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perennial

Giant Chives

Allium sibiricum

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Giant Chives (Allium sibiricum) at Snavely's Garden Corner

Giant Chives in bloom

Giant Chives in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  6 inches

Flower Height:  12 inches

Spread:  9 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2b

Other Names:  Ornamental Onion, Flowering Onion

Description:

Fuchsia flowers emerge from narrow strappy green foliage in mid-summer; flowers are smaller than other varieties; attracts butterflies; plant close together for a massed effect

Ornamental Features

Giant Chives is primarily valued in the garden for its distinctive form, with the flower stalks towering over the foliage. It features bold balls of lightly-scented fuchsia flowers at the ends of the stems in mid summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its fragrant narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Giant Chives is an open herbaceous perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Giant Chives is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Herb Gardens

Planting & Growing

Giant Chives will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 9 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Herb 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Plant Form  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features