How to plant chives

Allium fistulosum

Green onions are a perennial plant from China, grown there and in Japan since antiquity. This herb has pseudostems and hollow cylindrical leaves, and does not form bulbs like the onion. There are many cultivars of green onions, mainly in Asia, where there are high and low cultivars.

The leaves and small pseudostems of low cultivars are used in several types of dishes, and can be eaten both raw and cooked. Long pseudostems are the most appreciated part of tall cultivars. Low and high cultivars are similar in appearance to chives and leeks respectively. The most common cultivars in the west are low.

The leaves of the green onions are larger than that of the chives, and their flowers are white. Many of the cultivars propagate vegetatively, forming thickets over time.


Green onions grow best at temperatures ranging from 13 ° C to 24 ° C, but there are cultivars that can withstand low temperatures and there are cultivars that can grow well at high temperatures.


Green onions require direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily.


Cultivate preferably in well-drained, fertile soil and rich in organic matter. Green onions are a very rustic plant and will grow well in almost any soil, except for soaking and very acid soils.


Irrigate frequently so that the soil is kept moist, but without being soaked. The adult plant is relatively resistant to short periods of drought.


Green onions can be grown through seeds or by dividing clumps formed by adult plants.

The seeds can be planted directly in the final location or in sowing, transplanting the seedlings when they become large enough to be handled.

The planting method by dividing clumps consists of separating each plant from the clump, harvesting the most developed leaves and planting each plant spaced at the same depth in which it was previously found.

Some cultivars of green onions propagate vegetatively less frequently, and therefore are not suitable for the split planting method.

Green onions, like chives, can be easily grown in pots and planters.


Remove, if necessary, invasive plants that are competing with the green onions for nutrients and resources.

If the goal is to harvest the pseudostem, periodically pile up soil next to the plant to obtain long white pseudostem.


The harvesting of green chive leaves can begin between 75 and 120 days after planting, depending on the cultivar and cultivation conditions. The leaves should be harvested entirely, close to the base, and not in half. The plant can also be harvested whole, to use the pseudostem. In this case, the harvest is carried out by some horticulturists about 3 months after planting, while others let the plant grow for 9 months or more.

Chives are a perennial plant.

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