Psilocybe Semilanceata Cultivation

Psilocybe Semilanceata Cultivation

If you are already an experienced mushroom grower, and interested in trying something different and more challenging, have you considered psilocybe semilanceata cultivation? Psilocybe semilanceata magic mushrooms are one of the most iconic and common psychedelic mushroom strains in the world, also known as a “Liberty Cap.” If you need a basic rundown on them, be sure to click over and invest some time with “Psilocybe Semilanceata/Liberty Cap: Read This First” . If you are already well-versed, then keep reading, so you can learn how to best cultivate psilocybe semilanceata at home.

The purpose here is to help you learn about and do 6 things: 

  1. Source psilocybe semilanceata spores
  2. Cultivate psilocybe semilanceata 
  3. Understand the life cycle of mushrooms
  4. Learn how long it takes to grow 
  5. How to dry psilocybin mushrooms
  6. How to store psilocybin mushrooms

Before jumping into this, do know one thing. Although many mushroom species are easy to grow at home, even for the novice mushroom cultivator, psilocybe semilanceata doesn’t play nice. Psilocybe semilanceata is one of the hardest species to grow indoors, although with a fastidious approach, patience and lots of TLC (maybe not THC) an experienced mushroom grower can fruit this species at home.

How to Source Psilocybe Semilanceata Spores

Sorry to lay it on you intrepid psychonauts, however you probably will not be able to source Liberty Cap spores from a spore vendor. Writing this piece, we reached out to over 10 spore vendors. Of those who replied, most said they do not sell psilocybe semilanceata spores. However, there was a lone exception, serving as a Liberty Cap hail Mary.

Our friends over at Sporeslab informed us that they “…have Liberty cap mycelium for sale that we got from people who wild foraged them for us.” This is the key to psilocybe semilanceata cultivation.

Take note, psilocybe semilanceata cultivation is notoriously difficult. More on this later. For now, just know that due to its indoor cultivation difficulty, this is why spores might be next to impossible to find.

Thus, the next best thing is to source the mycelium. As you will read later on, the miniscule number of successful indoor grow projects used mycelium. This means you will have to go out, forage for Liberty Caps, and take a mycelium sample. Are you really up for this? 

I do not know about you, but this exceeds my mycological mastery. Growing indoors is as easy as can be with a plastic box, plastic bag, and spore infused substrate This makes fruiting other species easy enough for any rube. Would you rather do this, or start taking mycelium samples, working with cultures, agar plates and starting your own mycology lab? 

For the great majority of people, this level of scientific savvy and sophistication will be out of reach, including myself. However, this is not to say it can not be done. After all, we have sent men to the moon. Let’s discuss how you can cash in Lottery winning odds by successfully cultivating Liberty Caps indoors.

Cultivate Psilocybe Semilanceata

This article says it best:

It is very difficult, indeed almost impossible, to grow Liberty caps. This has to do with the fact that these mushrooms feed themselves with putrescent grass roots. The ideal environment of Liberty caps is therefore difficult to imitate. Hence it is easier to search for them.

Keep in mind that psilocybe semilanceata is a saprobic fungus, meaning it feeds on decomposing organic matter. In this case, Liberty Caps feast on rotting grass roots. While we encourage and support your indoor fruiting endeavors, we also wish you good luck trying to replicate rotten grass roots indoors. Duplicating rotten grass roots indoors might even be harder than psilocybe semilanceata cultivation. This is not a path to success. 

The more you look, the more a consensus around the difficulty of psilocybe semilanceata cultivation comes into focus. This piece also suggests saving your time and efforts:

These mushrooms are known to feed on putrescent grassroots and like fertilized substrate. Mimicking or simulating these can be difficult. Experienced fungi cultivators often say that it is impossible to do. Instead, they recommend searching for them in their natural habitat as it is easier. With their unique shape and size, they are relatively easy to distinguish compared to other mushrooms.

This Reddit thread about psilocybe semilanceata cultivation concurs with indoor growing difficulties. Although someone in the thread not long ago concedes that it is possible using a liquid culture. How ready are you to put on your white lab coat and go full Bill Nye the Science Guy? It is not likely.

