When to Plant Chives


Chives can be started from seeds or divisions. Divisions can be planted in spring as soon as the soil is workable.

Sow chives seeds indoors 4 to 8 weeks before you transplant seedlings in the garden. Seedlings can be transplanted to the garden anytime after the last frost. Sow seeds directly in the garden after the last frost.

The optimal growing temperature for chives is 40-85°F (-40-29°C). Chives can also be grown indoors.

Grow chives in full sun. Chives will thrive in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist. Shade plants from direct sun in hot climates with porous shade fabric.

Chives can be harvested as soon as the plants are well established. Harvest can begin as soon as plants are 3-4 inches (7.5-10cm) tall. Clip the tops of leaves as you need them. Allow some plants to flower and expand the colony for later division.

Chives in garden
Green chives

Chives planting dates

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 30Jan. 1-Feb. 1
Feb. 8Jan. 1-Feb. 1
Feb. 18Jan. 1-Feb. 1
Feb. 28Jan. 15-Feb. 15
Mar. 10Feb. 1-Mar. 1
Mar. 20Feb. 10-Mar. 10
Mar. 30Feb. 15-Mar. 15
Apr. 10Mar. 1-Apr. 1
Apr. 20Mar. 10-Apr. 10
Apr. 30Mar. 20-Apr. 20
May 10Apr. 1- May 1
May 20April 15-May 15
May 30May 1-June 1
June 10May 1-June 1

Chives planting details

  • Sowing depth: ¼- ½  inch (12mm)
  • Space between plant after thinning: 6 inches (15cm)
  • Days to sprout: 10-14
  • Days to harvest: 75-95
  • Storage period: 7-10 refrigerated, frozen, or dried
  • Suggested varieties: Nonvarietal

Related articles about chives:

How to Grow Chives

Chives: Kitchen Basics

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

Sweet potato seedlings

When to Plant Sweet Potatoes

Summer squash seedling

When to Plant Squash