where to buy and when to plant comfrey

locust(z9 CA)October 13, 2003

I'm tring to plant and understory of comfrey for a kiwi orchard, and I just am having trouble finding comfrey for sale in enough bulk for my acre+ needs. Anybody know any sources for comfrey?

Also, I'm in California, east of Oakland, zone 9 i believe, can I plant comfrey now or should I wait to the winter or spring?



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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day locust,

not sure where in the world you would get comfry in bulk have never heard of it being grown in commercial quantities, seems to only ever get sold along with herbs probably more as a curiosity than anything else.

i would suggest that you post your request on a few garden forum mediums, there are bound to be home gardeners in your area that could give you some to get started with then you build it up your self. i found that it needed to have well established growth before the frosts of winter i lost a lot of my initial plants this way also that i am in a low rainfall growing in sandy laom may have contributed.

it is growing up a storm now, and would easily plant up a much larger area than what i have it in. once established you can dig out the clump break it up and plant it out and all the bits of roots you leave behind from the original will spring back in quick time.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 2:49PM
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seraphima(z4 AK)

You can plant comfrey any time the ground isn't frozen, and it will get a little water.

The best way I have found to get large quantities of comfrey is to drive around, look for a good big patch of it, and ask! Lots of people with a lot of comfrey will welcome the thought of getting rid of some of it.

I regard comfrey as a very valuable plant, but am not sure I would want an acre unless growing it commercially for salve, or planning to feed a lot of animals. This is a crop that can be planted along ditches,in waste areas, around the perimeter of animal pens where some leaves can be eaten in place, etc. It might leave your larger open area for crops that need more light or more area.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 9:31PM
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smittyct6(Z6 CT)

Comfrey takes off like a field a fire. All you need is a few plants and then the following year you will have a lot of root cuttings to start more. It grows from any small bit of a root left in the ground. smitty

    Bookmark   October 14, 2003 at 11:42AM
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Seraphina mentioned comfrey as animal feed. I understood it was liver toxic in humans, is it safe for pigs or chickens? I'm in Nicaragua, will comfrey grow here in our 90º + temp?

Here is a link that might be useful: Los Huertos

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 1:52PM
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I grow comfrey in Florida in 90+ temperatures.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:20AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I read somewhere that comfrey leaves 4 or 5" long are safer as livestock feed than the larger ones, which might be best used as compost.

Most livestock that are allowed to browse a wide range of plants usually pick and choose the ones they need as "medicine". Goats and chickens (at least) have been seen nibbling on plants that are "known" to be toxic, but they don't eat them in excess if they have access to normal foods. Here in the U.S., there is at least one variety of tansy that will kill livestock if they eat too much of it, but they don't eat it unless forced to, by starvation.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 12:24AM
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You can get plants from Richters. If you want them for feeding to animals get the Bocking 4, if you want it for compost additive and fertilizer get Bocking 14.

You can order large qty's of plants but as others have mentioned a couple plants will turn into more then enough after a couple years.

As far as feeding to animals some people have found that the leaves are more palatable if they are slightly wilted first.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:11PM
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I searched endlessly for comfrey online (nowhere around here sells it, that I've seen at least)...I'm going to order a couple plants from Richter's. It is so much cheaper to make my own extracts than pay 6.00 for comfrey extract. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 4:36PM
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