The 5 Easiest Mushrooms to Grow

Growing mushrooms at home has become popular, and it’s easy to see why. But is it easy to grow your own mushrooms at home? The answer is yes!

Mushrooms produce a high yield and can grow in small spaces, making them one of the easiest and most lucrative crops for even beginner growers.

There are many types of mushrooms that can be grown at home, and some species are easier to grow than others.

On top of that, there are also a few growing methods that are so easy they require very little effort (or expertise) at all. Today, we’re sharing our advice on the easiest mushrooms to grow. Let’s dive in! 

Three Reasons You Should Grow Mushrooms

1. Mushrooms Are Easy to Grow

It’s easy to fall down a mycology rabbit hole, but the truth is that mushrooms can even be grown by beginners. 

There’s no need to feel intimidated by unfamiliar techniques or terminology (inoculating substrates, anyone?). Getting started with mushrooms is far more fun than you might think.

2. Mushrooms Require Very Little Space

Whether you’re in a house or an apartment, there’s enough space in any home to grow mushrooms. 

You can grow mushrooms in your own home by creating a Low Tech Mushroom Farm or by growing them in outdoor garden beds, depending on the variety.

3. Mushrooms Are Profitable

Mushrooms grow quickly and densely, and with relatively little effort required to tend to them.

Let’s say you have about 32 feet (10 metres) to dedicate to your mushroom setup and around 10 hours of spare time to spend farming. You could yield at least 22lbs (10kg) of oyster mushrooms every single week.

You could be growing a load of mushrooms in the amount of time most people spend watching TV each week!

What Are the Easiest Mushrooms to Grow?

The easiest mushrooms to grow are:

  1. Oyster mushrooms
  2. Shiitake mushrooms
  3. Wine cap mushrooms
  4. Pioppino mushrooms
  5. Lion’s mane mushrooms

Let’s take a look at what makes these mushrooms so easy to grow:

1. Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are by far the best mushrooms to grow at home for beginners. They come in many varieties, including pearl oysters, king oysters, and strikingly colorful pink, blue, and golden oysters.

(They’re also the variety you can grow using our GroCycle Mushroom Kit!) 

What Makes Oyster Mushrooms so Easy to Grow?

Oyster mushrooms are the easiest mushrooms to grow since they love all different types of substrates, including coffee grounds, which you can usually source for free from a local cafe.

They also grow incredibly fast with very little effort required on your part and are very hardy against competing microorganisms, such as blue or green mould.

What Are the Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms?

Some of the benefits of the oyster mushroom include:

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for Oyster Mushrooms?

The ideal growing conditions for oyster mushrooms are as follows:

  • Season: Year-round indoors
  • Location: For the beginner or at-home mushroom farmer, any indoor growing chamber will do. 
  • Humidity: 80 – 95% Relative humidity or spray at least twice a day with water.
  • Temperature: 10-30C (60-86F). Ideal temperatures vary between varieties, but the hardy oyster mushroom will tolerate a good range of temperatures.
  • Light: Low amounts of indirect light

If you’re in the UK, you can pick up some Oyster mushroom spawn in our shop.

Check out our article about how to grow Oyster mushrooms for an in-depth growing guide.

Shiitake Mushrooms

2. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are traditionally very popular in Asian cuisine and have become increasingly common now all over the world due to their delicious taste and long shelf life.

They’re also considered to be medicinal mushrooms and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

What Makes Shiitake Mushrooms so Easy to Grow?

Shiitake mushrooms are easy to grow thanks to their ability to be grown both indoors and outdoors, making them ideal for different set-ups.

If you have room outdoors, they can be grown on logs kept in a shady place and will continue to fruit for years after their first flush. This method is the easiest way to grow shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitake is most commonly grown on sterilized supplemented sawdust when grown indoors, however there are some Shiitake strains that can also be grown on pasteurized straw, which is the easiest method for beginners growing Shiitake indoors.

What are the Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms?

Some of the benefits of the shiitake mushroom include:

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for Shiitake Mushrooms?

The ideal growing conditions for shiitake mushrooms are as follows:

  • Season: Year-round indoors. Outdoor logs produce the best bounty in the Summer – Autumn months.
  • Location: Inside an indoor fruiting chamber, or in a shady outdoor spot for logs.
  • Humidity: 80 – 90% Relative humidity. Water logs once or twice a week, or mist bags with water several times each day if growing indoors
  • Temperature: 7-21C (45-70F)
  • Light: Indirect light.

If you’re in the UK, you can pick up some Shiitake spawn in our shop.

Check out our in-depth guide on Growing Shiitake Mushrooms for more info.

