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Lion's Mane Mushroom Kit Instructions

Lion's Mane is a choice gourmet mushroom with some great culinary characteristics. Requiring less maintenance than many other species, it often produces several beautiful and unusual fruits. Because Lion's Mane grows best with high humidity so you will grow your mushroom inside a humidity tent located with your paper instructions on the bottom on your kit.

Each species of mushroom is a different growing experience. Even if you have grown mushrooms before, please read the instructions for your kit carefully before proceeding. If you run into any problems please see our FAQ.

Lion's Mane Mushroom Growing Kit
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Step 1: Mycelium Check

Inside of this box, mycelium has has been happily breaking down the organic growing medium and converting it into energy. Compared to most mushrooms, the mycelium of Lions mane is very fine, wispy and difficult to detect early on. Its also notorious for early fruiting on substrate that does not look well colonised and your kit can be started as soon as you are confident that there is a fine layer of mycelium fully covering the surface of the growing medium.

 

Lion's Mane mycelium can be hard to detect. If you are unsure about they state of your mycelium, please start your kit within 2 weeks.

 

Locate and remove the round cardboard tab on the outside of the box. Check the colour of the growing medium through this 'window'.​​​

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Brown =

needs more time in a warm location

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Wispy white =

ready to move on to step 2

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Denser white or yellow =

ready to move on to step  2

If your window is brown, move your kit to a warm location - over 15°C and NO MORE THAN 25°C. Check it twice a week until you see white, wispy white or light yellow.

 

If you are happy that the window is filled with wispy or dense white mycelium you can now move on to the next step 2. Lion's Mane mycelium can be difficult to detect, so please do not wait longer than 2 weeks before starting your kit.  If you do not want to move on to step 2 at this time, you can keep your kit in the fridge or a cool place for up to two weeks.

Step 2: Finding an Ideal Location

Lion's Mane mushrooms grow best when they are warm, out of direct sunlight and draughts, and have plenty of humidity. Finding or creating the perfect environment is key to getting the most mushrooms out of your kit.

  • Find a warm spot with some ambient light to place your box. If you've purchased thermometer/hygrometer, a temperature reading between 17°C and 21°C is ideal. Don't place it directly next to a heat source such as a radiator as this can overheat and dry out the substrate!

  • Because Lion's mushrooms prefer 80-90% humidity and little air flow, you will need to keep your kit inside of a humidity tent. Locate it in your paper instructions on the bottom of the box and put it aside for step 4.

  • You can choose to grow your Lion's Mane mushroom sideways or upwards. If you choose to grow it sideways, you may need to raise your kit as your mushroom grows bigger so that it does does not come into contact with the surface below. An overturned cup or bowl works well.

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You may choose to grow your Lion's Mane growing upward from the box

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You may also choose to grow your Lion's mane from the side of the the box. This more closely mimics how Lion's Mane mushroom grows in nature, but you may need to raise the box

Step 3: Initiating Fruiting

In nature the mushroom fruiting process of is triggered by a range of changes in the environment. Oxygen and ambient light become available as the mycelium breaks through the ground layer or the extremities of a log. Seasonal changes bring wetter weather and humidity increases. You will now imitate these changes in the following way.

  • Using a clean knife, puncture the exposed bag in a cross pattern the same size as the hole. This will initiate the fruiting process and your mushrooms will grow from this hole.

  • Place your kit in the humidity tent according to the instructions below.

Step 4: Placing the Humidity Tent

Lion's Mane Mushrooms prefer to grow in an environment with 80-90% humidity. Because of this, You'll need to keep your kit in a humidity tent. 

  • Your humidity tent is located with the paper instructions on the bottom of your box.

  • Lightly mist the inside of the bag or put a teaspoon of water inside the bag and then drain it to help create higher humidity.

  • Be sure to leave enough room for your mushroom to grow. If you need to, you can use some chopsticks to prop open the bag.

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Example of humidity tent positioned when growing upwards. 

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Position of the humidity tent over a box. Note the room to allow a little airflow around the sides. 

Step 5: Pinning
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'Pinning' (the start of mushroom growth) should begin within 3-5 weeks of initiating fruiting. If your mushroom has not begun pinning within 5 weeks, please see our FAQ.

 

Once your mushroom has begun to pin, it will grow slowly over the next 1-2 months. Lightly remoisten the humidity by spraying the bottom of the bag once a week. Avoid spraying your mushrooms directly. Lift the humidity tent to allow for fresh air 2-3 times a week.

PLEASE NOTE: Keep a close on eye how your Lion's Mane progresses. If your Lion's Mane forms an unusual or coral-like growth pattern it may be due to not enough airflow and a build up of Co2.

Please read our article on how to correct this issue here.

Step 6: When to Harvest

You may harvest at any time during the growing process, but you will usually  know that the mushroom has finished its growth cycle when it develops tendrils on the bottom that are between 3-5cm long.

 

You should try to harvest your mushroom after it has begun to develop tendrils, but before it begins to drop spores. If you notice a white powder inside your humidity tent, your mushroom has begun to sporate. It will still be perfectly delicious, but it is definitely time to harvest! See the stages below:

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The mushroom body is still tightly connected. Wait to harvest.

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Tendrils have formed on the bottom of the mushroom. It's ready to harvest.

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Spores have gathered on the ends of the tendrils of this Lion's Mane. Harvest immediately.

All Lion's Mane mushrooms grow in unique ways. If your lion's mane growing differently from our photos above? See our article for troubleshooting on unusual growth patterns

Step 7: Harvest
  • To harvest, twist and pull the entire bunch off at the base. 

  • Be sure that you have removed all of the mushrooms' base from the hole. You should be able to see brown growing medium to ensure the next flush.

  • Cut off any cardboard or growing medium that has stuck to your mushrooms. You can store your mushrooms in the fridge for up to a week.

Step 8: Initiating The Next Flush

Did you know that your box has the ability to produce several clusters or 'flushes' of mushrooms over time?

 

Make sure that you have removed all of the previous mushroom stem from the hole before placing your kit in the fridge for 12-24 hours. This will "cold shock" the lion's mane mycelium and help speed up the process. If you don't have space in the fridge, don't worry - you can simply give it some more time and it will eventually flush again.

 

You can then return your kit to your chosen location and repeat steps 4-7. Times between flushes can vary from 3-9 weeks as your block builds more energy. Your kit may flush several times, but the amount of mushrooms will reduce and the time between flushes will grow longer each time until the growing medium is spent.

For more information about how to encourage subsequent flushes see our FAQ on getting more our of your kit.

Step 9: What to do with your kit when it stops producing mushrooms

Did you know that fungi play a key role in storing carbon? Trees and plants remove carbon from the atmosphere and fungi break down plant waste to create new carbon-rich soil. Clean air, healthy soil and delicious mushrooms: just one of the many ways fungi are incredible!

Once your kit has finished flushing, open the box and remove the mycelium block from its plastic bag. Discard the bag in the general waste. You can now recycle the box and additional packaging and compost the block. Alternately, plant your block in the garden to see if it will gain a some energy and produce one last seasonal crop for you! Simply dig a hole in a shady spot, bury the block and cover it over with around 5cm of soil. Water it occasionally to keep the soil moist. 

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We hope you've enjoyed growing your Lion's Mane mushrooms!

We're passionate about sharing the diversity of the fungi kingdom & making more  of its edible & medicinal delights easy to grow. Want to try another strain or learn how to cultivate mushrooms? See our full range of mushroom growing kits and cultivation workshops!

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