A specialized Japanese herb, Perila Hojiso is specifically bred for its beautiful flower buds and leaves, which make for elegant garnishes and taste great pickled. This particular variety has intricate, large scalloped leaves, coloured a rich green on one side and a deep purple on the other. Used for salad mixes, sushi wraps, garnishing, and tempura while shredded or whole, dried leaves can be crushed and made into tea or sprinkled over rice. Flowers and seeds can also be used as garnish and both share the same flavour and qualities of the leaves.
Planting: Plant in late spring to early summer, after last frost. Can also be planted indoors.
Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil.
Sowing Depth: 1/4 inch (.6 cm) deep.
Light: Full sun.
Watering: Water frequently to keep soil moist, but not soggy.
Harvest: 60-70 days.
Please note that one of the challenges in growing Perilla is to handle the seed germination issue. Perilla seeds have dormant characteristics and seeds will not germinate during this period. The dormant period can begin any time just after the fresh seeds harvested and may end within several months or more. Seeds will have good germination after this dormant period finished. The dormant period can be broken or shorten if the seeds will be kept inside the refrigerator from a few weeks to a month or so.
Also, seeds require light to germinate and should be covered only with a very thin layer of soil when sowing. Soil should be kept moist at all times during the germination. For obtaining better and more uniform germination, it is suggested to soak seeds overnight before sowing. Germination takes 2-3 weeks to sprout.