How To Grow Cordyceps Militaris at Home

Welcome to the ultimate guide on growing Cordyceps mushrooms! Dive into the fascinating world of fungi cultivation and unlock the potential health benefits of these powerful mushrooms. From enhancing your energy levels to boosting your immune system, Cordyceps offer a myriad of advantages for your overall well-being. Our expert tips and techniques will walk you through the process of cultivating Cordyceps in your own home, empowering you to harness the full potential of this incredible fungi. Whether you're a seasoned mushroom enthusiast or a novice looking to explore the world of mycology, our comprehensive guide has everything you need to succeed in growing Cordyceps. Join us on this exciting journey and start reaping the rewards of cultivating your own medicinal mushrooms today!

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Natural Habitat

Ecosystem:

Parasitic on insects

Locations:

Asia, North America, Europe

Seasons:

Late summer to early autumn

Climate:

Temperate

Substrate:

Insects (hosts) or cultured substrates

Growing Params

Difficulty:

Hard

Total Time:

41 - 99 Days

PH Range:

6 - 8

Pref Suppl's:

Peptone

Yield Performance

Units:

% Weight of Substrate

Poor:

5

Average:

10

Good:

15

Excellent:

20

Culture Instructions

Agar Cultivation

Supplies Needed

  • Agar Powder: Cellular medium for agar plates.
  • Petri Dishes: Containers for pouring agar medium.
  • Agar Jar: Narrow Mouth Jar with Sealing Lid is optimal.
  • Parafilm: For Sealing the agar after innoculation. Grafting Tape is also sufficient.
  • Scissors: Tool for cutting sealing tape to length.
  • Stir Plate: Optional: Thorough mixing with sagenetic stirrir improves results by distributing nutrients evenly
  • Nutrient Medium: Nutrition can be Light Malt Extract, Honey, Karo ext. For Mycelial Expansion.
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the liquid culture medium to increase growth rates.
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Pressure Cooker: Equipment for sterilizing agar mixture and Petri dishes.
  • Scalpel or Innoculation Loop: Tool for transferring mycelium to agar plates.
  • Alcohol Lamp or Burner: Sterilization tool for flame sterilizing instruments.

Growing Params

Recipe: PDYA

Temperature Range:70 - 80 °F

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:10 - 21 Days

Cultivation Notes: Cordyceps cultures should be started from fresh, clean material due to contamination concerns

Liquid Culture

Supplies Needed

  • Sterile Jar: Clean container for liquid culture inoculation.
  • Modified Lid: Lid should have a filter port for gas exchange. Syringe Port Optional.
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Nutrient Medium: Nutrition can be Light Malt Extract, Honey, Karo ext. For Mycelial Expansion.
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the liquid culture medium to increase growth rates.
  • Pressure Cooker: Equipment for sterilizing liquid culture medium.
  • Scalpel or Syringe: Tool for transferring mycelial mass to growth medium.
  • Alcohol Lamp or Burner: Sterilization tool for flame sterilizing instruments.

Growing Params

Recipe: CBLC

Temperature Range:70 - 80 °F

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:10 - 21 Days

Cultivation Notes: Cordyceps cultures in liquid should be agitated regularly to prevent clumpingStir Daily

Agar Cultivation

  1. Prepare the agar medium by mixing agar powder with water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Autoclave the agar medium to sterilize it and let it cool to around 50°C.
  3. In a sterile environment, pour the agar medium into petri dishes to create a solid surface for the cordyceps mushroom mycelium to grow on.
  4. Using a sterile technique, transfer a small piece of cordyceps mushroom mycelium onto the agar medium in each petri dish.
  5. Seal the petri dishes with parafilm or tape to prevent contamination and incubate them at the optimal temperature for cordyceps mushroom growth.
  6. Check the petri dishes regularly for signs of contamination or growth of the cordyceps mycelium. If contamination occurs, discard the affected dishes.
  7. Once the cordyceps mycelium has fully colonized the agar medium, it is ready to be transferred to a grain substrate for further cultivation.

