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Grow a garden filled with Green Shiso herbs, from freshly harvested Perilla frutescens seeds. Green Shiso produces a distinct cinnamon / clove like scent and tastes much like cumin when consumed. The plants are often seen growing wild in many areas, such as fields, along fences, in pastures and more. Mature Green Shiso plants reach a height of about 18 to 30 inches tall, and can spread a good 12 to 18 inches wide.
Shiso leaves are often used for medicinal purposes, as well as culinary purposes. The oils can be extracted and the leaves can be used as a medicine to fight against the flu and the common cold. Shiso leaves can also treat minor asthma symptoms and other respiratory issues. If you are a fan of sushi, chances are you have consumed this herb without even knowing it. It is often times used to wrap sushi, and can be seen in other dishes focused around fish and other seafood.
Green Shiso is categorized as an annual herb. Annuals will grow quickly within the first growing season, from freshly harvested Perilla seeds. The leaves are produced and harvested during the summer months, and the plants will later wilt with the first frost. If allowed to bolt, or go to seed, the seeds can be collected for the following growing season.
Sowing The Seed
Shiso seeds are best sown directly outdoors, or in the area of your choice. However, they can also be sown indoors if you use peat pots. Peat pots will allow you to direct sow the entire pots later on. If started indoors, sow 1 to 2 seed per small peat pot, at a depth of 1/16" under topsoil. The seeds require a bit of direct light to germinate properly, so do not bury them past the recommended depth. Transplant or direct sow outdoors, when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed.
Shiso herbs will prefer an area of full sunlight for the majority of the day, with temperatures of at least 70F. The soil should be rich in organic matter, but also well drained. To improve your drainage, we recommend adding a light compost to any areas that consist of hard, compact soil. Water the seeds daily to ensure that they receive ample moisture, but avoid overwatering, as this can cause your Shiso to wilt.
Germination & Growth
Shiso seeds will typically take anywhere between 7 to 21 days to germinate, if optimal conditions are met. The plants will mature to a height that ranges from 12 to 30 inches tall, and can spread 1 to 2 feet wide. The plants can be spaced roughly 12 to 18 inches apart from one another. Harvest the fresh leaves to add to salads, and other culinary dishes. The attractive foliage of your Shiso plants will make for a great ornamental plant, which can be displayed directly in the garden.