The chive is a member of the onion family. It grows in clumps and reaches a height of 612 inches. It produces narrow, hollow leaves and attractive violet, globe-shaped flowers in May or June.
This bulbous plant can be propagated by dividing clumps (keep 46 bulblets per clump), planting seed, or planting bulbs similar to onion sets. Chives are perennial and will grow for many years. To prevent overcrowding, divide established plants every 23 years. Flowers can be removed to encourage foliage growth. In fall, transplant a clump into fresh potting mix and place indoors on a south or west window to enjoy fresh chives throughout the winter months. Allow chive plants to experience a freeze before digging clumps and potting. The resulting plants will be of better quality.
Green leaves give a mild onion-like flavor to many foods and often are blended with other herbs for salads, soups and omelets. Snip leaves throughout the growing season. They may be used fresh, dry or frozen. The flowers may be harvested too. The bulbs are not used.