Liquid Culture Cultivation

  1. Prepare a sterile work area by cleaning all surfaces with a disinfectant and using a laminar flow hood if available.
  2. Gather all necessary materials including a liquid culture syringe, sterile liquid culture medium, and a sterile container with a lid.
  3. Heat the liquid culture medium in a pressure cooker or autoclave to sterilize it and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Inject the liquid culture syringe into the sterile container with the cooled liquid culture medium, making sure to avoid contamination.
  5. Seal the container with a breathable lid or cover to allow for gas exchange while preventing contamination.
  6. Incubate the liquid culture at the optimal temperature and humidity for cordyceps mushroom growth, typically around 25-30°C.
  7. Monitor the liquid culture for signs of growth such as mycelium development and adjust conditions as needed to promote healthy growth.
  8. Once the liquid culture is fully colonized with mycelium, it can be used to inoculate a substrate for fruiting or stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Spawn Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Mason Jars or Bags: Containers for sterilizing and inoculating grains.
  • Modified Lid: Lid should have a filter port for gas exchange. Syringe Port Optional.
  • Grains: Substrate material for spawn inoculation. (e.g. Rye, Millet)
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the grain medium to increase growth rates.
  • Pressure Cooker: Equipment for sterilizing grain substrate.
  • Inoculation Tool : Tool for transferring colonized spawn to substrate. (e.g. Scalpel, Syringe)
  • Alcohol Lamp or Burner: Sterilization tool for flame sterilizing instruments.

Growing Params

Spawn Material: Millet

Temperature Range:70 - 80 °F

Moisture Content:49 - 55 %

Fresh Air Exchange:0.5 - 1 / Hour

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 80 Days

Grain Spawn Prep and Innoculation

  1. Prepare the grain substrate by soaking it in water for 24 hours.
  2. After soaking, drain the water from the grain substrate and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Sterilize the grain substrate by pressure cooking it at 15 psi for 90 minutes.
  4. Allow the sterilized grain substrate to cool to room temperature in a clean, sterile environment.
  5. In a laminar flow hood or glove box, transfer the cooled grain substrate to sterile jars or bags.
  6. Add the cordyceps mushroom culture to the jars or bags using a sterile inoculation loop or syringe.
  7. Seal the jars or bags with a breathable filter patch or micropore tape to allow for gas exchange.
  8. Incubate the inoculated grain substrate at the optimal temperature and humidity for cordyceps mushroom growth.
  9. Monitor the jars or bags for signs of mycelial growth, which should appear within 1-2 weeks.
  10. Once the grain substrate is fully colonized with mycelium, it is ready to be used as spawn for fruiting substrate.

Substrate Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Substrate Mix: Substrate material for mushroom growth. (e.g., Sawdust, Wood Chips, Fast Fruiting Mix, Brown Rice)
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the grain medium to increase growth rates.
  • Substrate Container: Polypropylene Bags or Plastic Containers for sterilizing and inoculating substrate.
  • Mycelial Mass: Typically Colonized Grain Jars or Liquid Culture for inoculation.
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Pressure Cooker or Steam Sterilizer: Equipment for sterilizing substrate.

Growing Params

Substrate: Csbr

Sub to Spawn Ratio: 3:1

Temperature Range:70 - 80 °F

Humidity Range:70 - 75 RH

Fresh Air Exchange:0.5 - 1 / Hour

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:70 - 80 Days

Substrate Prep and Innoculation

  1. Prepare the substrate by mixing together 2 parts cooked rice, 1 part vermiculite, and 1 part water in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer the substrate mixture into sterilized jars, leaving some space at the top for expansion.
  3. Cover the jars with a layer of aluminum foil and sterilize them in a pressure cooker at 15 psi for 90 minutes.
  4. Allow the jars to cool completely before inoculating them with cordyceps mushroom spores or mycelium.
  5. Using a sterile syringe, inject the spores or mycelium into the substrate through the holes in the jar lids.
  6. Replace the lids on the jars and incubate them in a dark, warm place (around 75-80°F) for 2-3 weeks.
  7. Check the jars regularly for signs of growth, such as white mycelium spreading throughout the substrate.
  8. Once the jars are fully colonized, you can move on to the fruiting phase by exposing them to light and fresh air.

