How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

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1Using Basic Growing Methods

2Growing Mushrooms from Coffee Grounds

3Using Alternative Growing Methods

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Co-authored byOlivia Choong

Last Updated: February 14, 2024Fact Checked

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Growing mushrooms at home is a task that any gardener interested in growing their own food should attempt. Mushrooms are a healthy addition to any diet, as they are low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and contain high amounts of potassium and selenium. Mushrooms are best grown indoors where the temperature and light conditions can be more readily managed. Learning how to grow mushrooms indoors is a matter of managing their growing conditions carefully.

Part 1

Part 1 of 3:

Using Basic Growing Methods

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  1. 1

    Decide what type of mushroom you want to grow. The three types of mushrooms that are easiest to grow at home are oyster, white button, and Shiitake. The method for growing each mushroom is similar, but the ideal growing substrate differs.[1]

    • Oyster mushrooms grow best in straw or coffee grounds (described later); Shiitakes grow best on hardwood sawdust; button mushrooms grow best in composted manure. These different substrates reflect the different nutritional needs of each species; however, each of these three species can be grown readily enough in sawdust or straw. Make sure that if you use sawdust it is from untreated wood.
    • Choosing a type of mushroom to grow is a matter of taste. You should grow the type you most want to eat.
  2. 2

    Purchase mushroom spawn. Mushroom spawn is sawdust permeated with mushroom mycelia — essentially the root structure of the fungus. It is used much like plant seedlings to facilitate growth.[2]

    • You can purchase high-quality mushroom spawn from several online retailers, some gardening supply stores, or some specialty organic living stores.
    • Make sure to buy spawn rather than spores. Some retailers will also sell spores, which are more akin to the seeds of plants (rather than seedlings). Growing mushrooms from spores takes more time and practice, and is best suited for a seasoned mushroom grower.


  3. 3

    Sterilize the growing substrate. If you are growing mushrooms in straw or sawdust, it will be necessary to sterilize these growing mediums before inoculating with the spawn. This is done to kill off any micro-organisms that could compete with the mycelia.[3]

    • To sterilize the substrate, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and add enough water to make the straw or sawdust damp. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for two minutes, or until the water has boiled off.
    • This kills off any microorganisms, leaving the substrate safe to receive the mushroom mycelia. You may need to work in batches in order to sterilize all of the straw or sawdust.
  4. 4

    Heat the substrate so that the mycelia will spread. The mycelia in your mushroom spawn need to spread into the substrate thoroughly before producing mushrooms. A warm temperature encourages this growth.[4]

    • After choosing the substrate best suited to your mushroom species, place a few handfuls of it into a baking pan. A shallow pan with a large surface area will provide the most room for your mushrooms to grow.
    • Mix the spawn into the substrate with a sterilized utensil. Place the baking pan on a heating pad set to 70°F (21°C). This is the ideal temperature to encourage growth. You can also try simply placing the pan in a warm area of your home.
    • Leave the setup in a dark environment, such as a cabinet, for about three weeks. This will allow the mushroom mycelia to permeate the substrate.
  5. 5

    Place the substrate into the proper environment. After two weeks, check the substrate to see if it has been fully colonized — the substrate should be entirely covered with what looks like white fuzz. This may take between two to four weeks. If the substrate is colonized, you can move the pan into an environment that is dark and cool (about 55°F or 13°C). A basem*nt usually works well for this, but a cabinet or drawer in an unheated room will work in winter.

    • If you notice any dark spots of green or brown (like what you might see on moldy bread), remove these areas from your substrate and throw them out.
    • Cover the substrate with a handful of potting soil and spray the entire mixture with enough water to dampen it thoroughly. You can place a damp towel over the pan to prevent moisture loss if desired.
    • Consider placing a low heat lamp near the pan. This simulates the sun, which can help the mushrooms orient themselves and grow "up," making them easier to harvest.
    • The mix should be kept moist and cool as the mushrooms grow. Check it periodically and spray it with water as necessary.
    • The mushrooms will prefer a cooler environment, but the key is just not to let them get too hot. If the environment is below 70°F (21°C), then your mushrooms should grow fine.
  6. 6

    Harvest your mushrooms when they are fully grown. In about three weeks, you should see small mushrooms appearing. Continue to keep their environment moist, cool, and dark to encourage their growth.

