How To Grow Lobster Mushrooms? [Best Way]

Grow Lobster Mushrooms

Lobster mushrooms are a unique and delicious addition to any meal. These mushrooms are not a specific variety, but rather a result of a parasitic fungus invading another mushroom species. The result is a bright orange to reddish-purple mushroom with no stem, no clearly defined cap, and no gills.

If you’re interested in growing your own lobster mushrooms, you’ll need to start by growing host mushrooms for H. lactifluorum. The host mushrooms will be inoculated with the compost material, which will force them to grow into the desired lobster mushrooms. It’s important to prepare a clean growing area for your mushrooms and maintain optimal soil temperatures for growth, which are between 55 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 15 degrees centigrade).

The growing season for lobster mushrooms is between late July and October. While lobster mushrooms can be expensive to purchase, growing them at home can be a cost-effective way to enjoy this unique delicacy. With the right techniques and conditions, you can successfully grow your own lobster mushrooms and enjoy their delicious flavor in your favorite dishes.

Understanding Lobster Mushrooms

Lobster mushrooms are a type of fungi that are not actually a mushroom species but rather a parasitic fungus that grows on other mushrooms. They are scientifically known as Hypomyces lactifluorum.

Lobster mushrooms are known for their bright orange to reddish-purple color, which resembles the outer shell of a cooked lobster crustacean. They have a solid texture, with no stem, no clearly defined cap, and no gills. Some people say Lobster mushrooms even taste like their namesake, or at least have a seafood-esque flavor.

Lobster mushrooms are not commonly found in grocery stores due to their short season and limited availability. However, they can be grown at home with the right knowledge and techniques.

To grow lobster mushrooms, one needs to start by growing host mushrooms for H. lactifluorum. Then, prepare a clean growing area for your mushrooms and inoculate them with the compost material, which will force them to grow.

Lobster mushrooms are known to harbor a number of benefits. They are known to be very nutritious, and this is because when growing, they feed on other mushrooms, thus getting nutrients from them.

Overall, understanding the nature of lobster mushrooms is crucial before attempting to grow them. With the right techniques and knowledge, one can grow their own lobster mushrooms at home and enjoy their unique taste and nutritional benefits.

Ideal Conditions for Growth

Lobster mushrooms are a unique type of mushroom that require specific growing conditions to thrive. Here are some ideal conditions for growing lobster mushrooms:


Lobster mushrooms grow best in cool and moist environments with good air circulation. The ideal temperature range for the growth of both the host mushroom and the Hypomyces fungus is between 55-65°F (13-18°C).


Lobster mushrooms do not require any light to grow. In fact, they prefer dark environments and can be grown in complete darkness.


Lobster mushrooms are parasites that infect and take over other mushroom species. They require a host mushroom to grow on. The most common host mushrooms for lobster mushrooms are Russula brevipes and Lactarius piperatus.


Lobster mushrooms require high humidity levels to grow. The ideal humidity range is between 90-95%.


Lobster mushrooms can be grown in a variety of soil types, but they prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.


Lobster mushrooms require regular watering to maintain the ideal moisture levels. Overwatering can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi, while underwatering can cause the mushrooms to dry out and die.

By providing these ideal growing conditions, you can successfully grow your own lobster mushrooms at home.

Steps to Cultivate Lobster Mushrooms

Choosing the Right Spores

The first step in growing lobster mushrooms is choosing the right spores. It is important to use a high-quality spore culture or spawn to ensure healthy and vigorous growth. You can purchase spores or spawn from a reputable supplier or obtain them from a mature lobster mushroom that you have harvested yourself.

Preparing the Growing Medium

The next step is preparing the growing medium. Lobster mushrooms grow best in a substrate that is rich in nutrients and has a pH between 6 and 7. You can use a variety of materials for the substrate, including sawdust, straw, or wood chips. It is important to sterilize the substrate to prevent contamination by other microorganisms.

Planting the Spores

Once you have prepared the growing medium, you can plant the spores. You can either inoculate the substrate with a spore syringe or mix the spores with the substrate and then pack the mixture into a container. The container should be covered with a breathable lid to allow for gas exchange.

Maintaining the Environment

Finally, you need to maintain the environment to ensure optimal growth. Lobster mushrooms prefer a cool and humid environment, with temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 80 and 90 percent. You can achieve these conditions by placing the container in a cool and dark place and misting the substrate regularly.

In summary, growing lobster mushrooms requires careful attention to detail and a commitment to providing the optimal growing conditions. By choosing the right spores, preparing the growing medium, planting the spores, and maintaining the environment, you can successfully cultivate these delicious and nutritious mushrooms.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Dealing with Pests

When growing lobster mushrooms, pests can be a major challenge. Some of the common pests that can affect the growth of the mushrooms include slugs, snails, and mites. These pests can feed on the mushrooms and cause damage to the fruiting bodies, leading to stunted growth or death of the mushrooms.

