Perilla, Shiso, Beefsteak Plant 'Tia To'

Perilla frutescens

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)




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Clovis, California

Hayward, California

Palm Beach, Florida

Norcross, Georgia

Marrero, Louisiana

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 10, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is easily cultivated from seed. It is a tender perennial that is often grown as an annual in temperate climates. It appreciates a sunny position in a warm setting, and prefers a consistently moist, rich soil. The information reported here regarding height is erroneous. This plant grows to a height of 6' (2m) or more in ideal conditions, so be advised. Minty-anise like aroma and flavor provides a pleasant accent to pickled vegetables and soups. This plant is perfectly content to be cluster grown in a container, so there is no need to introduce it into one's garden if reseeding is a concern.


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, inc... read more


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.


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.