How to Grow Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Understanding Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus or Yamabushitake, is a unique mushroom with a shaggy appearance that looks like a lion’s mane. It is not only a delicious ingredient in various cuisines, but also has potential health benefits, including improving cognitive function and promoting nerve regeneration. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to grow Lion’s Mane Mushrooms at home.

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the growing requirements of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. First of all, they need a suitable substrate to grow on. A substrate is a material that provides nutrients for the fungi to grow. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms prefer hardwood sawdust or logs, especially oak, maple, or beech. Secondly, they require a warm and humid environment with good air circulation. Maintaining the ideal temperature and humidity levels is crucial for the successful growth of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. Lastly, they need proper lighting, preferably indirect sunlight or artificial light.

Now that we know the basic requirements, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of growing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.

Step 1: Preparing the Substrate

The first and most important step is to prepare the substrate. You can either buy pre-made substrate bags or make your own. To make your own substrate, you will need hardwood sawdust, bran, and water. Mix the sawdust and bran at a ratio of 5:1 in a large pot, add water slowly until the mixture reaches 60-65% moisture, and sterilize it in a pressure cooker or autoclave for 2-3 hours. Once the substrate is sterilized, let it cool down to room temperature.

Step 2: Inoculating the Substrate

The next step is to inoculate the substrate with Lion’s Mane Mushroom spawn. You can either buy spawn online or make your own by growing the mushroom mycelium on sterilized grains or plugs. Take a sterilized container and layer the substrate and spawn alternatively, making sure that the spawn is evenly distributed throughout the substrate. Once the container is filled, seal it tightly with micropore tape.

Step 3: Incubating the Container

After inoculating the substrate, place the container in a warm and humid environment with good air circulation. The ideal temperature for incubation is 70-75°F, and the ideal humidity level is 80-90%. You can either use a grow tent or make a DIY incubator using a plastic container and a heating pad. Make sure to check the container regularly and mist it with water if it becomes dry.

Step 4: Fruiting the Mushrooms

After 2-3 weeks of incubation, you will notice white mycelial growth on the substrate. This means that the mushrooms are ready for fruiting. To induce fruiting, you need to lower the temperature to 60-65°F and increase the humidity to 90-100%. You can achieve this by misting the container regularly and covering it with a plastic bag. After a few days, you will see the first pins (baby mushrooms) forming.

Step 5: Harvesting the Mushrooms

It takes around 2-3 months for Lion’s Mane Mushrooms to mature and become ready for harvesting. Once the mushrooms reach a suitable size, you can cut them off with a clean pair of scissors or a knife, leaving a small portion of the base intact for regrowth. You can store the harvested mushrooms in a paper bag or airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

That’s it! With these simple steps, you can grow your own delicious and nutritious Lion’s Mane Mushrooms at home. Enjoy!

Choosing the Right Growing Environment

Growing Environment for Lion's Mane Mushroom

When it comes to growing Lion’s Mane mushrooms, the right growing conditions are crucial for the success of your cultivation. These mushrooms are highly sensitive to their growing environment, so it is important to create a space that provides the ideal conditions for their growth. Here are some tips on choosing the right growing environment:


The ideal temperature for growing Lion’s Mane mushrooms ranges from 16 to 21°C (60 to 70°F), with 18°C (65°F) being the optimal temperature. In general, the temperature should be kept within a range of ± 2°C to prevent the mushrooms from experiencing stress. It is also important to maintain consistent temperature levels throughout the cultivation process. Fluctuations in temperature can cause the mushrooms to grow abnormally or not grow at all.


Lion’s Mane mushrooms require high levels of humidity to grow. Ideally, the humidity should be kept between 85-95% throughout the cultivation process. If the humidity level drops too low, it could cause the mushrooms to dry out and not grow properly. You can maintain the humidity levels by misting the growing area with water. It is essential to use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels accurately. Any humidity level below 85% and above 99% can promote the growth of molds and bacteria and damage the Lion’s Mane mushrooms.

