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How to Tell if Perilla Plant Needs Watering?

Updated: June 29, 2023

Perilla plant, also known as Korean mint or Japanese basil, is a popular herb with beautiful foliage and a distinct aroma. Like any other plant, it requires proper care and attention, including regular watering. However, knowing when and how much to water can sometimes be challenging for plant enthusiasts. In this article, we will discuss some key indicators that can help you determine if your perilla plant needs watering.

Observe the Soil Moisture

The first step in determining if your perilla plant needs watering is to observe the moisture level of the soil. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil near the base of the plant. If the soil feels dry or slightly moist, it indicates that the plant may need watering. On the other hand, if the soil feels excessively wet or muddy, it suggests that the plant has been overwatered.

Check the Appearance of Leaves

Another way to assess if your perilla plant requires watering is by examining the appearance of its leaves. When the plant is adequately hydrated, its leaves will appear vibrant and glossy, with a healthy green color. However, when the plant lacks water, its leaves may start to wilt, droop, or curl inward. Additionally, dry and crispy leaves are a clear sign of dehydration.

Pay Attention to Leaf Texture

In addition to observing the appearance of the leaves, it’s essential to pay attention to their texture. If you gently touch the leaves and they feel dry or brittle, it indicates that your perilla plant needs watering. Conversely, if the leaves feel soft and pliable, it suggests that the plant is adequately hydrated.

Monitor Growth Rate

The growth rate of your perilla plant can also serve as an indicator of its water needs. When a plant lacks sufficient water, it tends to slow down its growth to conserve energy and resources. If you notice stunted growth or a lack of new leaves, it might be a sign that your perilla plant requires watering. However, it’s important to note that other factors such as insufficient light or nutrient deficiencies can also affect the plant’s growth.

Consider the Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions play a crucial role in determining how often you should water your perilla plant. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and air circulation can impact the plant’s water requirements. During hot summer months, when the temperature is high and the air is dry, your perilla plant may need more frequent watering. Conversely, during cooler seasons or in a humid environment, you may need to reduce the frequency of watering.

Use a Moisture Meter

If you want a more accurate measure of your perilla plant’s moisture level, you can invest in a moisture meter. A moisture meter is a handy tool that provides real-time readings of the soil moisture content. By inserting the probe into the soil near the plant’s root zone, you can easily determine if the soil is too dry or too wet. This can help you avoid guesswork and ensure that your perilla plant receives optimal hydration.

Be Mindful of Overwatering

While it’s crucial to water your perilla plant when necessary, it’s equally important to avoid overwatering. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases, which can harm the plant’s overall health. To prevent overwatering, make sure to provide adequate drainage for your perilla plant by using well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes. Additionally, allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions to promote healthy root growth.

Adjust Watering Frequency Based on Season

As with most plants, the watering needs of perilla can vary depending on the season. During the active growing season in spring and summer, when the plant is actively producing new foliage, it may require more frequent watering. However, during the dormant period in fall and winter, when the plant’s growth slows down, you should reduce the watering frequency. Always remember to adjust your watering schedule based on the specific needs of your perilla plant and the surrounding environmental conditions.


Proper watering is essential for the health and vitality of your perilla plant. By observing the soil moisture, checking the appearance and texture of the leaves, monitoring growth rate, considering environmental conditions, and using tools like a moisture meter, you can determine when it’s time to water your perilla plant. Remember to be mindful of overwatering and adjust watering frequency based on the season. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your perilla plant thrives and adds beauty to your home or garden.