Comfrey!

herbantherapy
herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Growing Medicinals

So I have a HUGE Comfrey plant. I planted it last spring it got about 4’ tall by September and started flowering. It overwintered and now it is ALREADY over 4’ tall and flowering in May!!! My hubby is standing there for reference, he is 6’2”

Should I cut it back? Cut off the flowers? Let it go and see how big it will get??!? HELP!


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Comments

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy also, what is the plant in the basket that what is in the basket looks like taters and the greens look like carrot stalks?

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz the basket hanging (not on the rail) is Dusty Miller, fuschia and supertunia latte. The dusty miller and fuschia were cuttings from last summer I over wintered. I can’t wait to see the basket spill over!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz the video is all about how to use comfrey which I’m very familiar with.

    Another great thing comfrey does not mentioned in the video is how terrific it is for compost! I mulched other herbs with it last fall and those herbs are doing better than all the others this spring!

    I’m just needing to know how to maintain it in the garden.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy I'm going to look up supertunia latte...I don't remember ever seeing one. The dusty miller and fuschia I"m familiar with. Can't wait to see them at fruition.

    Let me know if the vid helped on the comfrey. I just ordered seeds from Richters, not here yet, can't wait to plant them.

    Any tips on plant comfrey from seed, the how and where and why kinda thing?

  • drpclarke
    drpclarke Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    I love comfrey and I use it as a fertilizer for my plants. I am going to cut some up tomorrow and put it in a large bucket of water tomorrow to make a tea.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy I was gifted a start of comfrey in late winter last year. It is a monster if you don't keep it cut back. Last year, the year the start was planted, I cut it to the ground 3 times and 3 more times I harvested it heavily. It is back this year and probably 4 foot tall. I was worried that it would take over the bed I put it in after listening to Dr. Patrick Jones so I did everything I could to keep it curtailed. I'm in zone 6a and it has been blooming for about 2 weeks.

    I think you can harvest it all you want, maybe even cut it back and be just fine.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    I have cut my comfrey back a couple of times over the growing season. It can get a lot taller than the 42" mentioned in the video. It grows back just as big and flowers again each time. Its the plant that keeps on giving. If you're not using it all, it makes a great addition to the compost pile as @herbantherapy mentioned above. Thanks, @silvertipgrizz. Lots of good information in this video. Had never heard about using it for bad breath before. Learning new things every day!

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    If it's getting too big for the space, then I'd say cut it back and use the leaves as folks have mentioned above. You can just "chop & drop" to fertilize that area if you don't need it for other things.

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz i don’t have any advice for growing from seed. I got mine as a division, it’s growing in sandy loam and gets afternoon sun.

    Thanks everyone, I think I will heavily harvest and then let it do it’s thing for summer.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    Comfrey starts easily from cuttings.

    I use it for many things: fertilizer, soil cleaner and to help break soil up.

    I know there are two kinds of Comfrey. One has a more educational title with a 14 in it. I think its been modified. They say this one is safer to consume and does not spread as fast.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @herbantherapy you can cut it back as many times as you wish. I always cut it back after flowering and, if you want it to spread, after it develops seeds. Then you will have more than you wish in your garden. After flowering it looks sad and shabby, so I cut all of it and it ends in compost or in fertiliser for my vegetable garden. The new plant grows from the roots and looks nice again. I love comfrey, my bees love it too. I have different colours: pink, blue, white and they grow everywhere. They are allowed to...

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just trimmed one of my huge comfrey plants. I have a wheel barrel full! I plan to use some of the ideas above, plus make a liquid fertilizer for my gardens.

    My next huge plants I will add to ther ompost pile and feed some to the animals

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    My husband made comfrey tea last year. The other garden plants loved it. I cut and drop it all the time. Replanting it is easy. Just a week after cutting, you can't tell it's been touched.

  • flowerpower *
    flowerpower * Posts: 257 ✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy I have a lot of Comfrey. I have been told it is Comfrey, anyway. When I did some research I found out that there is a old type and a weakened medicine (perhaps less toxic) modern variety. The old type was said to spread more than the new type. Based on that I would say I have the old type because it seems to have spread by seeds into the nearby forest edge. So I would suggest that you may want to figure out if you have old type Comfrey or a modern variety of it.

    "There are two types of comfrey that are the most common to grow:

    • True/Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale) This is the most commonly grown variety, and it will reproduce from seed, division, and root cuttings.
    • Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is also called the Bocking 14 cultivar. Bocking 14 does not propagate by seed, only by root cuttings. This variety was developed in the 1950s by Lawrence Hills to prevent the rapid spread of Common Comfrey.

    There are several other interesting varieties of comfrey:

    • Symphytum asperum. This variety is also known as prickly comfrey or rough comfrey.
    • Symphytum bulbosum.
    • Symphytum caucasicum.
    • Symphytum ibericum. This is also known as creeping comfrey, a dwarf variety that grows low to the ground in a creeping habit.
    • Symphytum orientale.
    • Symphytum tauricum.
    • Symphytum tuberosum."


  • flowerpower *
    flowerpower * Posts: 257 ✭✭✭
  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Such great information here. Thanks for asking about comfrey @herbantherapy.

    I received a root(?) of comfrey when I ordered with one of the seeds companies this spring and I forget who now.

    But I planted it in a pot and it's growing. I'll now have to figure out which kind of comfrey I actually have. 🤔

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    One of the articles above describe using raised beds and all of the care they took growing comfrey. It's so hardy here (Virginia) that I've dug it up and planted it any old place and it just grows and grows and grows. No TLC needed. I'm getting ready to cut and divide it again. Guilty pangs hit me as I pass it and procrastinate as it's just a great big beautiful bountiful gift waiting to be used.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @frogvalley I trimmed my one huge comfrey and still have two huge bunched to do ans I feel the guilt pangs too...but its so pretty!~