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Comfrey, the wonder plant

Updated on May 15, 2014

How to grow comfrey, and why you should

Comfrey is a plant that is much loved by organic gardeners and permaculturalists because of its ability to provide fertility. Comfrey is a dynamic accumulator - it sends down deep roots and extracts mineral nutrients from the depths. These nutrients are stored in the leaves, which can then be used to feed other plants (and animals).

Comfrey as a healing herb

Comfrey on Amazon

Starwest Botanicals Organic Comfrey Leaf Cut and Sifted, 1 Pound Bulk Bag
Starwest Botanicals Organic Comfrey Leaf Cut and Sifted, 1 Pound Bulk Bag

One pound of certified organic (and Kosher) comfrey leaf cut packaged in a polyfoil resealable bag.

 
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Comfrey Extract - 1 Ounce
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Comfrey Extract - 1 Ounce

Comfrey Extract from fresh (undried) roots of Symphytum officinale plants which are Certified Organically Grown; for external use.

 
Comfrey Root, Cut & Sifted Frontier Natural Products 1 lbs Bulk
Comfrey Root, Cut & Sifted Frontier Natural Products 1 lbs Bulk

Contains Comfrey and Allantoin, which are known for their healing and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as Lavandin, which helps prevent scarring.

 
Comfrey bucket
Comfrey bucket

Comfrey and potatoes

Plant your potatoes with comfrey for an early boost

One of the traditional uses for the first flush of comfrey leaves is to use them to line the planting holes for your potatoes.

The leaves break down rapidly in the soil, leaving their nutrients behind to give your potato plants an early feed.

Bees love comfrey
Bees love comfrey

The Alternative Kitchen Garden Podcast: Comfrey

Grow your own fertilizer

Comfrey is an easy plant to grow that requires little care and provides many benefits. Learn about growing comfrey by listening to episode 7 of The Alternative Kitchen Garden Podcast.

Weed of the Week
Weed of the Week

Weed of the Week

Comfrey is Beansprout's weed of the week.

It might be difficult to get rid of, but you don't need to try! Simply designate it a comfrey patch and re-educate everyone to think of comfrey as a useful plant.

Make your own liquid feed

Free liquid fertilizer for hungry plants

Liquid comfrey feed is easy to make and a great boost for hungry plants - especially fruiting plants like peppers and tomatoes.

There are two ways to make it - if you add water it stinks and you will be very unpopular with your neighbors.

I have trialled a water-less way of making comfrey liquid, which is easy and odor-free.

Read about my experiences making comfrey liquid and learn how to grow your own fertilizer.

The permaculture plant

Comfrey
Comfrey

Comfrey is so versatile, it is known as the permaculture plant.

How do you use your comfrey?

See results

Love comfrey? Let me know :o)

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    • profile image

      TanjaWanderlust 3 years ago

      greadt reminder. I have bought some seeds!

    • profile image

      RoSelou 4 years ago

      I hope we have comfrey at home, but i just can't find it in the community.

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 4 years ago

      There is alot of Comfrey in the land around Upper Saxondale in Nottinghamshire.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      My neighbour gave me a comfrey plant and I had no idea how to use it. I'll be sure to try out the liquid feed.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 5 years ago

      We have lots of Comfrey growing in the nature park that surrounds our village.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Will definitely make room for some comfrey in my garden this year. Thank you.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Thank you for introducing me to comfrey. Appreciate this new knowledge that can be applied in such practical and useful ways.

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 5 years ago

      I definately need ot add this to my garden! My xoil is rather poor and I am working compost into it to make it healthy.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Thanks for the information. This is new to me. Can't wait to try it.

    • profile image

      kennij 6 years ago

      I have a supply of rockdust the ultimate to put minerals back in your soil.Plants grown in soil/compost with this added absorb the minerals the natural way and drastically improve health.Tests have shown this Basaltic rockdust has 60 odd minerals.Regular use improves the soil structure as well.The way nature does it.

    • mattseefood lm profile image

      mattseefood lm 6 years ago

      Looks great! Thanks for sharing :)

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I think everyone should be growing comfrey. I am! It is beneficial as medicine and food source as well as a soil additive. I have heard that it is illegal to eat it for medicinal purposes here in Australia, but you can eat it for food! Weird!

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 6 years ago

      I had never heard about using the comfrey leaves to plant your potatoes, that is such a great tip, thank you.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Great information about the benefits of growing comfrey - I had no idea! Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • miriamjimenez profile image

      miriamjimenez 6 years ago

      I love gardening and I had few herbs in my garden. Never tried comfrey before. I will try this by spring.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 6 years ago from Vancouver

      I keep forgetting about comfrey. Thanks for the reminder of what a great plant it is!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed this read as I was not aware of Comfrey or it's benefits.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I was first introduced to comfrey in Jeanne Rose's kitchen on Carl St. in San Francisco back in 1972. She said it was a cell proliferant, useful for healing burns and other skin abrasions. Your lens taught me new uses for comfrey. Thanks!

    • Surreymagic profile image

      Surreymagic 7 years ago

      What a nice lens- I grow comfrey at the end of my garden to use as fertiliser- I've yet to try it to heal wounds, but I may try!

      Comfrey has a place in permaculture and in transition towns.

    • JoDeeVale profile image

      JoDeeVale 8 years ago

      Love your comfrey lens! Since it ties in with the lens I just created, I am featuring you here: http://www.squidoo.com/grey_water

      We make a great team! Blessings!

    • Ahmady LM profile image

      Ahmady LM 8 years ago

      Thanks for your lens on comfrey -- it's a wonder plant that applied topically to sprains and strains, can heal them in a matter of a few hours. I can't get mine to grow in the same orderly way that my mother's plants did. Maybe there are different varieties.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I have had comfrey for a couple of years and I love it. I use it to feed my bunnies and chickens and use it for mulch. I'd like to find a cheepo shreader to use it in a compost heap. I have bocking 14, it's a beautiful plant and I love the bees it attrachs.

    • profile image

      feralkevin 9 years ago

      Thanks for the comfrey lens. Comfrey is an amazing plant, and in my opinion, lives up to the hype. Indeed, it is an icon for permaculture!