Chives that don’t bloom


I have the responsibility for a small flower bed on Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto.
We decided to alternate Chives and marigolds (with other herbs in the middle. It would have been lovely had the chives bloomed, purple to contrast with the marigolds. Sadly they didn’t. Some plants remain so we can use them next year. What can we do to ensure bloom? Thanks


It sounds like you are involved in a lovely project, tending a small flower bed. What a disappointment to have chives that did not bloom! The contrast of purple flowers against the colour of marigolds would have been very nice indeed.

Perhaps something in the growing conditions caused the chives to not bloom. Chives thrive in full sun and well drained soil, rich in organic matter. The easiest and most successful way of growing chives is planting rooted clumps in spring, after danger of frost has passed. Established plants should be divided every three to four years. Spring is the best time for division. I would suggest spacing plants 6-12 inches apart. Since chives thrive in soil rich in organic matter, replant new clumps in soil enriched with such matter, for example a fine compost.

Below are links to the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota sites which provide information on growing chives.

Good luck in growing flowering chives.