garlic chives growing

Garlic Chives Growing Guide

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Garlic Chives Growing in Australia

This Garlic chives growing guide is to help you grow this wonderful herb, with its long green shoots, chive-like appearance and garlic flavour.

While this plant may taste like garlic, it is actually a member of the onion family. Indeed it is a perennial that grows around the world. It grows so well in Australia that in some areas it is considered a noxious weed.

What are other names for garlic chives?

Other names for garlic chives (allium tuberosum) include Chinese chives and Chinese leek.

Garlic Chives Growing Conditions

This plant will survive in poor soil. Indeed almost any well draining soil will be suitable to grow this herb in. It enjoys sun but will tolerate part shade.

You can plant your garlic chives with companion plants such as cucumbers, basil and tomatoes. Having garlic chives next to these plants is said to help protect them from pests like Japanese beetles, black spot and mildew.

Garlic Chives Growing from Seed

Time needed: 4 minutes

How to grow garlic chives from seed

  1. Sow:

    Sow your seeds in a row every 10cm (4in) or so, dropping a few seeds into each hole.

  2. Sun and Water:

    Plant your seeds in full sun or as close to as possible (part shade is acceptable).

  3. Thinning:

    Thin as required to make sure your plants are 25cm-30cm (10-12in) apart.

  4. Mulch

    Mulch around your plants to deter pests and save water.

  5. Harvest:

    Do not harvest in the first year. After this, harvest young leaves any time. Indeed you can use a pair of scissors to do this. However, make sure you cut at the base of the leaves just above the soil level.

Garlic chives growing in pots

Growing garlic chives in pots is easy. In the tropics, growing in pots is recommended. This is because the ground can become water-logged during the wet season, which is not great for chives. Pots are more likely to provide the well draining environment that chives prefer.

In the right conditions, you may not need to fertilise at all. However, you can apply a slow release fertiliser at the time of planting.

During the wet season you can also apply a liquid seaweed fertiliser every month or so. However, only do so if you feel it is needed.

Further, make sure you do not over-fertilise, as slightly slower growth produces a healthier plant with a better flavour.

Garlic Chives Growing Tips

Wait at least 12 months before harvesting. After this you can harvest leaves at any time. Simply use a pair of scissors and make sure you cut at the base of the leaves just above the soil level.

Garlic Chives Growing bunch
Garlic Chives Bunch


This plant has deep roots. Consequently it benefits from deep watering. So allow a few days in between watering (for the top of the soil to dry out).

Garlic Chives Growing Season

Garlic chives loves humid tropical and sub-tropical growing conditions. They can gow all year around in these locations.

Pests and Diseases 

Garlic chives are fairly pest resistant. However, they do experience rust and black aphids.

Regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. White oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home. Also, Neem oil is a great organic way to keep pests at bay.

Health Benefits

They not only have a number of uses in the kitchen, they also have benefits for your digestive system and blood circulation. The fibre in this plant can also help to ease the digestive process.

Chives are high in flavonoid antioxidants. Indeed these antioxidants help fight cancer, improve heart health, and can even fight inflammation. They also detoxify the body and boost skin health.

Chives also contain choline – choline is a nutrient that helps with mood, memory, muscle control, the nervous system and other areas of brain function.

Thanks for reading and I hope our garlic chives growing tips help.

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