I Love Allium Schoenoprasum aka Garden Chives

Apr 6, 2021 | Gardens

Name: Allium schoenoprasum aka garden chives

Type of Plant: A perennial herb that grows from small bulbs, hardy in Zones 4-8.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: For me, this is one of my favorite early-to-grow plants in the spring. It is the first herb that I can cut fresh from the garden in April, and it continues to produce the tender leaves all summer and into the fall.

I love using chives in a number of dishes where I want a mild onion flavor. They can be added to cooked food or sprinkled on raw just before serving. Think baked potatoes, cold summer soups or tofu salads.

A Word to the Wise: After the pretty purple flowers start to fade, cut these off before they go to seed. Allium will grow in your lawn, gardens and the drive way if you don’t get rid of the seeds. I cut the flower stems off too, so that when I go out to snip a group of chives for cooking, I don’t have to pick out these tough stems.

chives in bloom with purple flowers

In April the chives are only a few inches tall, but in June they have lovely purple flowers.

spent flowers on chives, gray in color and needing to be cut off

When the flowers fade to gray, it’s time to cut them off so that they won’t seed a zillion more plants around your yard and gardens.

chives on a cutting board with red noodle beans and cilantro, ready to make into a stir-fry

If you remove the flower stems, it makes cutting the chives for cooking easier later in the year. The more of the leaves you cut, the more they will grow.

This photo shows how tough this plant really is. It was growing in a wall garden.

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