The time you will have to wait for your first harvest from your mushroom kit will range wildly based on the type of kit and the variety of mushrooms. For indoor kits, expect to harvest fruits between 5 days and 5 weeks after opening the kit, and up to a year for an outdoor or log kit.
The rest of this article will explain which variables affect the length of time to first and subsequent harvests, troubleshooting a mushroom kit that isn’t fruiting, how long you can expect your mushroom kit to continue growing, what to do about mold growth, and how log and outdoor mushroom kits grow differently from indoor ones.
How Long Can I Expect to Wait For My First Harvest?
Since every mushroom variety is different, and some companies sell kits that are more fully inoculated with mycelium than others, the amount of time you’ll be waiting for your first homegrown mushrooms will vary. This is how long you should expect to wait for the first harvest from an indoor kit for these varieties:
- Pink Oyster: 5-16 days
- Golden Oyster: 7-16 days
- Shiitake: 7-20 days
- Portabella: 3-5 weeks
- Button: 3-5 weeks
How Long Until My Kit Fruits Again?
After harvesting your first round of fruit, nearly all mushroom kits will grow the second round of fruits within a few weeks. Here’s how long you can expect to wait for your kit to produce after the first harvest:
- Pink Oyster: 12-20 days
- Golden Oyster: 2-3 weeks
- Shiitake: 2-4 weeks
- Portabella: 10-30 days
- Button: 10-30 days
Do I Need To Worry About Humidity?
Humidity will affect the growth of the mushrooms in your kit, but dry air can be compensated for by keeping moisture in with a barrier. Most indoor kits come with a plastic wrapper that is not intended to be fully removed or should only be pierced, and directions should be followed to ensure your mycelium stays moist and continues to grow on schedule.
Does the Temperature Affect My Mushrooms?
Yes! Be sure to read the directions that come with your kit and try to provide your mushrooms with the recommended temperature range. Straying too far out of the recommended range can cause your mycelium to go dormant or cause your growth and fruit production to slow or stop.
Was I Supposed to be Misting My Mushroom Kit?
A lot of mushroom kits are referred to as “spray and grow” because you are supposed to spray them up to three times per day to keep the mycelium moist. The mycelium will die and all growth will stop if it becomes too dry.
What Can I Do If I Forgot to Spray My Mushroom Kit and It Stopped Growing?
If you haven’t been spraying your mushroom kit, and it hasn’t been growing mushrooms, it may be possible to immerse your kit in water to soak it and start it growing again. Make sure to mist it according to directions after soaking, although it may not recover if it dried out completely.
How Long Will I Have To Wait to Know If It Will Recover?
The mycelium will have to regrow after a period of drying out, which means it will probably take longer than the initial flush of fruit. Look for pinning, or the start of new little mushrooms, in the next 3-4 weeks.
It Has Been Over a Month…Where are My Mushrooms?
If your growth is stuck, check the directions and make certain that you have followed all the instructions. There are a few things to check before calling the manufacturer to ask for a replacement kit:
Was My Mushroom Kit Fully Inoculated or Contaminated?
Some manufacturers make sure their kits are fully inoculated and some are less reputable. If your mushroom kit isn’t fruiting yet, but it looks alive and you’ve been following the instructions, it’s likely that the slow growth is a result of incomplete inoculation at the time of purchase.
What Should I Do If My Kit is Growing Mold?
If your mushroom kit is growing blue or green mold, you can try to save it by killing the mold with hydrogen peroxide or limewater. This means the kit was contaminated by competitive fungi, and the manufacturer should replace it under warranty.
Can You See Primordia?
If you can see little button-like bumps in the mycelium, you are about to get fruits! A lack of humidity, some temperate issues, or a sluggish mycelium are a few of the reasons why your kit took its time, but delicious mushrooms will be ready for harvest within a week or so.
Is the Mycelium Too Moist?
Mycelia breathe oxygen, just like we do, and they can drown if they are given too much water. If you’ve been submerging your mushroom kit in water (not including the first time as per the instructions,) growth may have stalled while the mycelium struggled to breathe, and it needs to dry out a little.
What if All the Instructions Were Followed and It’s Still Not Growing?
The fungal spores in your kit are living beings that sometimes die in shipping or storage. Most kits have limited warranties, and you can contact the retailer or manufacturer for a replacement.
Why Do Outdoor Mushroom Kits Take So Long to Grow?
An outdoor mushroom kit is a long-term investment that will give years of seasonal mushrooms, as long as the right conditions are met. Because the mycelium is living outdoors, there will be times when the mycelium is just surviving or dormant, while it waits for ideal fruiting conditions to grow more mushrooms.
How Long Will My Mushroom Kit Last?
Depending on the variety of the mushrooms in your kit, you can expect to get 2-4 flushes of fruit from your indoor kit over the course of 2-6 months. With a log kit, you may still be harvesting mushrooms 3 years later, and some morel mushroom kits planted in the ground are still fruiting 25 years later!