How to grow psychedelic mushrooms for the first time

Written by Anonymous
how to grow mushrooms(Sasha Beck/Leafly)
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a recommendation to break the law in any capacity. Leafly does not condone hallucinogenic (magic) mushroom growing in jurisdictions where it is currently illegal.  

Growing shrooms is a relatively simple action : add spores to food and a growth medium, and wait for nature to spin chaff into amber. But psychedelic mushroom polish has been cloaked in confusion by decades of belowground literature. New growers are met with a dizzy total of terms to learn and told to buy a laundry list of lab equipment. Plus there are varying opinions and methods on how to grow them.

So we created a beginner-friendly guide to growing psychedelic shrooms. Our goal is to minimize initial expenses and keep things elementary to set up first-timers for success .

How do you grow shrooms?

Most psychedelic mushroom cultivation methods share these core steps :

  1. Sterilization: A food source (rice, grain, manure, sawdust, popcorn kernels, bird seed, etc.) is first hydrated, loaded into Mason jars or Unicorn bags, and sterilized. Think of this as clearing a field before planting an orchard. Once competing organisms are gone, mushrooms can take hold easily.
  2. Inoculation: The sterilized mushroom food is inoculated with spores or a living mushroom sample. These clones produce uniform mushrooms, or fruit, and multi-spore cultures can create countless variations. 
  3. Germination & colonization: The inoculation is given time to mature and colonize the food source, becoming a white and fluffy mycelial network—like roots, but for mushrooms—and eventually, mushrooms. 
  4. Fruit block assembly: After colonization, a grower breaks up the inoculated food and mixes it into a substrate, or growing medium—commonly coco coir, vermiculite, or sphagnum. The substrate provides the structure and water that mushrooms need to mature. Once thoroughly combined, the mixture is sealed inside a plastic bin.
  5. Fruit block colonization: Inside a sealed bin, mycelium spread into the substrate. The goal is to establish a fruit block, in which the mycelium joins the food and substrate.
  6. Pinning: Once the block is fully colonized, primordia—aka “pins”—begin to form, indicating that it’s time to introduce fruiting conditions. These pins will eventually swell and rise from the fruit block as mushrooms.
  7. Fruiting: During fruiting, young mushrooms want high humidity levels and plenty of oxygen, circumstances referred to as “fruiting conditions.” As mushrooms grow, they consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Without the exchange of fresh air for CO2, mushrooms become susceptible to growth defects, dudding, and pathogens. If humidity levels drop too low, a substrate will eventually dry out and starve mushrooms of water.

What’s the easiest way to grow shrooms?

how to grow mushrooms(Anonymous)
After trying numerous techniques ranging from PF Cakes to monotubs, we devised an easy, bum, and flying way to grow shrooms in little quantities, that has a high success pace. It ’ s a simplify variation of the Uncle Ben ’ second or Broke Boi TEK. You won ’ t need any spendy specify equipment, and the provide tilt is limited to items available at your local grocery or hardware storehouse ( with one or two exceptions ) .

The proficiency involves using bags of pre-cooked, pre-sterilized brown rice as mushroom food—classically, Uncle Ben ’ s or 90-Second Rice. The bags are modified for fresh air out switch over and inoculated with a syringe of mushroom spore solution .
The colonized rice is finally broken up, blend with a moisture coco-coir substrate ( growing medium ), and compressed into a patty inside a fictile bin—referred to as a “ monotub ” or “ shoebox. ” Using pre-sterilized and hydrated mushroom food eliminates labor-intensive readiness, opening up the hobby to people who don ’ metric ton own a pressure cooker or autoclave, an expensive device that uses steam and atmospheric pressure to kill bacteria .
We found that rice cups are easy to work with. The project can be started and finished inside the cup, and dozens of cups can be grown in a unmarried run. If a few cups don ’ triiodothyronine perform well, others likely will. besides, because they ’ re pre-sterilized and vacuum-sealed, they ’ rhenium ideal for maintaining a low-touch process and avoiding contamination .
It should be noted, this method acting saves on contamination risk and minimizes labor, but yields less : little cups of rice make for small harvests .
careless of the trade-offs, this technique is a capital place to start and experience mushroom cultivation firsthand, and decide if the hobby is correct for you .