To prevent pest infestations, it is important to maintain good hygiene in the growing area. This includes removing any debris or plant material that can harbor pests. Additionally, physical barriers such as netting or mesh can be used to keep pests out of the growing area. If an infestation does occur, organic pest control methods such as diatomaceous earth or neem oil can be used to eliminate the pests.

Preventing Diseases

Diseases can also be a challenge when growing lobster mushrooms. Some of the common diseases that can affect the mushrooms include fungal infections and bacterial rots. These diseases can cause discoloration, wilting, and death of the mushrooms.

To prevent diseases, it is important to maintain good hygiene in the growing area. This includes sterilizing all equipment and materials used in the growing process. Additionally, it is important to provide proper ventilation and avoid overcrowding the growing area, as this can create conditions that are favorable for disease development.

If a disease does occur, it is important to identify the specific pathogen responsible and take appropriate measures to control its spread. This may include removing infected mushrooms and disposing of them properly, as well as treating the remaining mushrooms with appropriate fungicides or bactericides. It is important to follow all label instructions when using these products to ensure proper application and avoid any negative impacts on the environment.

Harvesting Lobster Mushrooms

Once the lobster mushrooms have matured, they are ready for harvesting. Harvesting should be done carefully to avoid damaging the mushrooms. Here are some tips for harvesting lobster mushrooms:

  1. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the mushroom at the base of the stem. Avoid pulling the mushroom out of the ground, as this can damage the mycelium and reduce future yields.
  2. Harvest the mushrooms when they are still young and firm. Mature mushrooms can be tough and woody, and may not be as flavorful.
  3. Look for mushrooms that are free from insect damage or other signs of decay. Mushrooms that are damaged or rotting should be left in the field.
  4. Harvest only what you need. Leave some mushrooms behind to allow the mycelium to continue to grow and produce more mushrooms in the future.
  5. Store the harvested mushrooms in a cool, dry place. Lobster mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for longer storage.

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful harvest of delicious and nutritious lobster mushrooms.

Preserving and Storing Lobster Mushrooms

Once you have harvested your lobster mushrooms, it is important to preserve and store them properly to ensure their longevity and freshness. Here are some tips on how to properly preserve and store your lobster mushrooms:

Cleaning and Preparing

Before storing your lobster mushrooms, it is important to clean them properly. You can rinse them quickly with icy cold water and then wipe them off with a paper towel. If you have especially dirty ones, you can break them and rinse them quickly with icy cold water. Then, wipe them off with a paper towel.

Temperature and Humidity

Proper storage of lobster mushrooms is essential as they are highly perishable and can spoil quickly if not stored correctly. Improper storage conditions can result in the growth of harmful bacteria or mold, which can cause food poisoning or other health-related issues. The ideal temperature range for storing lobster mushrooms is between 35-45°F (2-7°C). The humidity level should be around 90-95%.

Storage Containers

Lobster mushrooms should be stored in a breathable container to prevent moisture buildup. A paper bag or a cardboard box with holes punched in it is a good option. You can also store them in a container with a lid, but be sure to leave it slightly ajar to allow for air circulation.


If you want to store your lobster mushrooms for an extended period, you can freeze them. To freeze them, clean and prepare them as described above. Then, place them in a plastic freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Label the bag with the date and freeze for up to six months.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your lobster mushrooms remain fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

Final Verdict

Growing lobster mushrooms at home can be a fun and rewarding experience for mushroom lovers. With the right materials and techniques, anyone can cultivate these delicious and nutritious fungi.

To get started, one will need spores or a live culture of the lobster mushroom, as well as a substrate such as logs, wood chips, sawdust, or straw. Large plastic bags or containers to store the substrate, a water spray bottle, and humidity and temperature gauges are also necessary.

Once the materials are gathered, the next step is to prepare a clean growing area for the mushrooms. It is important to keep everything as clean as possible so that the fungal growth does not become bacterially colonized. A shed, cellar, or cold frame is the ideal place to grow.

After the growing area is set up, the substrate should be inoculated with the lobster mushroom spores or culture. The substrate should be kept moist and at the proper temperature and humidity levels for optimal growth.

With patience and care, the mushrooms will begin to grow and can be harvested when they reach maturity. Lobster mushrooms are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, making them a great addition to any home garden.

Overall, growing lobster mushrooms at home requires some initial investment in materials and time, but the end result is well worth it. With the right techniques and care, anyone can enjoy the delicious and unique flavor of these beautiful fungi.