How to Grow Magic Mushrooms At a Glance
After the publication of Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind”, more people are eager to know how to grow magic mushrooms at home.
Psychedelics have been vilified since the 1970s for political reasons, but the beliefs around psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) are growing more liberal.
By learning how to grow psilocybin mushrooms, you can control the product and thus make this psychedelic even safer.
There are 2 specific methods of growing psilocybin mushrooms that we will cover in this post:
- Psilocybin grow kit
- Growing from scratch (using the PF Tek method)
Growing mushrooms is more challenging than a basic plant, but we will walk you through the steps.
If you prefer to skip this and sign up for a guided mushroom trip join Schema here.
How to Grow Magic Mushrooms With a Grow Kit
As a beginner, it may be tempting to grow magic mushrooms with a grow kit.
It is relatively easy to do so, but there are some issues with contamination.
Using a grow kit is relatively self-explanatory. Instructions within the kit are more helpful than anything that we could provide (because it can be specific to that kit).
One thing to be mindful of is contamination. Maintain a watchful eye on the mushrooms for any kind of slimy growth.
The non-scientific consensus is “if it looks good, it is good”. There is a debate among magic mushroom users, but most seem to fall on the side of being less cautious rather than more .
As a beginner, we do not recommend this approach.
A relatively trustworthy brand for buying grow kits is called Avalon Magic Plants, but there are many good options.
It is not legal to consume them unless you are in certain states (New Mexico, for example).
Here is a quick 8 minute video showing the steps and process from an online enthusiast:
This is a relatively simple method so we will not spend too much time on this. Our recommended method is to grow your own though some learning is required.
PF Tek Method of Growing Magic Mushrooms
A man named Robert McPherson (pseudonym: Psylocybe Fanaticus Tek or PF Tek) developed a revolutionary magic mushroom growing method in 1991 .
By 1998 there were hundreds of thousands of models of his technique and it has become the most common technique for good reason.
Getting Started: What You Need to Grow Mushrooms
To start with the PK Tek method, you should gather the following equipment and ingredients:
- 12 Wide mouth half-pint jars with lids (make sure to get wide mouth)
- Cup for measuring
- Hammer and small nail
- Large mixing bowl and spoon
- Tin foil (heavy duty)
- Large cooking pot with a tight lid (or an Instant Pot)
- Small towel
- Microspore tape
- Clear plastic storage box 50 – 115 L
- ¼ inch drill bit/Drill
- Mist spray bottle
- Spore syringe, 10-12 cc (you might use this brand)
- Organic brown rice or brown rice flour (use a coffee grinder for brown rice)
- Vermiculite, medium/fine
- Drinking water (preferably distilled)
- 70% Isopropyl alcohol and lysol (or similar)
- Bic lighter (or propane torch)
- Air sanitizer
- Latex gloves, surgical mask, and glove box (optional)
How to Grow Magic Mushrooms in 7 Steps
Once you have purchased all the ingredients, it’s time to get started on the home growing. We have broken up growing psychedelic mushrooms into 6 steps:
- Step 1: Preparation
- Step 2: Inoculation
- Step 3: Colonization
- Step 4: Preparing the growing chamber
- Step 5: Fruiting
- Step 6: Harvesting
- Step 7: Drying and storage
We will break them down individually with plenty of pictures and video.
Step 1: Preparation
Wipe the jars with alcohol to disinfect them and use the hammer and nail to punch four holes through each of the lids with even spacing. It looks like this:
Next prepare the substrate by combining ⅔ cup vermiculite and ¼ cup water in the mixing bowl. Disinfect the strainer with alcohol and then drain excess water from this mixture.
Combine the ¼ cup brown rice flour per half-pint jar (meaning 3 cups in total for 12 jars) to the bowl and combine with the moist vermiculite. Here is the flour:
The next step is to fill the jars to within half-inch of the rim. Do not pack too tightly. Make sure to sterilize the top half inch using alcohol. Top off the jars with a layer of dry vermiculite.
Now it’s time to sterilize using steam. Tightly screw on the lids and cover the jar with tin foil. Make sure to secure the edges of the foil around the sides to prevent condensation from getting through.
Put the small towel into the pot and place the jars on top. This prevents water from splashing and potentially getting into the substrate.
Add tap water to a level halfway up the sides and bring to a slow boil with the jars remaining upright. Place the tight-fitting pressure lid and steam for 75 – 90 minutes.
A pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) set for 60 minutes at 15 PSI will work too.
After the steaming is over, leave the jars in the pot for several hours. They must be at room temperature to start the inoculation step.
Step 2: Inoculation
The best way to inoculate is with the use of an air box. First sterilize the entire area and use latex gloves. If you go without an air box that is fine, but adds risk for contamination.
Start by sanitizing and preparing the syringe. Use your lighter to heat the length of the syringe needle until it is red hot. Allow it to cool, wipe with alcohol, and do not touch with hands.
Pull back the plunger and shake the syringe to evenly distribute the spores. Remove the foil from the jars and insert the syringe as far as it will go through one of the holes.