However, for those with the gumption, scientific savvy and determination, there are a few, rare success stories. This thread discusses a successful psilocybe Semilanceata Unicorn Mycobag culture. From the sound of it, the feat seems equivalent to setting a new Olympic record once thought unbreakable, like running a 4 minute mile or something. Do note in the thread however that it was a “…multispore culture from spores taken from the wild in 2008.” Again, this means you have to take the spore sample yourself. There is no buying spores online.

There is also a rare glory story in this Shroomery thread about a successful microbox psilocybe semilanceata cultivation. Last but not least, there is an interesting option to purchase something called a psilocybe semilanceata spawnbag. This seems to be the easiest option if it works.

From the sound of it, you get the spawnbag, go outside, lift up a chunk of grass (or find a divot at your local golf course), shake off the soil, and pour the contents of the spawnbag into the hole, and recover it with the grass. Voila! However, the company seems to be located in Europe and is out of stock at time of writing. Furthermore, there are no online reviews of the spawnbag to know how well it works. 

Take it from our friends over at Mushly, who do not recommend indoor psilocybe semilanceata cultivation. Mushly says “They are seasonal and require an outdoor grass patch to be maintained.” They do not sell spores and recommend only growing outside.

“Nature provides a perfect and automatic temperature gradient for these mushrooms to fruit. If the morning temp starts around 8 or 10 deg C then naturally warms up to 15 – 18 deg C, that is the perfect initiation for pinning.”

Mushly concludes by sharing the key to psilocybe semilanceata cultivation is:

Picking a favourable outdoor grassy spot for best mycelium growth and treating it correctly. Sunlight is detrimental to establishing a starting point for the mycelium, so

seasonal temperatures (8 – 18 deg C) are important.

Life Cycle of Mushrooms

If you do plan on undertaking a psilocybe semilanceata cultivation project, you will need to know the life cycle of mushrooms.

Start here, and check out this diagram of the mushroom life cycle, from spore to fruit body. Next, read this explanation of the mushroom life cycle broken down into 5 stages. For an even simpler breakdown, the life cycle of fungi here is broken down into 4 stages. 

If you prefer visual learning, this video does a fine job breaking down the life cycle of mushrooms.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Mushrooms?

Information is scant regarding time to fruit during psilocybe semilanceata cultivation. Most psilocybe species take somewhere between 2 to 6 weeks from spore germination to fruiting, depending on the species. When the first “pins” appear, or miniscule mushrooms, some species like psilocybe cubensis only take 2 to 3 days to reach fruiting maturity. Psilocybe cyanescens can take 4 weeks. When the first wave of growth appears, this is called a “flush.” Normally, indoor cultivation projects, like those done with grow bags, will provide 4, 5, or more flushes.

Do some deep research on time to fruit for psilocybe semilanceata. Hit the online forums and threads hard, reach out to mycologists, read some Paul Stamets, ask friends who grow, or simply set up your outdoor grow operation in a nearby area that you can watch daily like a hawk.

How to Dry Psilocybin Mushrooms

If you have achieved success with your psilocybe semilanceata cultivation project, and harvested them, congratulations! It is now onto drying them. 

The first thing you want to do is clip or cut the bottom of each stem, and remove the part of the stem that was attached to the substrate.

After that, choose your drying method. It is important to dry mushrooms for aesthetics and decomposition purposes. Properly dried mushrooms look better for consumption. Also, due to the mushroom being composed of 90% or more of water, the remaining moisture can be a hotbed for microbes, and other fungal cooties. Considering many skin afflictions are fungal in nature, just think about the cooties that get on fungus! Max gross. That is why you want to dry mushrooms fast. So how do you do it? You have got options.

One way is to oven dry mushrooms. This is a controversial method to say the least. Some people think the method is ok while others decry the procedure. This Reddit thread goes deep into the oven drying debate. 

