Elecampane Tolerance to Wind and Comfrey Germination
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: February 28, 2006

I am interested in planting Elecampane in my outdoor garden, but I have heard that it is sensitive to winds. Is this true? I live in a very windy area, and my beds are for the most part fully exposed to them. Would that be a problem for it, or could it cope?

This plant sprawls very readily and in your situation should be staked.

My other question is about my comfrey seedlings. I’m relatively new to raising herbs from seed, but I decided to begin with some of the more fool-proof ones, including common comfrey (Symphytum officinale). Within a relatively short time I had achieved about 30% to 40% successful germination and they were doing very well, however, this afternoon I noticed that most of them appeared to be drooping, but on closer inspection I found that the lower section of the stems had a "pinched" appearance. What happened?

This sounds like typical damp-off. I presume you are growing indoors, since your question came to us in mid-winter. To avoid the infection in the first place, use sterilized pots (soak in diluted household bleach) and a soil-less mix such as Pro-Mix as a sowing medium. Before sowing wet the medium with boiling water and sow as soon as cool. Cover with clean plastic, held off the soil by some sterile sticks -or recycle some lidded clear plastic food container as a seeding pot.

Try to rescue any seedlings still alive in your planting by spraying the soil with 3 -5% hydrogen peroxide, sprinkling with powdered cinnamon or spraying with strong chamomile tea or even 70% isopropyl (rubbing)alcohol.

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