Air Circulation

Adequate air circulation is essential in the cultivation of the Lion’s Mane mushroom. It helps to maintain the ideal temperature and humidity levels and prevent the growth of molds and bacteria. Insufficient airflow can cause the developing mushroom to be stunted in growth. To encourage air circulation, it is essential to have proper ventilation and fans in the growing area. Place the fans in the growing area to ensure that there is no stagnant air. Stagnant air can provide the perfect condition for the growth of bacteria.


Lion’s Mane mushrooms don’t require direct sunlight for growth. However, indirect light is beneficial to their growth. Lighting can help to simulate a natural environment, which can promote mushroom growth and development. You can use fluorescent lighting with 6500K or LED lighting with similar color temperature to provide enough light to the growing area.


Mushrooms are susceptible to contamination; therefore, it is essential to keep the growing environment clean. Always use sterile equipment and tools. Avoid touching the mushrooms with bare hands and avoid contaminating the growing area with spores. Regularly wipe down the area with a disinfectant to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria. Maintaining the highest level of cleanliness is crucial for the healthy growth of the Lion’s Mane mushroom.

By following the above tips, you will be able to create an ideal growing environment for the Lion’s Mane mushroom. Always remember that the right conditions are paramount for the successful cultivation of Lion’s Mane mushroom. It is also essential to be patient and consistent as the growth process of these mushrooms can take anywhere from 10-20 weeks. Happy growing!

Preparing the Substrate and Spawn

Preparing the Substrate and Spawn

Growing lion’s mane mushrooms is a relatively simple process that involves a few important steps. The first of these is preparing the substrate and spawn.

Choosing the Right Substrate

The substrate is the material on which the mushrooms will grow. For lion’s mane mushrooms, this can be a variety of materials, including sawdust, straw, logs, or even old coffee grounds. However, sawdust is the most common substrate used for lion’s mane mushrooms, as it provides a nutrient-rich environment that the mushrooms can thrive in.

When choosing your substrate, it is important to ensure that it is free of contaminants, such as bacteria or mold, as this can prevent the mushrooms from growing or cause them to become diseased.

Prepping Your Substrate

Prepping your substrate involves sterilizing it to kill any bacteria or other contaminants that may be present. There are several different methods for sterilizing your substrate, including boiling, pressure cooking, or using chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

One common method for sterilizing sawdust is to first moisten it with water, then bake it in an oven at 180-200°F (80-90°C) for two hours. This will kill any bacteria or other contaminants, without damaging the nutrients in the substrate that the mushrooms need to grow.

Choosing Your Spawn

The spawn is the material that introduces the mushroom spores to the substrate so that they can begin to grow. For lion’s mane mushrooms, the spawn can be either sawdust or grain-based, with grain-based spawn being the most common.

When choosing your spawn, it is important to ensure that it is fresh and free of contaminants. You can purchase ready-made spawn from a mushroom supplier, or you can make your own by growing the mushrooms from a spore syringe, then using the resulting mycelium to create your spawn.

Preparing Your Spawn

Preparing your spawn involves mixing it with the substrate in a sterile environment, such as a clean room or glove box. This is done to ensure that the mushroom spores have plenty of nutrients to grow on and are not overwhelmed by other bacterial or fungal growth.

One common method for preparing your spawn is to mix it with the sterilized sawdust substrate in a large plastic bag, then seal the bag and incubate it at a warm temperature (around 75-80°F or 24-27°C) for several weeks. During this time, the mycelium of the mushroom will begin to grow, colonizing the sawdust substrate and turning it into a suitable environment for the fruiting bodies to form.

Preparing the substrate and spawn is a critical step in the process of growing lion’s mane mushrooms. by choosing the right substrate and spawn and properly sterilizing and preparing them, you can help ensure that your mushrooms grow healthy and abundant.

Caring for Your Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion's Mane Mushrooms Growing

Now that you have successfully started growing your lion’s mane mushrooms, it is time to turn your attention to caring for them. Proper care is crucial for the healthy growth of your lion’s mane mushrooms and to ensure a bountiful harvest. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

1. Watering

Lion's Mane Mushrooms Watering

Lion’s mane mushrooms thrive in a humid environment. To ensure that your mushrooms get the required moisture, you should water them regularly. However, do not overwater them as it can lead to the growth of mold or other fungi. A good rule of thumb is to mist them with a spray bottle twice a day. Make sure that the water is at room temperature and that it is clean, as the mushrooms are susceptible to contamination.

