Perilla Red Purple Shiso Organic Herb Seeds Heirloom Zi Su frutescens Mircrogreen Korean Japanese Chinese Vegetable Container Garden 紫蘇 赤じそ

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What CAN'T this plant do?! An absolute must for herb gardens! Equally well known as Red Perilla, Shiso's complex aroma & incredible flavor is almost always said to be quite hard to describe; the words cinnamon, basil, anise, clove with overtones of cumin and citrus pop up in the attempts. A beautiful, easy to grow, heat and drought-tolerant bedding plant that attracts pollinators, and is excellent for containers.

Grow as a bright-red micro-green, or let the plants mature and enjoy the leaves in pho, salad rolls, pink rice, flavored vinegar or other dishes. Shiso makes a wonderful pairing with unctuous dishes like sushi, and it combines beautifully with cilantro, mint, Thai basil and fresh lettuce leaves. Dried to make Shiso salt – is a MUST! Red Perilla shiso seeds grow into substantial plants with wide, deep purple leaves. The dark ruby leaves of this sharply flavored Asian herb have nicely frilled edges. They look a little bit like stinging nettle leaves, but rounder, and without any prickles.

It is worth noting that Perilla is a very attractive plant often grown simply for its ornamental value. Both green and red varieties resemble a coleus plant. This attractive herb is an excellent addition to an herb garden or can be used as an ornamental in containers or in the border. It has a pleasant odor and is easy to grow. The flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies and the foliage will last all through summer and into autumn. Also called Japanese basil or beefsteak plant.

~ Medicinal Uses ~

Perilla is traditionally used in Chinese medicine and has been shown to stimulate interferon activity and thus, the body's immune system. Rich in minerals and vitamins, it has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help preserve and sterilize other foods. The leaves are thought to have medicinal value and are used in remedies for asthma, coughs, colds and pain, as well as for mitigating allergic reactions (e.g. hayfever) and strengthening immunity. The leaves contain anti-oxidants, and the substance which causes the distinctive flavor (peril-aldehyde) has strong anti-bacterial effects.

~ Origin ~

Grown in the hills and mountains of East Asia (mainly India, China, Japan, and Korea), Shiso appears to have been a staple of the Japanese diet for millennia, dating from sometime in the Jomon Era - a wide window from 8000 B.C. to 400 B.C.
Shiso was originally grown for lamp oil. The seeds of the plant were crushed to make the oil, but this was expensive, so the practice died out when other oil sources were found. Then the plant had a second coming when it was discovered to be an asset both in the kitchen and the medicine cabinet. Shiso seeds form an essential part of the famous seven spices of Japan, which originated more than 300 years ago in Kyoto. Shiso was brought to the west in the late 1800s.
The crop occurs in both red leaved and green forms. There are also frilly, ruffled-leaved forms called chirimen-jiso and forms that are red only on top, called katamen-jiso.

~ planting ~

When to Plant: Start shiso seeds indoors 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost, or direct-sow afterward. Seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days with soil temperatures between 65°F and 70°F.
Planting Depth: Shiso requires some sunlight to germinate, so plant seeds directly on top of the soil or no deeper than 1/16".
Plant Spacing: Plant seeds or transplant starts about 12" to 16" apart. Closer spacing will encourage legginess, as the plants compete for sunlight, but when shiso is grown as a commercial crop, it tolerates denser spacing.
Maintenance: Pinch plant tops to keep them filled out and bushy, and trim off seed heads to prevent re-seeding. Don't let the buds go to waste; they're delicious roasted and used as a garnish over seafood! If you're growing shiso from seed for kitchen or herbal use, pinch off flower stems to preserve its flavor and potency.
Shiso doesn't require additional fertilization, though a general-purpose formula will help growth in poorer soils.
Maturity: Shiso fully matures in 80-85 days but in just a moment you'll see why that's somewhat irrelevant.

~ Harvesting ~

As soon as the plant is about six inches tall, you can begin harvesting leaves close to the stem, from which new leaves will grow. Don't harvest more than 1/3 of the plant during the growing season, or it won't have enough energy to spring back (we won't bother commenting on that). Shiso, in spite of its perennial tendencies in warmer climates, tastes best in its first year, so if you're growing them specifically as a culinary herb, treat your plants as annuals and kick them to the curb each fall.

This recipe is super yummy! -

~ additional instructions ~
- all seeds are heirloom, open-pollinated, organic & non-gmo (unless noted otherwise).
- detailed instructions are included with every seed package.
- inquire for discounts available on bulk quantities.

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