For this method acting, you ’ ll motivation : spores or living mycelium from a psychedelic mushroom, Minute Rice brown rice cups, coconut coir, and some basic family supplies that we ’ ll detail below. You should be able to pull this project off for roughly $ 100, depending on what you already have around the house .

Contamination is a mushroom grower’s arch nemesis

By and large, the biggest snag that newfangled and seasoned mushroom growers have is contamination. Microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, and fungi can out-compete a mushroom inoculant and ruin a growing project .
Signs of contamination include :

  • Sour or funky odors
  • Presence of exudates (a yellow liquid that is a defense mechanism)
  • Brown or sludgy deposits of rotting rice
  • Stalled colonization, or the formation of colored masses—most often green, red, pink, or competing shades of white

Contaminations typically arise from inadequate sterilization techniques, dirty inoculants/spore solutions, unsanitary cultivation environments, or even a agriculturist ’ s body or invest. Each fourth dimension a project is handled or exposed to open atmosphere, a mushroom agriculturist risks contamination .

In a homegrow environment that lacks laboratory-standard sterilization and clean-room equipment, our best defense against contamination is to interact with a develop project adenine little as potential .

How long does it take to grow shrooms?

psychedelic mushrooms growing(Iarygin Andrii/AdobeStock)
The homework and inoculation phases can be knocked out in an afternoon. After inoculation, colonization can take anywhere from two to eight weeks, depending on environmental conditions, genetics, and inoculation technique. Once the cups are colonized and birthed, pins and fruits will form in about one to four weeks .
A broad growth cycle of mushrooms can take anywhere from one to three months .

What type of shrooms should I grow?

Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms—aka “ cubes ” —are the de facto species of choice for both amateurish and experienced shroom cultivators. The species is prized for its worldwide handiness, potent psychoactive properties, and ease of cultivation .

A saprophytic decomposer species, cubensis corrode all in organic matter. Where other psychedelic species prefer detail hardwoods, cubes are far less finical and can get nutriment from whole foods, manure, and decomposing organic waste .
The majority of commercially available psychedelic mushroom spores are cubensis subspecies : Names like Golden Teacher, Yeti, and Penis Envy are all offshoots of the cubensis, arising from mutations found in the angry or discovered by multi-spore inoculations and stabilized over prison term .

You ’ ll poster we ’ ve been careful to avoid the term, “ strain. ” That ’ mho because the mushroom community shuns the give voice, alternatively favoring “ subspecies. ” Unlike cannabis grown from seed, hundreds, if not thousands, of alone subspecies can result from a unmarried multi-spore inoculation. So the concept of a strain doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate accurately describe what a person gets when they buy a spore syringe for growing mushrooms .
relate Are Penis Envy mushrooms actually 2-3x more potent than other strains ?

Supplies needed to grow shrooms

You ’ ll need the pursue supplies for the inoculation phase :

  • Spore syringe or liquid culture ($5-25)
  • Minute Rice Brown Rice Cups ($2-3/four cups)
  • Micropore Tape
  • 2 or more 6-quart Sterilite Totes, or similar plastic boxes ($1-2 each)
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol ($2-3)
  • Bleach
  • Spray bottles for alcohol and bleach
  • Fine-mist bottle for water
  • Air Disinfectant
  • N95 mask ($1-2)
  • Torch (butane, propane, or MAPP gas), alcohol lamp, or similar

Supply list for the substrate phase :

  • Coco coir
  • Vermiculite (optional)
  • Gypsum (optional)
  • Distilled water 
  • 5-gallon painters bucket and lid
  • Nitrile gloves
  • N95 mask

How to grow psychedelic mushrooms

growing shrooms(Anonymous)
Mushroom growing can be broken down into seven phases :

  • Preparation
  • Inoculation
  • Colonization
  • Substrate assembly
  • Birthing
  • Fruiting
  • Harvest


cooking and inoculation can be done in an afternoon .
once you ’ ve bought your supplies, you ’ ll need to pick a work area and sanitize it ampere profoundly as possible. And we mean profoundly .
Your bring area should be away from any sources of moving breeze like drafty windows, publicize vents, or doors to the outside. If vents are present, close or seal them off with plastic sheet and tape. Always shut off AC units or central air before working on a mushroom growing project .
Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate make in a carpeted room if possible—carpets are ill-famed for trapping contaminants .
ideally, you should wipe down walls and clear scatter from all surfaces, and vacuum or sweep and mop your work area. Work top to bottom and using rubbing alcohol or bleach .

Set up a board and spray it down with rubbing alcohol. Stainless steel tables are the standard, but anything non-porous will work .
Spray the air with Lysol or a similar aerosol disinfectant designed for mitigating airborne contaminants .
After the room is sanitized, we recommend cleaning your body. Mycologists often prepare for inoculation like to how a surgeon scrubs down for operating room. Take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on clean clothes. right before heading into your work area, wash your hands with soap .
once you and your study area are clean, put on an N95 mask and enter the room .

Inoculation phase

Gather the spore syringe and rice cups, a well as the torch, micropore tape, rubbing alcohol, newspaper towels, and nitrile gloves. Wipe everything with rubbing alcohol, and line it up on the table .
To inoculate, first, vigorously shake your spore syringe for a few minutes, making certain to break up any clumps of spores. Spores need to be evenly distributed through the solution .

adjacent, flame-sterilize the syringe needle. The phonograph needle should get crimson blistering .
bill : don ’ thymine break the factory seal on the rice cup—that stays sealed until late. Don ’ thyroxine consumption besides much solution, as excessive moisture levels will encourage wet putrefaction and bacterial contagion .
When the acerate leaf has cooled, puncture the plastic covering on a rice cup in the in-between and dispense between 0.5-1cc of spore solution .
After inoculation, use the needle tip off to make a twelve or so extra holes in the rice cup for publicize exchange, within ¼ ” of the inoculation web site. then cover the holes with two pieces of micropore magnetic tape, working cursorily to avoid contaminant .
The spores now have a source of food and will germinate .
repeat this work for each cup, sterilizing the acerate leaf between inoculations .
To minimize the risk of contamination, try to avoid moving your hands around a lot and keep your work surface wet with rubbing alcohol throughout the action .

Colonization phase

After inoculation, store the rice cups inside a 6-quart Sterilite fictile box carryall or exchangeable plastic container and close the eyelid .
Spores will begin to germinate, pair up, and exchange genic information, maturing into a mycelial network.

To encourage a timely rate of colonization, store the cups at around 65°F. Warmer temps will encourage a agile colonization, but anything past 70-75°F can awaken dormant contaminants. Keeping the environment cool will elongate colonization and stave off competing microorganisms .
once a week, lightly agitate your rice cups in a back-and-forth or swirling apparent motion, but don ’ t shake the cup up and down. Doing so can expose grains of rice to the inoculation area, where contaminants are most probable to be hiding .

You can monitor the colonization process by holding a cup up to a lamp : The dense mycelium restricts abstemious from passing through, thereby appearing whiter than the uncolonized top assign of the rice .
growing shrooms(Anonymous)
Colonization normally takes between two to eight weeks. When the rice is amply colonized, it will solidify into a coordinated mass, finally feeling heavy at the bottom of the cup. colonization can be confirmed by shaking the cup. once few or no loosen grains are palpate rattling round, move on to the substrate fabrication and give birth phases of mushroom grow .

How to make a shroom substrate

When a rice cup is amply colonized, between a couple of weeks and a couple of months, you can move on to making a substrate, or growing medium, and birthing mushrooms .

Make your substrate 8-24 hours ahead of time .
For a substrate, most people use a jazz band of coco-coir, vermiculite, and gypsum—dubbed CVG—but it ’ s besides finely to precisely use properly hydrated coco-coir. You can buy coconut coir on its own or hydrate it yourself .
Check out this video from Philly Golden Teacher on how to hydrate coconut coir and make your own CVG. Both recipes require adding hot water system to the materials and letting them cool for 5-8 hours .

“ Field capability ” refers to the ideal come of body of water in a substrate. A substrate that ’ s adequately hydrated to field capacity will establish Goldilocks-zone, aerobic territory conditions, and encourage healthy mushrooms. Field capability is when just a few drops of water are produced when squeezing a handful of substrate .
Use a substrate within 24 hours. The longer substrate sits around, the more likely it is to become contaminated .

Birthing phase: How to make shroom cakes

growing shrooms(Anonymous)
Birthing only takes an hour or so, depending on how many rice cups you have. Before parturition, clean your work sphere again. Remember, your employment area is like a surgical field and you ’ re the doctor. Cleanliness and hygiene are a home mycologist ’ s best allies .

When you ’ re all cleaned up—wearing a mask and gloves—it ’ randomness time to birth your cups .
first sanitize a spoon with rubbing alcohol, open a rice cup by breaking the seal, and break up the consolidated rice. Add a little handful of substrate to the cup and mix it in with the inoculate rice .
once the rice is evenly distributed throughout the substrate, gently compress the mix and add another layer of substrate. This layer will serve as a barrier between alfresco contaminants and the rice mix .
now cups can be introduced to fruiting conditions .

Shroom fruiting phase

growing shrooms(Anonymous)

What are fruiting conditions for shrooms?

Mushrooms need a humid environment and fresh air out. To create such an environment, we use a well sanitized 6-quart Sterilite formative corner. After disinfecting the plastic box with rubbing alcohol, spray the inside with a fine-mist body of water bottle to increase humidity .
Put the cups inside the fictile box with the eyelid turned top down—this leaves a small gap for air travel central, allowing fresh oxygen to displace the CO2 that mushrooms make while growing .

What grow light should I use for shrooms?

You don ’ t need to do or buy anything visualize. The circulate light of a window will work ( the easiest option ), arsenic well as fluorescent lights and LEDs that mimic the spectrum of the sunday. If you grow weed and have a T5 or T8 fluorescent pipe hanging approximately, you can use that. The fall just needs to warm the box .
Some mushroom growers swear by a 12-hour light/12-hour black cycle, which can be achieved with an mercantile establishment timekeeper, but through observation, we feel that regulating temperature fluctuations is more important than cycles of light and dark .
regular fluctuations in temperature create condensing and humidity. You won ’ t need to water system cups directly, only mist the inside of the box before adding them in. This jumpstarts the formation of fruits via vaporization and rehydration of the substrate during day and nox cycles .

Set it and forget it

once you introduce your cups to fruiting conditions—high humidity, ample fresh air, and a day-night light cycle—simply leave your project alone. resist touching it. No day by day obscure, winnow, etc. is needed. patience is the keystone .
If the condensation on the inside of the bin evaporates wholly before fruits imprint, remove the cups and mist the walls again. Never mist the cups, fruits, or pins immediately. Too much water will drown the mycelium and encourage pathogens to take beginning .

How to fruit shroom cakes

The fruit phase can be broken down into three stages : pin, elongation, and monogenesis .

What is pinning?

Mushrooms start as knots of hypha—like individual roots, but character of the mycelium—on the coat of a mycelial network. They grow where water droplets condense and evaporate .
imperceptible to the untrained eye, these knots are the beginnings of primordia—better known as “ pins ” ascribable to their pinhead-like appearance. Their formation is normally referred to as “ pinning. ”

When do I mist my shrooms? Should I fan my box?

lone mist the walls and floor of the credit card box, and only when the last obscure has evaporated, particularly once pin form. Do not mist your cups, substrate, or fruit bodies .
The plastic bin will first start to dry out where bracing air enters. If a dry zone doesn ’ triiodothyronine form after a few days, reposition the overturned hat to widen the gap to increase fresh air exchange .
note : Some people close the hat and fan their fruit chamber with the hat every thus often. We don ’ thyroxine recommend this set about as it can mess with humidity levels. We suggest a passive fresh air substitute. As a dominion of thumb, less interaction is more .

