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Growing Magic Mushrooms

Growing Magic Mushrooms

Do you want to know how to grow psilocybin mushrooms? Well, you’re certainly not alone. More people seem to be interested in doing so, which may be explained by the following factors:

  • More interest in the benefits of magic mushrooms
  • Cost-saving potential
  • The proliferation of growing guides and magic mushroom grow kits
  • The changing legal landscape: Over time, more U.S. cities are deciding to decriminalize magic mushrooms

If you’ve decided you want to grow magic mushrooms, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide that will allow you to do this successfully. Growing psilocybin mushrooms at home can be extremely cost-efficient, as well as a fulfilling project to undertake. However, there may be legal risks associated with doing it, depending on where you live.

RELATED: 10 Most Potent Magic Mushrooms

How To Grow Magic Mushrooms At Home

Let’s now delve into all the steps you need to take to grow magic mushrooms. This guide will suit beginners: those who’ve never grown shrooms before.

You should expect the whole process to take 4-6 weeks, by which time you’ll have a batch ready for consumption.

Choose Your Mushroom

First, you want to decide which type of mushroom you want to grow. There are around 180 species in nature, although only some of these will be available to buy as magic mushroom spores — the reproductive cells that can grow into mushrooms. You can also buy varieties of individual species found in nature.

The strains and species above can differ significantly in potency, so choose one that appeals to you and adjust your dosage accordingly.

Ingredients And Equipment

You will need various ingredients and equipment to grow psilocybin mushrooms at home. But the upside is that you only need to purchase this set-up once. This will prove much more economical than buying a magic mushroom grow kit or buying shrooms by the gram from a street dealer or darknet vendor.

Ingredients:

  • Spore syringe, 10-12 cc. This will contain your psilocybin mushroom spores. You use it to “sow” the spores into a substrate. (Here we should note that some growers have reported issues with spore syringes, like contamination, containing the wrong strain, and even containing nothing but water. Make sure you obtain your spore syringe from a reputable supplier.)
  • Organic brown rice flour
  • Vermiculite, medium/fine
  • Drinking water

Equipment:

  • 12 shoulderless half-pint jars with lids
  • Hammer and small nail
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing bowl
  • Strainer
  • Heavy-duty tin foil
  • Large cooking pot with a tight lid for steaming
  • Small towel
  • Micropore tape
  • Clear plastic storage box, 50-115L
  • Drill with a quarter-inch drill bit
  • Perlite
  • Mist spray bottle

Hygiene supplies:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Butane/propane torch lighter
  • Surface disinfectant
  • Air sanitizer
  • Sterilized latex gloves, surgical mask, still air or glove box (all optional)

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Grow Psilocybin Mushrooms

Step 1: Preparation:

  • With the hammer and nail, both of which you have disinfected with alcohol, make four holes in each of the lids of the jars, evenly spaced around their circumference.
  • For each jar, combine two-thirds of a cup of vermiculite and one-quarter of a cup of water in the mixing bowl. Drain the excess water using a disinfected strainer. Then add one-quarter of a cup of brown rice per half-pint jar to the bowl, combining it with the moist vermiculite.
  • Fill the jars, leaving half an inch of space below the rims, but be careful not to pack them too tightly. Then sterilize this top half-inch with rubbing alcohol. After that, top off your jars with a layer of dry vermiculite (this will insulate the substrate from contaminants).
  • Tightly screw on the lids. Then cover the jars with tin foil. Make sure to secure the edges of the foil around the sides of the jars. This will prevent water and condensation from getting through the holes. Next, place the small towel into your large cooking pot, placing the jars on top and ensuring they don’t touch the base of the pot. After this, add tap water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the jars, and then bring the water to a slow boil, making sure the jars stay upright. Finally, place the tight-fitting lid on the pot and leave it to steam for 75-90 minutes.
  • After you’ve finished steaming, leave the foil-covered jars in the pot to cool off for several hours or overnight. They need to be at room temperature before you proceed with the next step.