    • When the mushroom caps separate fully from their stems, they are ready to harvest. You can pluck the mushrooms out with your fingers or use a sharp knife to cut the mushrooms at the base of the stem.
    • It is best to rinse the mushrooms before cooking or eating. You can store harvested mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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  1. 1

    Obtain coffee grounds. Growing mushrooms from coffee grounds is a fun project which helps to use up coffee grounds that would otherwise go to waste. Coffee grounds are a fantastic growing medium for mushrooms (oyster mushrooms in particular) as they are already sterilized thanks to the coffee brewing process and are full of nutrients.[5]

    • For 500 g (17.6 oz) of mushroom spawn, you will need 2.5 kg (88 oz) of fresh coffee grounds. The best way to get this amount of fresh coffee grounds (brewed that day) is to go to a cafe and ask nicely. They're usually more than happy to give it away.
  2. 2

    Find a container for the mushrooms. The best thing to use is a filter patch grow bag, which can usually be purchased along with the mushroom spawn. Otherwise you can use a large, sealable freezer bag or a sterilized milk carton or ice cream tub, with four small holes poked into the sides.

  3. 3

    Transfer the spawn into the container. Wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap, then mix the mushroom spawn into the coffee grounds, breaking them up with your hands to ensure that they are evenly distributed. Place the inoculated coffee grinds into the plastic bag or container and seal tightly.

  4. 4

    Put the mushrooms in the right environment. Place the bag or container in a warm, dark location, somewhere between 64 and 77°F (18 to 25°C), like in an airing cupboard or under the sink. Leave it here for two to four weeks or until it turns entirely white — this due to the mycelia colonizing the coffee grinds.

    • Again, cut out any dark spots of green or brown that develop on the colonizing substrate, as this can make you sick.
  5. 5

    Relocate the mushrooms. Once the bag or container's contents have turned completely white, move it to a bright area (but not into direct sunlight) and cut a 2" by 2" hole at the top. Mist the contents of the container with water twice daily to prevent it from drying out — the mushrooms won't grow in too-dry conditions.

  6. 6

    Harvest the mushrooms. Over the next five to seven days, tiny mushrooms will begin to sprout. Continue to mist them with water and they should double in size each day. When the cups of the mushrooms have started to turn slightly upwards, they are ready to harvest.[6]

    • When the mushrooms have stopped sprouting, plant the coffee grinds outdoors under bark mulch or compost and new mushrooms may develop, depending on the weather.
    • You can pull the mushrooms out by hand or use a knife or scissors to cut the mushroom at the base.
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Part 3

Part 3 of 3:

Using Alternative Growing Methods

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  1. 1

    Grow mushrooms from a kit. For first-time growers, growing mushrooms from a ready-made kit can be a fun, easy option for producing your own mushrooms. These kits usually consist of plastic bags filled with sterilized, inoculated straw or soil. All you need to do keep the bag in the correct conditions and in seven to 10 days you'll have homegrown mushrooms.

    • Kits will usually cost between $20 and $30 and can be used to grow most of the common mushroom varieties such as white button, crimini, portobello, lion's mane, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms.
    • To begin the growing process, simply open the bag and place it in a bright location, out of direct sunlight — such as a shady windowsill. The kit can be kept at room temperature, but it will need to be misted with water daily to keep humidity high. Some kits will provide plastic tents to cover the bag and maintain humidity levels.
    • The mushrooms will start to sprout after seven to ten days, but you can expect to see two or three flushes of growth over a three month period.
    • The great thing about these kits is that after they have finished producing mushrooms, you can bury them outdoors under bark mulch or in your compost pile. Then, depending on weather conditions, mushrooms may start to pop up in that spot.
  2. 2

    Grow mushrooms on a log. Another interesting way to grow certain species of mushrooms — such as Reishi, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Shiitake, Pearl and Phoenix Oyster — is from a log. This is done by inoculating hardwood logs with birch plugs that have been fully colonized by mushroom mycelium. These plugs are available online and from specialist mushroom spore suppliers.[7]

