mushroom growing logo

Growing Mushrooms From Stems

You can grow mushrooms from the stems of your harvested mushrooms. 

There are several benefits to growing mushrooms in this fashion

  • Growing mushrooms from stems is more sustainable it takes less time than growing them on straw and it also costs less.
  • Additionally, growing from stems gives you fresh mushrooms for longer periods of time.
  • Stem tissue is the best substrate for growing mushrooms because it has ample water storage capacity.
  • Also, there are very few contaminants that affect stem tissue, which also makes it an ideal choice.
  • Another benefit of growing mushrooms from stems is that it is easier to grow larger mushrooms

Which Mushrooms Can Be Grown From Stems?

Almost any mushrooms can be grown from stems. The most common and well-known type of mushrooms that are usually grown this way are oyster mushrooms.

Other examples of mushrooms you can grow from stems

  • Wine Cap
  • Enoki
  • White Button
  • Lion's mane
  • Shiitake

Step by step guide of growing mushrooms from stem butts

What you'll need:

  • A sharp knife
  • A baking tray
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tinfoil

Step 1 - Cut the mushroom stem

Cut the mushroom off at its base using a sharp knife. Make sure to cut it as close to the base of the stem as possible leaving about an inch of the stem attached to the cap.

Step 2 - Lay on a sheet

Line the baking tray with some plastic wrap then place on top of that an even layer of tin foil.

Step 3 - Cover the stem butt

Lay the stem of the mushroom on top of the tin foil. Then cover with another layer of both plastic wrap and tin foil. Make sure that at no point does any part of the mushroom touch the baking tray because this could contaminate your grow kit or cause it to go bad before you can get a harvest.

Step 4 - Label it & place in suitable environment

Label your mushroom grow kit with the date you started your kit. Then place it in a warm, dark area with a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5 - Keep checking it

Check your mushroom grow kit once a day for about three weeks. Within about one to two weeks, spores will have produced on the stem of the mushroom and will have fallen onto the bottom of the tray where they can be transferred into another container to continue growing.

Note: Different strains of the same mushroom species may grow at different rates 

Step 6 - Further expansion

If you want to grow more mushrooms from your stem, simply clip another piece of the stem at an angle and repeat steps 1-4.

Step 7 - Moving to garden

Once you have grown all the mushrooms you can from this particular stem, plant it in a garden or move it to a larger container and continue growing mushrooms on top of that container.

Step by step guide of growing mushrooms from stems using substrate

Growing mushrooms from stems on coffee grounds or manure are the greatest sort of substrate for this.

Coffee grounds and manure provide a great balance of nutrients and water that your mushrooms will need to grow quickly and efficiently.

Make sure your substrate is sanitized as it tends to have the highest risk of becoming contaminated later on. You can sterilize your substrate in a pressure cooker or other device that can bring it to a boil and kill any sort of microbes that might be in it. Then allow it to cool and drain.

How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms from Stems

oyster mushrooms
Oyster Mushrooms

Because the bottom two inches of an oyster mushroom stem are only usable for a day or two after harvest, you'll want to get started on these procedures right away:


  • Shred your substrate into little pieces
  • Pour boiling water into the substrate and wait for it to cool down
  • Drain the mixture
  • Grab a clean food container that’s been sanitized and poke air holes into it
  • Squeeze some of the substrate into the container – you may need to use a self-tapping screw to make a sufficient
    number of holes
  • Sanitize scissors or a paring blade with boiling water and alcohol
  • Use it to partition off some of the stem material into the container
  • Split the stem pieces until there are enough viable pieces in the substrate
  • Cover it over with another layer of substrate mix
  • Pack the mixture down gently
  • Close the container with the original lid, which should be cleaned to prevent mold growth
  • Continue using any remaining material to prep other containers
  • Place them in your dedicated growing area
  • Watch for the containers to produce fresh mycelium
  • Use the new mushroom spawn the same way you would any other spawn material

Growing mushrooms from stem butts is easy!

Growing mushrooms from stems is a simple and rewarding task. It can take some time for the specific mushroom you're growing to grow but the process is very easy!

The steps vary depending on what type of mushroom you are looking to grow.

Have you grown any other species of mushrooms from stems? Leave a comment, we would love to hear your experiences!

Meet the Author

Matthew is the proud owner of He loves growing all kinds of gourmet edible and medicinal mushrooms from the comfort of home - and is slowly trying to document his successes (and many failures!) here on this site πŸ„ He loves nothing more than going out foraging - and out of season he tries his best to grow mushrooms at home, time permitting of course!
  • Charlotte Hukvari says:

    I saw somewhere that if it takes too long to get the mycelium to become actual mushrooms you can pop the whole thing into the fridge for 24 hours to mimic winter. Is this correct?


    This is a site that aims to educate people about growing their own edible mushrooms from the comfort of their homes. We grow all kinds of foods in the garden - so why not consider growing your own delicious mushrooms too? 

    We aim to not only educate but also to provide a platform that helps other mushroom growers to sell their produce.
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram