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Growing Chives From Seed

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Growing chives from seed is very easy, it a low maintenance attractive plant that will flourish in the herb or vegetable garden, pots, or even as a garden border.

Chives grown from seed in a wooden pot

How to Grow Chives From Seed

Chives are one of my favorite fresh herbs to have on hand. Their mild onion flavor is a great addition to so many dishes. Salads, dressings, cheese dishes, soups, pasta, fish, the list is endless!

Chives also make an attractive plant, especially when in flower. The flowers are edible, and also attract bees and butterflies, so are a great addition to any garden!

Chive seeds can be sown directly in the garden, but because they are sensitive to cold temperatures, it is a good idea to start them in pots and keep them inside or in a sheltered spot until the weather is reliably warm and the frosts are over.

What do you need to grow chives from seeds?

Standard seed cultivating equipment is all you need to grow chives!

  1. Chive seeds
  2. Seedling pots—I like to use peat pots, or you can make your own by cutting up old cardboard egg cartons
  3. Seedling potting mix
Chive seedlings growing in a seedling pot
Growing Chives From Seed

Growing Chives: Frequently Asked Questions

Are Chives Easy to Grow From Seed?

Yes chives are very easy to grow from seed. They are a low maintenance herb, and very easy to care for, indoors or out.

How to Plant Chive Seeds

Chive seeds can be grown indoors or outdoors. They should be planted approximately 1/2 inch deep in the soil, and approximately 1/2 inch apart.

How Long Does it Take for Chives to Grow From Seed?

Chive seeds will take around 14-21 days to sprout. Chives should be re-potted at around 7-9 weeks, when they have reached a few inches in height.
It will take around 12 weeks from planting seeds until the chives are ready to harvest.

How do I Encourage Chives to Grow?

Giving chives enough light is important to encourage growth. Ideally position your chives in full sun, though partial shade should also provide enough light for them to grow well.
Chives also prefer rich soil, so when planting out it is beneficial to add organic matter (such as compost) to the soil. Whether growing in the garden or in pots, feed regularly with a liquid plant food.

When Can I Sow Chive Seeds?

Chive seedlings are very sensitive to frost, so if you are planting chives seeds outside then it is best to wait to plant the seeds until after the last frost.
If you’re planting chive seeds indoors, the time of year you plant them is less important, but if you are intending on transferring them to an outdoor garden then you will want to plant them so that so that they are ready to transplant after the final frost.

What Should I Plant Chives With?

Chives make good companion plants for carrots, tomatoes, fruit trees and roses.

Growing Chives From Seed: Step-by-step guide

Growing chives from seed

Chives grown from seed in a wooden pot

Step-by-step guide to growing chives from seeds.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost <$5


  • Chive seeds
  • Potting mix or seed raising mix
  • Seedling pot(s)
  • Water


  • Gardening gloves


  1. Put on gardening gloves, and fill seedling pot to around 1 inch below the top.
  2. Place seeds on top of the soil – you can put several seeds in each seedling pot, but be sure to space them out approximately 1/4 inch between seeds.
  3. Use more potting mix to cover the seeds and fill the seedling pot almost to the top.
  4. Press down gently so the soil feels secure.
  5. Pour a small amount of clean water over the surface so that the soil is damp.
  6. Place seedling pot on a saucer and in a place with bright light, but not in direct sun.
  7. Check the soil every night. If the soil feels crumby and dry pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.


  1. Sprouting time is approximately 14-21 days.
  2. The chive seedlings should be ready to re-pot after 7-9 weeks after planting seeds when they are around 6 inches in height.
  3. The chives should be ready to harvest or start to use after around 12 weeks after planting seeds.

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