Comfrey - Knowledgebase Question

West Hartford, Ve
Question by syllymac
March 17, 2010
When we moved to this location there was comfrey growing in the garden. Unfortunately we plowed it under not realizing that every piece of root would send up a new plant. We have dug it up again and again, mulched with plastic, paper, carpeting etc. How can we get rid of it without poisoning the soil?

Answer from NGA
March 17, 2010


I'm afraid that comfrey is a lot like mint - once you have it, it can take years to get rid of it. The underground roots store an amazing amount of energy which the roots use to send up new sprouts. If these sprouts are allowed to develop leaves, the leaves transport new energy back to the roots and more sprouts can develop. So, digging out the roots and chopping down the sprouts before they develop leaves is one way to starve out the roots. You have to be persistent, though, and it can take a couple of years. Or you can pour boiling water or 10 percent vinegar on the sprouts to kill them. Again, be persistent. A chemical alternative is painstakingly painting each of the stubs with Round Up after you've chopped down the sprouts. The Round Up will be transported down to the roots but won't travel in the soil. And, it degrades in a few short weeks. So, that might be a viable alternative. Wish there were an easier way!

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