Magic vs Oyster vs Shiitake – How Long From Start to Finish?

Who doesn’t love delicious mushrooms? Mushrooms are one of those staple foods that taste amazing on just about anything. Whether it’s cheesy mushrooms garnishing a pizza or freshly sliced mushrooms in a salad, these favorite fungi are part of our daily diets.

You don’t need to head out to your local supermarket or Farmer’s Market to pick up mushrooms. You can quickly grow them on your own with a few simple tools and some patience.

Note: If you click some of the links or pictures in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

How Long Does It Take For Mushrooms To Grow?

The entire process to grow mushrooms from spores to fully mature mushrooms takes 1-2 months for most commonly homegrown mushrooms that grow on compost or similar substrates (oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, etc.). Magic (Psilocybe) mushrooms also can go from spores to mature mushrooms in 1-2 months. Inoculating the substrate with mycelium takes 5 days to 3 weeks. Once the substrate is ready, fruiting taking 7 days to 2 weeks. Mushrooms grown on logs (e.g. shiitake) require 1-2 years to inoculate the log before you get the first harvest. Logs can then produce a few harvests a year annually for 3-5 years.

Which Mushrooms Are The Easiest To Grow?

Not all mushroom varieties were created equal. Fortunately, the two easiest types of mushrooms to grow are also the tastiest. Button and Oyster mushrooms are very user-friendly and will yield you a good crop of delectable fungi. Once you’ve mastered these, you can try your hand at some more complicated varieties.

Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit, Harvest Gourmet Oyster Mushrooms In 10 days, Top Gardening Gift, Holiday Gift, & Unique Gift
We recommend this oyster mushroom kit to learn the basics of fruiting mushrooms. Once you’ve mastered that you can move on to growing from spawn or even creating your own spawn from spores. Click the image to check the current price on Amazon.
Crimini ~ Portabella ~ Baby Bella Mushroom Growing Kit - Easy to Grow Your own Fresh Mushrooms!
After using a simple oyster mushroom fruiting kit we recommend moving on to a spawn kit like this one that grows portabella mushrooms. You’ll need to also get substrate and mix them together. Full instructions included. Click the image to check the current price on Amazon.
Boomr Bag 5lb | Manure Based Bulk Substrate Blend | Grow Edible Mushrooms at Home | Easy to Use in a Monotub | Box with Sterile Mushroom Substrate
If you don’t want to sterilize your own mushroom substrate then you can buy it ready to go. We recommend this variety. Click the image to check the price on Amazon. Use this in combo with the portabella kit above.

What Is The Ideal Growing Environment For Mushrooms?

Mushrooms love cool, dark spaces. Basements and crawl spaces are ideal locations to grow the best ones. They also like humidity, so make sure that the place you put them is relatively wet. Mushrooms need to be somewhere that is inaccessible to pets. If you have household animals, keep them away from your mushroom crop. Not only is it bad for your harvest, but the mushrooms could also harm your pets!

What Season Is The Best Time To Grow Mushrooms?

Different mushrooms grow in different seasons. Springtime is the best season to try your hand at Oyster or Morel mushrooms. Shiitake grow very well during the summertime, and Chanterelles are best grown during the early part of the winter. Ultimately, if you have a temperature-controlled place, you can easily manipulate the environment of your mushrooms so that you can grow any type during any season.

Can I Make My Own Substrate?

Don’t let the term scare you; the substrate is just a fancy term for a substance that allows the mushrooms to grow. Some growing kits come with the substrate, but you can easily make your own with straw or cardboard. There are plenty of online tutorials that can instruct you.

See our article with full instructions on making your own mushroom substrates.

Why Do I Need To Cover My Mushrooms With A Bag?

Mushrooms love humidity, and a plastic bag is the best way to give them that wet environment that they crave. Tenting a plastic bag over your mushrooms will help them grow faster, but remember to poke a few holes in the side of the plastic so that the mushrooms can breathe.

What Is The Best Temperature For Growing Mushrooms?

All mushrooms are different, but most of them thrive in temperatures that are roughly 60 degrees. That’s why basements are such a great place to grow your mushrooms as they tend to be reasonably cool but not freezing. Keep in mind that some mushrooms will call for cooler temperatures, so it’s important to adhere to the growing season if you want to have the best results with your mushrooms. Keep an eye on them for changes and adjust the temperature or humidity if you need to. No mushrooms do well in direct sunlight, so make sure that they’re tucked away in a dark place.

What Do Growing Mushrooms Look Like?

Mushrooms look like little pinheads when they’re first spouting up. These cute plants will rapidly swell to the size of full-grown mushrooms if you continue to take care of them. Resist the urge to pick them until they are grown. There’s a good chance that you’ll see a bunch of these tiny pinheads poking up at the same time. Don’t worry about overcrowding as mushrooms in the wild grow on top of one another. Just monitor the little sprouts and wait for the right time to pick them.

How Do I Prevent Mold From Getting On My Mushrooms?

Although mushrooms are a fungus you want, mold is definitely not! Mold can kill your budding mushrooms, so make sure that your growing area is clean by always sanitizing your hands before you interact with your mushrooms. Some mushroom types, like Oyster mushrooms, are more adept at staving off mold than others. That’s why it’s far easier to grow Oysters. Regardless of the strain, remember that being sanitary is your best friend when it comes to growing mushrooms properly.


Are you ready to become a master mushroom farmer, but have a few questions? We have answers!

What Is Mushroom Substrate?

A mushroom substrate is a fancy term for a place that promotes the growth of mycelium. Mycelium act as a type of food for your mushrooms and will allow the fungus to grow correctly. Most of the time, you will get substrate with a mushroom growing kit, but it’s easy enough to create one on your own. Don’t try to grow mushrooms without substrate. It will not work.

How Do Mushrooms Reproduce?

Instead of reproducing with seeds, mushrooms have spores. These spores are what will make your mushrooms more prolific. You can buy spores or cultivate them yourself at home.

If you love fresh mushrooms, consider dedicating a small space in your basement to the cultivation of this delicious fungus. With some practice, you can grow just about any variety and always have tasty mushrooms on hand.