Common name: Common Comfrey, True Comfrey, Boneset, Knitbone, Consound, Slippery Root
Scientific name: Symphytum officinale
Plant history & use:
True Comfrey is historically a well-used plant in the treatment of various ailments. But above all, it is a very effective accumulator of nutrients, i.e. a good soil improver. Comfrey grows quickly and the roots are deep, which gives the plant access to nutrients from deeper soil layers that are otherwise inaccessible to most plants. It is mostly minerals such as potassium and calcium that are stored in the leaves, but also magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and more.
The leaves from the comfrey plant can be cut down during the year and used as cover material, or alternatively buried in the soil, to make the nutrients available to other plants. Comfrey leaves are well suited as a fertilizer for fruit trees and berry bushes thanks to their potassium and phosphorus content.
True Comfrey has a long growing season, early winter to late autumn.
If the leaves are not cut before winter, they wither and in the same way add nutrients to the soil they grow on. New leaves begin to emerge on the plant shortly after the snow melts.
You can make your own fertilizer tea from comfrey by filling a container with the leaves and then filling with water up to the edge. Leave for a couple of days and then mix the fertilizer tea with 10 parts water to irrigate the plants with.
Comfrey is effective as an edging plant near manure piles to prevent nutrient leakage, but also as an edging plant around plantations and other places where you don't want root weeds to spread. Comfrey's dense root system forms an underground wall, making it difficult for other roots to get through.
True Comfrey creates an overall attractive environment for other plants in your cultivation - through attracting pollinators, serving as a natural fertilizer, and more.
Comfrey is a herbaceous perennial native to Europe. It continues to grow on the site the next year even after the leaves have withered during the winter.
It is an incredibly easy-to-grow plant and it is tolerant in the choice of plant location. It can grow in shade as well as wet soils and is therefore an effective component in flooded and waterlogged soils.
It also thrives in drier soils in sunny locations, although it does best in a slightly moist environment.
Sow indoors or outdoors.
If germination has not occurred after one month after sowing indoors, place the pot with the seeds in the fridge for a month and take it out to room temperature again, or put outdoors during spring and summer times.
Can also be sown outdoors in autumn to give the seeds a real winter. The seeds germinate the following spring.
Height: 50-100 cm
Germination Time: 1-12 months
USDA Zone: 3-10