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How to Grow Lion's Mane Mushrooms at Home Fast UK (Complete Step-by-Step Guide and Product Links)

Lion's Mane mushrooms are fun and rewarding to grow, offering a delicious and nutritious crop. This guide will run you through the growing process step-by-step and will allow you to learn how to grow your own Lion's Mane mushrooms at home.

If this is your first time growing mushrooms at home, we recommend to also read our blog on how to grow Oyster mushrooms at home.

Why should I read this guide?

  • Information in this guide has been gathered from our experience of many years of Lion's Mane mushroom farming and growing.

  • Links to products you can use in your mushroom farming journey are included.

Let's get started!


Ready-to-Grow Kits vs Fruiting Blocks vs Full DIY (from scratch)

When it comes to growing your own mushrooms, there are two main approaches available.

Firstly, you have the Ready-to-Grow mushroom growing kits. These growing kits are already inoculated with Lion's Mane mushroom spawn and have been incubated for the required amount of time to allow the mushroom to colonise the substrate. These kits usually include step-by-step instructions and only need to be cut and sprayed with water and mushrooms should grow in around 7-10 days given the right conditions are met. Such kits are great for beginners and presents as all of the work has been done by the kit producer and you get to enjoy the mushrooms as they grow. It is also the fastest method of growing mushrooms at home. Buy Ready-to-Grow mushroom growing kits here.

The second way that you can easily grow Lion's Mane mushrooms is to purchase Ready-to-Fruit mushroom fruiting blocks. These blocks are like Ready-to-Grow mushroom growing kits without fancy packaging and are designed for growing larger quantities of mushrooms, so are perfect for small-scale growers or regular mushroom eaters that want to grow their own food. This method is equally as fast as Ready-to-Grow kits. Usually, these products do not include instructions, however, our fruiting blocks include instructions that are sent via email. Buy Ready-to-Fruit mushroom fruiting blocks here.

The last alternative is to grow your own mushrooms from scratch; this includes buying your own mushroom substrate and Lion's Mane mushroom spawn and using them to grow mushrooms. This approach is preferred by most mushroom enthusiasts as it allows them to understand, learn and control the whole process from start to finish. With this method, contamination is a big problem and growers need to ensure that they work using a sterile technique, however if successful, it is much more rewarding than preinoculated growing kits or fruiting blocks. One of the main downsides to this approach is that no instructions are included, so it may not be suitable for beginners. Another downside is that this method is usually the longest method of growing mushrooms at home and can take at least 3-4 weeks.

This guide will discuss how to grow your own Lion's Mane mushrooms at home from scratch.


Picking The Right Lion's Mane Mushroom Spawn

Quality spawn is key to ensuring that Lion's Mane will thrive during the incubation and fruiting stage. We always recommend purchasing quality Lion's Mane grain spawn from a reputable seller as this can have an effect on yields and growing duration. Commercial Lion's Mane strains, such as the one we use, produce the largest yields in the smallest amount of time,

Lion's Mane Mushroom

Our Lion's Mane mushroom grain spawn generates a dense, high-quality fruit body. Dense, lobster and crab-like taste and medicinal attributes are a few of this mushroom's great properties.

Cultivation Information:

Species: Hericium erinaceus

Fruiting duration: 3-5 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions: 16-21 °C @ 85-95% RH, frequent airflow


Choosing The Right Lion's Mane Mushroom Substrate

Now that you have your Lion's Mane grain spawn, it is important to choose the right substrate. Lion's Mane needs a nutritious substrate to grow well so we recommend buying a premixed Lion's Mane mushroom substrate mix. This mix is specially designed with growing Lion's Mane mushrooms in mind, allowing you to grow large yields of beautiful mushrooms.

However, you may wish to make your own substrate mixes. The best substrates for Lion's Mane mushroom cultivation are:

  • Hardwood (sawdust or pellets)

  • Soya Hulls (pellets)

  • Sunflower husks (pellets)

  • Bran

Generally, we recommend working with pellets as it is less messy than working with sawdust.


Hydrating and Pasteurising Your Lion's Mane Mushroom Substrate

For your Lion's Mane mushrooms to grow on the substrate, the substrate needs to be hydrated. For Lion's Mane mushrooms, a moisture content between 50% - 70% is recommended. Our premixed mushroom substrate bags tells you how much water to add for the best results.

Once hydrated, you need to pasteurise/sterilise the mixture in order to kill bacteria, fungi and other organisms to give the Lion's Mane mushroom the highest chance of growing successfully.

We recommend using mushroom growing bags as they have a special fine filter that allows the mushroom to breathe once it has been inoculated onto the substrate. The bags are also able to sustain heat of up to 121 °C, allowing for pasteurising/sterilising.

How to pasteurise Lion's Mane substrate at home?

Place your dry substrate inside the bag. Pour the required amount of boiling water inside the bag in order to achieve a moisture content of around 50% - 70% of the total weight of the bag. Try to keep the filter dry when pouring the water in. Fold the bag so that it is shut and nothing can get in and place the bag in a well-insulated spot, for example in a pot in an oven that is turned off. Let the mixture slowly cool down to around 25 °C.

Alternatively, you may decide to use a pressure cooker to sterilise the mixture once it has been hydrated. This will reduce the chances of contamination and will increase your chance of success if done right.


Inoculating Your Lion's Mane Mushroom Substrate

After the substrate has been hydrated, pasteurised/sterilised and is now at a temperature of around 25 °C, you are ready to inoculate the substrate using your Lion's Mane mushroom grain spawn.

