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How to Harvest Comfrey

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How to Harvest Comfrey

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Overview

Comfrey is a perennial plant that propagates easily from root divisions. It is often grown in medicinal gardens or for use as a natural fertilizer. Comfrey has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese medicine to heal wounds and bones. It can be found in ointments, decoctions, poultices and pastes to help sprains, burns and inflammation. Comfrey is also high in nitrogen and can be used to fertilize your garden. Comfrey has a high yield, and you can harvest your plant several times throughout the growing season.

Step 1

Wait for your comfrey to begin forming flower heads, when it is about 2 feet tall, to start harvesting your leaves for the first time.

Step 2

Put on you gloves to protect your hands. Comfrey can irritate your skin.

Step 3

Use your pruning scissors to cut each stem of your plant down so it is about 2 inches high. Cut stems at a slight slant.

Step 4

Water your comfrey plants immediately after harvest. Add mulch to the soil around each plant.

Step 5

Wrap the comfrey you have harvested into half-inch thick bundles by wrapping a rubber band around the end of the stems. Hang your bundles upside down in a warm and dark place to dry.

Step 6

Repeat harvesting your comfrey every four weeks until September by cutting it down to 2 inches in height. Your plants will propagate themselves from the roots in the fall, or you can cut off pieces of the root and replant them in another spot.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Pruning scissors
  • Mulch
  • Rubber bands

References

  • Purdue: Comfrey
  • Herbal Remedies: Comfrey
  • Organic Gardening: Comfrey

Who Can Help

  • Comfrey and Garden Fertilizer
Keywords: medicinal herbs, fertilizer, poultice

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for over 15 years. Coe is the former publisher of the politics and art magazine Flesh from Ashes. She has worked to protect water and air quality. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University.