Where Should You Plant Comfrey?

Where Should You Plant Comfrey?

In the wild comfrey looks for its own place. When settling in the garden, it is our task to find a suitable location. The following criteria will facilitate the search.

  • Sunny as well as semi-shaded location suitable, up to an altitude of 1000 m.
  • Provide nutrient-rich soil with sufficient nitrogen, pH between 6.5 and 7.5 is ideal
  • Moist environment is preferred, but can also hold its own to some extent in dry places
  • The comfrey site should be available for several years, as the herb resprouts in the spring
  • It requires a lot of space: grows up to 1 m high and spreads by runners


Symphytum officinale, as the wild herb is scientifically called, is not only a pretty looking plant. It is known and appreciated for its healing ingredients and as a natural fertilizer. In order for it to store these substances in high concentrations in its plant parts, comfrey must receive plenty of sun and warmth. Thus, the comfrey location may be consistently sunny, for example, a south-facing garden bed. A partial shade, sheltered location is also well tolerated as long as it is warm. Therefore, the plant can be well used as an underplanting of shrubs and trees. Only it should not be too shady for him.

pH value

The ideal pH for this wild herb is in the neutral range. However, the soil may be slightly acidic or slightly alkaline. If you suspect that the soil in your garden differs from this, you should perform a pH test. Since pH can vary within the garden area, you should specifically take a soil sample from the intended comfrey location.

  • ideal is a value between 6.5 and 7.5
  • an unsuitable pH value does not mean the end
  • Soil can be improved before planting
  • by liming or adding acid-forming substances.

Tip: Be careful not to plant comfrey near conifers. Not only is the soil underneath usually highly acidic. Even after the pH is raised, it will not remain stable, as the decomposing needles will cause the soil to slip back into the acidic range.

Nutrient richness

Comfrey requires abundant nutrients. Medium to high humus content is ideal. If the soil at the future comfrey site is poor, it must be enriched with nutrients before planting. If the plant parts of this herb will be used as a remedy or cooking ingredient, use only natural fertilizers such as compost.

Where Should You Plant Comfrey?

Many nutrients and trace elements are necessary for the healthy growth of this plant. But its need for nitrogen should be emphasized, because it is elementary and comparatively high. In case of deficiency, the depot can be replenished with an organic fertilizer, such as horn shavings or composted manure.


Comfrey prefers moist soil, which is why it likes to grow on banks. A loamy, moist soil is also ideal in the garden. Then it develops unbridled vigor. However, the soil must also be loose and well-drained. If you do not have such a soil to offer in the garden and do not want to have a lot of work with the water supply, you can still try growing this herb. Its adaptability and strong urge to grow will keep it alive, although the growth will be more modest.

Space available

Comfrey site must provide enough space upwards and all around.

  • comfrey shoots can grow up to 1 m high
  • the herb quickly conquers territory with its runners

Especially when planting under bushes, the space must not be too short. Also, the planting neighbors should not be too close. A planting distance of 1 m is minimum. Otherwise, you need to constantly limit its spread or install a barrier.

Tip: If you want to cultivate comfrey in a pot, there is nothing wrong with it, as long as the location is right and the substrate remains moist. However, when planting, make sure the pot is deep, as this wild herb forms a long taproot.


This criterion is interesting for those who inhabit a mountainous region. For comfrey, the cultivation limit is 1,000 meters above sea level. A location below this mark is always suitable.


Each comfrey plant can resprout in the spring for several years in a row. It does not want to experience a change of location during its entire lifetime. Therefore, the comfrey site must not have other plans within this time period.

Frequently asked questions

Is comfrey hardy in any location?

When planted out, the herb is sufficiently hardy to survive frost without further protective measures. However, the plant will retreat into its roots and resprout in the spring. Potted specimens must leave their location before the first frost and overwinter in a cool place indoors.

Can I dig up a young plant in the wild?

Comfrey is not currently protected. You may collect individual plant parts or dig up the entire plant or a root piece and relocate it to your garden.

When is the best time for the plant to take root in its location?

The best time to plant out young comfrey plants is April and May. The best time for direct seeding is also the month of April.

How long can a comfrey plant remain in its location?

The plant can keep sprouting from its root base for up to 20 years without the need to change locations. If you want to establish comfrey in another location, you can use a piece of its roots for propagation.

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