How to Harvest Chives Year-Round Without Affecting Their Growth

Chives are a wonderful addition to your herb garden. With their mild onion flavor, and pretty purple flowers, they make a great addition or garnish to any meal. Chive blossom flower heads can be harvested in the late spring or early summer, and can be used as a garnish or milder addition to a dish. Harvesting and planting chives is actually pretty easy, as they are a low maintenance plant. It's a great first time plant to grow in your home garden. In fact, chives are so easy to grow that you can often find them sprouting in your lawn.

Harvesting Chives

Chives aka Allium schoenoprasum thrives in full sun. This is great if you have a windowsill that gets a lot of light or if you have a sunny spot in your yard. There is no set time to harvest chives. Just know that they will produce better in their second year rather than the first year. Chives are a perennial herb and have a long growing season. They start popping up in early spring and you can harvest them once the leaves are 3-4 inches long. Chives will grow until the first frost of the season. If you live in a perpetually warm climate like Florida, you could have fresh chives all year long.

To ensure your chive plants maintain new growth, you'll need to remove the entire length of the leaf. You should snip the entire leaf, down to the base of the plant. After the plant blooms and there are no more chive flowers, you'll want to prune the entire plant. You will want to cut chive leaves and woody flower stalks.

One of the great things about chives is that the entire plant is edible. You can use chives, as well as chive leaves and flowers in your salads and to flavor homemade hummus and salsa.

Storing Chives

You can eat chives fresh or dried, but fresh has the better flavor. To keep them fresh, place the ends in water, or wrap them in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. If you have too many to store, you can also cut and freeze the chives. They will lose some flavor and potency, but this is better than tossing them.

You can purchase a 4 pack of chive plants on Amazon for $18.99. If you're just looking for chive seeds, you can find those here.

Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.