In this article you'll find all the information you need to grow your own magic mushrooms. We'll show you 5 ways for you to get started and hopefully help you determine, which works best for you.
From 5 minutes of work to 5 months of preparations and deep study, we'll show you different entry points into the vast world of mushroom growing and explain advantages and disadvantages of each growing method.
1) Magic mushroom growboxes
- Difficulty: Low
- Cost: 20-50€
- Time investment: 5-15 minutes
- Biggest advantage: Low effort, with different strains to choose from
- Biggest disadvantage: If it fails, it fails and you might never find out why.
Note that you'll need to choose between Classic and 100% Mycelium growboxes.
Magic mushroom growboxes have been produced in the Netherlands since the 90s and are still very popular. You have to open the lid to start the growing process, which makes the mycelium vulnerable to contamination - so that's why these boxes don't come with a guarantee.
Using mushroom growboxes
Once you receive your growbox, it is alreay fully colonized by mycelium and ready to start fruiting.
Wash your hands, pick a clean environment with indirect light and prepare to place the open box in the growbag that comes with it. Swiftly open the lid, remove it, put the growbox in the bag and fold the bag over it to keep unfiltered air away from your mycelium.
Magic mushrooms should start sprouting within a few days to weeks.
Advantages of mushroom growboxes
A healthy magic mushroom growbox will make a few flushes of shrooms for you and you get to choose your favourite strain from a list of options.
Although mushroom strains don't really have an impact on the strength or effects of the mushrooms, it is still a nice touch that you get to pick the name you like best and you may even notice small differences in appearance between varieties.
Disadvantages of mushroom growboxes
The downside of this option is, that these kits get made and sold in bulk in a way that you never really know how old exactly your kit is - it may be 10 days, or 100 by the time you receive it. This makes mushroom growkits complicated and a bit of a gamble. If they fruit, they are amazing! If they don't, that's too bad and not the vendor's problem.
Opening the lid allows all sorts of germs and mold spores to attack the mycelium and if you handle your growkit wrong, that may lead to a perfectly healthy box producing zero mushrooms because it's overrun by contamination. In that case, you'll be scraping a moldy cake of grain out of a plastic box that you can't really use for anything afterwards.
Mushroom growboxes are a classic of shroom cultivation and if you don't mind taking on the risk of failure, they're a good option for easy shroom growing.
2) Growing magic mushrooms from spore vials
- Difficulty: Medium
- Cost: 20-100€
- Time investment: 3-12 hours
- Biggest advantage: Grow any strain of Cubensis mushrooms you can find online and truly get to know the life cycle of magic mushrooms.
- Biggest disadvantage: If you don't want to buy every single component, you'll still need to invest time and resources preparing your liquid culture and substrate. If you do buy every single component, it is like buying a growkit, but less convenient.
Growing from spore vials is your first step towards independence.
Although you'll still need to purchase new spores every now and then, you can start taking control of the mushroom growing process bit by bit and produce massive amounts of magic mushrooms, while actually starting to understand what you're doing.
This is the first method that is explained in depth in our Magic Mushroom Growguide for Beginners.
Using spore vials to grow magic mushrooms
Spore vials contain mushroom spores in sterilized water and allow you to inoculate spawn or liquid culture without needing a sterile lab environment.
This is the ideal link between casual growing from growkits and moving on to growing shrooms independently. You don't need to work super clean yet and can just do this in your bedroom.
And while you'll need to source your spore vials from a professional vendor, you can choose to make all other components at home. This adds the extra risk of bodging sterilization, but since you are only using normal household materials, you can always try again.
Advantages of growing mushrooms from spore vials
Spore vials are great, because you can use sterilized syringes, to move mushroom spores into sterilized substrate. That takes the bulk of the responsibility off your shoulders and you don't need a pristine laboratory, a clean dinner table will do the trick.
You'll still need to learn to work quickly and hygienically, but that is necessary for all things mushroom cultivation and also a pretty useful skill to have in life.
The E-book on our website contains information on how you can create all the necessary components at home, so you will only need to buy spore vials online and can get the rest at your local mom and pop store.
Disadvantages of growing mushrooms from spore vials
Spores in water are still less common than spore prints and are quite difficult to make at home. When you learn to grow with this method, you are still only halfway there and won't be able to just continue and make your own spores quite yet.