Step 2: Inoculation:

  • Use a lighter to heat the length of your syringe’s needle, doing so until it glows red hot. Wait for the needle to cool, then wipe it with alcohol, being careful not to touch it with your hands. Then pull back the plunger a little and shake the syringe (this will evenly distribute the psilocybin mushroom spores). If you need to assemble the syringe before using it, you want to avoid contamination. You can do this by using sterilized latex gloves, a surgical mask, and (ideally) assembling the syringe inside a disinfected still air box or glove box.
  • Remove the foil from the first of the jars and insert the syringe through one of the holes, as far as it can go. Then, with the needle touching the side of the jar, inject about one-quarter cc of the spore solution. Repeat this for the other three holes, wiping the needle with alcohol in between each injection. Next, cover the holes with micropore tape and set the jar aside, leaving the foil off. Repeat this inoculation process for the remaining jars, sterilizing the needle with the lighter and alcohol between each one.

Step 3: Colonization:

  • Place the inoculated jars somewhere clean, away from direct sunlight, and at room temperature. White, fluffy-looking mycelium should start to appear between seven and 14 days, spreading outward from the inoculation sites. (At this point, you want to keep an eye out for any signs of contamination, such as strange colors and smells. If you spot any of these signs, you want to dispose of the jars immediately. If you’re unsure, always err on the side of caution, as some contaminants can be deadly if you consume them.)
  • After 3-4 weeks, you should have successfully colonized jars. Leave for another seven days so that the mycelium can strengthen its hold on the substrate.

Step 4: Preparing The Grow Chamber:

  • Take the plastic storage container and drill quarter-inch holes roughly two inches apart all over the sides, base, and lid. To make sure the container doesn’t crack during this step, drill the holes from the inside out into a block of wood. Then, place the box over four stable objects, arranged at the corners so that air can flow underneath. It can be helpful to cover the underneath of the box as well to protect it from moisture leakage.
  • Place the perlite into a strainer, then run it under the cold tap to soak. Let it drain until it stops dripping, then spread the perlite over the base of your grow chamber. Repeat this process until you have a layer of perlite that is about 4-5 inches deep.

Step 5: Fruiting:

  • Open the jars and remove the dry vermiculite layer in each, being careful not to damage the substrates (or ‘cakes’) in the process. Then, upend each of the jars and tap them down onto a disinfected surface, releasing the cakes intact.
  • Rinse the cakes, one at a time, under a cold tap. This will remove any loose vermiculite. Fill the cooking pot with tepid water and then place the cakes inside. Submerge them just beneath the surface of the water, using perhaps another pot or another similarly heavy item. Next, leave the pot at room temperature for up to 24 hours. This will provide enough time for the cakes to rehydrate.
  • Remove the cakes from the water and then place them on a disinfected surface. Next, fill the mixing bowl with dry vermiculite. After this, roll the cakes, one by one, in the mixing bowl, so that they are fully coated in the vermiculite.
  • Cut out a tin foil square for each cake, large enough for them to sit on, so that they don’t touch the perlite in the grow chamber. Space the foil squares evenly inside the chamber, placing the cakes on top, and then misting the chamber with the spray bottle. Make sure to fan the chamber with the lid before closing it.
  • At this point, you want to mist the chamber about four times a day in order to maintain the humidity. Don’t soak the cakes with water, however. Also, fan the chamber with the lid up to six times a day, especially after misting, as this will help to increase airflow. Exposing the mycelium to ambient lighting during the day is sufficient for the mushrooms to grow.

Step 6: Harvesting:

  • Watch For Fruits. The mushrooms (fruits) will appear first as tiny white bumps and then sprout into “pins”. After 5-12 days, the mushrooms will then be ready to harvest.
  • When ready, cut the mushrooms close to the cake. Don’t wait for them to reach the end of their growth, as psilocybin mushrooms lose potency as they mature.

Legality Of Growing Magic Mushrooms

It is generally legal to buy and possess magic mushroom spores because they do not contain psilocybin. The exception to this law is in California, Georgia, and Idaho, where psilocybin mushroom spores are illegal. In these states, legislators are trying to prevent people from cultivating magic mushrooms.

Outside of these three states, once the spores germinate, the psilocybin mushrooms that result will be illegal since they contain psilocybin. So, if you’re thinking of growing them, you should be aware of the potential legal consequences.

RELATED: Laughing Gym Mushroom (Gymnopilus Junonius)

Sam Woolfe

View all posts by Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer based in London. His main areas of interest include mental health, mystical experiences, the history of psychedelics, and the philosophy of psychedelics. He first became fascinated by psychedelics after reading Aldous Huxley's description of the mescaline experience in The Doors of Perception. Since then, he has researched and written about psychedelics for various publications, covering the legality of psychedelics, drug policy reform, and psychedelic science.

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