3. Wine Cap Mushrooms

Unlike tree mushrooms like oysters, wine caps grow in the ground. This makes them ideal for growing in outdoor garden beds.

Also know as King Stropharia or the garden giant, they’re commonly used in permaculture systems as they rapidly break down organic matter and kill soil-based pathogens in garden beds.

What Makes Wine Cap Mushrooms so Easy to Grow?

Wine cap mushrooms are easy to grow thanks to their hardy love of the outdoors.

They spread fast and are aggressive growers, so you’ll get a big return on your growing efforts.

They will grow on a wide range of substrates, including wood chips, sawdust, straw, and leaf litter which makes them perfect for creating a bed in your garden made with a range of different substrate materials.

What are the Benefits of Wine Cap Mushrooms?

Some of the benefits of the wine cap mushroom include:

  • Builds rich soil in the garden
  • High source of fibre
  • Higher Vitamin D due to outdoor growing conditions
  • Favourable, mild taste

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for Wine Cap Mushrooms?

The ideal growing conditions for wine cap mushrooms are as follows:

  • Season: Autumn and Spring
  • Location: Outdoors in a partially-shaded garden bed
  • Humidity: Maintain moisture using straw or hardwood chips as substrate, planting in a shaded area, and lightly watering regularly.
  • Temperature: Above 10C (50F)
  • Light: Sunny with partial shade. A sunnier area will require more frequent watering to maintain moisture.

If you’re in the UK, you can pick up some King stropharia spawn in our shop.

Check out our guide on growing Wine cap mushrooms in outdoor mushroom beds for more info.

4. Pioppino Mushrooms

Also known as the black poplar mushroom, Pioppino is fast becoming a popular mushroom to grow due to the unique shape and texture, which has made it a popular variety with chefs.

It is native to southern Europe where is often foraged in the wild and found growing close to poplar trees.

What Makes Pioppino Mushrooms so Easy to Grow?

Pioppino mushrooms are easy to grow thanks to the fact that they can be grown on pasteurized straw indoors or in wood chip or straw outdoor mushroom beds.

If growing indoors, you’ll get best results in lower temperatures below 15C (59F) and high humidity. As this can be a little more difficult to create without a dedicated controlled growing environment, we recommend the easiest way to grow Pioppino is in outdoor beds made of wood chip or straw.

When grown like this, you can just inoculated a bed or patch with Pioppino spawn and wait for it to fruit in the autumn when conditions are optimal.

What are the Benefits of Pioppino Mushrooms?

Some of the benefits of the Pioppino mushroom include:

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for Pioppino Mushrooms?

The ideal growing conditions for Pioppino mushrooms are as follows:

  • Season: Autumn fruiting outdoors, or year-round indoors
  • Location: Inside an indoor grow chamber or outdoor mushroom bed
  • Humidity: Keep humidity high by spraying with water every day
  • Temperature: Ideally 8-16C (46-60F)
  • Light: Can grow in low light, but indirect light is fine

If you’re in the UK, you can pick up some Piopinno grain spawn in our shop.

5. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

It’s no secret where this mushroom got its name—the fruit looks just like a shaggy lion’s mane!

The Lion’s Mane mushroom has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years thanks to its health properties. It’s an adaptogen often used to boost cognitive abilities.

What Makes Lion’s Mane Mushrooms so Easy to Grow?

Lion’s mane is one of the easiest mushrooms to grow thanks to its ability to grow fast and fruit easily without being too fussy.

It grows large round individual mushrooms out of small holes cut in the growing bag and it does well at room temperature, which reduces the need for vigilant temperature control.

What are the Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Some of the benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms include:

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

The ideal growing conditions for Lion’s Mane are as follows:

  • Season: Year-round indoors
  • Location: Inside any fruiting chamber
  • Humidity: Mist several times a day to ensure high humidity.
  • Temperature: 15-20C (59-68F)
  • Light: Grows best in a shaded area away from direct sunlight.

How to Grow Mushrooms the Easy Way

We’re going to focus on the easiest options for choosing and growing mushrooms, because why make more work for yourself than you have to?

Where Can I Grow Mushrooms?

There are many possibilities for your Low Tech Mushroom Farm, and there’s bound to be one to suit your space. Yes, even in an apartment!

We go over the different options in this guide on How To Set Up A Low Tech Mushroom Farm. Here are a few ideas:

  • In a basement
  • In a spare room of your house
  • Inside a shipping container
  • In a garage
  • In your garden
  • In a woodland area

You can even get creative with what you grow them in, like a converted bookshelf, a repurposed bucket, or an old laundry basket! The mushrooms listed in this guide can be grown in bags, on logs, in a regular garden bed, or even in jars, depending on the type. 

