- botanical name: Perilla frutescens ‘Green’
- height 18-30″
- spacing 18-24″ apart
- full sun tolerant, partial shade
- dry-average, well-drained soil
- uses in garden: great in containers, cut foliage, drought tolerant, fragrant
- use in salads and soups, sushi
Green Shiso is a common oriental herb, also known as Beefsteak Plant. It has a very distinct and spicy, cinnamon/clove and somewhat citrusy flavor. Often used in sushi, as a fragrant garnish and in salad mixes. Its fully grown leaves make wonderful and flavorful wraps in place of ordinary lettuce.
Rich in minerals and vitamins, Shiso is known to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is thought to help preserve and sterilize other foods making it a perfect companion to sushi. The small flower spikes are tasty and can be used to accompany soups or salads.
To keep the plants healthy and nicely shaped, pinch off stem tips frequently. Shiso needs at least five hours of direct sun. They often re-seed themselves.
Preferred seeding method: direct sow after last frost in well-drained soil. Days to germination: 7-21 days. Sow 1-2 seeds per inch and thin to 6″-12″ apart. Tamp seeds gently into place but do not cover as the seed needs light to germinate. Keep moist until germination. 80-85 days to harvest.
To harvest: Leaves can be picked all during the growing season. The smaller leaves will be the most tender. Seeds can be saved for planting the next year. Simply shake the seeds from the seed head into a paper bag in late summer or early fall. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place.
To dry: Dry leaves as you would any other herb – gather in bunches and dry on a rack where there is plenty of air circulation or dry stems on racks in the microwave. Store dried leaves in airtight containers.