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November 2012
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Allium Schoenoprasum or Chives is the smallest species of the edible onions.

Images of Allium Schoenoprasum or Chives at

Allium schoenoprasum, which is commonly known as Chives, is the smallest species of the edible onions.

Overview of Allium Schoenoprasum or Chives

• This is a herbaceous perennial plant.
• It is a native to Europe, Asia and North America.
• The name of the species comes from the Greek word skhoínos (sedge) and práson (leek).
• The English name, chives, comes from the French word cive and from lating word cepa, which means onion.
• They are used as an herb.
• They are grown in home gardens.
It is used in:
– Fish
– Potatoes
– Soups
– Other dishes
• This herb has insect-repelling properties.
• It can be grown in gardens for the pest control.
• Chives are bulb-forming.
• Chives can grow up to a height of 30–50 cm.
• Its bulbs are slender and conical.
• The bulbs are 2–3 cm long and 1 cm broad.
• They grow in dense clusters from the roots.
• The stems are hollow and tubular.
• The stems are up to 50 cm long, and 2–3 mm in diameter.
• The flowers are pale purple.
• The flowers are star-shaped.
• The petals are 6 in number and about 1–2 cm wide.
• The seeds are produced in a small three-valve capsule.
• The seeds mature in summer.
• The herb flowers from April to May.
• Chives are grown for their leaves.
• It is used as a flavoring herb.
• This plant has medicinal properties.
• Chives are known to have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system.

It is a:
– Stimulant
– Diuretic
– Antiseptic

Growing conditions for Allium Schoenoprasum or Chives

• Start from seeds.
• Start indoors.
• Plant them about six weeks later in outdoors.
• Plant them in winter.
• Seeds can be sown outside directly too.
• Even seedlings directly can be brought and planted.
• Plant 5 bulbs each in that case.
• Each bulb has to be 10 cm spaced.
• The plant can grow up to 8″ to 12″ across.
• Sun and water has to be provided each day in the early stages.
• Chives prefer full sun.
• They can also be grown in partial shade.
• Minimal watering is sufficient.
• Fertilization is not required for this plant.
• Cut at about 3 cm from the ground.
• Once pom-pom shaped flowers appear at the ends, they can be cut back again.
• Onion chives have purple flowers.
• White flowers sprout from garlic chives.
• The seeds of this plant germinate in about 15 to 21 days.
• Make the site weed free.

Caring conditions for Allium Schoenoprasum or Chives

• The site should receive full sun to partial shade.
• Fertilize moderately.
• Apply a balanced fertilizer once or twice a season.
• This is to be applied before mid-August.
• Do not dry out the chive plants.
• Water the plant once a week when it is very sunny.
• Check for thrips in the chives plant.
• Thrips affect the plant and wilt the leaves.
• Look for pale yellow to light-green spots on its leaves.
• This is downy mildew.
• Pluck the affected leaves.
• Reduce the humidity and increase the air circulation near the chives, if growing indoors.

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