Home » Mushroom Cultivation » WHAT MUSHROOM SPECIES TO GROW


AGARICUS BISPORUS (Button, Cremini, Portobello mushrooms)

The collection of these mushrooms in different stages of their life produces types with different names, even if in reality it’s always the same species. The classic white Champignons or Button mushrooms are harvested at the beginning of their growth, or at most in an intermediate phase. Cremini are also called baby portobello or brown mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms are simply the most mature mushrooms of this genus, have a more apologetic brown color and the hat is more open. These mushrooms also grow wild in grasslands around the world

Benefits for health

These mushrooms have important nutritional values, however lower than other popular species due to their medicinal properties such as Asian reishi or shiitake varieties for example. Some studies have highlighted the presence in Agaricus mushrooms of an enzyme that helps the production of estrogen.


Nutritional values

  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium
  • Vitamins of group B
  • Useful antioxidants such as selenium
  • Fibers
  • Linoleic acid

Antioxidant benefits

Mushrooms of the genus Agaricus provide antioxidant support and have a positive effect on the entire oxidative metabolism. They are rich in minerals such as selenium, zinc and manganese which are all vital for antioxidant enzymes. White button mushrooms are known to strengthen the immune system. They have B vitamins, selenium, potassium and protein, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.



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Preparation and Cooking

White button mushrooms are tasty and easy to cook. They should be rinsed thoroughly and wrapped in paper for storage. In the fridge they can be stored safely for a week, longer than most mushrooms. These mushrooms are very versatile due to their consistency and their delicate flavor, which has made them the most cultivated and marketed mushrooms in the world.

White button mushrooms grow best on a compost substrate and kits are very successful when grown indoors. These will begin to bear fruit within a week or so. They are tasty mushrooms and a good mushroom kit of this species will continue fruiting for over 1 month.


Enoki mushrooms are also called enokitake or winter mushroom. This variety is grown commercially and is found in the wild in clusters that grow on poplar, elm and willow trees. The cultivated Enoki mushroom looks different from the wild ones, in fact wild one are much larger. Color also varies. While when cultivated they appear white with long stems and small hats, in nature they have a more orange / brown color. This is mainly due to their sensitivity to light and carbon dioxide.

Benefits for health

Enoki mushrooms are low in fat and contain proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and are an excellent source of iron and potassium. Japanese and Chinese claim that Enoki mushroom consumption prevents and cures liver disease and stomach ulcers.

Preparation and Cooking

Enoki mushrooms have a mild flavor, they are small and white with tall stems. Commonly sold in bunches, these mushrooms are very popular in Asian cuisine and are added to salads, stir-fried and noodle soups.

Enoki mushroom cultivation

Enoki mushroom caps are an inch or so long and are commercially available in shades ranging from white, light cream, or reddish brown. Enoki mushrooms are fairly simple to grow, needing a humid environment and warm temperatures. Their ideal substrate is made up of sawdust, wood chips and straw.

Sawdust must be sterilized and normally inoculated via liquid cultures by means of a syringe.
Therefore they must be kept in a warm and humid environment. More precisely levels of humidity close to 100%, at a temperature between 22-25 °C (71-77°F). The germination of the mycelium should take place in about 2/4 weeks.
To encourage growth the temperature is lowered to values ​​between 10 and 12 °C (50-53°F)to encourage growth.
Collect your Enoki mushrooms in bunches to protect their delicate structure. The inoculated substrate should be capable of producing several crops.


This mushrooms are edible and very tasty. It has no gills and releases spores from small pores.
Maitake grows in the wild developing at the base of oaks not only in Asia, but also in Europe and America. The hats are made up of sinuous layers that emerge from a large underground tubular structure. The mushroom can measure up to one meter in diameter and weigh up to 20 kg.

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Health benefits and medicinal properties

In Japan, Maitake mushrooms have a long history of use  for medicinal purposes. Commonly to other mushrooms of the same family, it’s rich in polysaccharides that strengthen the immune system. A polysaccharide is a complex carbohydrate made up of smaller sugar molecules that stabilize blood pressure. Specific polysaccharides are believed to stimulate the immune system to counteract high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Preparation and Cooking

Maitake mushrooms can be sautéed, baked, and even used to make a tea considered medicinal. Maitake mushrooms are delicious and although they are highly prized for culinary and medicinal purposes, they are not commercialized in the West.

Grow Maitake mushrooms

These mushrooms can be cultivated but they are certainly not among the simplest species to grow, nor suitable for novice growers. In fact, they are a crop that requires fairly accurate levels of light, temperature and humidity, and this is the main reason why they are not as widespread as they deserve.

To grow they require a substrate with a mixture of sawdust and hardwood shavings at least 50-60%, while the remainder should be a cereal such as rye to combine and a small amount (about 1%) of sugar. The substrate must be mixed in plastic bags with vent holes. Small amounts of calcium and gypsum must be added until the substrate reaches a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5.
The sterilized substrate should be inoculated using a liquid culture. The Maitake are grown indiscriminately in envelopes that on inoculated wooden logs.
The fruiting room should be out of direct sunlight and with good ventilation. The temperature during this last phase should be between 15-21 ° C, with humidity levels maintained between 60-75%.
Step five
Your maitake mushrooms should bear fruit within 3-4 months of harvesting. When harvested, they should have a fresh earthy aroma. If the mushrooms have an unpleasant odor or have released their spores, they are no longer suitable for consumption.



