Comfrey Problems

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Jonguy, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Jonguy

    Jonguy New Member

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    Hey folks, I'm new here and to this whole permaculture thing. I recently started growing a bunch of perennial plants that sounded useful, one of which was a young comfrey plant. Everything was going fine until I noticed strange white spots developing on the large leaves after a week or so of it growing in the ground.

    I did a little googling and found out that these are probably a fungus called "powdery mildew" and that it would kill the leaves if nothing was done. I also read that you can stop the infection by spraying a water and baking soda solution onto the leaves. I did this, but after a day of doing it the leaves turned brown, drooped to the ground, and ultimately died. i'm thinking the baking soda is responsible for that, but I don't really know.

    So I guess what I'm asking is: Has anyone here had similar problems with "white spots on leaves" and what was the solution for you?
     
  2. Flatland

    Flatland Member

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    I haven't had this problem but my thoughts would be if it is a fungus I would want to use an acid not an alkaline. So I would be trying very dilute vinegar. Hopefully your plants will survive anyway. Comfrey I have found is pretty tough stuff so long as it gets water.
     
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  3. Jonguy

    Jonguy New Member

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    Yeah, I'm still watering it hoping that a new leaf will pop up eventually. My only concern is that because its so young it might not have established a large root system.
     
  4. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    powdery mildew is in the air... hard to keep off things.

    i have never seen it on my comfrey, but we've only had these plants
    for a few years now. we get powdery mildew on some other plants
    but i don't bother spraying them.

    if you just transplanted it, i would not spray it with anything else
    for a while, just keep it watered if there are any dry spells.

    most times you should not have to spray any plants you grow.
    nature has cycles and fungi are a part of that cycle.
     
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  5. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    We have had great luck propagating comfrey by inserting leaf cuttings directly in damp soil (and keeping the soil moist). Comfrey just wants to grow!
     
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  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    if you were in the states i could easily send you some more if those
    didn't make it. don't think i can send stuff to Canada easy tho...
     
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  7. Jonguy

    Jonguy New Member

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    Thats nice of you to offer. Its amazing how I end up paying 5 bucks for something most people have problems getting rid of. I actually looked on Kijiji to see if there was anyone around me that was willing to share a root cutting. No luck though. Oh well, I'll just have to get it going on my own. I guess you learn from mistakes.
     
  8. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    give it some water and see if it will grow again. :)

    good luck.

    i should take some of the plant we have and move it into an area where
    there is nothing but clay and see how it fares. where i have the plant now
    is pretty good topsoil and it is getting pretty big (flowering now).

    it has been so dry here lately i won't be transplanting anything more
    until fall.
     
  9. Nicolai Barca

    Nicolai Barca New Member

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    ...no, I have never seen that. But I'm in the tropics and a comfrey clump is just about indestructible out here.

    Something seems fishy. Did it ever sprout back???? or did the root rot and die?
     
  10. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    just cut mine back for chop and drop. will divide it this fall when it is cooler.
     

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