Comfrey, True (Symphytum officinalis) root crown cutting, organic

$5.00$27.00

Family:  Borage (Boraginacea)

Hardy in Zones 4 to 8

Herbaceous perennial native to Europe.  True Comfrey is the original herb as detailed in all the ancient literature. Traditional usage (TWM): used externally to speed healing.  Source of alantoin, which proliferates cell growth, making things grow faster, which is one of the reasons it is so often employed in an orchard and garden context–it is the quintessential all-around companion plant.  True Comfrey prefers full sun and regular garden soil.  Good drainage is helpful (add sand and organic matter to clayey soil) and frequent watering is also helpful.  To plant a true comfrey root, find a spot with good sun and rich soil. Plant the root with root down and crown up, burying the crown by at least an inch of soil.  Water the spot.  The Comfrey will soon send leaves up through the soil surface and… you’re off!  After the plant reaches the late flowering stage, simply cut it back and lay the leaves back down on the crown.  It will regrow through its own mulch.

Crown Cutting, Certified Organically Grown

 

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5 out of 5 stars

8 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Question

    Lynell

    11/27/2021, I live in zone 7B. Should I buy comfrey crown now or wait till after 1st frost (est. March 15)? Thanks, Lynell

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi! i think you should get it in the spring, it won’t grow much if you plant it now outdoors. r

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  2. Question

    Laura M Scott (verified owner)

    Good day, Richo. I received my root crown cuttings yesterday and am ready to plant. The soil in which they are being planted is cool but still friable so I will follow the instructions given in answer to a previous question and fill the hole with compost, and then insulate with more compost and straw. My question is: how certain do I need to be at planting of the location? Can it be safely moved in the spring? The cuttings are beautiful, by the way. Thank you!

    Laura

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi LAura, right, sounds like you’ve got it, make sure that the cutting is completely covered with soil, that is the only really important rule. Well, you can move them in the spring if you want. Consistent with the rules of transplant, cut back the tops to the crown before digging and relocating. Richo

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  3. Crissy Crutchfield

    Just wonderful

    Crissy Crutchfield (verified owner)

    Beautiful and large crown cuttings that were already sending up shoots on arrival! A month later I’ve already gathered enough leaves to make 2 salves! Strictly medicinal has captured my heart and my business! ❤️

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  4. Question

    Lelia Cross

    Zone 7 SW Virginia. Fall or spring planting please. Thank you. Blessings

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Lelia,
      There are 2 best planting windows for comfrey–fall and spring. Since we’re not even in the fall season yet, there is still time to get this perennial plant started in your gardens. Fall planting in a Z 7 is quite an acceptable practice. r

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  5. Question

    john muckleroy jr

    I would like to know which strain of comfrey has the deepest ,biggest roots. I’ve read about bocking 4.I used to grow bocking 14 and the 14 did not produce a very big root.I an in east Texas and I have an area I want to plant that if the plant will drop a deep tap root it will be in all the water it can handle.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Well, in general the advantage of hybrids is hybrid vigor, which in the case of russian comfrey does translate to a very large and deeply-delving taproot. I suppose there may be a kind that has bigger roots than what we offer, but its a bit of a stretch to imagine it. Richo

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    • Deanna Kunkel

      I live in zone 5, should I plant this in fall or wait until spring?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Comfrey grows great in the fall, time to get started

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Deanna, Comfrey grows wonderfully in the fall, you can go for it! Richo

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  6. Question

    Ren

    I live in a 6a hardiness zone (Michigan), and I am eager to purchase and plant these in the ground, so wondering if planting the crown cuttings in July would do well for True Comfrey and for Russian Comfrey (assuming we took all necessary measures to help it thrive, such as watering the plants frequently so that the soil/roots do not dry out while they are trying to get established, and providing shade protection from sun on non-overcast days). Thank you, in advance, for your help.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Ren,
      I do think it makes sense to get an early start on the fall planting window for true comfrey as your zone is a bit cold. Some of the practices you mention are probably unnecessary–we dog true comfrey roots to order, send in peat, and when you receive, if you just plant the root to the garden or landscape making sure that it is completely covered with soil, then water it like you said, well, it always comes up. Thataway it can get well established before cold weather comes down and I would expect a few flowers this fall and then a really nice show come spring.
      Richo

