autumn maintenance)
• Harvest: May be cut to within 3cm of the ground 4 times a year to maintain supply of fresh leaves. Leaves do not dry well; refrigerated leaves in sealed plastic bag will store for 7 days, or freeze chopped leaves into ice cubes. Cut flowers when fully open for use in salads and sauces.
Chives are rarely used medicinally, but might be considered to be a gentler version of garlic, which has often been seen as an aid to digestion, circulation of the blood and as an antimicrobial herb in a number of settings.
Caution: No major issues identified.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
Growing indoors? Check out Jekka's blog on indoor herb gardening for some advice.
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.