A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Perilla Leaves at Home

Perilla leaves are a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines, particularly in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese dishes. They are known for their unique flavor that is slightly minty, with a hint of cinnamon and a delicate aroma. Perilla leaves are also known for their numerous health benefits, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

If you’re a fan of perilla leaves and want to grow them in your garden or in pots at home, here’s a simple guide on how to grow perilla leaves:

  1. Choose a sunny spot: Perilla plants prefer full sun, so choose a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight every day. If you’re growing them in pots, place them in a sunny spot on your balcony or patio.
  2. Prepare the soil: Perilla plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. You can mix compost or well-rotted manure into the soil before planting to provide the plants with the necessary nutrients.
  3. Plant the seeds: You can start perilla seeds indoors in early spring or sow them directly into the ground after the danger of frost has passed. Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 6 inches apart.
  4. Water the plants: Perilla plants require regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Water them deeply once a week or more frequently if the soil is dry.
  5. Fertilize the plants: Perilla plants benefit from regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer. You can apply a slow-release fertilizer in the spring and midsummer to promote healthy growth.
  6. Harvest the leaves: Perilla leaves are ready to harvest when they are about 4-6 inches long. You can harvest the leaves as needed by snipping them off at the stem. Be sure to leave some leaves on the plant so that it can continue to grow.

Growing perilla leaves is a simple and rewarding activity that can yield a steady supply of fresh, flavorful leaves for use in your cooking. Whether you’re adding them to soups, stews, or stir-fries, perilla leaves are a versatile ingredient that can add a unique flavor and aroma to your dishes.