Primordia Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Fruiting Chamber: Controlled environment chamber for pinning and fruiting.
  • Control Automation: Optional. Controller and sensors for maintaining temperature, humidity, lighting ext.
  • Casing Layer: Optional. Species Dependant. Humidification material for maintaining humidity in the fruiting chamber.
  • Hygrometer: Instrument for measuring humidity levels.
  • Humidifier: Optional. Could be spray bottle or humidifer. Tool for misting and humidifying the fruiting chamber.

Growing Params

Casing Layer: None

Temperature Range:60 - 70 °F

Humidity Range:90 - 95 RH

Light Wave Length:620 - 680 nm

Light Intensity:500 - 1000 Lux

Light Duration: 12 Hours/Day

Fresh Air Exchange:0.5 - 1 / Hour

CO2 Range:800 - 1200 ppm

Growth Duration:3 - 5 Days

Cultivation Notes: The mycelium will start to develop a bright orange coloration

Primordia Initiation

  1. Prepare a clean and sterile environment for the cordyceps mushrooms to grow.
  2. Ensure the temperature is around 20-25 degrees Celsius and humidity is maintained at 85-95%.
  3. Inoculate the substrate with the cordyceps spawn, making sure to evenly distribute it.
  4. Cover the inoculated substrate with a breathable material to allow for gas exchange.
  5. Place the substrate in a dark area with good air circulation to promote primordia initiation.
  6. Monitor the substrate daily for any signs of primordia formation, such as small pin-like structures.
  7. Once primordia have formed, adjust the temperature to around 15-20 degrees Celsius to encourage fruiting body development.
  8. Continue to monitor the growing conditions and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal growth of the cordyceps mushrooms.

Fruiting Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Fruiting Chamber: Controlled environment chamber for fruiting.
  • Temperature Control System: Equipment for maintaining optimal fruiting temperatures.
  • Fresh Air Exchange System: System to provide adequate fresh air exchange in the fruiting chamber.
  • Light Source: Light source to provide required illumination for fruiting. (e.g., LED Grow Light)
  • Harvesting Tools: Tools for harvesting mushrooms without damaging the mycelium. (e.g., Knife, Scissors)

Growing Params

Temperature Range:60 - 70 °F

Humidity Range:85 - 90 RH

Light Wave Length:620 - 680 nm

Light Intensity:500 - 1000 lux

Light Duration: 12 Hours/Day

Fresh Air Exchange:1 - 2 / Hour

CO2 Range:1000 - 2000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 45 Days

Flushes:1 - 2

Flushing Schedule:0 - 0 Days

Cultivation Notes: Fruiting bodies of Cordyceps typically develop when the substrate has been fully colonized and conditions are optimal. Lower CO2 levels and more fresh air exchanges promote fruiting body development

Fruiting Preparation and Conditions

  1. Prepare a fruiting chamber by thoroughly cleaning and sterilizing it to prevent contamination.
  2. Fill the fruiting chamber with a substrate suitable for cordyceps mushrooms, such as a mixture of rice and vermiculite.
  3. Inoculate the substrate with cordyceps spores or mycelium culture using sterile techniques.
  4. Maintain the fruiting chamber at a temperature of around 20-25°C with high humidity levels (around 85-95%).
  5. Provide indirect light to simulate natural conditions for cordyceps mushrooms to fruit.
  6. Monitor the growth of the mycelium and the formation of fruiting bodies, ensuring proper conditions are maintained throughout the process.
  7. Harvest the cordyceps mushrooms once they have fully developed, following proper harvesting techniques to preserve the quality of the mushrooms.