Comfrey Growing Guide

Comfrey

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Any average, well drained soil.

Position

Partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Extremely cold hardy perennials, comfrey plants become dormant in winter and re-emerge every spring.

Feeding

Not generally needed.

Companions

Apple, Apricot, Peach, Pear, Plum, Persimmon, Nectarine and Asparagus. Comfrey is a large plant that tends to crowd out its neighbors.

Spacing

Single Plants: 60cm (1' 11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 60cm (1' 11") with 60cm (1' 11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start seeds indoors or sow them where you want them to grow, or start with a purchased plant. New growth emerges in spring, followed by flowers that attract pollinators in early summer.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Comfrey is a fine source of greens for composting or for using as a mulch around nutrient-hungry plants. When the large plants are cut back in summer, old branches are quickly replaced by a fresh flush of foliage.

Harvesting

Roots to be used to make medicinal ointments or skin creams can be harvested at any time, but preferably in early winter. Gather greens for composting in early summer and again in autumn. For medicinal use topical preparations made from comfrey roots are traditionally used to promote healing of sprains and broken bones by increasing circulation to the affected area. However it should not be taken internally as comfrey contains compounds that may harm the liver.

Troubleshooting

Comfrey has few problems with pests or diseases.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Comfrey