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How to Store Spore Syringes | Mushroom Spores for Growing

How To Store Spore Syringes | Mushroom Spores For Growing - What Are Spore Syringes Used For

“How to store spore syringes if you have mushroom spores for growing?”

Spore syringes are special containers of mushroom spores that allow growers to inoculate substrates so they can get mushrooms growing.

But what happens after you receive your spore syringe? Where should you store your spore syringes? How long will the spores last in storage?

How to Store Mushroom Spore Syringes

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best practice in storing mushroom spore syringes so you can ensure the maximum shelf life for your spores.

Let’s get started!

1. What are spore syringes used for?

What are spore syringes used for - growing edible and medicinal mushrooms - microscopy studying under a microscope and identification

A syringe is the easiest and most sterile mushroom spore storage; that is why it is the best option for suppliers.

You can use spore syringes to inoculate substrate for growing edible and medicinal mushrooms at home. Many people also use spore syringes to store extra spores for future use in microscopy (studying under a microscope).

Mushroom Spore Syringe FAQs Studying Mushroom Spores Under Microscope
Read more about Studying Mushroom Spores Under a Microscope

Some of the most popular mushroom species you can grow using spore syringes include Reishi, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, and Oyster mushrooms.

Almost any type of mushroom can be grown legally using this method. However, growing magic mushrooms like Psilocybe cubensis remains illegal at the federal level. In some states, possession of Psilocybe mushroom spores is legal only for microscopy purposes.

2. How to store spore syringes properly

Once you have your spore syringe, it’s important to store it properly to ensure that the spores remain viable. Spores are living organisms, and as such, they need to be stored in an environment that is conducive to their survival.

Here are some tips for storing your spore syringe:

How to store mushroom spore syringes properly - label the syringes - keep tightly sealed ziplock foil - cool dark storage NOT frozen - position horizontally in storage

  1. LABELED — Don’t forget to label the syringes so you know what strain of mushroom spores they contain. Also, you can add the date you received the syringe if it helps with tracking your spore supplies.
  2. SEALED — Make sure the spore syringe is tightly sealed when not in use. This will prevent the spores from drying out. Also, you can place the spore syringe in a zip lock and cover in foil for extra protection.
  3. COOL DARK STORAGE — Mushroom spores will not thrive in heat or light. Pick a cool, dark place for storage like a cupboard. However, spores kept in the refrigerator at 40° F (4° C) will last longer (up to 1-2 years) than if stored at room temperature in a cupboard (1 month). 
  4. UNFREEZE TO ROOM TEMPERATURE — If you received frozen spores in the mail, allow them to unfreeze before storing or warm up to room temperature before injecting them into a grow bag. Also, freezing the spore syringes is NOT ideal. There is a risk of damaging the syringe if stored in the freezer.
  5. STORE HORIZONTALLY — Do NOT store the spore syringe needle or barrel down because the spores will settle in one area. Position the syringe lying flat horizontally, so it’s easier to break the spores when they clump.

3. Using mushroom spores for growing

As for how to use spore syringes, simply inject the spores into your substrate of choice. For best results, inject the spores into sterilized grain spawn or the grain area of the ready-made mushroom grow bag.

If you’re not using the entire contents of the spore syringe at once, be sure to sterilize the needle before inserting it back into another grow bag. This will prevent potential cross-contamination.

Once injected, incubate the spawn at optimal temperatures until colonization occurs. Once the spores have germinated and begun to grow, they will need to be kept in a humid environment to produce fruit bodies.

mushroom grow kit from spores

Many people choose to grow mushrooms indoors under controlled conditions. However, it is also possible to grow them outdoors if you live in an area with the appropriate climate.

3.1. Can you use too much spore solution?

In terms of mushroom growing, “too many spores” in a spawn bag is not ideal. Two reasons for this are (1) “wastage” and (2) “competition for resources” which badly affects mycelium and mushroom growth.

3.1.1. over-spore-ing is a waste

Can you use too much mushroom spore syringe solution - over-spore-ing is a waste - inoculate 1-2cc (mL) per grow bag

Firstly, you do not want to waste your spores solution. An equally dispersed spores syringe solution of 10cc (10 mL) can inoculate five 2-lb grow bags. (This differs per supplier).

In each of our  2-lb grow bags, you will need to inject about 1-2cc of spore syringe solution.

3.1.2. over-spore-ing means too many genetics competing

How mushroom spores germinate | Illustration from ©️FreshCap Mushrooms
How mushroom spores germinate | Illustration from ©️FreshCap Mushrooms (fresh mushroom cap)

Secondly, “too many spores” in a spawn bag means too many genetics competing. Although a spore syringe contains one type of spore, each pair of germinating spores can still have different genetic expressions.

Subsequently, “too many spores” means more competition for nutrients from the substrate as each spore germinates.

Take note that spores are living organisms. Thus, they need nutrients (such as amino acids, sugars, and nitrogen compounds from the substrate) to form mycelium and finally, fruiting bodies.

If there are too many pins but too few nutrients left in the substrate, your block will produce mushrooms that are inferior.

Learn How to Grow Mushrooms at Home 4 Easy Steps | Using an All-In-One Mushroom Growing Kit

Wrapping up: How to Store Spore Syringes for Growing

See How To Check Your Spores Under A Microscope LIVE Q and A with Oliver to answer any questions about growing mushrooms at home
Tune in to our weekly live Q&A at https://www.facebook.com/curativemushrooms

Overall, storing your spore syringes properly is essential to ensure that you get the best possible results when growing mushrooms.

mushroom grow kit from spores

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to store your spores safely and enjoy great yields each time.

Remember to label the spore syringes, keep it tightly sealed and stored in a cool dark place lying horizontally. Also, check occasionally for contamination or mold growth, and handle the syringe carefully.

With these steps in mind, you can rest assured that your mushroom spores will remain viable for much longer.

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FDA DISCLAIMER

Curative Mushrooms has to post the standard FDA Disclaimer…The statements made regarding medicinal mushrooms have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Curative Mushrooms is not making claims intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before consuming the medicinal mushrooms. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Curative Mushrooms nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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Jess is a Feature Writer and a Psychometrist with an interest in exploring emerging mental health and wellness issues. She came across the fantastic world of functional mushrooms through the Curative Mushrooms online community. Since then, she has taken an interest in growing mushrooms, exploring their medicinal and therapeutic potential and the current ethical and legal issues surrounding them.

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