Health benefits and medicinal properties

These mushrooms grow wild on dead oaks, walnuts, beeches and maples in America and Asia.
They are highly valued in Eastern cultures and used in traditional medicine to treat digestive and stomach problems. These mushrooms contain polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system helping to increase its efficiency.

Preparation and Cooking

This mushroom is a delicacy in the East, and has a flavor that is very reminiscent of seafood. They should be cooked over low heat to maintain consistency and flavor. Usually these mushrooms are not spiced very much, but mixed accurately to emphasize and enjoy their characteristic flavor.

Hericium mushrooms cultivation

You can buy grow kits for this mushroom variety in plastic bags for indoor growing. The fruiting room should also be kept humid by spraying it daily, the temperature between 15-22 °C (59-71°F). These characteristic mushrooms should be picked when still firm while the color is clear, before they begin to turn yellow and over mature.Mojo Pro – Lions Mane Mushroom Kit – Ready to Fruit Fungi Growing Kit [More]

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SHIITAKE (Lentinula Edodes)

Shiitakes have a dark brown color and umbrella shape. Their texture is fleshy and they have small white pints on the cap and often real streaks and light spots. Their flavor is tasty and slightly smoky, not too different from the flavor of the boletus, with all due caution. Shiitakes are highly regarded for their savory taste, but also dried for their nutritional and medicinal properties as supplements. After the mushrooms of the genus Agaricus and Pleurotus, they are the third most cultivated mushroom in the world.

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Health benefits and medicinal properties

Shiitake are often referred to as medicinal mushrooms due to their wide use in traditional oriental medicine. These mushrooms are credited with reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, stimulating the immune system and possessing anticancer properties. Shiitake mushrooms are also a rich source of vitamins A-B-B12-C and especially of group D.

Shiitake contains each of the eight essential amino acids that are better assimilated than those found in milk, meat, eggs and soy. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in three key antioxidant minerals: manganese, selenium, and zinc, and some uncommon phyto-nutrient antioxidants.
Their  cardiovascular benefits have been recognized in three key areas including cholesterol reduction, the interaction between our cardiovascular system and our immune system, and cardiovascular benefits involving antioxidant support.

Shiitake mushroom cultivation

You can grow Shiitake mushrooms at home on blocks of sterilized sawdust, rather than inoculating logs to grow in a warm, humid area such as a basement. Growing shiitake on logs seems to give better specimens, while growing in sacks of sawdust substrate creates potentially larger surface areas of fruiting and better yield in these terms.
Shiitake mushroom grow kits are easy to grow indoors at temperatures between 13-24ºC (55-75°F). A kit normally produces multiple crops every few weeks.

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There are numerous mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus available for cultivation with different characteristics and colors. Among these certainly the Pleurotus Eryngii, the Pleurotus Ostreatus and the Pleurotus Pulmonarius are among the most popular. Members of the Pleurotaceae family, all of these varieties can grow wild in clusters on trunks, tree stumps and deciduous tree trunks.

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The native habitat of these mushrooms includes deciduous broadleaf and coniferous trees and can be found in forests all around the world. Considered a delicacy, wild mushrooms taste better than commercially grown ones that are often found in grocery stores. However, their popularity and the ease with which they are produced especially compared to other species, has caused an exponential increase in production.

Health benefits and properties

The mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus are rich in proteins, vitamins of group B, are cholesterol-free and contain significant quantities of lovastatin, a molecule that lowers cholesterol. They have a reputation for being among the easiest mushrooms to grow, and are particularly generous in nutrients that are medically valuable.

Preparation and Cooking

These mushrooms are special when stir-fried, they are not as tasty as shiitake but are still more characteristic of Button and Portobello mushrooms. Unfortunately they are quite fragile and this makes them less commercially present.
Mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus must be cooked before being eaten as they contain a protein that can be toxic when eaten raw.

Grow mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus

These mushrooms thrive in conditions of high humidity and need to be sprayed several times a day if possible. If placed in the right conditions, these mushrooms can be very generous in production and the kits on the market generally bear fruit several times.

The growth medium for these mushrooms can be a mix of moistened sawdust, coffee grounds and straw. This sterilized substrate is placed in perforated plastic bags rather than canvas where it will have to remain in the dark for 1 month or more for the mycelium to multiply and start fruiting.
In commercial production of Pleurotus, they are grown on sterilized straw columns hanging from the ceiling.

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REISHI MUSHROOM (Ganoderma lucidum)


Reishi mushrooms are polypores, without gills. Ganoderma lucidum is available in shades ranging from red, to purplish, green, white, yellow and black. Reishi looks flower-like with the texture of wood.
This mushroom is known as the mushroom of immortality in China where it has a long history of medicinal use dating back over 2000 years. Reishi mushroom grows on hardwoods such as maple, oak and elm all over the world. Reishi falls into the category of saprotrophic fungi, but is also classified as a parasitic fungus.

Health benefits and medicinal properties

Red reishi mushroom is said to have the greatest healing properties. From this, supplements are produced that appear to have numerous health benefits and are useful in the treatment of:

  • Insomnia
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Hypertension
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • High cholesterol



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Reishi mushroom cultivation

Growing these mushrooms requires be meticulous. It’s not overly complicated, as long as you pay attention as usual to temperature and humidity factors. Growing kits for these mushrooms are available and recommended for beginners.
Growing reishi mushrooms indoors can be practiced any time of the year maintaining optimal humidity levels and the  temperature usually below 21 °C (70°F).