Elongation and sporulation stages

growing shrooms(Anonymous)
As fruits mature, they will elongate and gain aggregate. This is when adequate fresh air exchange becomes critical. If fruit bodies bruise to blue, this indicates a CO2 buildup and growth will soon halt if the rate of fresh air rally international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine increased .
Fruits are fix to harvest when the caps open up, signaling that monogenesis will soon begin : The caul connecting the cap to the root breaks and within days spores will be visible on the substrate below—the mushroom ’ s way of repeating the lifecycle .
It ’ sulfur common to harvest concisely before or after the head covering breaks to avoid dark, ink-black spore deposits falling onto and coloring any implicit in mushrooms .

How to harvest shrooms

growing shrooms(Anonymous)

When to harvest shrooms

When the caul connecting a mushroom ’ second cap to its stem breaks, it ’ s ready to harvest .
To harvest, just writhe and pull each mushroom from the substrate. alternatively, you can use a knife or scalpel to cut them exempt .
once harvested, remove and discard any substrate that ’ randomness attached to the penetrate of your mushrooms .

How to dry shrooms

Mushrooms should be dried or eaten immediately following harvest .
Mushrooms can be air dry or put in a food dehydrator on a low-temp set ( 120°F or less ) for about a day. Mushrooms are composed of up to 90 % water system, so growers need to be thorough when drying them .
once cracker-dry, shrooms should be stored in a jar or similar container with a desiccant pack or two to maintain proper humidity levels. We recommend storing shrooms in a night outer space that stays at board temperature, not in a deep-freeze or electric refrigerator .

How do I get a second flush from my shroom cakes?

A “ bloom ” is a harvest or generation of mushrooms that mature at the same time. You can normally get multiple flushes from a single fruit block or cake .
To get a yield obstruct to produce multiple flushes, first harvest all mushrooms and then gently cut off any remaining stumps or green pins with a flame-sterilized blade. Be careful not to agitate the fundamental mycelium or remove chunks of colonize substrate, which can contaminate the fruit block .
then, hydrate the cups and box with a very well mister .
alternatively, some growers submerge their cakes in water after each flush, for around an hour to rehydrate the substrate. But this exposes the substrate contaminants, so dunk lone if necessity .
If a coat shrinks during the beginning flush, you can add more substrate to fill it out. Make a new batch of substrate if needed .
Return the hydrate cups to fruiting conditions for a second bang. second flushes tend to be larger than the first. Keep up sanitary practices to make certain fruit blocks stay blank .
Third and fourth flushes are possible if the cups remain contaminant-free and are by rights hydrated .

What should I do with contaminated cups?

If a cup become contaminated, immediately quarantine it from the early cups. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate sniff or preference a contaminated visualize cup. Wearing a mask and gloves, remove it from the fruit chamber, immediately seal it in a fictile bag, and throw it away outside in a pan can. Do not throw it in a compost pile .

Additional resources

The Shroomery is one of the longest running social centers and living libraries for psychedelic mushroom cultivators. This busy residential district has everything a curious new myco fancier might want—grow journals, troubleshooting forums, contamination guides, and beyond .
possibly the best point of introduction into the notoriously opinion-dense Shroomery forum is the Simplified Cultivation Methods link list. It rounds up invaluable resources from trusted community members like Bodhi, Pastywhyte, Workman, and respective other legends of psychedelic mycology.

OG educator and Shroomery contributor Roger Rabbit ’ s video series Let ’ s Grow Mushrooms shows many advanced cultivation techniques. An excellent primer on the hobby, videos cover everything from pale yellow logs to working with agar .
YouTuber 90-Second Mycology guides the uninitiate through Uncle Ben ’ s TEK and fruiting from the bag .
YouTuber and Zen-like home mycologist Philly Golden Teacher offers a series of instructional videos that make complicated concepts and techniques approachable. here ’ s his consider on the Uncle Ben ’ s—aka Broke Boi—TEK .

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