Propagating Store-Bought King Oyster Mushrooms

As the garden is winding down, I’m finally getting time to play with mushrooms. Last winter, I successfully grew oyster mushrooms from a pre-made Back to the Roots kit, then successfully propagated the mycelium to harvest another flush. This year, I’m putting more time into propagating store bought mushrooms.

Here is one of my all time favorite mushrooms: the king oyster. I prefer to purchase Korean brand mushrooms because it’s a safer bet that these were packed and handled in a sterile environment. You also get a nice chunk of the original growing medium which is chock full of living mycelium. I’ve seen other people cut up the entire mushroom into medallions to propagate. You can, but I think it’s such a waste, I’d still want to eat the rest of the shroom! Sometimes, I’ll spot patches of mycelium along the top caps, which can be sliced off for propagation.

The next step is to layer these chucks of mycelium in between some cardboard or thick pulpy paper like substance. (In my case, I ripped up some berry cartons and sterilized with hot water.) Wrap the entire sandwich in plastic wrap of a ziplock bag and leave in a warmish place devoid of direct sun. If the mycelium takes to its new home, you’ll notice within 48hours; the fuzz will spread like wild fire. Don’t open it to check or you risk mold exposure, just let it do its thing. If your setup didn’t work, it will very obviously start rotting and become smelly.

I’m stoked that my experiment to propagate this king oyster mushroom mycelium worked! And now…I got to transfer this to an appropriate growth medium.

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