How to Grow Hydroponic Mushrooms

Two Methods:Grow Hydroponic Mushrooms Using a Mushroom Growing KitGrow Hydroponic Mushrooms without a Mushroom Kit

Mushrooms can be cultivated hydroponically as fungi. Essentially, growing your own mushrooms hydroponically means that you are using water or other growing mediums instead of soil to cultivate your crop. Hydroponic mushrooms grow quickly and are quite tasty. This article describes two methods of growing hydroponic mushrooms.

Method 1
Grow Hydroponic Mushrooms Using a Mushroom Growing Kit

  1. 1
    Purchase a mushroom growing kit from your local gardening supply store. Kits are blocks of compressed sawdust that have been saturated with mushroom seeds.
  2. 2
    Immerse the mushroom block in a container of cold water. Make sure it is completely immersed; allow several inches of water to cover the top of the block.
  3. 3
    Allow the block to soak for several hours. The mushroom block has to be thoroughly saturated.
  4. 4
    Place the container in a dark, cool spot. The temperature should range between 60ºF and 75ºF (15.6ºC to 23.8ºC).
  5. 5
    Harvest your crop of mushrooms. Most hydroponic mushrooms are ready for harvesting in 3 to 5 days.
  6. 6
    Let the sawdust block rest for a week and then repeat the process. Immerse the block in cold water and allow it to get thoroughly saturated before you place it in a dark, cool spot.
  7. 7
    Reuse the sawdust block each week until you are no longer getting a good harvest. The number of times you can reuse your block will depend on how much time it takes for the nutrients to become depleted.
  8. 8
    Toss the sawdust block in your compost pile when it no longer produces mushrooms. You can then start the process over with a new mushroom kit.

Method 2
Grow Hydroponic Mushrooms without a Mushroom Kit

  1. 1
    Start your mushrooms with fresh mushrooms or mushroom spores. Both can be purchased online or at your local gardening center. These are needed to grow mycelium (fungus). If desired, you can simply purchase liquid mycelium to start the process.
  2. 2
    Place small pieces of mushroom, spores or cultures on a sterile Petri dish, which allows the mycelium to grow. The mycelium has to grow until it is strong enough to support a mushroom reproductive cycle.
  3. 3
    Allow the fungus to grow in the Petri dish. This will most likely take several weeks.
  4. 4
    Transfer the fungus to a tightly packed, sterilized grain, such as wheat or rye. It will take up to 4 weeks for the mushrooms to colonize the grain.
  5. 5
    Start harvesting your mushrooms when they have begun to grow on the grain. Check on their progress every few days once they have colonized the grain.
  6. 6
    Use your grain seeds to grow more grain. You can then use that grain for your next batch of mushroom spores.


  • Experiment with different varieties; among the most popular hydroponic mushrooms are, shiitake, button, lion's mane and cinnamon cap.
  • Most basements are ideal for growing hydroponic mushrooms.
  • Mushrooms grow much faster in cold water; don’t use tepid water to soak them.
  • If you purchase liquid mycelium flasks, store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.


  • Your mushrooms won’t grow unless they are placed in a dark spot. If necessary, use room-darkening shades to protect the mushrooms from light.
  • Don’t use chlorinated water to soak your mushroom block. If your tap water is chlorinated, you can fill a container with the tap water and let it sit for 24 hours so that the chlorine will dissipate.
  • Mushrooms can be contaminated with bacteria and other molds. Be sure to cultivate your hydroponic mushrooms in a sterile environment.

Things You’ll Need

  • Mushroom kit
  • Square container (large enough to contain the mushroom kit block)
  • Grain
  • Mushroom pieces, spores or mycelium

Sources and Citations

  • Charles E. Sherman and Hap Brenizer, Hydro-Story, The Complete Manual of Hydroponic Gardening at Home, (Berkeley, Ca: Nolo Press, 1976)

Article Info

Categories: Growing Vegetables