Last Updated on December 31, 2021 by Guillermina
How often do you wonder “can I grow truffles indoors”? Click and learn all about this extremely expensive culinary delicacy.
Truffles are considered one of the top culinary delicacies in kitchens around the world. Wondering why? This is due to their unique taste, wonderful aroma, and rarity. There is almost no dish that would not be greatly enriched with the addition of truffles.
However, enough talk about that, now you are probably wondering “can I grow truffles indoors?”. So, keep reading to find out more about this rare culinary delicacy.
Truffle is an edible subterranean fungus that comes from the genus Tuber, order Pezizales (phylum Ascomycota, kingdom Fungi). These prized food delicacies come mostly from temperate regions and can range in size from pea-sized to orange-sized.
Truffles flourish in open woodland on calcareous soil and are saprophytes. This means that they are associated with the roots of trees, possibly in a mutually beneficial community. The spores of Tuber are large. They are mostly produced in France, Italy, New Zealand, China, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific Northwest.
There are two main types of truffles, white and black truffles. The black ones are slightly more pungent and are great for cooking. In contrast, the white ones are highly aromatic and can be eaten raw. Black truffle offers far more flavor and is, therefore, much more expensive.
The truffle is the fruiting body of the ascomycete fungus, so it is no wonder that it is quite reminiscent of a mushroom. This culinary delicacy gives food an earthy, rich mushroom-like taste.
Also, they are recognizable by their wonderful scent (pheromones) which entice animals to come to dig around the base of the tree in search of a reward.
Can I Grow Truffles Indoors?
Of course, you can! However, you have to keep in mind that not everything will always go smoothly and easily. The most important thing is to choose the right type of tree and provide it with the right growing conditions.
How Long Do Truffles Take To Grow?
In addition to the time, it usually takes for the planted trees to fruit truffles somewhere between 4-7 years. However, it all depends on a number of factors such as soil, weather, irrigation system… If you notice burles (burnt areas) it is a sign that truffles should appear soon.
How To Grow Truffles Indoors?
There are several ways to grow black truffles or white truffles indoors. You can sow truffle seeds in a pot or grow an already infected sapling. The easiest way is to use an indoor truffle growing kit. However, planting infected saplings gives a better, more sustainable crop.
Read more about this method below.
Growing an Inoculated Sapling
- Truffles naturally grow on tree roots, therefore it would be best to start with a sapling that’s already inoculated with truffle spores. Since you will be growing them indoors, choose a birch, beech, or hazelnut tree. They are much smaller and thus easier to grow indoors. In addition, you can plant them in a pot so that it reaches approximately the size of a bonsai.
- Get a planter with a diameter of 18 to 22 inches (46 to 56 cm). This will be great for smaller trees. In addition, it will limit the growth of the root ball, and keep your tree a manageable size.
- Truffles grow best on soil that is slightly alkaline (pH between 7.5 and 8). The best option is to test the soil first. If the pH is too low, you can add limestone to the soil to raise it.
- Fill the first half of your pot with a 50-50 mixture of soil and gravel. Truffles prefer moist soil but will rot if left to sit in water. Therefore, good drainage is an important part of the process.
- Spread the roots of your sapling and place it in the center of the pot. Let its root ball be placed on top of a mixture of soil and gravel.
- Finally, cover the roots of the sapling with potting soil until the seedling is full. Occasionally tap down on the top of the soil to remove any air bubbles. Add more soil until the pot is completely filled.
Indoor Care Guide
The truffle fungus thrives in well-draining and light soils. The ideal soil pH is about 7.5 – 8. Also, try to avoid over-touching and compacting the soil in the pot as this can inhibit growth.
As we have already mentioned, water-logged soil is not what you want. It doesn’t have to be too frequent, occasional watering really works best. Try to collect rainwater because it helps replenish the soil with all the right nutrients. Also, always make sure your soil is drained effectively.
Try to keep the base of your tree free of weeds by removing weeds regularly. If you decide to use a garden tool (hoe), be careful not to go too deep as this can affect the truffle area.
The good thing is that truffles do not require excessive maintenance when it comes to feeding. They prefer soil rich in lime, so it is desirable to regularly boost the soil with a little lime or limestone.
Truffle inoculation is most often done by mixing fully grown truffles with water. After that, it is enough to pour the mixture over the root zone of tree saplings. It is advisable to look under a microscope at some tree roots to make sure the root zone has been successfully inoculated.
Did you know that truffles are the most expensive food in the world? The largest and rarest specimens sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Amazing, isn’t it?
When growing indoors, the most important thing is to stay patient and check for signs that your truffles may be growing. Although it may take up to several years, the fruits of your labor will pay off in the end! We hope you found this article on “can and grow truffles indoors” useful.
What are your experiences with truffles? Let us know in the section below.
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