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Can You Grow Mushrooms from Dried Mushrooms? (Explained)

Mushrooms are a very delicious choice of food. They are both tasty and healthy. However, they are quite expensive as well. And as such, one must wonder if they can grow mushrooms at home or grow mushrooms using store-bought dried mushrooms.

Let’s take a look and find out ourselves.

Can you grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms?

On paper, dried mushrooms may be grown into mushrooms. In fact, though, it is a challenging task. It isn’t easy to get spores since most dried mushrooms are subjected to high heat during the drying process. However, if the mushrooms are naturally dried, they can be grown into mushrooms.

Although it is difficult, you can actually grow new mushrooms from dried or dehydrated mushroom caps. However, due to exposure to high heat, most of the spores in dried mushrooms are lifeless. That is why it is difficult to grow new mushrooms from them.

Mushrooms are a type of fungi that is why they do not reproduce like plants. Mushrooms rather reproduce using spores. That is why spores are important for mushroom reproduction.

In dried or dehydrated mushrooms, spores are low as most of them lose their life during the dehydration process. That is why it is tough to grow new mushrooms using them. However, you can use some ways to collect or harvest some spores from dried or dehydrated mushrooms.

Can you get spores from dried/dehydrated store-bought mushrooms?

Mushrooms produce tiny spores for reproduction. The number of spores that a mushroom has reaches millions. And as such, getting spores from mushrooms is not that hard. However, dried or dehydrated store-bought mushrooms are a different story.

It is very hard to get spores from dried mushrooms. Most dried mushrooms go through high-temperature treatment for several days during the dehydration process. During this process, most of the spores lose life.

Dried mushrooms usually go through high heat around 120 or 130 °F. This temperature hurts most of the spores. However, if the mushrooms are dehydrated naturally using sunlight and air, then the spores might survive.

In such a case, you can still get spores from such dried mushrooms.

If the dried mushrooms are dehydrated using a modern dehydrator machine, you will not get any spores from them. So make sure to check how the mushrooms are dried when buying them.

Can you make spore print dried mushrooms?

Mushrooms are a very unique form of life found in nature. These amazing life forms reproduce through spores. Many people use this phenomenon and make spore prints.

If you plan to get spore prints from dried mushrooms, there’s bad news for you because you can not get spore prints from dried mushrooms. Even if you can, the print will not be good enough as they will have very few spores.

For proper spore prints, you will need live mushrooms. Only healthy mushrooms can make good spore prints. Dried mushrooms drop very few spores. That is why they are not suitable for spore prints.

How to grow mushrooms from dried mushrooms?

Mushrooms come in different varieties and tastes. However, they can be quite expensive. That is why some people prefer to grow their mushrooms.

The best way to grow mushrooms is by propagating them from cultures or spore prints. However, if you can not find either, you may use dried store-bought mushrooms. In that case, you can either collect or harvest spores from them.

Collecting spores from dried mushrooms:

Collecting mushroom spores from dried mushrooms is not that much different from collecting them from fresh mushrooms. Note that the yield of spores will be much lower for dried mushrooms than fresh mushrooms.

  • At first, gather all the necessary equipment. You will need dried mushrooms, a laminated card, a plastic bowl, and water.
  • Now, soak the dried mushrooms in the water and keep them for a while to rehydrate them. This process might take some time.
  • Once the mushrooms are rehydrated, cut the stems and place the mushroom caps facing the gills down on the laminated card.
  • Cover the cap using the bowl and keep it there for few hours. During this time, make sure to keep the whole thing in a dark room. After few hours, lift the bowl and the mushroom cap.

There will be some marks on the laminated card. These are the spores.

Harvesting spores from dried mushrooms:

Harvesting spores from dried mushrooms and collecting them have similar procedures. But harvesting spores from the dried mushrooms is a difficult process. Often they get contaminated and ruined by mold.

You can harvest dried mushrooms using the following steps:

  • At first, you need to collect all the necessary materials for the project. You will need agar, dried mushrooms, water, some jars, and tissues.
  • You need to scrape all the stems from the dried mushrooms. Then put them in the water to rehydrate for an hour or two. Once rehydrated, they are ready.
  • Cut the mushroom caps into small pieces, put them in agar solution, and keep them in the dark place for a few days. After that, take them out, and you can separate the healthy spores from the contaminated ones.
  • After separating the spores, put them on a nutrient medium and place them in a dark place for few weeks. It should start the mushrooms colony.

How to preserve mushroom spores?

If you are planning to grow fresh mushrooms yourself, then you must need to preserve the spores at some point. This particular job while growing mushrooms is tedious and tough. However, there are some tricks that you can follow to ease this process.

There are a few tips below that you can follow to preserve your mushroom spores:

Cleaned surface:

While collecting the spore, make sure the surface you are using is properly cleaned. A dirty surface may contaminate the spores, which will ruin them in a short time. 

Cold condition:

Another important task is to keep the spores dry. Water is the worst enemy of mushroom spores. So make sure the spores are completely dried and sealed up.

Keep the spores dry:

Mushroom spores live best when you store them in a cold condition. That is why try to preserve them somewhere cold. The best way to do this is to refrigerate them.

Dark place:

When storing the mushroom spores, make sure they are in a dark place. Naturally, mushroom spores live longer when kept in the dark.

How long do dried mushroom spores last?

When it comes to spore dropping, dried mushrooms are not your best choice. They don’t drop many spores. However, they do drop some spores, which you can make into spawn if you are lucky.

Mushrooms propagate or reproduce through spores. These are very important for their survival, and as such, spores have stronger life. That is why even when they are dry, mushroom spores last quite a long time.

Dried mushroom spores last anywhere between 8 to 12 months. However, some speculations say that dried mushroom spores last around 2 to 5 years.

So, you can get new mushrooms from dried mushroom spores. For this, you need to make sure they are well rehydrated and placed in the germination medium.

What temperature harms mushroom spores?

Mushroom spores can live for some time in high heat. They can survive in hot summer conditions. But there’s still a limit to which they can withstand heat.

As mushrooms are microbial organisms, mushroom spores have high heat resistance. However, they tend to get dired at around 100 °F to 122 °F. Below this temperature is the limit that most mushroom spores can withstand.

However, there are some mushrooms whose spores can survive even higher temperatures. They can withstand around 130 °F.

How do you rehydrate dried mushroom spores?

Dried mushrooms are a good option to store and preserve mushrooms for a longer time. These mushrooms have their unique taste and can be cooked at any time. All you need to do is to rehydrate them.

Rehydrating dried mushroom spores is an easy task. All you need is the dried mushrooms, a bowl, and some water. These are all the stuff you will need to rehydrate dried mushrooms.

At first, put the mushrooms in a bowl, then boil some water. Once the water is boiling, carefully pour it into the bowl. Now let the mushrooms soak in hot water for around 15 to 20 minutes.

If you want mushroom spores, use water at room temperature instead of boiling water. Then strain the water using a strainer. And now the mushrooms are rehydrated.

Final Thoughts:

You may produce fresh mushrooms from dried or dehydrated mushrooms. However, the procedure of making new mushrooms from dried mushrooms is difficult, and the success rate is low. Mould contamination is also a significant issue when producing fresh mushrooms from dried mushrooms.