Boasting culinary value in the kitchen and good looks in the landscape, garlic chives make a great garden perennial. Exceptionally hardy, garlic chives thrive in Zones 3 through 9. These plants form slow-expanding clumps of gray-green foliage that stand 1 to 2 feet tall. The leaves feature a mild garlic flavor that is perfect for dishes that need a flavor kick without the boldness of garlic. Harvest leaves anytime they are green. Garlic chives can also be grown inside during winter for culinary use in cold weather months.
Use garlic chives just as you would traditional chives. Harvest the leaves with scissors or kitchen shears, cutting down to the soil line. Fresh garlic chives have the strongest flavor, but you can preserve them by chopping them up to dry. If you wish to use the flowers, crumble them and add them to egg dishes or soups. Store the leaves in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Grown as a landscape perennial and culinary plant, garlic chives complement annuals and perennials in the herb garden. The strappy, upright foliage (which reaches 12 inches tall) is especially attractive near mounding plants and those with large leaves. Pair garlic chives with parsley and basil in an herb garden.
Garlic chives bloom in late summer and fall. Decorating the garden with grasslike foliage for most the growing season, garlic chives begin flowering when many garden plants are starting to look bedraggled after a long growing season. The flowers have a sweet scent and are attractive to butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
Garlic Chives Care Must-Knows
Grow garlic chives in full sun and well-drained soil. Plants are easy to start from seed or divisions. Once established, garlic chives are notably heat-, cold-, and drought-tolerant. Dig and divide plants every three years to maintain vigor and blooming capabilities.
Garlic chives are a prolific seed producer and self-seed readily. Cut off flower stalks as soon as they finish blooming to prevent rampant spread. Seedlings are easy to remove when they are young, but the task is time-consuming because there are so many of them. Garlic chives can be invasive under some conditions, so plant with care.