Air drying is always an option, however not the most efficient or effective. You can simply place mushrooms on a paper towel or cardboard with a fan blowing on them. This takes about 4 to 7 days.

One of the most popular, albeit more expensive methods, is using a vertical dehydrator. If you do not own, or can not afford, a vertical dehydrator, you can try the “sushi mat” method as an alternative. Read about vertical dehydrator and the “sushi mat” techniques here.

You can also dry magic mushrooms using a dessicant, or water/moisture absorbent. A desiccant is the small, white packet with silica in it you find in a pair of new shoes, or the shoe box. The packet that tells you not to eat it. Yeah that one. Do not eat it anymore, you can use that to dry mushrooms. Those little packets come in handy for all kinds of different uses. They work great in hiking backpacks to keep them dry and prevent them from stinking. You can make your own desiccant for drying magic mushrooms using either kitty litter or Epsom salt. Simply place a baking rack in a large Tupperware container, with the desiccant below, put the mushrooms on top of the rack and you are done. 

Your mushrooms are dry when they are bone dry. They should snap like a cannabis stem. A clean, sharp break should take place, without any resistance or bend.

Cutting or tearing magic mushrooms prior to or post-drying may or may not impact their potency. There is a big debate that rages on about this as well.

How to Store Psilocybin Mushrooms

Once you have grown, harvested and dried you have to cap off your Liberties so you have the freedom to enjoy them indefinitely. Like other topics regarding magic mushrooms, storing is not free of debate either.

Many people think it is a good idea to preserve mushrooms by storing them in the freezer. If you read our article on how to properly store magic mushrooms you will know this is a bad idea. Almost all mushrooms, no matter how bone dry they are, still retain a residual amount of moisture. If this remaining moisture condenses and freezes, your precious soul stash will go the way of Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining, instead of your spirit shining like the sun. This valuable Reddit thread about how to store psilocybin mushrooms settles the debate thanks to a professional forager with tons of experience.

So how do you store your beloved magic mushrooms then? There are several options to choose from. 

The safest bet is to put them in any kind of air tight container: Tupperware, Mason Jar, Ziploc bag, etc. Consider tossing in one of those silica packets to keep them dry. If you want to go above and beyond, vacuum sealing also is an excellent way to preserve and store psilocybin mushrooms.

Other more unconventional options are at your disposal. One such method is learning how to make magic mushroom tea. You will not be able to preserve them for as long compared to dried mushrooms, but your tea and crumpets time with friends will blast off from boring to bewildering in no time. 

Finally, if none of these methods suit your fancy, you still can opt to store your mushrooms in chocolate, honey and/or capsules/microdoses. This article here does a fine job explaining how to best store psilocybin mushrooms for each one of those methods. 

Always remember that the 4 enemies and risks to the preservation and potency protection of your psilocybin mushrooms are: oxygen, heat, UV light, and mold and bacteria. Once you have these 4 horsemen of the mycopocalypse held at bay, the rest of your storage operation is simple.

Always keep psilocybin mushrooms in a cool, dry place, out of sunlight: closet, cupboard, desk drawer, etc.

Psilocybe Semilanceata Cultivation Requires Myco Maestros

The truth is, if you plan on attempting to cultivate psilocybe semilanceata, this will be quite a difficult project, unless you have advanced mycological mastery. If you are already a mushroom maven, then go for it. If not, the best recommendation might be to cultivate other psilocybe species first and build your experience and expertise before trying to summit the peak of at-home psilocybe cultivation. Good luck to all on your mushrooming cultivation efforts!

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Adam Miezio
Adam Miezio

About the Author

From Chicago, I call Austin, TX home with stops in Spain and Florida. I’m active in the psychedelic culture having seen speakers like Jamie Wheal, Anthony Bossis, Roland Griffiths and Dennis McKenna. Austin led me to my first ayahuasca retreat. I hike national parks, enjoy abusing my passport, listen to the Flaming Lips and read: Jung, Joseph Campbell, Montaigne, Graham Hancock and Alan Watts. As my beloved Bill Hicks said, “It’s just a ride."

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