Whether you’re a veteran mushroom taker or you’re just getting started in your trippy adventures, growing magic mushrooms is always a solid option to get the best mushrooms.
Read on to find out why you should be growing shrooms, how to do it, and what you can do if it isn’t working for you.
Why grow magic mushrooms
There’s a lot of reasons as to why people grow their own magic mushrooms instead of buying them. Here’s a few of the most common reasons.
When you grow your own magic mushrooms, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be safe, as there’s less risk that you’ll misidentify psilocybin mushrooms while out foraging.
Misidentifying mushrooms can be fatal, as many are poisonous. Especially if you’re just getting started with taking shrooms, foraging should be avoided and you should either be buying shrooms from reputable sources or growing your own.
When you grow mushrooms at home from spores, there isn’t any way that the mushrooms produced can be any type other than the psilocybin type.
When you grow magic mushrooms yourself, the quality is usually pretty high (provided you follow all the steps properly and don’t contaminate your substrate).
When you’re out foraging, or buying from a dealer, the quality could be lower given the amount of time the mushrooms have been out, how long they were given to dry, etc. Let’s face it, dealers aren’t always the most reputable characters, so the chance they’ve had these shrooms sitting around for a while is likely.
Quality isn’t crucial if you’re just getting started in the psychedelic world, but if you’re looking to experiment more with your trips or you’re growing mushrooms as medicine, you’ll want the freshest and highest quality mushrooms to reap the benefits.
Buying magic mushrooms can be expensive, especially if you buy a lot of them or you start experimenting with strains.
Growing magic mushrooms from spores or grow kits is way cheaper than buying pre-grown mushrooms. The materials are pretty cheap to buy straight off the bat, and your yield (even from a single substrate) will be way higher.
This makes it perfect for people who consume a lot of mushrooms, particularly if you use them medicinally.
Different Growing Methods
Growing methods for magic mushrooms are usually referred to by fanatics as ‘teks’. Below is the most commonly used method, known as PF Tek.
It was originally developed by Robert McPherson, who was known for running the ‘psilocybe fanaticus’ website, and publicizing the cultivation method in the High Times.
To get growing using this method, you will need the following:
- Brown rice flour (organic preferably)
- Medium Vermiculite
- Mushroom spore syringe (do your research with this one to avoid contamination and get the best results)
- Canning jars with no shoulders (like a jam jar)
- Mixing bowl
- Paper towels
- Medical tape
- 1 Nail (small)
- Measuring cups
- Tin foil (industrial strength preferably)
- Kitchen pot with well-fitted lid
- Clear storage box
- Drill + 1/4 inch bit
- Spray bottle
- Sanitizing room spray
- Rubbing alcohol (at least 70%)
- Gas lighter
- Face mask
- Sterile gloves
Basically, the way this method works is by growing your own substrate first (which takes approx. 5 weeks), before allowing the mushrooms to grow. If these steps seem like too much effort, you can buy premade substrate inoculation jars.
Just be aware that having them shipped to you risks contamination, and buying them is more expensive than buying the supplies to make your own.
The reason for the sanitization supplies is to keep the area you’re working in as clean as possible. When developing a substrate, you can’t risk contaminating it with any bacteria, as it can affect its growth and the subsequent growth of your mushrooms.
Step 1: Sanitize
The first step is to make sure your workspace, and the room you’re in, are totally clean. You should be clean, too – make sure you’ve showered, brushed your teeth, and wear a face mask if possible to avoid contamination.
Sanitize all surfaces and the air where possible in order to create a sterile environment.
Step 2: Create the Inoculation Jar(s)
Sanitize the hammer, nail, and outside of the jars you’re using. In the lid of each jar, poke four evenly spaced holes with the hammer and nail. This is to allow air to pass through when your cake is growing.
In the mixing bowl, mix 2/3 cup vermiculite and 1/4 cup water together. These are the proportions for 1 jar, so if you’re creating multiple jars, repeat this step as many times as possible. Using the strainer, drain away any excess water puddling in the mixture (don’t forget to sterilize the strainer beforehand!).
Add 1/4 cup of the brown rice flour (again, this is per jar) to the mixture and combine.
Put the mixture into your jar(s). Don’t fill them completely – they’ll raise as they grow, so give them a couple cm space from the top of the jar. Using the rubbing alcohol, sanitize the glass remaining at the top of the jar.
Sprinkle a layer of dry vermiculite on top of the mixture, before fixing the lid. Wrap the lids with foil, making sure no water can get in (don’t forget the lids have holes in them!).
Line the bottom of your cooking pot with paper towels, then place the jars on top (upright, not laid down). Add water to the pot up to the halfway point of the jars.
Bring to a boil, slowly, then place the lid on the pot and let the jars steam for around 1.5 hours, ensuring the jars stay upright. Add more warm water if the levels ever get low.
Once you’ve completed this step and removed the jars from the pot, leave the foil on them, but leave them for 24 hours to ensure they’re fully cooled.