Prepare your worktop by using plenty of isopropyl alcohol to clean the area. Ensure you wear gloves and a mask. Pour the grain spawn inside the substrate bag and seal the bag shut in order to prevent bacteria and other fungi from entering the bag.


How to reduce contamination when inoculating at home:

Close off any windows and doors in your house around 30 minutes before inoculating the substrate in order to reduce airflow as much as possible and to reduce your chances of contamination.


Incubating Your Inoculated Lion's Mane Mushroom Substrate

If you successfully followed a good sterile technique and did not contaminate the substrate, then from now onwards it should be smooth sailing. You now need to allow the mushroom mycelium to colonise the substrate.

Find a dark, warm spot with decent airflow where you can put your bag for the next 10-21 days. The optimum room temperature for the incubation stage is around 25 °C for Lion's Mane mushroom substrate. Ensure that there is no light, or as little as possible if necessary, in order to ensure that the mushroom will colonise the substrate as quickly as possible.

The incubation stage for Lion's Mane mushroom substrate is generally very fast and will take around 10-21 days depending on the incubation conditions such as temperature, humidity, CO2 air concentration and the quality of the grain spawn.


How do I know when Lion's Mane substrate is fully colonised?

Once you can see that primordia are starting to develop on the top of the mushroom block and the block is dense to the touch, the colonised mushroom substrate block is ready to fruit.

My Lion's Mane substrate block is not fully white, is this a problem?

When colonising the substrate, Lion's Mane mushrooms do not turn the substrate as white as Oyster mushrooms do. This can lead you to believe that the block is not yet colonised. However, this is a normal occurrence. You can tell if the block is colonised by checking if it is dense to the touch, if primordia are beginning to form on the top of the substrate, and if it has been incubating for at least 10 days.


Fruiting Your Lion's Mane Mushroom Blocks

Now that you have finished waiting for the incubation period to finish, you are now ready to fruit your mushroom substrate blocks!

Lion's Mane mushrooms are a bit more difficult when it comes to fruiting conditions compared to Oyster mushrooms. Lion's Mane requires good airflow and high humidity in the fruiting stage. Read the above section to check optimum room temperature conditions.

Take your fully colonised Lion's Mane mushroom block and place it in your fruiting room. This can be a designated fruiting chamber if you have one or can be somewhere damp with a day/night light cycle. A great example of a suitable place is in your kitchen. Make sure to place your block in a clean environment.

Once you have found a spot for your Lion's Mane mushroom block, use a clean knife or a cutter to cut a small hole in the corner of the mushroom bag and push all the excess air out of the bag. Fold the bag over and turn it upside down so that the weight of the bag keeps the folded bag closed. Use your utensil to cut a small 'X' shape on the side of the upside-down fruiting bag. Spray this cut section with clean water as often as possible (every few hours is best!).

Keep spraying your cut section and mushrooms should grow in less than 14 days! Keep in mind that the time it takes for your mushrooms to fruit is dependent on the conditions in the room.


Why are my Lion's Mane mushrooms turning yellow/brown?

Low humidity levels or significant maturation of the mushroom can be indicated by a Lion's Mane mushroom that appears yellow/brown in colour. Direct airflow can dry out your mushroom, so ensure that there is sufficient airflow that is not directly blowing on your mushrooms.

Why are my Lion's Mane mushrooms turning pink?

Generally, a Lion's Mane mushroom with a pink hue when young suggests no issues and healthy growth. This is usually caused by the mushrooms facing cooler conditions, too much humidity or having direct sunlight shine on them. The mushrooms will turn whiter when reaching maturity.

Why are my Lion's Mane mushrooms not forming teeth and growing cloud-like mushrooms?

This is generally a sign that airflow is insufficient. It is usually caused by high CO2 levels and little O2 levels. If this occurs, try to increase fresh air exchange.


Harvesting Your Lion's Mane Mushrooms

Congratulations! You have successfully grown your own Lion's Mane mushrooms at home. Now it is time to enjoy them!

To know when Lion's Mane mushrooms are ready to harvest, look out to see if 'teeth' have formed. When 'teeth' have clearly formed and before the mushrooms start to turn yellow/brown, they are ready to harvest. Use your hands to grab the mushrooms from the bottom and simply twist or pull upwards in order to break them off the substrate.


How can I get another harvest out of my Lion's Mane substrate?

To grow more mushrooms from the same bag, simply ensure to clean all of the leftover mushroom bits from the substrate and keep watering/spraying the cut section. More mushrooms will grow in around 2-3 weeks if you have maintained the moisture levels in the substrate! 3 harvests are very possible if done right! After you have utilised the fruiting substrate fully, the spent substrate becomes a great fertiliser in your garden!


Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of substrate is best for growing Lion's Mane mushrooms?

Lion's Mane mushrooms can be grown on a variety of substrates, but the most commonly used and recommended substrate is hardwood sawdust or a mix of hardwood sawdust and other ingredients like soya hulls or bran.

What are the ideal temperature and humidity levels for cultivating Lion's Mane mushrooms?

How long does it take for Lion's Mane mushrooms to fully colonise the substrate?

How often should I mist and fan my Lion's Mane mushroom substrate block?

How do I know when my Lion's Mane mushrooms are ready to harvest?

What are the common problems or pests that may affect Lion's Mane mushroom cultivation, and how can I prevent or solve them?

Can I grow Lion's Mane mushrooms outdoors, or do they need to be grown indoors?

How can I store and preserve harvested Lion's Mane mushrooms?

How long does it take for Lion's Mane mushrooms to grow from inoculation to harvest?

Thank you for reading this guide!



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