Also known as Allium schoenoprasm, Chives are hardy perennials and the smallest species of edible onions. These herbs can grow between 10 to 15 inches in height. Chives are described as having long, green, onion like leaves with lavender colored pom-pom flowers on top of their stalks. Chives are well known for their pungent flavor in many recipes. And don’t hesitate! Not only is the green part of this herb edible and flavorful, the purple flowers can also be used. They make a great addition to vinegars, salads, or any other recipe you use chives.

When growing Chives in a garden, make sure that the plant is well drained, using medium rich soil (found at greenhouses or local home improvement stores), and full sun much like the basil herb. Chives have a slow germination period, so they take longer to grow. However, like many other herbs, if you continuously plant seeds while growing other plants, this will encourage a bigger crop.

To increase the amount of Chives in a garden, it is suggested to separate or “clump” groups of chives. This stimulates rapid growth. Chives should be split in this fashion every two or three years, if you plan on keeping them for that long. If you do wish to plant chives in a garden, consider this: Chives have an insect-repelling property, and are often used in gardens to control pests and bug population.

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Chives are known to be weaker than their cousin garlic, but still have had proven beneficial effects on the circulatory system.