Congrats! You’ve created your substrate cakes, which is one of the hardest parts of the cultivation process.
Step 3: Inoculate
First, you’ll want to ensure the needle of your spore syringe is sterilized. You can do this by using the gas lighter to light the needle until it glows red, followed by rubbing it with the isopropyl alcohol (using sterile gloves).
Then, inject 1/4 cc of the spore syringes through each of the holes in the top of the jar. Each time you do this, make sure the needle touches the glass of the jar. Wipe with alcohol in between each injection.
Once injected, cover each hole with the medical tape.
Step 4: Growth
Set the jars aside to grow for a while. This ought to be somewhere clean and of normal room temperature.
Keep a close eye on the jars during this time. You’ll soon see if any contamination has occurred in your cakes, as you’ll see some funky colors or smells. Growth occurs around a week or two after the process – the mycelium will look white and fluffy, with the jar looking somewhat similar to when you make bread (if it’s healthy).
You should leave the jars for around 4 weeks until it looks like they’re no longer expanding.
Step 5: Mushrooms!
At this point, you want to get the fruiting chamber ready. In the bottom of your plastic container, drill 1/4 inch holes, each 2 inches away from each other. Repeat this on the sides and lid of the container (you can also buy pre-holed containers if this is difficult for you).
The fruiting chamber should be lifted, not flat on the surface. Place on top of four objects at the base of each corner so that air can get in and out of each side of the box, including the base.
Run your perlite under water in a strainer until it appears to have absorbed it and become somewhat sticky. Add it to the bottom of the chamber, 4 inches deep.
Your mycelium cakes are now ready to be free! Scrape away the dry layer on top (carefully), then tap them out of the jars onto a sanitized surface. Wash them carefully before placing in the cooking pot, submerged in water for 24 hours. This rehydrates them.
After a day, cover each cake with dry vermiculite once more to help them retain moisture.
Place squares of kitchen foil on the chamber base, one for each mycelium cake. Place the cakes on top of each square, then spray the entire chamber lightly with water. Waft, then secure the lid. Be sure to keep the chamber somewhere with an indirect light source in order for your mushrooms to grow.
Final step: Yield!
Your mushrooms should grow pretty quickly. Psilocybin mushrooms get weaker the longer they’re allowed to grow, so pick your fungi within 5-10 days.
Mushroom Kits and Courses
If the methods outlined above seem inaccessible or too much effort for you, don’t worry. You can still buy magic mushroom grow kits, which are fairly reliable.
These kits contain all the necessary materials to create a successful yield of psilocybin mushrooms. They usually come with a premade substrate in a box that you simply need to mist a few times a day to keep humid in order for your mushrooms to grow.
There’s no problem with doing this, however, most experienced users of mushrooms prefer to grow them from scratch.
This is simply because you learn more about the process when you grow your own, it’s often more rewarding, and can yield more and better shrooms than when you use a grow kit.
Grow Kit Method
Grow kits might be a better option if you don’t have the time or patience to follow all of the steps outlined above. Each is slightly different, but they’re usually pretty straightforward.
Most grow kits come with the substrate already cultivated by mycelium, so all you have to do is provide the right conditions to ensure the mushrooms grow.
You want your mushrooms to have a light source, but not be in direct sunlight. The area should be fairly clean (preferably somewhere you don’t often inhabit, or keep clean).
You’ll need to keep the substrate fairly well hydrated, but use distilled water when using a mushroom kit. You also need to keep them somewhere with a stable room temperature (21 degrees).
If you want to make your own but the process still seems too complicated, or you’ve tried growing mushrooms and it doesn’t seem to be working, you might want to consider one of the popular online courses to help you refine the art.
One of the most popular is the DoubleBlind course. They’re a magazine about drugs who also offer expert advice on how to grow and take them. The How To Grow Mushrooms 101 course is $149.99, and teaches you how to grow shrooms properly over 7 video lessons.
Sound too complicated?
If all of that sounds like too much effort, or you’re the sort of person prone to killing cacti let alone magic mushrooms, there’s no reason why you can’t buy from a reliable online dispensary to get your mushrooms at home.
There are plenty of excellent online dispensaries that offer both growing magic mushrooms kits and pre-grown, dried mushrooms.
Just remember that if you grow mushrooms at home, it’s much cheaper and quicker to access.
Overall, it’s definitely worth learning how to grow magic mushrooms at home. It’s cheaper, and guarantees you a pretty large stash which will last a long time. If you’re using mushrooms medicinally, this is definitely a huge benefit!
Also keep in mind that this article only outlined the 2 most popular ways to grow magic mushrooms at home – using a grow kit, and using the PF Tek method.
Many long-time growers criticize both of these cultivation methods and recommend different mushroom growing techniques to maximize your yield and psychedelic experience.
So, feel free to experiment with a range of mushroom spores and cultivation methods, and let us know how it goes!