A few dried mushroomsYou can grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms so long as the spores in the dried mushrooms are not too dehydrated or dead.

Growing mushrooms from dried mushrooms will be super easy for you after reading the detailed instructions in this article.

Keep on reading and discover more about dried mushrooms and the transformation of their growth.

Can You Grow Mushrooms From Dried Mushrooms?

💥 Quick Answer

You can grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms if the method of drying the mushrooms did not kill the spores. There are three major factors that can affect the viability of the spores of the dried mushrooms. Let us consider each factor and then proceed to learn how to grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms.


What Determines if You Can Grow Mushrooms from Dry Mushrooms?

The three factors that determine if the dried mushrooms’ spores are viable to grow new mushrooms from them are:

– The Dehydration Method

The method by which you dehydrate your mushrooms can affect the spore viability. Some mushroom dehydration methods are:

  • Wind: If you dried your mushrooms with the wind, the spores will still be alive after the mushrooms are fully dry. This is a safe method.
  • Sunlight: The heat of the sun dehydrates mushrooms as well as kills the spores if they are left exposed to the sun for long. This method is not so safe.
  • Dehydrators: Did you use a dehydrator to dry your mushrooms? This method will destroy every spore in it because of the hot air used.
  • Air-drying at room temperature: Drying your mushrooms in a room for days is safe and the spores will stay viable for a long time.
  • Dehumidifiers: Some people use dehumidifiers to dry their mushrooms. This is a safe method that will not kill the spores.

Note that the shelf-life of your dried mushrooms depends on the method used. For example, dehydration methods that can kill the mushroom spores tend to produce dried mushrooms that can last longer than methods that do not kill the spores.

– The Type of Mushroom

The type of mushrooms that are dry also matters because the spores of some mushrooms are more fragile than others. For example, you can grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms if you use the spores of mushrooms such as psilocybe cubensis (shrooms or magic mushrooms), shiitake mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms

Mushrooms such as morel mushrooms have weak spores, so it may be difficult or even impossible to grow mushrooms from them when they are dry. This means that you have to put the type of mushrooms into consideration. You can still try to grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms with fragile spores, maybe you’d be lucky.

– How Long the Mushrooms Have Been Dry

For how long have you kept the dried mushrooms? The spores of dried mushrooms can stay viable for six to eight months, maybe ten. The spores of mushrooms that have been dry for more than twelve months must’ve been dead, so you cannot grow new mushrooms from them.

The preservation method also affects the shelf-life of dried mushrooms. Dried mushrooms preserved well can have living spores even after twelve months. Just remember that the older the mushrooms are, the less likely you can grow mushrooms from them.

Now you know the three factors that can affect your chances of growing mushrooms from dried mushrooms. If you have checked your dried mushrooms and have concluded that the spores are still viable, how can you grow mushrooms from them?

Continue reading to find out.

How To Do It: Step by Step 

Here are the steps you must follow if you want to grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms. Don’t worry, you’ll discover that growing mushrooms from dried mushrooms is super easy.

– Rehydrate the Dried Mushrooms

The easiest way to rehydrate the dried mushrooms is to pour individual drops of water on the mushrooms for a few hours. You should use an eyedropper or any tool that can reduce the size of the water drops because the spores can get lost or ruined if you drop water on the dried mushrooms too quickly.

Rehydrate the mushrooms until the caps are big enough so that you can collect the spores.

– Collect Spores From the Rehydrated Mushrooms

The best method of collecting spores from the rehydrated mushrooms is to keep the mushroom caps between two white papers. You can fold the papers if you like to prevent any spore from bouncing off. Gently tap the top of the rehydrated mushrooms for a few minutes or hours.

You should see very small-sized spores (not spore print) on the lower paper so long as you used white paper. When you have enough spores, you can move on to the next step.

– Gather Other Tools and Resources That You Need

Some items that you will use to grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms are:

  • Nails, wood, and hammer: To make the substrate bed. You can as well buy a tray or pan made of plastic if you want.
  • Compost: The compost is the main source of nutrients for the mushroom spawn.
  • Thermometer: You will use a thermometer to determine the best spot to grow your mushrooms according to the temperature of each spot.
  • Rubber gloves: Just in case you do not want to get dirt into your nails.
  • Peat moss: To retain the moisture of the compost.
  • Newspaper: To retain the moisture, temperature, and humidity of the substrate.

