Why does my Lion's Mane Mushroom Look Weird?
Lion's Mane Growth Patterns
Does your Lion's Mane mushroom look different than you expected? Every Lion’s Mane mushroom grows in its own unique way, so some variation in growth pattern is to be expected. And don't worry, even if your mushroom is a bit funny looking it will still be perfectly safe to eat and retain all of its medicinal properties. You can read more about unusual-looking mushrooms and whether they're edible HERE. While some variation in growth pattern is to be expected in Lion's Mane, an unusual or coral-like growth pattern may indicate too much humidity and not enough access to oxygen.
Lion's Mane Mushrooms can grow in a wide variety of patterns and shapes:
A coral-like growth pattern can be a sign of too much humidity and not enough airflow and access to oxygen:
A mushroom with a coral-like growth pattern is usually a sign of too much humidity and not enough airflow. High levels of Co2 and not enough oxygen can cause strange growth patterns that often form coral-like structures.
To address this problem, you need to make sure that your mushroom is not getting too moist and that it has some access to oxygen. If you're using a Fat Fox Mushrooms Lion's Mane Growing Kit, make sure that you have positioned the humidity tent correctly. It should be draped loosely over the front of the box, with enough room for the mushroom to grow and for some air to flow through the bottom and/or sides. You may also want to remove the humidity tent several times a week to aid in air exchange. You will also want to cut back to remoistening the tent once every 2 weeks and being sure to only spray water into the bottom of the humidity tent. Never spray your mushrooms directly.
A telltale sign that your mushroom has been getting too much humidity is if your box has become damp, sodden or begun to develop green mould. If this is the case, please see this article about fruiting your mushroom directly from the bag.
While changing the way you care for your kit may not have an effect on the growth pattern of the parts of the mushroom that have already grown, you may notice new growth will develop in a more 'classic' way. If your mushroom is almost ready to harvest, you will probably notice a change the growth pattern of your next flush.
New 'normal' growth may develop once the humidity problem has be solved, but often it makes the most sense to harvest and wait for the next flush.