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    • Ren (verified owner)

      I received my True Comfrey crown cutting and Russian Comfrey crown cuttings, and I have a question: I know I am supposed to plant the root side down, but for a couple of the cuttings, the only thing visible is a small white nub-like protrusion. Also, one end is a little thicker in diameter than the other. I am very new at this, and I can’t figure out which side to plant downwards. Is there an easy way to tell for those crown cuttings without any visible roots? Also, if I accidentally plant it upside down, will that kill the crown cutting?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Ren,
      Cuttings always consist of a piece of the crown of the plant with root subtended. Plant the cutting with the crown up and the root down. If you can’t figure out what is crown (chunky, and may have whitish or greenish parts) and root (columnar, tapering, wider at top, smaller at bottom), then just lay it sideways in the soil. Completely cover the entire thing we sent you with soil, then tamp and water. That will be fine. Richo

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  7. Question

    Casey Jones

    Can I plant this outside in the fall in zone 5b

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Casey,
      Yes, the best planting windows for comfrey roots are: Spring and fall. In your zone fall planted roots probably won’t flower but they will the following year. Richo

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  8. Jaclyn

    Happy plant ….

    Jaclyn (verified owner)

    So easy to grow from the root cutting I received, it just took off after I put it in ground. And as a bonus, the resident hummingbird took a liking to it….

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  9. Question

    Thanh

    Hi sir , I would like to buy 20 plants as crown cutting, price $5 each , is the crown l will receive look similar with long roots systems like the picture on this order, thank you for your replying,

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Thanh,
      The photo is of a medium-large plant that was dug and photographed. Such a plant would make 2 cuttings and it is quite possible that the long taproot would be cut back in order to fit in the bag. Here’s what we are aiming to do–give you a cutting that will respond quickly and regrow into a good plant. We don’t guarantee a particular size. We are well-known for providing generous comfrey starts.
      Richo

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    • Thanh

      Thank you so much for verifying the roots size .

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  10. Sam Hurley

    Sam Hurley (verified owner)

    I ordered and planted last fall. Nice healthy chunks of root. All came up this spring and are doing well. Some already have beautiful rich purple flowers. Thanks again. You guys are the best. Sam

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    • Samuel Hurley (verified owner)

      Honestly. I the photo does not even do them justice. They really are pretty.

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  11. Question

    Devon

    Is this the Comfrey variety that had fertile seeds.I want the one that has fertile seeds.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Devon,
      Yes, this is the right one, beautiful flowers, fertile seeds. Richo

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  12. Question

    Mills Andrea (verified owner)

    Hello!
    I am going to follow the instructions for planting comfrey, when the ground is frozen. However, it seems that 10° outside would be to cold for the root in a gallon pot. i have a root cellar, would that be a better option for the comfrey root to over winter in?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi there! The comfrey will not be damaged by frost if it is completely buried in the soil in the gallon pot and the pot is mulched and put in a sheltered place outside or in the root cellar. If you put it in the root cellar, it will probably begin to grow, and without light, the sprouts will probably elongate in search of light, and you’ll have to cut those off when you set the plant outdoors in the spring. If you put it outside, emergence will be normal, with green leaves, in the spring. I like to mulch with a deep layer of hydrated coir although peat moss will work, too. Richo

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  13. Question

    Eric Duescher

    Do these plants excape cultivation? I live in wisconsin, zone 5 a few years ago one appeared. In a very shaded spot under low cut plumb trees. I left it because I wanted to see what it grew into, I left it alone because it turned into a beautiful plant with cool flowers in shade where little else grew. Now I have a lot of them. Is grows very in shade. I have no idea where it would have came from since there not native.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Eric, Yes, Comfrey can certainly move around. In essence, all plants are native to somewhere and our concepts of which plants are native to an area exist only because of our lack of temporal perspective. You are right, Comfrey is quite beautiful and it certainly is appreciated not only by you, but by the plum tree. Richo

