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Comfrey where art thou  RSS feed

 
sasha Wharton
Posts: 8
Location: south east kansas
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I can not find any comfrey in my area for sale. The one time i bought seeds they never arrived in the mail. Does any one have a good lead on some seed or have an over abundance to send or trade for?
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1621
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Sasha - you may find you get better answers to your questions if you put your location in your profile, so that it appears on the left.

regarding your comfrey question - comfrey is usually propagated by root cuttings rather than seeds. Fertile comfrey, grown from seed, has more potential to be invasive and spread where you don't want it. The sterile "Bocking" varieties are more well behaved in the landscape and you can easily divide a mature plant and make 20+ root cuttings.

Here is the UK ebay page with root cuttings for sale: Comfrey root cuttings

I bought 6 root cuttings a few years ago. All of them survived transplanting, and all of them have since been divided at least once. I now have comfrey along fencelines, around fruit trees, adjacent to compost heaps etc...
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5726
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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sasha Wharton wrote:I can not find any comfrey in my area for sale. The one time i bought seeds they never arrived in the mail. Does any one have a good lead on some seed or have an over abundance to send or trade for?


I bought seed from Richter's last year ...I would recommend them highly I have three plants from that seed that I am letting flower and make seed but it looks like it will take awhile. I'll share if we are still here to collect it (we are 'for sale' so if the sale is soon there is a lot of seed I will miss out on gathering).
I don't worry about it reproducing everywhere from seed and becoming an invasive plant....I had a bit of a hard time getting it to germinate even in controlled conditions.
 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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I've bought a boatload of root cuttings from Horizon Herbs.
 
sasha Wharton
Posts: 8
Location: south east kansas
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Thank you for the website sharing. I appreciate the tip to update my location, as anything from Europe is not very easy to import or receive here in the us as i have found with snails.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1621
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I guess try your local ebay - search for "comfrey root cuttings" shoudl bring up something good for you.
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 672
Location: south central VA 7B
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You may also want to check out Coe's Comfrey. I've bought loads of cuttings.
 
Willie Shannon
Posts: 28
Location: Southeast TN
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I went the seed route too, and out of 100 seeds I've only had 4 germinate. I'm still calling it a win because I paid like 1/3 the price for the seeds rather than the cutting, but I was hoping for a little higher germination rate than that :p

I was hoping to make it semi-invasive on my property for rabbit, chicken and other feed as a supplement.
 
Blake Wheeler
Posts: 166
Location: Kentucky 6b
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Coe's Comfrey gets my vote. I bought 10 crowns from him last year and he threw in probably 6 root cuttings for free. The crowns are all probably a foot tall now, and the root cuttings maybe 7 inches. Best part is, if any of smaller roots on the crown break you can use them as a cutting. Cost was a little high ($50) but I'm well satisfied with how the plants are performing. Cuttings are cheaper, but he recommends giving them more growing time before chopping the leaves for use.

My suggestion is to not mess with seeds. They'll be invasive, and the cuttings are just so much more of a sure thing. Not to mention when the plants establish you can always dig them out and take more root cuttings if you want more plants
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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sasha Wharton wrote:I can not find any comfrey in my area for sale. The one time i bought seeds they never arrived in the mail. Does any one have a good lead on some seed or have an over abundance to send or trade for?


Are you sure you want seeds?

Most people who grow comfrey stick with the non-fertile varieties that must be propagated by cuttings. First, comfrey can be very invasive. Second, varieties differ as to their medicinal properties, and the best way to make sure that you are getting what you want is to get cuttings.

Try craigslist if you want to find something local. Otherwise Horizon Herbs is my favorite source.
 
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