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Red Shiso

Perilla frutescens


A staple in Japanese diets for centuries, the leaves of this Asian herb are dark purplish-red and quite curly, growing to 4 feet high and are very striking as an ornamental.  Flavor is hard to describe, some say it is like coriander, others notice a basil-like or cinnamon flavor. Leaves are used fresh to season fish, and wrapped around almost anything. Flowering shoots are fried in tempura, or used in soups. The seeds are ground and are one of the "seven spices". 300 seeds 




Germination:  10-21 days

Seed Planting Depth: on surface, lightly press in

Starting Indoors/Outdoors:  Start indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost. Provide 70-75 degree soil temperature.Transplant 8-12" apart.  Sow outdoors in the spring,  every 1-2", thin to 6-12" apart. 

Light Needs:  Full sun 

Soil Needs:  Fertile, moist but well drained

Uses:Culinary, medicinal, ornamental

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews Write a review
Customer Reviews
4.7 Based on 6 Reviews
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Paul A.
United States United States
Another success

I have had a hard time getting this seed to germinate in the past. This year I used a heat mat and I now have too many seedlings. Every seed I planted germinated, or so it seems. Shiso has an interesting flavor and I like adding it to salads. The plant's very handsome too --somewhat reminiscent of a coleus.

Ramona M.
United States United States
What a treat!

The seeds were very viable and many of them sprouted. We had a bit of bad luck with a slug, but the plants we have are productive and happy. Shiso is really something special.

Rica M.
United States
Red Shiso

Very good germination rate, faster than I expected,using heat mat and light, and after planting out, it is growing well so far. I’m going to try using the mature leaves to dye silk.. Also I have a recipe for a summer drink made from the leaves. I’ve made it before—delicious, but it takes a lot of leaves to make one batch of the drink.

Elizabeth S.
United States
Red Shiso seeds

The problem was I ordered 1 pack and received and was charged for 3 packs. I gave away the 2 unwanted packs. The germination % was good, and the starts are growing nicely. I prefer green shiso, but have not had such good luck germinating them.

Slow to start, but a great plant

Shiso takes some time to germinate, but once it got going it's grown beautifully. It's nice enough looking to be grown just for looks, but it tastes amazing. I add it to salads for flavor and color.