Do Mushrooms Need Sunlight? (Solved & Explained!)

Mushrooms do not need sunlight. Plants perform photosynthesis by absorbing various wavelengths with the chlorophyll they contain, but this is not the case for mushrooms.

Mushrooms produce their spores where there is the necessary amount of moisture, a suitable temperature, and a little light.

Mushrooms do like a little sunlight but are not light-dependent and can both grow and reproduce without it.

Do Mushrooms Grow Better in the Light or Dark?

Contrary to popular belief, darkness plays a more active role in the growth of mushrooms than sunlight.

The most suitable environment for a mushroom to grow and thrive requires 90% water, from both the soil and humidity in the atmosphere. Dark can retain moisture better. With the absence of sunlight or heat from indoor lighting, the water vapors in the air do not evaporate as quickly.

What Conditions do Mushrooms Need to Grow?

Mushrooms also grow in different environments, are just like the other living things. Factors such as indoor and outdoor humidity, temperature, nutrients, and light are common to all mushrooms and are factors that all mushroom growers should consider if they are planning to cultivate their own mushrooms.


Mushrooms meet their nutritional needs from organic resources. They benefit from rich soil as other plants do, but also dead animals carcasses and trees. They also absorb nutrients from rot and animal waste.

Natural resources that have nutritional to mushrooms are:

  • Sugars
  • Lignin
  • Fats
  • Starch
  • Protein
  • Nitrogen


Mushrooms grow and thrive in moist conditions. Moisture is essential for mushrooms. Water plays a major role in the development of mushrooms.

If your mushroom is growing on wood, the wood must have sufficient moisture. The compost, which has a moist structure, should reach a sufficient moisture level and not be overly moist as the mushrooms can ‘suffocate’ when water levels are too high.

If you are growing mushroom indoor and are struggling to maintain a humid environment, you can water the mushrooms daily instead.


The mushroom is a fungus, not a plant. The key difference between fungi and plants is how they use sunlight.

Fungi cannot convert sunlight into energy. Therefore light is not as vital to a mushroom as it is to a plant.

Mushrooms only use sunlight when they flower. But they only need very little and only for a few hours a day. If you are a good mushroom grower, you should keep your mushrooms in moist places, and only expose them to minimal light.


Different kinds of mushrooms grow best at different temperatures. If you are going to grow mushrooms in your home, you should pay special attention to different heat environments.

Button mushrooms grow best at high temperatures, while the Shiitake mushrooms grow at moderate temperatures.

You can grow both mushrooms at the same temperature, but this will affect your yield and the size of the mushrooms.

Do Mushrooms That Get Sunlight Grow Faster?

The mushrooms that get sunlight do not grow faster. They do need a little light to flower and only a few hours a day, but overall sunlight won’t make mushrooms grow faster, but it will affect how they flower.

Mushrooms can reproduce without light, and actually prefer dark environments to spawn. However, if they are exposed to light when spawning, the light will not affect their activity or quality. Overall, mushrooms are mostly indifferent to sunlight.

Because they contain a large amount of water, mushrooms prefer dark places where they can more easily retain the moisture that is easily lost through their thin top layer.

Do Mushrooms Need Darkness to Grow?

Mushrooms reproduce best in dark, moist environments. A dark environment better retains the water in the atmosphere, which is advantageous to mushroom growth.

But this does not mean that mushrooms need darkness, or will be damaged by light exposure.

They also spawn and reproduce better in the dark, but a little light exposure won’t harm this process.

Darkness provides the best overall environment for optimum mushroom growth. But for flowering, a little light is needed. This doesn’t have to be sunlight, artificial lights can be used if growing mushrooms indoors.

How Often Do Mushrooms Need to Be Watered?

Mushrooms are around 90% water, so depending on the humidity levels in the room, you will need to water them daily.

If you have a home growing mushroom kit then we recommend watering your mushroom twice a day with the irrigation spray that comes with the Mushroom kit.

Can You Overwater Mushrooms?

Since mushrooms need a moist environment, it is very important to water them regularly. However, if you water a mushroom more than necessary it may have difficulty meeting its oxygen needs, this can cause your mushrooms to die.

Do Mushrooms Take in Oxygen?

Mushrooms naturally take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide, as humans do. However, low and slow oxygen uptake prevents spoilage in Mushrooms.

This is an ancient artificial technique that slows the deterioration process.

Mushrooms can be choked to death if deprived of oxygen (such as submerging them in water whilst still growing).

Do Mushrooms Need Fresh Air?

Mushrooms need fresh air to bear fruit and grow healthily. If you are trying to keep your mushroom in a humid environment, it may be a little difficult to get fresh air.

Therefore, before you grow your mushroom, you must find an environment that can provide the necessary humidity and fresh air combination.

Can You Use LED Lights to Grow Mushrooms?

Yes, you can use LED lights to grow mushrooms. It isn’t necessarily the growth but the flowering stages where mushrooms need light the most. The source of light can either be natural or artificial.

Some growers state that LED light accelerated the growth of their mushrooms, formal research studies have found no solid evidence of this

Do Magic Mushrooms Need Light?

Magic mushrooms come in different varieties but the same holds true for them as regular mushrooms.

They should receive 4-6 hours of light a day if possible, either natural or artificial. They thrive best when grown in dark and moist environments most of the time.