Onion Chives

A must in any cook,s garden, onion chives impart a delicate onion-type flavor to foods. Since cooking usually destroys the flavor, as with many culinary herbs, finely chopped raw onion chives are preferred, especially when sprinkled on at the last minute. They are essential in herb butters.

Onion chives like a garden soil that is rather light in texture. Though they are quite hardy and trouble-free, they grow slowly, and may take nearly a year to produce a mature clump. Divide these clumps about every third year , and don’t be surprised if the tops die back in the winter. New growth will emerge from the roots.

You can tell the difference between onion chives and garlic chives by looking closely at the shape of the leaves — onion chive leaves are very small and tubular. Those of garlic chives are flat when the plant is mature. However, young plants of both kinds in 4-inch pots tend to look alike, so one must rely on the plant tags.

Onion chives produce pretty lavender-pink globe-shaped flowers, so they’re lovely along the edge of a garden. However, pinching the blooms off will encourage more growth of the useful leaves.