    • The first thing you need to do is find an appropriate log for mushroom growing. The logs should be cut from non-aromatic hardwood trees, such as maple, poplar, oak and elm. They should be 3 or 4 feet (0.9 or 1.2m) in length and no more than 14" in diameter. The logs should be cut at least two weeks before plugging, to allow the tree's naturally-formed anti-fungal properties to degrade.
    • To colonize a 3 to 4 foot (0.9 to 1.2m) log, you will need approximately 50 plugs. To insert the plugs, use a 5/16" drill bit to make 2" deep holes in a diamond pattern over the entire log. The holes should be spaced about 4" apart. Place the birch plugs into the holes and tap with a hammer to insert fully.
    • If you plan on leaving the logs outdoors you may need to seal the holes with cheese wax or beeswax to protect the plugs from insects and harsh weather. If you plan on keeping the log indoors, in a garage or basem*nt, this usually isn't necessary.
    • Over time, the mushroom mycelium will spread from the birch plugs throughout the log, until the entire piece of wood has been colonized. Once fully colonized, mushrooms will begin to sprout from cracks in the log. This typically takes between 9 to 12 months, but depending on temperature and humidity conditions, the mushrooms should return year after year.
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  • Question

    Where can I buy mushroom spores?

    How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (20)

    Community Answer

    There are many reputable sellers online, but it's worth doing your homework and knowing who you're buying from. Don't just go with a random seller you haven't investigated. You’ll want to know that if they are wild culturing (which usually produces the best mushrooms), and confirm that they have the laboratory facilities to test what they've got. You also want to know that they have a reputation for plugs, spawn or spores that reliably fruit.

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  • Question

    Assuming I use Method #1, how long will the mushrooms continue to grow for further harvests? What additional steps would need to be taken to keep them coming back?

    How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (21)

    Community Answer

    Mushrooms will continue to grow from the medium for 2-4 months, depending on how large the area is. As long as the medium has the required nutrients, they will keep growing. Then, make a new batch and start all over.

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  • Question

    Can mushrooms be grown in ice cube trays or is something deeper needed?

    How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (22)

    Community Answer

    The larger you can make the block, the better. That way it doesn't dry out as easily and has more energy to make mushrooms. You can buy bags of spawn and inoculate bulk substrate, but you need a way to sterilize or pasteurize substrate, so it depends what you plan to grow and what kind of yields and how involved you want to be in the process. You can also buy premade blocks and just open them and let it grow, or buy a mushroom from the store and start from scratch working from agar to a culture to spawn to bulk.

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      Things You'll Need

      • Mushroom spawn
      • Sawdust, straw, or manure
      • Baking pan
      • Heating pad
      • Potting soil
      • Spray bottle
      • Water
      • Towel

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      About This Article

      How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (38)

      Co-authored by:

      Olivia Choong

      Plant & Gardening Specialist

      This article was co-authored by Olivia Choong. Olivia Choong is a Plant and Gardening Specialist and the Owner of The Tender Gardener. With more than six years of experience, she specializes in gardening, permaculture, and self-sufficient and low-impact living practices. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as The Straits Times and Channel NewsAsia (CNA). Olivia holds a Bachelor of Mass Communications in PR and Journalism from Murdoch University. This article has been viewed 1,087,368 times.

      2 votes - 100%

      Co-authors: 33

      Updated: February 14, 2024


      Categories: Planting and Growing

      Article SummaryX

      The easiest way to grow mushrooms indoors, especially for first-timers, is to purchase a ready-made grow kit. Open the bag of sterilized, inoculated straw or soil included in the kit, then place it in a bright location out of direct sunlight. Mist the material with water daily to keep the humidity high, and in 7-10 days you'll have homegrown mushrooms! If you want to try something more advanced, you'll need to purchase mushroom spawn, which is sawdust permeated with mycelia, then sterilize the material yourself before cultivating mushrooms. If you want to learn how to grow mushrooms using coffee grounds, keep reading the article!

      Did this summary help you?

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      How to Grow Mushrooms Indoors: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)


      How to grow mushrooms indoors step by step? ›

      1. STEP 1: “PASTEURIZE” AND HYDRATE THE PELLETS. Add boiling water to the pellets in order to pasteurize and hydrate the substrate at the same time. ...
      2. STEP 2: ADD SPAWN. Once the sawdust has completely cooled, add spawn. ...
      3. STEP 3: COVER AND COLONIZE. ...
      4. STEP 4: FRUIT! ...

