Chives belong to the lily family native to Asia, Europe and North America they are grown for leaves and flowers. There are two types of chives one is onion and other garlic chives and used in a similar fashion, both poplar in the garden and as well as in the kitchen.
Onion chives have rosy purple flowers and where as Garlic chives have pretty white flowers with leaves mildly garlic flavored. Leaves are round, hollow and waxy like onion leaves. They can grow up to 12” tall.
Onion chives are called as Allium schoenoprasum and Garlic Chives as Allium tuberosum or Chinese chives.
Chives like full sun but can also grow in semi shady areas too. Plant them 10-12 inches apart. It needs rich well drained soil. Poor soil – poor growth. Water them well until well rooted. Fertilize them once a month.
Beautiful rosy pink/white flowers appear but if you pinch off the flower buds then the plant produce more leaves. You can cut the plants to the ground level (leaving around 1inch) and again it will come back. You can divide the clumps for new plants whenever you feel that it is overcrowding or your pot is full.
In gardens it can be used as perennial edging or as a border plant and can be grown as beds in flower garden. They grow well in the ground or in any pot/container.
If you are using in the kitchen just add to the dishes at the very end of the cooking process, if added while cooking their mild flavor and aroma is destroyed by heat. Purple flowers of onion chives, which are also edible, float beautifully in any soup. They can be frozen for later use. Flowers can be used in flower arrangements too.
Chives are a very good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Zinc, and also a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
The only pest attacks are Aphids. You can spray neem based pesticides once you notice the pests.
Happy gardening with Chives…………………………