Perilla Shiso Care – How To Grow Perilla Shiso Mint
What Is Perilla?
Perilla is a tropical evergreen shrub native to South America. It grows up to 2 m tall and 1.5 m wide. Its leaves are oval shaped with four white petals and five sepals (sepals mean six points). The flower stalks have three yellow petal pairs and one green pair, which resembles a small umbrella. It bears two fruits: a red seed pod containing seeds and a purple fruit with edible fleshy inside. The dried pods are used as food or medicine.
How To Grow Perilla Shiso Mint
The best time to grow perilla is from spring till summer. It needs full sun exposure and moist soil. You can start growing it anytime between March and August depending on your climate conditions. However, it will not bloom until late September or October.
If you want to grow perilla in winter, then you need to wait till early spring before starting the growing process.
You can grow perilla in containers or outdoor. Outdoor growing requires less water and sunlight than indoor growing. However, it does require regular watering and fertilizing during the growing season. You can use any type of potting mix like peat moss, vermiculite or composted manure for container gardening.
The plant itself can reach about 1.5 m in height and 1 m in width. It cannot survive freezing temperatures below -4 degrees. For best results dig a hole that is slightly larger than the container.
After you make sure that the soil is well drain, place the perilla shiso plant into the container and backfill the hole with soil. Space them about 60 cm apart so that they are able to receive adequate sunlight. Once planted, water the plant thoroughly and then apply a complete fertilizer or composted manure at a rate of 5-10 g per plant.
How To Care For Perilla Shiso
Perilla requires regular watering and feeding to grow strong and healthy. Always make sure that the soil is moist before and after each feeding. It is recommended to do a soil test before each growing period to determine the exact amount of nutrients it requires. For indoor growing you need adequate artificial lighting.
The leaves and stems of perilla are prone to damage by insects, so you may need to apply appropriate insecticides as needed.
You can harvest the leaves as soon as they reach full size and any time after that. Once the plant starts to bloom, it signifies that it is time to harvest the seeds. Always use sharp tools while harvesting to avoid damaging the plant’s stem and leaves.
Cooking With Perilla Shiso
The leaves of perilla are used extensively in Korean, Japanese and Chinese dishes. It is believed to have several medicinal properties as well. In Korea and Japan the leaves of perilla are used to flavor salads, soups, stews and pastas. The seeds can be eaten raw or cooked and are used in a variety of recipes.
The flowers are often dried and made into tea.
The leaves of perilla contain large amounts of Oleanolic acid and ursolic acid, which give them their distinctive color, flavor and aroma. It is also rich in vitamins A, C and K. The leaves are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. They can also help in curing stomach aches, headaches, heart problems and other such ailments.
The seeds contain a good amount of healthy fats, amino acids and antioxidants. They too have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can help in lowering blood cholesterol levels and treating diabetes.
If you are looking for a new, versatile and tasty herb to grow in your kitchen or garden, then you should definitely give perilla a try.
Sources & references used in this article:
Essential oils of green and red Perilla frutescens as potential sources of compounds for mosquito management by N Tabanca, B Demirci, A Ali, Z Ali, EK Blythe… – Industrial Crops and …, 2015 – Elsevier
Perilla by PN Ravindran, M Shylaja – Handbook of herbs and spices, 2006 – Elsevier
A case of bronchospasm and urticaria caused by Shiso ingestion by YS Shin, GS Choi, HJ Park, YM Ye… – Annals of Allergy, Asthma …, 2009 – annallergy.org