How to Grow Allium Schoenoprasum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Chives

Allium schoenoprasum, commonly known as Chives, are not only beautiful but edible.

Part of the amaryllis family and closely related to the onion, leek and scallion, Chives produce slender, hollow spears topped off with fluffy, amethyst-colored flowers.

Chives grow from six inches to one foot tall (15 to 30 cm), although some varieties can reach two feet tall and 12 inches wide (60 cm by 30 cm).


Allium schoenoprasum o cebollino photograph by Manuel.

They have a mild onion scent and taste, and can be used as a seasoning or a garnish in dishes such as salads, soups and omelettes.

Although chive stems are more widely known to be edible, the flowers can be consumed too.

Chives are not only prized for their charm and culinary uses. They are easy to grow, attract delightful pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds, and produce tight groundcover that prevents weed invasion.

Chives look striking in herb gardens, rock gardens, borders, and in vegetable gardens.

Gardener's HQ Allium schoenoprasum Growing Guide

Allium schoenoprasum are simple to grow either from seeds or divisions.

If sown from seed, they should be started indoors eight to 10 weeks before the first frost. Seeds can also be directly planted when the soil is warm.

These herbs love to bask in direct sunlight, but they'll also be well-contented in partial shade.

Soil should be well-drained and filled with rich organic matter.

Although they are drought-resistant, Chives do best when they are regularly watered. Care should be taken to keep the soil moist, not soaked.

Chives have scant nutrient needs, so they don’t need to be fertilized regularly.

They should be planted eight to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) apart so that they grow together to form a lush cluster.

Allium schoenoprasum can also be grown as a companion plant to repel garden pests. When planted near carrots, mustard greens, cabbage, and tomatoes they can deter aphids, carrot flies, and cabbage worms.

Allium schoenoprasum Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Common Name: Chives
  • Growing Zone: USA: 5 to 11; UK H6, hardy to -20°C.
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Herbaceous, Indoor Plant, Perennial

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 12 to 24
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 12 to 24
  • Time of Bloom: Late spring through early summer
  • Flower Details: Pink
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Irregular or sprawling, Upright or erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Average pace
  • Suitable Soil Types: Adaptable, Loamy, Sandy, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Low
  • Propagation: Seed, or division at any time
  • How to Prune: Cut back after flowering or merely remove dead flower heads
  • Pests: Usually pest free
  • Diseases: Mainly trouble free, Onion white rot and downy mildew

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Deer, Drought, Black Walnut
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container, En masse , Rock garden
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Leucojum, Galanthus.

  • Miscellaneous: North American native, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers
  • Genus Detail: Allium
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Allium Schoenoprasum. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Sprekelia and Crinum plants.