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    • Cynthia

      Is this the comfrey you use to make comfrey tea fertilizer

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Yes, this or russian comfrey–both may be utilized. r

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  14. Question

    Sandra

    I live in an urban area in Northern California. My goal is to grow something in my chicken run that will provide food for 8 hens. (addition to pellets, free range in yard and treats of scratch and mealy worms). I would like to plant comfrey as it sounds like it’s hardy and has use for chickens and my vegetable garden. It’s not an orchard and near the neighbors fence. Will I regret putting comfrey in the ground as it could grow under the fence and become uncontrollable?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Sandra, If you grow comfrey in your chicken run it will never get a chance to get big enough to become an invasive problem–the hens will keep it eaten down. It is high in protein and makes chickens make great eggs. Plant Russian Comfrey which stays put as long as you don’t disturb the roots. Richo

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  15. Question

    kristen

    Is there anyway to place order, then request
    shipping for later? I am moving in February to our new farm so I want to make sure the roots come there…

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Kristen, We never run out of comfrey, so just order it and give us a current shipping address when you’re ready. Richo

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  16. Question

    Cassandra Herbert

    I planted true comfrey in a pot when I received it about six weeks or so ago. I live in Maryland and we have had some warm days. The comfrey has been growing. So has my Russian Comfrey. Should I cut back the leaves? I cut them back once. Also can I use the leaves?
    Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Cassandra, All seems well. You can cut back the leaves on an ongoing basis–it won’t damage the plant–read all about safe and effective ways to use comfrey leaves in “Making Plant Medicine.” Richo

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    • Cassandra Herbert

      Thank you Richo!! I will get your book Making Plant Medicine.

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  17. Question

    Michele

    I’d like to cultivate as much as possible in order to have regular comfrey baths throughout the year, so I’m looking for volume but also the maximum medicinal punch. Given this, what is your advice on which plant to buy?
    Also, my understanding is that true comfrey seeds and spreads, and Russian does not. Is this correct?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Michele,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Russian Comfrey stays put as long as you don’t disturb the roots. True comfrey will self-seed. For the purpose of maximum production I would recommend getting russian comfrey crown cuttings. When you receive them, make sure you bury them all the way in the soil and they will soon re-sprout. Russian comfrey gives highest yields.
      Richo

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    • Martha Mesa

      I see Michelle’s question which is similar to mine and also I am concerned because I live in florida (very hot!!) and for this reason I purchased the true comfrey seeds. If I buy the russian comfrey (cold plant) will it grow here? I want to have high yields and be able to use it for long time. Thanks, Martha

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Martha,
      I too am unsure of the viability of comfrey in Florida. I made a study of the plants in hot weather this year and 110 degrees F flattened them. They did come back, though. My thought is that when they collapse like that, it is time to harvest the leaf, and maybe the weather will have cooled some2what by the time new leaves re-emerge from the crown. Richo

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    • Charlotte

      I wanted to comment about growing Comfrey in Florida. I really wanted to have them in my garden, mostly for fertilizing, but wasn’t sure if they can withstand the heat since we live in zone 10b. Rick was extremely helpful and pointed me towards True Comfrey. I received the roots in August, which is the hottest month here, so I kept the unopened package in the produce drawer in the fridge until October when I planted them. I purchased 3 roots but received 4 (thank you!) and they are all growing fine so far. I planted them underneath a Sea Grape so they are in the shade. So far so good, I will write an update after the summer.

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  18. Question

    Melissa Koch

    Hi there,
    I’m in Tucson and started my Russian Comfrey 3 weeks ago. It’s sprouted and we’re having a terribly hot dry summer. We’re a zone 9a. I’m guessing fall and winter will be when it really takes off. I’m wondering if the root will die in next season’s hot summer or if I can keep it cut low so it’s a perennial instead of an annual? Thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Melissa, This was left on the True Comfrey item so I don’t know which comfrey you have. Comfrey doesn’t do particularly well in intense heat. It does help to water it. Yes, if you keep it cut back, this will help limit respiration and will increase the root and crown. The only way to kill comfrey is to quit watering it–otherwise it will be perennial. Richo

