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Purple Shiso Perilla

Perilla frutescens 'Purple Shiso'

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Purple Shiso Perilla (Perilla frutescens 'Purple Shiso') at Roger's Gardens

Purple Shiso Perilla foliage

Purple Shiso Perilla foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Purple Shiso Perilla (Perilla frutescens 'Purple Shiso') at Roger's Gardens

Purple Shiso Perilla

Purple Shiso Perilla

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  26 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9b

Other Names:  Beefsteak Plant, Purple Mint, Chinese Basil


Deep dark purple leaves with burgundy veins on a dense bushy plant; a great garden accent or landscape plant that also works well in mixed containers; edible foliage is used the same way as basil; performs well in sun or shade

Ornamental Features

Purple Shiso Perilla's attractive fragrant pointy leaves remain deep purple in color with distinctive burgundy veins throughout the year on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. It features dainty spikes of lime green tubular flowers with white overtones rising above the foliage from late summer to mid fall.

Landscape Attributes

Purple Shiso Perilla is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant. Trim off the flower heads after they fade and die to encourage more blooms late into the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Purple Shiso Perilla is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Herb Gardens
  • Container Planting
  • Hanging Baskets

Planting & Growing

Purple Shiso Perilla will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 26 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Purple Shiso Perilla is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Edging  Garden  Herb  Container  Basket 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features