How to grow psilocybin mushrooms

This is a procedure that I have used successfully. I cannot say that it is the only way, the best way, or even that every aspect of this technique is individually necessary or effective. I just know that it works very well.


By contributing this, I do not mean to condone or encourage the use of these shrooms for recreation, 'enlightenment' or other foggy goal of mind expansion, the thrill of a dare, or any other such purpose. My strong recommendation is this: Absolutely never consume this or any other strongly psychoactive substance before the age of 20. Your brain is still forming until the late teens and beyond, and it's a real bad idea to do things that might fuck with that process. Resist the temptation to experiment until you're are about 25 or so. By then your psyche should be stable enough. On the other hand, by that time you will hopefully have developed a life that is sufficiently full and meaningful to make playing potentially disruptive games with your brain, mind and personality seem rather silly.

What you need:

  • Either an active growing culture or a spore print. An active culture can be taken from a medium in which mushrooms are already growing. Take care not to let it dry out or die. A spore print is made by placing a freshly picked, fully-opened mushroom canopy bottom-side down on a piece of porous paper (like laboratory filter paper or coffee filter paper) and letting it set overnight. The spores will drop out onto the paper, leaving a neat purplish print on the paper. The purple color is the best indication that you actually have a psilocybin mushroom. (Fresh shrooms will also turn purple where bruised.)
  • A container; try a Mason jar to start with
  • A growth medium: some freshly cooked rice works very well (real rice, not Minute Rice)
  • A suitable growing location

What you do:

  1. Sterilize the growing container by boiling it along with its lid in water for at least 15 minutes in a covered pot. Let it cool, still covered, and then drain the water out and put the lid on the jar to keep it clean.
  2. Cook the rice. (If you don't have a rice cooker, put equal parts rice and water in a pot, cover it and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook until nearly all of the water is gone. Remove from heat and let cool with the cover in place.)
  3. Fill the mason jar about half to two-thirds full with the cooked rice. Use clean utensils to handle the rice and minimize exposure to the open air.
  4. Place a chunk of active mushroom culture on the rice in the middle. (If you're using a spore print, make sure you place the side that has the spores on it downward and push it gently into the rice. You can just leave it there for a day or two, but it should work even if you remove the spore paper after pressing it into the rice.) Then cover the jar loosely with the lid. You don't want to seal it tight, just enough to keep contaminating dust and bugs out.
  5. Put your growing container in a warm place that gets a lot of light. I used a garage closet that had a fluorescent light fixture that was kept on. Daylight is fine, the more the better, but direct sunshine is not good. A shaded window sill is a good location.

Note that the emphasis on cleanliness in this procedure is essential to success. The rice medium makes a wonderful growing place for all kinds of mean and nasty fungi, yeasts, and bacteria.

That's it. Now you just wait to see if the culture takes and mushrooms form. Depending on the growing conditions (temperature, light, contamination by other organisms, etc.), you will notice signs of fibrous growth in the rice after a week or so. It's hard to see, because the mushroom fibers and the rice are both white, but once the culture is well-established, it will be quite evident along the sides of the jar.

When the fibrous growth has reached a certain saturation in the rice medium, the mushrooms will start to form at the top surface, or even along the sides between the rice and the jar. Once this begins, the growth is rapid and the shrooms may be four inches or so long after another week. You can remove the lid, but take care that the culture doesn't dry out.