Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Perilla, Shiso, Beefsteak Plant
Perilla frutescens 'Tia To'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Perilla (per-IL-uh) (Info)
Species: frutescens (froo-TESS-enz) (Info)
Cultivar: Tia To
Additional cultivar information: (Tiet To)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By LiliMerci
Thumbnail #1 of Perilla frutescens by LiliMerci


1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Apr 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I used to be partial to the purple-leaf strain, but after growing it once in pots I found it turned into a persistent annual weed. After more than a decade, I'm still weeding it out of the beds. It's very aggressive and outcompetes many perennials.

A pretty plant, but there are far too many other pretty plants that are less work. I'll never plant this again deliberately in any garden.

Coleus makes an excellent substitute, unless you want to eat it.

This species is highly toxic to many animals, including horses, cattle, goats, rats, mice, and hamsters. It is responsible for fatal livestock poisonings when it invades pasturage.

This plant's invasive behavior has alarmed many organizations concerned with preserving natural areas, including the US National Park Service and the US Forest Service. It has been reported as invasive of natural habitat in 8 states.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Jul 6, 2013, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I bought what was unknown to me at an Asian market a bunch of this plant. I rooted some in a cup of water in May,they took well to that and then planted some out in sun and some in a pot in light shade. I live in the SF bay area,so I might have to get back to you on if its an annual or short lived shrubby perennial.

Neutral Farmerdill On Feb 7, 2008, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Tia To (or called Tiet To) is a Vietnamese version of Hojiso, with slightly smaller leaves but much stronger aromatic flavor. Leaves have green color on the top side and purplish red on the bottom side. The strong flavors are perfect for sea food cooking of shrimp and fish dishes. Aromatic leaves are also widely used in pickling. Plants grow best in a sunny location. Young leaves can be harvest in 30 days after transplanting. Plants can be grown in open field or container as a wonderful ornamental plant in the backyard. Easy to grow.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clovis, California
Hayward, California
Palm Beach, Florida
Norcross, Georgia
Marrero, Louisiana

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