3) Growing magic mushrooms using mushroom hats (Spore lids)
- Difficulty: Medium to Complex
- Cost: 0 - 50€
- Time investment: 60 minutes
- Biggest advantage: Basically a free way of making new mushrooms from mushrooms you've already grown.
- Biggest disadvantage: As a low-budget DIY method, growing from hats isn't super clean and you'll need a few attempts to get it right.
You can use mushrooms to make more mushrooms, which is just how it happens in nature.
This one is almost a life hack, because you can do it with zero money, provided you have a mason jar and a handful of rice available. Try this method when your magic mushroom grail or growbox has fruited!
Using mushroom hats to grow shrooms
The method is explained in more depth and with pictures in our growguide, but here is basically how it works:
- Boil some brown rice for 10 minutes and fill one or several mason jars half full
- Poke a hole in the lid that is about the size of a 10 cent coin
- Screw the lid onto the jar, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in a pot with 3 inches of boiling water (or a pressure cooker if you have one available)
- Sterilize the jar and rice for 45 minutes
- Let it cool off, take it out of the pot without removing the foil
- Cut off a hat of a mature mushroom, lift up the foil and place it gills down on the hole in the jar, leaving it covered with foil.
- Allow 1-2 days for some spores to fall onto the rice, then remove the hat.
- Wait for the spores to germinate and colonize the rice with white mycelium.
- That's it! If you've avoided contamination, new mushrooms can grow from the rice within a few weeks!
Advantages of growing mushrooms from mushroom hats
It's free and ridiculously cool if it works.
You'll get a few mushrooms out of your growkit and so, you can try this growing method as many timey as you have hats available.
If you manage to get one jar colonized perfectly with no contamination, you can even use that jar to then inoculate bigger amounts of sterilized grain and get a huge harvest of magic mushrooms for zero investment.
Disadvantages of growing mushrooms from mushroom hats
This method is not very clean and more of a neat trick than a serious growing technique. It sometimes takes a few tries to get it right and without contamination. Prepare for at least a few of your attempts to fail.
Also, you can only use this to keep growing right away, there isn't really time for breaks in between growing if you transfer the spores directly onto rice.
4) Growing magic mushrooms from spore prints / petri dish cultures / cloning
- Difficulty: Very complex
- Cost: 100-500€ (or more, for professional lab equipment)
- Time investment: 2-3 months + setting up the inoculation space
- Biggest advantage: Grow any amount of shrooms any way you want
- Biggest disadvantage: Needs space, time and money and Mycology might take over your life.
This is top tier mushroom growing and exactly what mycologists and industrial mushroom producers are doing.
If you master growing from spore prints or cloning, you're basically acquiring a skill that you could use to make a living and that looks like magic to others.
There are a lot of things to consider here and a vast bandwidth of effort and investment to be made; You can do this on a relatively small budget if you make all the individual components yourself.
But you will not get around buying a few things like petri dishes, a proper air filter and a book on mushroom cultivation.
We'll tackle this final tier of mushroom growing in a seperate article in the future.
Reasons to grow your own magic mushrooms:
Save Money and Stay Safe - Growing your own magic mushrooms is a much more cost-effective option compared to buying them. Additionally, you can ensure that the ingredients and conditions are safe for consumption, which can be a concern when buying from unknown sources.
Superior Quality - Freshness is key when it comes to the quality of your mushrooms. By growing them at home, you can be sure that they are at their peak of freshness and taste.
A Deeper Understanding - Growing your own mushrooms will give you a deeper understanding of their growing conditions, which will help you appreciate them more. You'll also have the opportunity to experiment with different growing techniques to see what works best for you.
Self-Sufficiency - By growing your own magic mushrooms, you'll be self-sufficient and won't need to rely on internet orders. You can grow your mushrooms using local ingredients, which is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly.
A Lifelong Skill - Growing magic mushrooms is a skill for life. You can use the knowledge you gain to cultivate a wide variety of edible and medicinal mushrooms, making this a valuable addition to your gardening skills.
Download our e-book, "Beginner's Guide to growing Magic Mushrooms"
If you're ready to take the next step, our comprehensive guide, "Unstoppable Mushrooms", is here to help. This guide is packed with tips and tricks to help you grow your own magic mushrooms successfully. From selecting the right ingredients to understanding the growing conditions, our guide covers everything you need to know to start growing your own magic mushrooms.