When you have gathered everything that you need, move on to the next step.

– Build a Bed for Your Mushroom Substrate

If you can find a plastic or non-degradable container that is at least six inches wide and eight inches deep, better. However, if you can, you may need to build one yourself with wood, nails, and a hammer. The container or bed should have two drainage holes at the bottom edges so that excess water can flow out.

– Pour Compost Into the Mushroom Bed

When you get your mushroom bed ready, you should pour in some compost. Carefully spread the compost evenly across the bed. Be sure that the leave at least two inches of space between the surface of the compost in the bed and the brim of the bed. You will use this space for the peat moss later. 

– Sterilize the Bed and Substrate

Now that you have the compost in the bed, it is time to sterilize everything. Keep the bed in a large plastic bag, tie it, and use any of the methods below:

  • Baking method: Place the bag in a large pot and boil it for 30 minutes to one hour. Remove the bag afterward and then untie it to remove the bed with compost it in.
  • Solarization method: Pour a little water into the compost in the bed, tie the bag again (make sure that it is a transparent bag) and then keep it under the sun. Leave it exposed to the hot sun for a few days.

You must sterilize everything that you grow your mushrooms with so that no microbe competes with your mushroom spawn for nutrients or space.

– Keep Your Substrate in a Cool and Dark Place

Now is the time to select the best place to keep your substrate. You should keep it in a draft-free place at 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can keep it inside a room or under a tree, just make sure that the wind will not disturb it.

– Always Monitor the Temperature and Other Factors

While you must pay attention to the temperature, you should also check the humidity. Grow your mushrooms in a very humid place (i.e. above 75 percent humidity). You should prevent the wind from reaching the substrate, but you can allow the rain to reach it as mushrooms require a lot of watering.

– Introduce Your Dried Mushroom Spores Into the Compost

Now is the time to introduce the spores of your dried mushrooms into the compost. Follow the steps below:

  1. Remove wrap: If you have not removed the bed from its plastic bag wrap, now is the time to do so. You can dispose of the wrap afterward as you do not need it anymore.
  2. Mix the spores and compost: Now add your rehydrated mushrooms’ spores into the compost. Use your hands to mix the spores evenly.
  3. Gently press the substrate: After mixing the compost, use your hands to gently press the compost so that the surface is evened out and smooth. 

You have started your mushroom growth journey. Pay close attention to the next steps.

– Cover Your Mushroom Substrate With Some Peat Moss and Newspaper

To help retain the moisture of your compost, you need to fill the two inches of space above the compost with peat moss. Spread the peat moss evenly above the compost substrate. As for the newspaper, cover the bed with it. The newspaper can retain moisture and humidity. It can also stabilize the temperature.

– Mist the Substrate Daily

Use a spray bottle to mist the substrate daily by misting water droplets directly into the peat moss. Do this daily. If you like, you can do it twice daily. Remember to perforate drainage holes under the bed so that excess water can leave with ease. Cover the bed with newspaper after watering it.

– Check for Mushroom Primordia Then Remove the Newspaper

In two weeks, you should see miniature mushrooms on the substrate. If you carefully examine the substrate before then, you should see your mushroom spawn which is whitish strands. The sight of mushroom primordia is an indication that you will soon harvest and enjoy your mushrooms.

Note that two weeks is the standard time, but it can vary according to the type of mushroom as well as the growing conditions.

– Don’t Stop Misting Your Mushroom Substrate

Mushrooms need a lot of daily watering, so even when you see the primordia, you should not stop watering them. They should encourage you to increase your rate of watering. Just make sure that the mushroom bed has drainage holes to allow the mushrooms to grow without problems.

– Collect Matured Mushrooms When They Are Ready

When the growing mushrooms have caps just like the dried mushrooms that you rehydrated, they are ready for collection.

Make sure that the mushrooms are similar to the dried mushrooms that you are growing them from. You should use pruning scissors or knives to cut the mushrooms from their base. You can eat or store them afterward.

– Repeat This Process From Step 10

Dried shiitake mushroom

The cool thing about growing mushrooms is that so long as there are still nutrients in the compost and it is not fully decomposed, you can continue harvesting mushrooms from it (so long as the temperature and other growing conditions permit the mushrooms’ growth). To continue harvesting mushrooms, go back to step 10 using the same bed.

Congratulations! You have successfully grown mushrooms from dried mushrooms.

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