Last Updated on December 19, 2022 by Cristina
Morels are one of the most popular types of mushrooms and are loved for their delicious taste. You may wonder, “can you grow morels indoors?” As most people scavenge for these beloved mushrooms, they can be hard to find.
Fortunately, if you are a fan of morel mushrooms then you are in luck, as you can successfully grow them indoors. With the right care and growing conditions, you can successfully grow your own morel mushrooms from your home. However, they can be rather difficult to grow indoors so it will require a lot of work on your end.
What Are Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushrooms are a type of wild mushroom that has an earthy, nutty flavor. They have a meaty texture and an appearance that resembles a honeycomb.
Morel mushrooms can range in size and shape, from long to bulbous in shape, and blonde to gray in color. On the inside, they are hollow and white in color.
Unless you forage or grow them yourself, morel mushrooms tend to be expensive to buy. They have a short growing period and are hard to cultivate. In addition, they are highly perishable, making them difficult to transport.
Morel mushrooms are great sauteed in butter, fried, or grilled. They should not be eaten raw as they might cause stomach cramps. They tend to have a subtle flavor when cooked and are full of beneficial nutrients and vitamins.
Morel mushrooms can often be confused with false morels. False morels can be poisonous, so it is important to be able to spot the differences. False morels will have a smoother cap with wavy veins and they tend to be yellow to reddish in color.
Can You Grow Morels Indoors?
While you can grow morel mushrooms indoors it is not easy and even with the right conditions, you may not be successful. Many people choose to buy or forage for morel mushrooms since growing them is difficult.
In 1982, Ron Ower became the first person to successfully grow morel mushrooms indoors. Since then, people have continued to cultivate morel mushrooms indoors. However, there is typically only a 40% success rate for growing these mushrooms indoors.
How To Grow Morel Mushrooms
Learning how to grow morel mushrooms indoors requires a lot of time, patience, and work. You also have to be willing to accept that there is a good chance you will have little to no success growing morel mushrooms indoors.
Prepare Substrate And Tray – Can You Grow Morels Indoors
Start by preparing your substrate and container for growing your morel mushrooms. Most people choose to use a sterilized pan such as an 11 x 15-inch aluminum cake pan as a tray.
After sterilizing your tray, add your substrate. Use a combination of 50% organic compost, 30% potting soil, 20% sand, and a small amount of pickling lime. You can also add some wood chips or wood shavings from elm trees, ash trees, or apple trees into your substrate.
The substrate should be moist and the pH should be alkaline. This will help increase your chances of successfully growing morels.
Add Morel Mushroom Spawn
After preparing your tray and adding your compost, you can add your mushroom spawn. You can purchase spawn online or even at some garden centers. You can even find a morel mushroom growing kit for indoors.
Add your morel spawn to your substrate and mix it together. Be sure your substrate is two inches deep for your mushrooms to grow.
Incubate The Morels
After adding the spawn to your substrate, it is time to incubate your morels. Place your tray in a dark room between 65 to 70 degrees Farenheit with 90% humidity.
After waiting for four to six weeks, your mushroom tray should be covered with white mycelium. You may also see some schlerotia, which will appear as brown-looking lumps, on the surface.
Read more about Can You Grow Arugula Indoors?: 4 Easy Steps
Place In Fridge – Can You Grow Morels Indoors
After the white mycelium has appeared in your mushroom tray, it is time to transfer the container to your fridge. At this time, you can throw some used grains into the substrate. It should be kept in the fridge at around 39 degrees Farenheit for two weeks.
Place In Fruiting Area
After two weeks in the fridge, take your mushroom tray out in a fruiting area where the temperature is near 72 degrees Farenheit and the humidity is 90%.
You can use a humidifier next to your mushroom tray in order to keep the humidity up. If you don’t have a humidifier, use a spray bottle to moisten the substrate twice a day.
You should use a grow light to provide your mushrooms with 12 hours of light a day. Keep the substrate of the mushrooms moist. Within a week of starting this step, you will likely see some morel mushrooms begin to grow.
Harvest Morels – Can You Grow Morels Indoors?
Morels are typically ready to harvest when they are around four inches tall. However, some varieties can grow to be as tall as 12 inches later in the season.
After harvesting your morel mushroom, it is best to use them as soon as possible. Store them in a brown paper bag on the countertop for up to two to three days. You can also keep them in the morel mushrooms in the fridge for up to a week.
If you notice that your morels are wet or rotting, you should throw them out. If desired, you can freeze or dehydrate morels to help them last longer.
Can You Grow Morels Indoors? Everything To Know
Learning how to plant morel mushrooms can be beneficial if you are a fan of these delicious mushrooms. However, they are difficult to grow indoors and oftentimes people will have few to no mushrooms grow at all. It requires time, patience, and skill in order to successfully grow morel mushrooms.
Even if you carefully follow all of the steps, you still may not even get morels. Most people opt to harvest morel mushrooms in the wild or buy them from a store or farmer’s market.
Do you have any questions regarding growing morels indoors? If so, please ask your morel mushroom questions in the comment section.