Learn how to grow Antler Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum sensu lato) using an indoor grow kit. It’s a super easy way to produce your own medicinal mushrooms at home!
While we selectively forage wild reishi mushrooms from our land, and also grow them on inoculated buried logs down near our creek, we can’t resist buying indoor mushroom grow kits as a fun winter project the whole family enjoys watching.
There are several great reishi grow kits on the market, the one pictured in this article is the Reishi Mushroom Ready-to-Grow Fruiting Block Kit from North Spore. (Use coupon code UNRULYGARDEN when checking out, to receive 10% off your order!)
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Growing Antler Reishi Indoors
Growing your own reishi really couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you do:
After ordering and receiving your kit, find a spot in your home that’s not in direct sunlight, and that has a temperature between 55 and 70 degrees F (12.8 to 21 degrees Celsius).
The mushroom block still needs some ambient light though, so don’t put it in a pitch black cellar or anything like that.
We put ours on a shelf in a bedroom corner that gets indirect lighting from a nearby blind-covered window.
All you have to do after that is wait, and don’t open the bag while it’s growing!
The high CO2 environment of the bag is what helps it grow into antler shapes. It will build up condensation inside the bag, that’s okay and perfectly normal.
Patience is required for reishi, it will take several weeks to start seeing baby “pins”, spots where your mushrooms will grow from. From there, you can let the mushrooms grow for several months, until they start pushing against the bag, or whenever you’re ready to harvest them.
How to Harvest & Dry Your Mushrooms
When you’re ready to harvest, remove the block from the bag. (Compost the bottom fruiting block part as it’s spent and won’t produce more at this point.)
Cut the long antler pieces off from the fruiting block. We use Fiskars Multipurpose Garden Snips to easily cut and chop tough mushrooms like reishi.
You can store these freshly harvested mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge for up to week, but we like to dry and/or process them right away while they’re easiest to work with.
Use the snips to cut the mushroom into small pieces and dehydrate at 110 degrees F (43.3 C) for around 2 to 4 hours, or as long as needed to fully dry.
When they’re completely dry, store in a glass jar (adding a desiccant pack is a good idea) in a cool dry spot, out of direct sunlight.
Using Antler Reishi
Reishi mushrooms are tough and woody and aren’t eaten in a culinary sense; instead they’re renowned for their medicinal properties.
You can add a small bit to broths and tea blends, but the taste can be strong/bitter, so start with an extra light amount and work your way up. Ingesting as a tincture is an easy way to reap the health benefits.
Check out our article:
to learn how to make a tincture and tea from your mushrooms!