2. Temperature

Lion's Mane Mushrooms Temperature

Lion’s mane mushrooms grow best in a temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but anything above 75 degrees Fahrenheit can be detrimental to their growth. You should keep your mushrooms away from direct sunlight and in a place where the temperature is steady. If you live in a place where the temperature is too hot, you can use a fan to regulate the temperature.

3. Fruiting

Lion's Mane Mushrooms Fruiting

Lion’s mane mushrooms take around four to six months to start fruiting. When they are ready to fruit, you will notice small white or cream-colored bumps on the surface of the block. These bumps will grow and turn into several small, white mushroom clusters. To ensure a healthy harvest, you should pick the mushrooms when they are still young and before they start to turn brown. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the mushrooms off the block, leaving a bit of the stem attached.

4. Harvesting

Lion's Mane Mushrooms Harvesting

The harvesting process of lion’s mane mushrooms requires patience and care. As you near the harvest period, you will notice that the mushrooms have stopped growing, and their edges will start to turn upwards. They will also start to become discolored, turning brown or yellow. This is the perfect time to harvest them. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the mushrooms from the base of the cluster, leaving a part of the mushroom’s stem attached to the block. Do not pull or twist the mushrooms, as this can damage the block and reduce the yield of future harvests.

Once you have harvested the mushrooms, you can store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Alternatively, you can dry them in a food dehydrator or oven at low temperatures (around 150 degrees Fahrenheit) and store them in an airtight container.

Caring for your lion’s mane mushrooms can be rewarding and fulfilling. With the right care, you can grow healthy, bountiful mushrooms that are both delicious and nutritious. Follow these tips, and you will be on your way to growing your own lion’s mane mushrooms successfully.

Harvesting and Storing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion's Mane Mushroom

If you have successfully grown lion’s mane mushrooms, it is essential to observe the best practices for harvesting and storage to ensure their longevity and quality. These mushrooms have a shelf life of about two weeks, and it is advisable to harvest them once they reach their prime stage.

1. Identify the Prime Stage: Lion’s mane mushrooms usually mature after five to seven weeks. The prime time for harvesting is when they are fully grown, fluffy, and white. You can tell that they are ready for harvest when their spores start to form on their tendrils. Additionally, the mushrooms’ color changes from pure white to a light brown.

2. Use Proper Tools: When harvesting, you need to use scissors or a sharp knife, as, unlike common mushroom species, these mushrooms are firmly attached to the substrate. Cut down the mushrooms from the substrate by holding the base and don’t pull them out from the sawdust if you want to harvest the next set of mushrooms as well. For maximum cleanliness, use a brush to remove sawdust from the mushrooms’ base before harvesting them.

3. Storage: After harvesting the mushrooms, storage is the next critical aspect to consider. As mentioned above, lion’s mane mushrooms have a short shelf life and require proper storage to maintain their freshness. You can either delay the harvesting process or store the mushrooms depending on when you will use them. Keep them in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in paper towels. It would be best if you didn’t wash the mushrooms before storage as they absorb water, which leads to a shorter shelf life.

4. Shelve Life: Lion’s mane mushrooms are highly perishable and should be consumed within about two weeks after harvesting. You can store them for up to two months in the freezer without cleaning or frying them in butter or oil. When defrosting, we recommend slowly letting the mushrooms come to room temperature to avoid spoiling.

5. Drying: Drying mushrooms is an excellent way to preserve them for longer periods. You can store them for up to one year by drying them correctly. Slice the lion’s mane mushrooms into small pieces using a sharp knife or scissors and place them in a food dehydrator or oven. A good temperature for drying is usually between 135-140°F for up to 12 hours or until they are crisp and brittle. Store the dried mushrooms in a paper bag. Avoid plastic bags, which builds up moisture and spoil the mushrooms.

Conclusion: The best ways to store your lion’s mane mushrooms depend on your preference. Whether you choose to refrigerate, freeze, or dry your mushrooms, they generally retain their nutrients, flavor, and texture if done correctly. Following these tips will help you enjoy the delicious and nutritious benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms with family and friends for an extended period.