How to Collect Oyster Mushroom Spores

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Things You'll Need

  • Knife

  • Dark colored paper

  • Glass cup or bowl

Oyster mushrooms have spores hidden inside the gills on the underside.
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Oyster mushrooms are found in clusters sprouting from dead, and sometimes fallen, trees. They can be spotted from late fall to spring, almost all over the world. The spores of oyster mushrooms are collected for cultivating. Oyster mushrooms are typically eaten in soups and stews because of their subtle, nutty flavor. Growing oyster mushrooms from the spores includes swabbing the spore print with a cotton swab and wiping the spores onto a petri dish for cultivation.


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Step 1

Cut off the stem of the oyster mushroom at the base of the fan-shaped cap. Cut below the white bottom of the cap.

Step 2

Place the oyster mushroom cap on the dark colored paper with the underside down on the paper. This side has the gills that hold the spores.


Step 3

Place the glass cup or bowl over the mushroom cap and place the setup in a cool and dry place for 48 hours.

Step 4

Remove the glass cup or bowl and the mushroom to find a white spore print where the spores have collected on the paper.


The woody stem of oyster mushrooms are not eaten because they are tough. Oyster mushrooms can be dried and stored for up to 24 months in an airtight container. To use dried oyster mushrooms, rehydrate them in warm water until they are plump, without wrinkles. Although oyster mushrooms are typically used in Asian dishes, they can be added to any meal to add meaty texture and flavor.