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Perilla – a herb that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae.

Images of Perilla at

Perilla is an herb that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae.

Overview of Perilla

• The overall plant is similar to the stinging nettle.
• The leaves are somewhat rounder.
• The culinary variety is known as shiso.
• It’s an important part of diet and cuisine in Japan.
• These come in both green- and purple-leafed forms.
• They are also used in China.
• This herb is also used with other mint and basil type herbs in Southeast Asian countries.
• The distinctive aroma and pungency of the shiso is comparable to that of mint or fennel.
• Korean cuisine uses green leaves of the oil seed variety.
• Its flavor is different from shiso.
• They also use the perilla seeds, known as “wild sesame”.
• It is a source of perilla oil rich in ALA omega-3 fatty acids.
• The flowers, as well as the fruits or seeds, of shiso are used as a condiment or spice in Japan.
• Perilla leaves are high in the minerals calcium, iron, and potassium.
• It is rich in fiber and riboflavin.
• It is very high in vitamins A and C.
• It has anti-inflammatory properties.
• It is known to help preserve other foods.

Growing and caring conditions for Perilla

• Choose a flower bed location in the direct sun or partial sun.
• Prepare the soil by adding 2 to 4 inches of composted manure per square foot of bedding soil.
• Add 1/2 tablespoon of 16-16-18 fertilizer per square foot and work the manure and fertilizer into the top 6 inches of soil.
• Plant one mint plant every 2 feet.
• Dig a shallow hole, deep enough to cover the root with a small shovel.
• Cover the base of the mint loosely with the shovel.
• Dampen the soil lightly and water the bed once a week.
• Don’t over water mint as this can make the roots moldy.
• Harvest mint every two to three weeks by clipping the branches down several inches using sharp garden scissors.
• Cut the stems down to 1 inch above the soil at the end of the growing season.
• Mulch your mint patch, if desired.
• Mentha grows too vigorously for weeds to bother it much, but if your garden space lacks adequate water or dappled shade.
• Mulch helps keep the herbs cool and moist.
• Don’t worry about fertilizing your mints.
• The herbs adapt just fine to almost any kind of soil, so save your compost and fish emulsion for pickier plants.
• Unless your mints live in containers, watering is not a concern.
• Mints can take care of themselves
• Check the soil of your potted-up herbs, including mints, as container soil dries out much more quickly than garden soil.
• Keep pruning, or pinching back, the tips of the plants to encourage healthier, bushy growth and plenty of leaves.
• The plants, especially peppermint, quickly get a leggy, scraggly look when left unpruned.
• Let some of the plants flower.
• The purple blossoms look lovely in any garden, and make a unique addition to salads, herbal vinegars, jellies and jams.
• The plants will simply die back in the cold months and emerge hale and hearty the following spring.
• Trim the plants close to ground level in the autumn.
• For the colder months, consider potting up a bit of mint for an indoor container.
• Keep the mint watered but not overly moist
• Place it where it will receive some shade.
• If you’re growing a number of different types of mints, prune them before they flower.
• Once they reach the blossom stage, the plants could interbreed and lose some of their unique properties.
• Consider reviving the old-fashioned tradition of the herbal lawn or herbal bench by using mint plants.
• For a mint lawn or bench, choose small-leaved, lower-height mint varieties, such as Corsican or pennyroyal.

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