Growing comfrey in pots

The best place for growing comfrey is in a permanent bed, but that isn’t possible for everyone. Even if you don’t have space for growing direct, you can still enjoy many of the benefits of comfrey by growing it in containers.

To get the most from comfrey in pots, follow these simple guidelines:

Use the largest container possible

The container should be at least 15 litres (5 gallons). A comfrey plant’s root system is deep and extensive, and the restriction in a smaller container will result in poor growth.

Plant deep enough

Plant root cuttings at least 1½-2 inches (4-6 cm) deep, and crown cuttings with the growing tip just below the surface

Young plants should be planted slightly deeper than they were in their nursery pots.

Use the right potting medium

To prevent drying out and to ensure good retention of organic matter, we recommend a mix of 50% soil, plus 50% compost, leaf mould, well-rotted manure or other retentive material. Mix well, and after planting water well and mulch.

Feed regularly

Comfrey’s growth rate is one of its main attractions, but it needs high nitrogen feed to maximise growth. Top dress your containers with slightly rotted manure, ideally from poultry.

Keep watered

The soil on the surface should never be dry – a light water every day you don’t have rain combined with an organic mulch should ensure the plant doesn’t suffer from dehydration.

Split mature plants

After several years your container-grown comfrey will benefit from splitting – either remove the entire plant and root system from the container, split and replant a good-sized crown, or drive a spade carefully through the plant and remove at least half of the crown.