This online guide has been created for you to successfully grow a variety of plants that thrive in the tropics, using native seeds and plants to get growing with wise advice from fellow backyard gardeners and farmers.   You are welcome to add your wisdom and share growing and harvest tips and recipes. Send to Welcome to the Pro-Organic Belize
Tropical Garden Grow Guide

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Plant of the Month October 2023


Botanic name: Allium schoenoprasum(onion chives);
Allium tuberosum
(garlic chives)
Sun exposure: Full sun is preferred, however they will grow in areas with some shade
pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Soil preference: Chives thrive best in well drained, fertile loamy soil



Grow Guide Index



Onion and garlic chives are hardy perennial herbs. Their green tubular stems have a mild sweet onion or garlic-like aroma and taste.  Onion chives produce lilac to pink blossoms. Garlic chives produce white blossoms.  The entire plant from the underground bulb to the stem and flower add nutrition and color when they are used to sprinkled on eggs or tofu dishes, potatoes, rice, noodles, salad, soup and to make pesto.  Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.  Chives are a decorative and handy plant to grow in containers as well as in the garden.  Growing chives close to your house in planters and containers is easy and makes harvesting the stems handy at mealtimes.

How to grow: The best way to grow chives is to obtain a clump from an established garden, divide the clump into smaller clumps then plant in a pot with drainage or in your  garden.  Be sure to mark the spot because chives look like grass and may get weeded by mistake. Plants may also be started from seed.  Fill a container or gardening pot with soil, plant the seeds ¼ inch deep, cover lightly with soil and be sure to water until the plants are established. 


Disease and insect control: Chives are remarkably hardy.  Their aroma deters insects.

Do not plant or allow the soil to get too soggy as it may cause root rot.


How to harvest: Once the plants are settled in and growing, they may be harvested by clipping the stems close to the bud, the stems can be snipped with scissors or a sharp knife before adding to recipes.


Health benefits: Chives are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin A as well as potassium, calcium and antioxidants.


Recipe:  Chive Flat Bread – for a small batch of four thin flat breads only 5 ingredients are needed: flour, salt, water and chives and enough oil to pan fry


1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup warm water and perhaps a little more if the dough is dry and crumbly

¾ cup minced chives


Place flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Slowly mix in the warm water until a dough is formed.  It will be stiffer than bread dough.

Knead for 5 minutes, then make the dough into a ball and rub with oil.

Set the dough aside for about ½ hour.  Meanwhile, harvest enough chives to mince into ¾ cup.


Blend the chives into the dough and knead until they are all mixed in.


Divide the dough into 4 pieces, roll out each piece or pat with your hands until

each piece is about ¼ inch or less thick.


Heat about 2 TBS oil in a frying pan, add the pieces of dough and cook about 3 minutes over a low heat, flip them over and cook another 2 – minutes – until they look toasty.

Best served warm with dips, guacamole, hummus  or sauteed onions, Swiss chard and tofu.


Chive vinegar may be made by steeping the blossoms and stems of the chives.