Unlike plants that grow from seeds, fungi propagate by dispersing spores, which develop into new fungal growths, from which new shrooms will eventually grow. If you plan to start your own mushroom culture, you first need spores. You can purchase them from various strains, but you can also harvest them yourself if you can access fresh mushrooms. Spores can remain viable for many months (years, in some cases!) if you know what you are doing.
Things you need to collect mushroom spores:
- mature mushrooms
- white paper (it can be of different types, from wax paper to photo paper or cardboard)
- knife (optional)
- water droplets
- cup, bowl, or another container
- Cut out the stem. As you do this, ensure you do not shake the cap, which will cause the mushroom to release spores.
- Place the cap on the paper with the lamellae facing down.
- Add a drop of water to the cap, as this will encourage it to release the spores. Gently cover the cap with a bowl, cup, or another container that is large enough (as it must not touch the cap). This way, the spore-releasing process will not be disturbed by air movements.
- Leave the cap there for 24 hours. Some fungi will release their spores within just a few hours, but it is advisable to give them more time to ensure that most, if not all, of the spores, are released.
- Collect the spores and store them safely in a dry place.
If you want an easier way to collect spores for research, the recommended best place to buy psilocybe cubensis spores is from Shaman Mushroom.