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  19. Question

    brianproessler

    What are the minimum sun requirements for comfrey, true? I’m in Madison WI, growing zone 5a. Thanks!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Brian,
      The true comfrey will get by on dappled sunlight as is found under a tree, or maybe a minimum of 3 hours full sun daily. They are easy to grow, forgiving and quite beautiful plants.
      Richo

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    • Charlotte Ferri

      I’m in zone 10a South Florida. Do you think I grow this from seed during the cooler season?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Charlotte, We just had 104 degree weather here and the comfrey really collapsed, so I’m not sure that comfrey is really a good choice for the american tropics. I do think that you could grow it as a winter annual, or maybe place the plants in the closest thing you have to cool, moist shade.
      Richo

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    • charlottekirkholt

      Thank you! I just happen to read that someone has had success growing Bocking 14 in Florida, so I’m going to give it a try!

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  20. Question

    Judy Smith

    Which comfry is best for fertilizer tea? Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Judy,
      Russian Comfrey is often used in this context because the leaves are bigger. Otherwise the true comfrey makes just as good a fertilizer tea as does the Russian.
      Richo

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  21. Question

    Ruth Engelthaler

    I live in zone 9 in Phoenix Metropolitan area. I am an Urban gardener and have a comfrey plant that is languishing. I am wanting advise on where it might do best. Right now it is in a Southern Exposure and gets filtered shade half the day due to a large mulberry tree but I think the sun it gets is a little strong. Could you recommend a different location where it might do better. Do they do alright in shade or partial shade?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi Ruth,
      In very warm areas these tend to do best if given a cool, moist position. Replant to such a spot, and cut back all aerial parts ant transplant, to push the restart button.
      Richo

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    • Jeanne Hupprich

      I have a lot of comfrey but how do I know if it is true comfrey? Also I just ordered some hawthorn bushes which if you haven’t already mailed can you add one of your true comfrey plants or roots?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Jeanne,
      Give me your order ID and I’ll send you some true comfrey, you probably have the russian hybrid. I’m concerned that you’re going to be disappointed on the hawthorne tree–these are now on backorder.
      Richo

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  22. True comfrey

    Beautiful roots

    True comfrey (verified owner)

    This is such a nice plant, after two weeks this is how much it grew. Beautiful roots, healthy and extremely happy with purchase, would highly recommend.

    Photo has been removed

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  23. Ann

    Beautiful crowns

    Ann

    I received a beautiful, healthy crown this past fall. I planted it in a container and it immediately growing. This spring, it looks spectacular – very happy, once again – you guys rock!

    Photo has been removed

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  24. Deborah L Hall

    Comfrey roots

    Deborah L Hall

    I planted the root of comfrey last fall. I was concerned because it turned cold soon after planting it, but there is new growth coming up quickly now. Thank you very much.

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  25. Question

    Shannon Radcliffe Bueche

    Can you plant comfrey root cuttings now in a Zone 4 location? Any additional mulching requirements so they survive the first winter? Thanks so much!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Shannon, Right now up to first frost is a good time to plant comfrey. There is a fall window and a spring window–these are the times transplants work best. As always, make sure the cutting is completely covered with dirt and then apply a thick layer (up to 4 inches) of compost or manure on top of the spot and finish with a thick layer (up to 6 inches) of straw or other non-bark mulch. Normally you see results by way of new leaves poking up through the mulch within 3 weeks. Plant them like that, and they will really produce!

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    • Megan Haney

      I’ve read elsewhere that you should not harvest comfrey until its second year. Would you agree with that, or, if not, what are the signs that you’d look for, to tell you that the plant can withstand harvesting? Thank you.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, I think that would be correct, in terms of allowing the plant to size-up before harvest. I think the root and the leaf of 1st year plants are just as good as the root and leaf of second year plants, though, just not as prolific. A large crown (6 inches across) is a sign of harvestable roots.

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    • Lisa Paulus

      Does this plant get invasive or spread easily by seed?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Lisa,
      True Comfrey makes viable seed and like most herbaceous perennials will self-seed in your garden. If you want a sterile comfrey, choose russian comfrey root cuttings.
      Richo

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