Posts: 13922
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Germinating perilla seeds

Hi there. Can anyone help me figure out how to germinate perilla (shiso) seeds. I have tried to germinate shiso in community pots of 50/50 peatlite, and 100% perlite which is how I usually germinate everything. I usually end up buying a plant. It does sometimes reseed and sedlings pop up between the sidewalk bricks and in alkaline soil, but usually there are only 2-4 volunteers. I have also grown them from cuttings, but the catch is that the cuttings will go to seed the same time the parent does. What media works best and how moist should it be?

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Posts: 30490
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I want to say you should be able to treat perilla like basil seeds, but I actually don't think I've ever needed to intentionally sow those seeds. :shock:
They reseed like weeds in my garden, both green and red, and pop up in my indoor containers as volunteers. I'm not even sure if I saved any seeds.

They are drought tolerant but do well in heavy clay. My garden tends on the acid side, but perilla adapted to your garden may be completely different from ones that have been growing in my garden for years.

I've never used 100% perlite as seed starting medium -- are you going to grow hydroponically? My seed starting mixes are usually 1/3-1/4 roughly screened compost, 1/4-1/3 sand, and 1/3-1/4 topsoil (yeah, yeah, they don't add up), or 2/3 commercial premium potting mix and 1/3 sand.

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