Alphabetical Plant Listing

Allium tuberosum (Garlic Chives)

Chinese Chives, Fragrant-Flowered Garlic, Garlic Chives, Oriental Garlic, Asian Chives, Chinese Leek


A late-season bloomer, Allium tuberosum (Garlic Chives) is a vigorous bulbous perennial forming a dense clump of narrow, edible, strappy green leaves. Blooming in late summer and fall, umbels of tiny, fragrant, star-shaped white flowers are borne atop leafless stems well above the foliage. The sweetly scented blossoms are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The leaves emit an onion or garlic scent when bruised or crushed. Garlic Chives are grown for culinary purposes and ornamental garden appeal. The leaves are flatter than those of common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and may be used in cooking to impart a mild garlic flavor to sauces, stews, vegetables, fish, eggs, and poultry. The flowers are also edible, so can be used as a garnish or added to salads. They are also good for cutting and the seed heads are great for dried arrangements. Native to southeastern Asia, the plant is grown extensively in China for culinary purposes or herbal medicine for a variety of ailments. Evergreen in warmer climates, the plant dies back to the ground over the winter in colder climates. This plant can be invasive in optimum growing conditions and should be planted with care.

  • Grows up to 12-18 in. tall (30-45 cm) and 12-24 in. wide (30-60 cm). This plant can spread aggressively by self-seeding and tuberous rootstocks.
  • Easy to grow, Garlic Chives thrive in fertile, moisture-retentive, well-drained soils in full sun. Chinese Chives are drought-tolerant once established.
  • Chives are great additions to herb gardens, vegetable gardens, rock gardens, border fronts, or containers.
  • Chives attract bees and butterflies, but their strong smell turns away deer.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, allium leaf-mining fly, onion fly, onion white rot, and downy mildew.
  • Deadhead to prevent unwanted self-seeding.
  • Leaves can be harvested to eat anytime they are green.
  • Propagate by seed sown as soon as ripe or in spring in a cold frame. Divide clumps every 3 years in early spring or remove offsets in fall.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.
  • Allium tuberosum is native to the Chinese province of Shanxi and cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in Asia and around the world.

Hundreds of Allium species exist, but only a few have made a name for themselves as garden plants. The ornamental onions distinguish themselves by their remarkable diversity in color, inflorescence, and flowering height. Many species bloom in early summer - just after the spring-flowering period and just before the exuberant full bloom of summer. Certain small species are perfect for a rock garden, and several lend themselves to naturalizing. All species can be used in the border.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Herbs
Plant Family Allium
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock, Paul S Drobot, Chanticleer Gardens

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Herbs
Plant Family Allium
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Allium

Guides with Allium

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