Reishi Mushroom Growing Kit Instructions
Reishi is famous for its medicinal properties, and is often used as anti-imflamatory, antihistamine and immune support and regulation. It is a slow-growing mushroom, producing one crop per year. With this kit, you will watch the mycelium slowly develop and produce otherworldly waxed red brackets. Your Reishi will grow inside the fruiting bag which is fitted with a special micro-filter patch, allowing some gas exchange but inhibiting moisture loss and competing organisms.
Each species of mushroom is a different growing experience. Even if you have grown mushrooms before, please read the instructions carefully before proceeding. If you run into any problems please see our FAQ.
Step 1: Mycelium Check
Inside of this box, mycelium has has been happily breaking down the organic growing medium and converting it into energy.
Open the box and remove the bag of reishi mycelium and growing medium from the box. DO NOT OPEN THE BAG but instead inspect the block through the bag to determine what stage the mycelium is at.
What colour is it?
Brown or brown & white =
needs more time in a warm / dark location
Almost entirely white =
Ready to move on to step 2
Yellow & red patches =
Ready to move on to step 2
If your mycelium needs more time to develop, return it to the box and place it in a warm location - over 15°C and NO MORE THAN 25°C. Check it once a week until it is almost completely covered with dense white mycelium.
Note that red and /or yellow patches are normal characteristics for mature Reishi mycelium.
If you are not ready to move on to step 2 but your block is, you can store it in the fridge for up to a month.
Step 2: Initiating Fruiting
Cut open the top of the bag just under the seal along the top edge. Be careful to maintain its sterile environment as much as possible. WITHOUT BREATHING INTO THE BAG, inflate the bag to create space for your mushrooms to grow and carefully reseal the top edge using sellotape.
Step 3: Finding an Ideal Location
Reishi is a slow-growing mushroom producing one crop per year. It grows best when it is warm, out of direct sunlight and located somewhere where it will remain undisturbed. Your Reishi will grow inside the fruiting bag which is fitted with a special microfilter patch, allowing some gas exchange but inhibiting moisture loss and interference from competing organisms.
Find a spot in your house with indirect sunlight where your reishi can remain undisturbed for a long period of time. A temperature reading between 16°C-27°C is ideal.
We recommend placing your block in the box to keep it upright. This will decrease the chance that it will fall over.
Placing your block upright in your box will decrease the chance that it will be disturbed while growing.
Step 4: Growing
Over the coming months, your mushrooms will begin to grow from the top of the growing medium inside the bag. As they grow, the mushrooms will search for any available oxygen and form an 'antler' formation. Your mushrooms may also climb up the sides of the bag, so be careful not to disturb it. Disturbing the bag can result in it aborting the growth of your first mushrooms and needing to start again. Want to try an alternative to growing your Reishi in the bag? See our FAQ for a solution that will give your mushroom more room to grow!
As your mushrooms grow, you will likely notice small patches of competing organisms (usually green) on the surface of your block. This is because non-sterile air has entered the bag when it was inflated. It will not affect the growth, health or quality of your mushrooms and can be cleaned off after harvest.
Once the reishi has climbed 10-20cm tall you can cut the top of the bag off to expose them to the fresh air and help them form bracket, or you can leave them sealed inside the bag to maintain the antler formation (be aware that if you leave the mushrooms in the sealed bag, they may punch through the filter patch or through the top of the bag. This is not a problem, but you will have to follow the instructions below to prevent spores getting all over your house!)
If you choose to cut open the top of the bag, brackets will begin to form at the ends of 'antlers'. With the bag now open you will need to add water to your reishi block to maintain a humid growing environment.. Try to keep 2cm of water in the bottom of the bag at all times. At this time your reish should be moved to a location where its spores will not be easily breathed in. This is best practice as breathing in large volumes of spores can be hazardous to your health.
Brackets have formed on the end of the antlers.
Reishi mushroom growing through the filter patch
Step 5: When to Harvest
As the brackets grow, their rims will turn white. Once the rims have turned from white to orange and finally to red, the mushrooms are ready to harvest!
The edges of the mushroom are still white. It is still growing bigger.
The edges of the mushroom have turned red. This means it has stopped growing and is ready to harvest.
Step 6: Harvest
When your Reishi are ready to harvest, carefully cut away all of the plastic bag.
Remove the fruiting bodies from the block of growing medium.
Step 7: How to Prepare your Mushrooms
Fresh reishi are very tough, which means eating them directly is impractical. You can chop up fresh Reishi mushroom and boil in water for 20-30 minutes to make a tea to extract its medicinal compounds or prepare your own tincture.
Step 8: What to do with your kit when it's finished 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, discard the bag in the general waste. You can now recycle the box and additional packaging and compost the block. Alternately, plant it 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.
We hope you've enjoyed growing your Reishi 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!