How To Grow Lobster Mushrooms: [Done Right]

Just in case you didn’t know it, lobster mushrooms are unlike any other available today. This is just one of the things that have made them classically popular over the years. However, they are mushrooms that don’t just grow anywhere, making them even harder than your traditional mushrooms to procure.

And, when you are lucky enough to get your hands on some, they’ll likely run you a pretty penny. A pretty penny that will be well worth the charge, but one that you won’t want to pay.

This is why most people just opt for growing their own, which is exactly what you are going to learn to do here today. Just keep in mind that these are a more advanced species of mushroom and might not be as easy as you’d first imagine.

Just keep with it, and you’ll have it mastered in no time at all.

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[Related Article: How To Grow Maitake Mushrooms: [Hen Of The Woods]

Growing Lobster Mushrooms

To grow lobster mushroom, you are obviously going to have to start with a russula brevipes or a lactarius piperatus. Once you have either of these species, you will also need low moisture, compost, sawdust, straw, or wood.

To begin, you will simply place the russula brevipes or the lactarius poperatus in a nutrient-rich medium. Make sure that you are doing this is a clean environment in the most sterile way possible.

Once the mycelium (the root system) begins to form, you’ll want to transfer that to a jar of sterilized grain until it grows so immensely that it fills the jar completely. The goal from here will be to spawn the mushroom in the jar in different containers.

This can be done by cutting the mycelium into sections and placing them in different jars.

Once they start to spawn and produce their own root system, you can inoculate them with the compost material, which will force them to grow. Now, here comes another tricky part.

During the growing stages, you’ll have to introduce the hypomyces lactifluorum parasite, which will transform the existing mushrooms into lobster mushrooms. Skipping this step will only leave the mushrooms to turn into fully mature russula brevipes or lactarius piperatus.

Processing And Preserving Your Lobster Mushrooms

Once you are completely done with the growth, you’ll likely want to start reaping the benefits of your hard work. This can only be done after you properly process the mushrooms.

In order to do this, you’ll need a vegetable brush and/or a damp paper towel. You’ll want to simply start by just brushing the mushroom gently. The goal here is to simply remove all the dirt without damaging the mushroom. If you look close enough, you’ll see that some of the mushrooms have cracks on the surface.

These cracks can become storage spots for dirt and will be incredibly hard to get into. However, you’ll certainly want to make sure this area is thoroughly cleaned. 

Once the mushrooms have been brushed and all the dirt is gone from the entirety of the surface, you’ll want to wipe down the mushrooms. This can be done with a damp paper towel or cloth.

You just simply dampen the power towel or cloth and wipe down the mushroom. If you plan on storing your mushrooms, you’ll want to make sure that you do this when they are whole. This will increase their shelf life as will placing them in a cooler environment.

If you grow more mushrooms than you know what to do with, you can preserve them. However, in order to do so, you’ll have to put them through with is known as a drying stage.

There are a number of ways that you can go about doing this, but the ultimate end goal is to completely remove all the moisture. Once the moisture is completely removed, you can store them in the fridge or a similar cool location.

Additional Info

How To Grow Lobster Mushrooms

Before you just start the growing venture, there are a few things that you’ll need to know about lobster mushrooms. These are some of the things that make them so much harder to grow than other species.

Lobster mushrooms don’t start out as lobster mushrooms. The only way that they can turn into lobster mushrooms is during the growing process. A parasitic fungus known as hypomyces will attack this particular type of mushroom and cause it to deform.

Once the parasite completely takes over the mushroom, it’ll shape it in the form of a lobster. This is how lobster mushrooms are formed and how they got their name. They are also deep orange in color which contributes.

It is the russula brevipes or lactarius piperatus that is the originating species of lobster mushrooms. These are the starting mushrooms, but once infected with the parasite mentioned above, they’ll transform them into lobster mushrooms.

Another unique thing about these types of mushrooms is that they do not have traditional gills like your regular mushrooms. Instead, they come with what is known are pores that usually dot the surface when the lobster reaches full maturity.

They are very meaty with a shellfish aroma that only intensifies during the drying out process.

Other Variations

You just learned above that lobster mushrooms are deep orange in color. Well, this is not always the case. There are some exceptions to this, and when there are, they come with a white coat.

These are even more difficult to come by but have the same structure as that of the conventional lobsters. The texture is much different though.

The white texture is much smoother than the orange ones, and this is something that will be highly noticeable during consumption. Other than this, the two species are particularly the same.

The whites are also a result of the same parasitic infection.


As you can see there is a lot to lobster mushrooms. They are not like your traditional mushrooms, as they are a species of mushroom that has been infected with hypomyces lactifluorum.

Growing a lobster mushroom is similar to that of growing other species, except for the fact that you’ll have to infect the mushroom with hypomyces lactifluorum at some point.

Lobsters usually start out as russula brevipes or lactarius poperatus and only turn to lobsters once they have been infected with the parasite hypomyces lactifluorum.