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Jun 4, 2010 05:41 PM

Shiso plant for sale?

It is herb season and I was looking to grow my own Shiso. I was wondering if anyone has seen it at any of the various places that sell herbs in the GTA. I have seen the seeds but I am looking for a sprouted plant....


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  1. for what it is worth, it grows rather easily from seed.... i know that might not be much help, but.....

    1 Reply
    1. re: thew

      'Shiso' is the Japanese name for Perilla frustescens. You may find it listed it under its English name, 'perilla'. There are two main varieties, green shiso and purple shiso.

      Richters offers a seeds for both. They also sell plants at their retail store... so it might be worth asking them or call around and also asking for it by the name Perilla.

      357 Highway 47
      Goodwood, ON L0C 1A0 Canada
      Tel. +1.905.640.6677
      Fax. +1.905.640.6641

    2. No brainer to grow from seed--it's a bloody mint relative. Once established, you've got a lifetime supply!

      15 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Whereas mint is an perennial, this site says shiso is an annual. So, it would need to be reseeded each year.

        1. re: Full tummy

          that site seems to be wrong. in my old place i started with one plant. by a few years after it was all over the yard. i have a 2nd years growth growing in a flowerpot on my balcony now. in NYC

          but mine is green, not purple, maybe that makes a difference

          1. re: thew

            The site's wrong for sure. Be aware that Shiso spreads like wildfire once you plant it. Can totally overrun your garden.

            1. re: thew

              Well, the sites I have checked say it is an annual; this site says it "aggressively self-sows", which could explain the regrowth and everyone's general success at having it spread.


              1. re: Full tummy

                Log a little more time on the gardening sites before pulling the trigger, OK? Grow it in a large tub or container--don't sow it in a ground-level bed unless you're in the umeboshi biz.

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  I don't understand what your point is. I didn't realize I pulled any sort of trigger, haha. I also didn't realize I need to be a master gardener to contribute to the conversation.

                  Please clarify your points. Do they have anything to do with my statements about it being an annual and self-seeding? FYI, many plants are very good at self-seeding into one's garden from a planter, even on one's deck, as my dill plants did from last year.

                  1. re: Full tummy

                    i think his comment on "pulling the trigger" was more like "before you go ahead and start the seeds/transfer plants". from my understanding shiso is part of the mint family and therefore notoriously invasive. mint is supposed to form a rather large network of roots which means that even if you only see a few leaves, there could be a lot more going on under the surface that you will not see until next year. kind of like horseradish will take over a garden. whch is why one would suggest not using a ground level bed and opting for a small container.

                    this is all from gardening sites since it is my first year working with mint and shiso from seed.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      Thanks for the explanation.

                      I have a whole bunch of mint in my garden, and I planted it in a smallish area separated from the rest of the garden by a patio and path, to keep it under control, which has been pretty successful. Luckily, the mint do not spread by seed, in my experience, and so I have never seen them pop up elsewhere. There are quite a few invasive garden plants, many of them not even edible. Some spread by root AND seed!!

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                        This is exactly correct - which is why I only grow mint in containers.

                        The first year I grew mint in a container, I pulled up all the herbs at the end of the season. Come spring time the following year, I had mint growing again (but from the other side of the container)

              2. re: Full tummy

                We have a trough on the balcony. It just started coming up on its own again with no effort on our part. I believe it's because we didn't cut all the seeds or something. But it's a hardy plant! We have purple too.

                To Hmm > check Galleria. They had some when I went last weekend.

                1. re: jlunar

                  By Galleria, do you mean the shopping center @ Dufferin/Dupont?

                  1. re: Hmm

                    Nope, the Korean grocer North of Steeles on Yonge:

                    7171 Yonge Street Thornhill, ON L3T 2A9

                    they also have korean hot dogs (not sure what that is) out front on the grill! There's a normal grill version and a pogo version. And other snacks too. I like the read-bean filled fish-shaped things.

                    1. re: jlunar

                      if it's the Korean perilla plant you are looking for - which is a bit different from the japanese shiso - you can find them these days at many korean supermarkets for planting - they are sold much like the herbs that are sold at various nurseries/markets for transplanting at home.

                      in my experience, i replant new perilla plants every year but a lucky (and lazy) relative of mine doesnt do a thing (ie. replant) and gets perillas every year!

                      1. re: berbere

                        Just to add to this discussion, since I was browsing also to find a source for shiso plants, I have grown both the green and the purple shiso in my garden in hot country (the San Juaquin valley California) for several years. Once the plant gets going, it is majestic and gorgeous. However, I have yet to see either the green or the purple reseed themselves! I have to start seeds in flats each year (and this year my seeds failed.) Maybe the plant prefers slightly wetter late summer weather to do the reseeding or something. Never has formed runners either. for what this is worth...

                        1. re: drjacthevet

                          Had plants happily reseeding themselves in an established herb bed for several years. They obviously have to flower then set and ripen seeds for this to work in an undisturbed bed.

            2. Saw quite a few at Humber Nurseries last week among the dwindling supply of seasonal vegetable/herb plants. They were marked down and NOT selling. This is the motherlode for all sorts of gardening

              1. Last week I saw potted shiso plants for sale by the little chinese grandmothers on Spadina around Dundas St., but they are a firmer variety than the ones offered for sale in the Japanese food stores. Oriental food shops often offer seed packets of both colours. When I lived in NY,I planted some of RIchter's purple shiso seeds in my window boxes and they seeded themselves. A former neighbour tells me that a section of Bleecker St. is permanently purple now! So beware where you plant them.

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