How to Germinate Mushroom Spores


Home-grown mushrooms have become popular with backyard gardeners over the years. Mushroom growing kits are available through some garden centers and online. There are several varieties available to home growers: shiitake, white button, oyster, reishi, maitake, and lion's mane are the most common. There are two classifications of preferred substrate (growing medium): compost and woody material. White button mushrooms prefer compost while the others prefer wood material such as a log.

Step 1

Purchase mushroom kit with the variety of mushroom you have chosen. Start with one variety to become familiar with the process; white buttons are a good first choice. Make sure to order a kit that has prepared substrate included. You can create your own substrate, however, this can take weeks to prepare.

Step 2

Fill a large baking pan with substrate. Spread the flush (mushroom spores) in a thin layer over the substrate. Cover the spores with a thin layer of worm casings, approximately ¼ inch.

Step 3

Place the baking pan in a dark room on top of a heating pad (a top closet shelf with an outlet nearby works well). Set the heating pad to a low setting (you do not want to cook your spores). The worm casings will provide moisture for the spores. Mist with water using a small spray bottle to keep casings moist. Fruiting bodies (mushrooms) will begin to appear in three to four weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Mushroom kit
  • Large baking pan
  • Worm casings
  • Heating pad
  • Dark room
  • Spray bottle


  • Gardening Know How: Learn How to Grow Mushrooms
  • Myco Masters: Some Mushroom Growing Basics for Beginners

Who Can Help

Keywords: germinate mushroom spores, grow mushrooms, white button mushrooms

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.