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Allium schoenoprasum

Tasty onion flavoured leaves and bright purple pom-pom flowers

Chives are a must have for any herb garden. The clumps of tube-like leaves have a delicate onion aroma and flavour. Cut the leaves through as needed. The attractive heads of pinkish-purple flowers in the summer are another reason to grow this useful herb.


Easy to grow in containers by the kitchen door, or at the front of a sunny border.


Best in a well drained soil. Cut all the leaves back to just above ground level in midsummer to encourage a second flush of young tender leaves, for you to use into early autumn. Use a good quality potting compost for container growing.

Add the leaves to salads, stuffing and sauces. Great with egg dishes. The attractive pink flowers are also edible.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Herb
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available February - September
Season of interest Summer
Flowering June - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 10 cm - 50 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 30 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Choose a container, with drainage holes at least twice the size of the one the plant is currently growing in. Place stones, broken up flowerpots or polystyrene in a thin layer over the holes to help with drainage. Place a layer of multi-purpose compost on top. Remove the pot and position the plant so the top of the rootball sits 2.5cm below the rim of the pot. Fill around the rootball with compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered especially through dry spells.

Planting site Gravel garden, Patio container, Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds

Additional Information for Fruit, Veg and Bulbs

Property Value
Sowing March - December

Typically available

From February to September