Planting and Care Instructions for Beefsteak Perilla

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Perilla Planting and Care Guide

Quick Facts About Perilla

As a culinary herb, Perilla is a sweet-spicy flavoring that is widely used in oriental cuisine such as stir fries, raw fish, vegetable dishes, rice and soups. The red color of the Perilla leaves is used to color and pickle fruits and vegetables. The Perilla seeds are used to make nutritious cooking oil as well. Many vitamins and minerals are found in this herb plant, and it is 2000 times as sweet as sugar. The herb plant is very attractive to pollinators as well as being a lovely addition to the garden.

Planting Time

Directly sow the Perilla seeds in the garden in the spring with some frosts still expected. Or start the seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks prior to the last frost after the seed has had a cold treatment.

Planting Location

Perilla plants prefer full sun and light soil that is kept moist.

How to Plant Perilla

  • Place the Perilla seeds in with some moist soil and keep the seed/soil mix in the refrigerator for 4 - 6 weeks prior to planting
  • After the cold period, start the herb seeds indoors in starter trays
  • Press the seeds into the soil and lightly cover
  • Harden off the seedlings and transplant out after frost danger has passed
  • Or, work the garden soil 6 - 8 inches in depth
  • Add organic matter to improve the soil
  • Directly sow the Perilla seeds in the garden
  • Press them into the soil and lightly cover
  • Keep the seeds moist for germination
  • Give the plants some protection, such as a cloche, until they are growing well

Care And Maintenance

  • It's best to water Perilla plants at the base
  • If sprinklers are used, water early in the day so that the plant can dry out - this will help prevent disease
  • Pinch the stems back to encourage a bushier growth habit
  • Deadhead the spent flowers to prevent unwanted plants the next year
  • Harvest Perilla leaves about 2 months after planting or when it's 8 inches in height
  • Continue to harvest throughout the summer as desired
  • Snip both the leaves and flowers
  • Perilla can be grown in containers and brought indoors for the winter months
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