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Is it Hard to Grow Magic Mushrooms?

Magic mushrooms, or “shrooms” as the cool kids call them, are surprisingly easy to grow. All you need is some basic equipment, a substrate, some spores, and a little patience. That said, there are some common mistakes people make at the beginning of their journey into exploring psychedelic terrain.

Mistake #1: Wrong Environment

When you attempt to grow magic mushrooms, your goal is to mimic their natural habitat. A home-grow set up in the wrong environment will quickly lead to failed crops and crushed dreams. Always check the requirements for each strain of mushrooms that you grow.

Mistake #2: Incorrect Sterilization

Bacteria, mold, and pests, oh my! Enemy number one in mushroom cultivation is harmful bacteria hijacking your harvest. Sterilization doesn’t stop at the growing chamber. Take the extra steps to sanitize the jars and the surrounding environment.

Mistake #3: Rushed Results

First-time growers are always eager to taste the fruits (or fungi, in this case) of their labor. When it comes to growing magic mushrooms, good things come to those who wait. The entire process takes approximately 4-6 weeks, from spore inoculation to fruiting.

Purists will make a case for purchasing supplies and growing mushrooms from scratch, but beginners may find diving into the psilocybin deep end a bit intimidating. Fortunately, pre-made growing kits take a lot of the guesswork out of mushroom cultivation and come with everything you need to get started.

Simply purchase a kit, buy a syringe containing the spores of the mushroom you’d like to grow, and you will be harvesting fresh magic mushrooms in roughly 4-6 weeks. Some kits even come with spores, like North Spore’s Spray & Grow Mushroom Kit that will have you ready for harvest in about two weeks.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Magic Mushrooms?

The time it takes to grow magic mushrooms depends on several factors. If spores are successfully dispersed in an environment with sufficient nutrients and favorable growing conditions, they will germinate and form what’s called “mycelium” (the main body of the fungus).

The next step in the mushroom life cycle happens once mycelium has fully “colonized”, and environmental conditions trigger the switch from a “spawning” (mycelium) state to a “fruiting” (mushroom) state.

From start to finish, it takes about 1 or 2 months to grow magic mushrooms:

  1. 24 hours to prepare the substrate (the material that provides nutrition for the mushrooms).
  2. 2 weeks for mycelium to colonize during incubation
  3. 2-4 weeks for mushrooms to mature

The terminology can get confusing, but just keep the progression of container > substrate > mycelium > mushrooms to help simplify the steps in growing magic mushrooms.

How to Grow Your Own Magic Mushrooms

There’s no better way to secure a consistent source of psychedelics than a homegrown harvest. You’ll need a few materials to get started but don’t worry, this setup is a one-time investment and should last for as many harvests as your heart desires.


  • Spore syringe (10-2 cc)
  • Substrate (vermiculite, brown rice flour)
  • Water (filtered or distilled)


  • Glass jars with lids (½ pint or 1 pint)
  • Hammer and small nail
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing bowl
  • Strainer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large cooking pot with a tight lid (can also use a pressure cooker or instant pot)
  • Micropore tape
  • Clear plastic box (50-115L)
  • Drill with a ¼-inch drill bit
  • Perlite
  • Spray bottle
  • Thermometer


  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Torch lighter
  • Surface disinfectant
  • Air sanitizer
  • Latex gloves
  • Face mask

Learning how to grow magic mushrooms starts with knowing where mushrooms grow naturally, reproducing the climate they like, and mimicking the substrate (their food source). In this guide, we will cover the basics of mushroom cultivation to help you (and your shrooms) get growing in the right direction.

Phase 1

Step 1: Sterilize

Choose a small room for your prep space. Put your face mask and gloves on, close the door, and spray the room down with disinfectant. Sterilize all your tools and equipment and wipe them dry. Disinfect the hammer and nail and use them to punch four evenly spaced holes around the jar’s lid.

Step 2: Substrate

Mix ⅔ cup of vermiculite and ¼ cup of water per jar in a mixing bowl. Disinfect the strainer and remove excess water from the mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup of brown rice flour per jar and combine.

Loosely pack the substrate into each jar, leaving about a half-inch below the rim. Fill this last part with dry vermiculite. Once the jars are full of substrate, screw the lids on tightly and cover them with aluminum foil.

Sterilize the jars by steaming them in a pot for 75-90 minutes. Stack the jars in an upright position, leaving room for airflow in between. Cool the jars to room temperature for several hours or overnight.

Step 3: Inoculation

Use a lighter to heat the metal portion of the spore syringe until it glows red. After you sterilize the needle, do not set it down. Continue holding the spore syringe until the needle cools down, then wipe with rubbing alcohol.

Shake the syringe to distribute the spores evenly. Remove the foil from a jar and inject about ¼ cc of the spore solution into each of the holes you made in the lid. Cover the holes with micropore tape.

Step 4: Colonization

Keep the jars out of direct sunlight in a clean area where they won’t be disturbed. You’ll want a steady temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

White mycelium should start to appear in 7-14 days. After 3–4 weeks, at least half of the jars should have successful colonies or “cakes”. Wait an additional 7 days to strengthen the mycelium before moving to phase 2.

Phase 2

Step 5: Chamber

Prepare the fruiting chamber by drilling ¼-inch holes approximately two inches apart all over the plastic storage container, including its base and lid. Sterilize the container with a solution of bleach and boiling water. Place the container on four stable objects to allow airflow underneath. Cover the container with a towel to retain moisture.

Put perlite in a strainer and soak it with water, allowing it to drain thoroughly. Fill the bottom of the container with perlite (approximately 1 inch). Repeat the process until you have a 4–5-inch layer of perlite covering the base.

Step 6: Fruiting

Remove the substrate cakes from the jars and rinse them under cold water to remove loose vermiculite. Place the cakes in a cooking pot with lukewarm water. Use another pot or plate to keep them under the water’s surface. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours to rehydrate cakes.

Remove the cakes from the water and put them on a disinfected surface. Fill the mixing bowl with dry vermiculite and roll the cakes to coat them. Set the cakes in the fruiting chamber on aluminum foil to prevent them from touching the perlite. Leave room between each cake for mushrooms to sprout without crowding each other. Mist the cakes with a spray bottle twice a day throughout the fruiting process.

Step 7: Harvest

When your mushrooms are ready for harvest, pinch them off at the base of their stems and place them in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Don’t worry about hurting the mycelium, as picking mushrooms encourages new growth. Each round of magic mushrooms is called a flush.

Step 8: Drying

The most effective method for long-term storage is drying. You can air dry mushrooms for 48 hours with a fan or use a dehydrator. This should keep your precious psilocybin potent for two to three years as long as they’re kept in a cool, dark, dry place. If they’re stored in the freezer, they’ll pretty much last indefinitely.

While growing a batch of shrooms with your own two hands is a rewarding experience, there’s plenty of room for error, which often makes people give up before they even get started. Mushroom grow kits streamline the entire process, making it easy to start sprouting spores in no time.

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