Inject about ¼ cc of the spore solution into the side of the jar, not directly into the substrate. Repeat for each hole wiping the needle with alcohol between each.
Cover the holes with microspore tape and set the jar aside with the foil off.
Step 3: Colonization
So far you have done lots of work to create the psychedelic mushrooms. The steps now become a bit more about the waiting game.
Place the inoculated jars clean and out of the way (a basement or crawl space might be good). Avoid direct sunlight and temperatures of 70 – 80 degrees F (room temp).
Between 7 – 14 days you should start to see white, fluffy-looking mycelium.
If you see any strange colors or smells, dispose of the jars immediately. Some contaminants are deadly for humans despite what the above-mentioned online debate suggests.
After 3 – 4 weeks you should have at least 6 successful jars. Allow another 7 days for the mycelium to strengthen the hold on the substrate.
Note that some grow kits can be finished as quickly as 21 days (3 weeks) so those tools may be quicker.
Step 4: Preparing the grow chamber
Take the plastic storage box and drill ¼ inch holes 2 inches apart all over the side, base, and lid. Drill the holes from the inside out to avoid cracking.
Set the box over four stable objects to allow air flow underneath. Cover the surface under the box to protect from moisture leakage.
Place perlite into a strainer and run under cold tap water to soak. Once the perlite has drained, spread it over the base of the chamber. Repeat for a layer of perlite 4-5 inches deep.
Step 5: Fruiting
Open the jars and remove the dry vermiculite layer. This will yield small white “cakes”. If they do not come out, just tap the bottle lightly so the cake comes out on a disinfected surface.
Rinse the cakes, add them to a plastic container filled with water, and submerge them beneath the surface (so they are fully covered).
It is easy to add the water to a plastic container, fill with water, and then add another plastic container on top with the jars to keep them submerged.
Put these away for approximately 24 hours so they rehydrate.
Roll these white cakes in vermiculite. You will add dry vermiculite, roll them to evenly coat, and this will keep in the moisture.
Cut a tin foil square for each cake (ensuring it does not touch the perlite) and place the cakes on top of them evenly spaced inside the chamber.
Spray the cakes with the bottle and fan the lid before closing it. It will look something like this:
Using the spray bottle, provide a mist of spray around four times per day to maintain the humidity. Do not soak the cakes with water, however. Fan the lid up to 6 times per day to increase airflow.
Step 6: Harvesting
The final step is to harvest the fruiting bodies from the grow. The fruit will appear as bumps and then pins. After about 10 – 14 days they should be ready to harvest.
When you are ready, pluck the mushrooms close to the cake. As they grow closer to maturity, their potency decreases. Choose earlier harvesting.
Step 7: Drying and storage
Dry mushrooms still have moisture, which can easily lead to spoiling. Psilocybin mushrooms may last only a few weeks.
There are multiple ways to dehydrate the magic mushrooms. The simplest is to leave them out on a sheet of paper in front of a fan, but this will still leave some moisture.
The best route is to use a dehydrator and it is the route we recommend. Here is a quick 1 minute video about drying mushrooms, though we do NOT recommend the oven method.
Growing Shrooms Again… and Again
Once you have finished the entire process, congratulations! You are a trooper for sticking through everything one step at a time.
Learning how to grow psychedelic mushrooms isn’t over, though. You can still keep going.
The cakes that you harvested can be reused. One way to do that is to dry them out a few days and repeat the “dunking” method again (without the vermiculite).
Put them back in the grow chamber, mist and fan, and you should have at least one more (if not two more) batches of psilocybin mushrooms.
How to Grow Psilocybe Cubensis vs Others
This guide is comprehensive. You now have a full understanding of how to grow psilocybin mushrooms on your own.
There is still much to learn. Once you have mastered psilocybin cubensis, it is worth looking into other interesting species. For example, psilocybe cyanescens and psilocybe azurescens can be grown easily outside (in wood chips for example) .
There are also numerous other methods depending on the strain. Certain strains are more challenging than others. We suggest online forums like Shroomery if you are interested.
Do You Want to Grow Magic Mushrooms?
Before going too deeply down the rabbit hole of growing your own psilocybin mushrooms, it is worth questioning your motivations.
Are you trying to save money growing your own?
Buying psilocybin (dry) mushrooms costs anywhere between $5 – $7 per gram, which is inexpensive given that 2 – 4 grams provides a significant trip.
Is psilocybin better than LSD?
The comparison between shrooms and LSD makes the effort and hard work more questionable, though psilocybin is far safer than the chemical process to develop LSD.
There are numerous other questions worth asking and exploring yourself. Of course, we do not recommend doing anything considered illegal in your country.
NOTE: As my partner is a doula in Austin, I’m reminded to suggest speaking with a medical professional before using any of the tools mentioned in this post especially if pregnant.
- Many thanks to “mushmouth” for his pictures that clearly show the various steps. https://www.shroomology.org/forums/topic/13173-pf-tek-easy-brf-cakes-mushroom-growing-method/