How to Pot Up Chives

Chives are my favorite herb. They have pretty lavender blooms in early spring so you can work them into your flower beds or grow them in pots.

Chives taste like mild green onion with a hint of garlic and go well in all sorts of dishes. In many cases you can substitute chive for green onions or scallions. I have made huge batches of basil-chive pesto and I particularly love chives with eggs. Chives are super easy to chop with a knife or my favorite method, a pair of kitchen scissors.

Chives can be grown from seed but will stay pretty small the first year. It is a fun project but if you want to get cooking quickly, I recommend buying an established plant or asking a friend for a starter plant. Chives divide and spread as they grow so I usually give away a few pots each spring. If a chive plant at the store still has little black seed hulls at the tops of the sprouts, don’t bother, that plant is maybe 2 weeks old and you could easily do the same with a pack of seeds. The photo below is of onion seedlings, but chives sprouts look pretty much the same.

In the past few winters my chives have died back to the roots but returned in the spring. To ensure a supply of fresh chives over the winter, I dug up a mature chive clump from the backyard for my basement herb garden.

I gently pulled the clump apart so each shoot will get a bit more space in the pot. You can also divide and space chives in the garden to promote growth. Chives aren’t fussy, but I would avoid dividing and transplanting any plant in the peak heat of the summer.

Place the chives and fill with potting soil.

Trim the chives to keep things neat and encourage growth. I trimmed so the chives to the same height as my other basement herbs. Water and let the pot rest in part sun for a few days.