Learn more about how to grow mushrooms the easy way with a Low Tech Mushroom Farm.

What Do I Need to Grow Mushrooms?

Take a look at different fruiting chambers in this guide on How to Build a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber: 7 Steps.

What you need to grow mushrooms will depend on the method and mushrooms you choose. 

Generally, you’ll want to get your hands on the following supplies:

  • A fruiting chamber, or supplies to create one
  • Shelves for your grow room if you want to make more efficient use of the space
  • Substrate (read about different options in our Complete Guide to Mushroom Substrates)
  • Mushroom spawn— you can also buy pre-innoculated substrate to save time
  • Your chosen growing vessel, such as bags, logs, jars, garden beds, or something reused like an old bucket

Don’t forget to consider the different conditions you’ll need, such as light, temperature, and humidity.

Oyster Mushrooms growing from coffee grounds - GroCycle Mushroom Kits

What is the Easiest Way to Grow Mushrooms?

The easiest way to grow mushrooms is using a ready-to-grow mushroom kit. These don’t require any extra supplies or special place, as they’re pre-inoculated and ready to fruit.

Plus, they can live right on your kitchen bench!

If you’re feeling a little more confident, you can try another easy method: growing oyster mushrooms on pellets made from straw or sawdust.

You will need:

  • Straw or sawdust pellets, or chopped straw
  • Oyster mushroom spawn
  • Grow bags
  • A large container for mixing your substrate
  • Scissors
  • A spray bottle filled with water

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. In a container, soak the substrate in cold water, cover, and leave for 30 minutes, or until the substrate has soaked up the water. A ratio of 1:1.5 pellets to water is ideal.
  2. Once the water has been absorbed, sprinkle your mushroom spawn over the top. You want to add 10% spawn for the amount of substrate you’re using. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Fill the bags two thirds full with your spawn and substrate mixture. The gap will allow for air exchange to allow the mycelium to grow. If you’re using chopped straw (not pellets), you can fill the bag all the way to the top.
  4. Seal the bag and leave in a warm space of about 20-24 F, or 68-75F, for two to three weeks. 
  5. After two to three weeks, your bag should look bright white, as it’s now completely colonised with mycelium and ready to start fruiting. Cut a cross in the side with scissors and tape down the top of the bag so there’s no space in the top. Pull back the flaps from the area you’ve just cut open and spray liberally with water.
  6. Leave the bag on a warm, light windowsill and spray with water two to three times a day. 
  7. Your mushrooms will be ready to harvest in about two weeks! The caps should be fully opened but not completely flattened yet. Simply twist to detach from the bag.

Watch our video on the easiest way to grow mushrooms at home for a practical demonstration:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does the Mushroom Growing Process Involve?

The mushroom growing process involves tending to the life cycle of a mushroom from spawn to fruit.

Mushroom life cycle

To make things easier, you can buy spawn rather than trying to produce it yourself. This means you simply have to fill your bags or bed with inoculated substrate, cut air slits, water accordingly, and harvest the mushrooms as they fruit.

Which Mushrooms are the Easiest to Grow, but the Most Profitable?

The easiest mushrooms to grow that are also the most profitable are shiitake and oyster.

While you may feel tempted to grow more valuable and challenging varieties, you have to understand that these will require more time and resources.

You might make more money at the market, but ultimately lose money due to the extra time and resources required to produce them.

Make sure to look into the demand for certain mushroom varieties in your area. Is there a demand for the mushrooms you want to sell? 

Better yet, is there a gap in the market for a certain kind of mushroom? 

Which Mushrooms Grow the Fastest?

The fastest-growing mushrooms are oyster mushrooms

Substrate bags will become fully colonised by mycelium in just 10-14 days.

Oyster mushrooms will then be ready to harvest 7 days after fruiting.

And once harvested, new crops will appear every 7-14 days!

Which Mushrooms Should I Grow?

You should grow the mushrooms that are easiest or most useful for you depending on your growing space, time, resources, and needs.

Are you growing mushrooms for their culinary uses and health benefits? Choose a variety that appeals to you. 

Want to turn a profit? Opt for mushrooms that produce a high yield in a short growing time, like oysters or shiitake.

If you’re new to growing mushrooms, we recommend starting out with oysters and trying new varieties once you’ve got the hang of things.

Final Thoughts

The most difficult-to-grow mushrooms or most complicated growing methods aren’t necessarily the best. 

As you can see, you can grow tasty, health-promoting, valuable mushrooms using easy home set-ups.

Some of the simplest to grow are also the healthiest and most profitable.

Ultimately, the easiest mushrooms for you to grow are going to depend on your skills and resources. Take a look at our overview of growing mushrooms indoors here to get a better understanding of the best choice for you.