      Can mushrooms grow inside a house? ›

      When you're growing mushrooms at home, a place like your basem*nt is ideal, but a spot under the sink could also work. Before you start growing, test out your spot by checking the temperature. Most mushrooms grow best between 55°F and 60°F, away from direct heat and drafts.

      What is the easiest way to grow mushrooms for beginners? ›

      Start with a grow kit

      Spray-and-grow kits, a block of colonized substrate inside a small box, make for the easiest way for beginners to get started. “They're inexpensive. You get a lot of mushrooms out of them. And they're super easy,” says Lynch.

      How fast do mushrooms grow indoors? ›

      Mushroom cultivation from inoculation to harvest typically takes around 3 to 4 weeks. However, the duration varies based on factors such as mushroom strain, environmental conditions, and substrate quality. Some strains may fruit faster than others, resulting in a shorter growth period.

      What are the easiest mushrooms to grow indoors? ›

      Oyster mushrooms are by far the best mushrooms to grow at home for beginners. They come in many varieties, including pearl oysters, king oysters, and strikingly colorful pink, blue, and golden oysters.

      Where is the best place to grow mushrooms indoors? ›

      In nature, mushrooms grow in the cool, moist areas of the forest where they are sheltered from the weather and wind, so it's best to find a place like this in your house or backyard. Many people say to grow your mushrooms in the bathroom as it's an area that often has humidity from showers.

      What are the best mushrooms to grow indoors? ›

      Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) or Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are great choices for first timers because they are delicious and are some of the easiest to grow. How you grow your mushrooms will depend on the kit you buy. But don't worry; they should come with instructions to help you get started.

      Where is the best place to grow mushrooms inside? ›

      Best location to grow mushrooms

      Inside the shower stall will be the most humid area in your house and an excellent spot (in most cases it's perfect!) to put it while you learn the ropes. Just put it on a plastic stool after you have had a shower. You only need to do this for the 5 days it is fruiting.

      What is the cheapest way to grow mushrooms? ›

      Another easy, inexpensive option for growing mushrooms at home is inoculated sawdust in a plastic bag. These come in kit versions, but you can also make them yourself. Store them in a bathroom where it is dark and moist and you'll start to see flushing pretty quickly.

      What are the 5 steps to growing mushrooms? ›

      The six steps are Phase I composting, Phase II composting, spawning, casing, pinning, and cropping. These steps are described in their naturally occurring sequence, emphasizing the salient features within each step. Compost provides nutrients needed for mushrooms to grow.

      What is the easiest mushroom kit to grow? ›

      Oyster mushrooms are by far the easiest and most reliable mushrooms to grow. For beginners we recommend our Mist & Grow Oyster mushroom grow kits. Simply cut an X in one side of the bag, cover with a humidity tent, and mist a few times daily. Within 7-10 days a cluster of baby mushrooms will appear!

      Do mushrooms grow better in light or dark? ›

      Generally, mushrooms prefer indirect light or low levels of artificial light, rather than direct sunlight which can dry out substrates and overheat the growing environment.

      Do mushrooms grow better in sun or shade? ›

      Mushrooms thrive in dark, damp areas. It's important to choose a shaded area in your garden or yard that stays moist.

      What is the best room to grow mushrooms in? ›

      Select a clean and well-ventilated room with enough space for your mushroom growing setup. Basem*nts, spare rooms, or unused buildings can be ideal, as they are often easier to control in terms of temperature, light, and humidity.

      Can I grow mushrooms from store-bought mushrooms? ›

      The best variety for home growing is oyster mushrooms, though you can use any type. Store bought mushroom propagation is quite easy, but you should choose fungi from organic sources. Propagating store bought mushrooms from the ends just requires a good fruiting medium, moisture, and the proper growing environment.

      What are the conditions for a mushroom grow room? ›

      Most mushroom species thrive in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C). Use a digital thermometer and hygrometer to monitor and adjust these parameters inside the grow tent. A humidifier and/or a mister can help maintain the required humidity levels, typically between 70% and 90%.

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