Lion’s mane mushrooms, or Hericium erinaceus as they are otherwise known, are a type of medicinal mushroom that has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Research has shown that these mushrooms offer a wide range of health benefits including cognitive and heart health, the ability to reduce inflammation as well as boasting health-promoting substances, such as antioxidants and beta-glucan.
These mushrooms are globe-shaped fungi with very distinctive long, shaggy dangling spines/gills - hence the name Lion’s Mane - and can be used for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
Spongy in texture and with a sweet and light taste, similar to crab and lobster, they are a perfect meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.
With lion’s mane typically not making an appearance in your local grocery store, the best way to get your hands on this magical ingredient is by growing your own at home.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best kits around that are fun to use and guaranteed to give you the best results possible.
OUR TOP PICK
The Michigan Mushroom Farm in South Lyon, is where these mushrooms are cultivated, grown and shipped from.
Well known in the Detroit area, this company supplies many local gourmet restaurants with this particular strain of Lion’s Mane mushrooms so you can relax knowing that this company knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to supplying mushrooms.
If you’re a first-time mushroom grower, this kit is a perfect introduction for you. Each kit produces up to 4lbs of mushrooms and with their easy-to-follow instructions on their website, you should have no problem achieving this.
Once an order is placed with this company, a very strict timeline is followed to guarantee you receive your kit at the perfect stage.
After injecting their premium fruiting substrate with Lion’s Mane grain spawn, your kit is then placed in a climate controlled incubation room which helps the mycelium to take over and your kit to become fully colonized.
Once this happens, it’s packed and shipped straight to your door.
With lots of helpful information on their website, you can’t really go wrong with this kit. The company even supplies you with some delicious recipe ideas to try out with your new mushrooms.
- Strain - This is a very aggressive and productive strain of Lion’s Mane.
- Speed - Quick growth on the mushrooms when looked after correctly.
- Taste - Light, delicate, and soft.
- Growth - The mushrooms can grow quite a lot before being delivered which can cause issues with the packaging.
North Spore has one very serious mission; ‘make the world of mushroom cultivation accessible to all, fostering innovation and collaboration to improve tomorrow’.
With a team made up of multiple professional mycologists, each of which oversees the in-house culture bank, spawn production, and laboratory, this company ensures that you are provided with the best possible kits to grow your mushrooms.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, North Spore is there to guide you and provide you with all the information and resources you need.
This Lion’s Mane grow kit is considered the easiest of their home grow kits and comes with a spray bottle for you to use to produce those incredible shaggy, plump mushrooms.
With the right humidity and care, this can have been known to produce dense, creamy white clusters of mushroom with potential multiple flushes.
The kit is fairly simple to use; cut the side of the box, create an ‘X’ shape cut in the bag, spray daily, and voila! Your mushrooms will soon make an appearance.
The kits themselves are made from a blend of organic, non-GMO ingredients from local farms in New England and North America.
Included in the kit is an amended sawdust block which is fully colonized with mushroom mycelium on arrival.
If you’re not quite sure what this is then lookout for a mold-like substance in your bag that is usually white - this is the mycelium which shows the start of the mushroom growth process.
All of the kits created by this company are produced in Westbrook, Maine, and come with a 100% happiness guarantee, so if you’re disappointed with your results or encounter an issue, this company wants to hear about it!
- Easy to use - With 3 easy steps to follow, this box is perfect for beginners.
- Equipment included - The spray bottle is included in this pack so there is no need to purchase any additional equipment.
- Quality - Exceptionally high quality from this mushroom provider.
- Mold - Mold has occasionally been found in the kits which can affect the quality of the results.
This company truly is a family-run business that cares about the environment and the product that it delivers to you.
Cascadia Mushrooms, based in Washington, is owned and run by Alex Winstead - a graduate in Mycology and the Sciences. He first started his business in the basement of his home but thanks to his success, he’s since built the mushroom farm of his dreams.
Cascadia Mushrooms is now able to produce year-round high-quality mushrooms for customers and businesses.
However, throughout the years, the vision of this business has stayed the same; ‘Produce the best quality mushroom products possible and feed our community while raising awareness of our humble fungi friends’.
The growing kits produced by this farm are extremely popular and can be found at local restaurants, farmers’ markets, garden centers, community-supported agriculture (CSA), as well as organic food grocers.
Cascadia Mushroom Farm also opens to the public several times a year with the team leading growing workshops and tours of the grounds and facilities.
With a high awareness for the environment, this company is certified organic, so you can buy one of their kits knowing that no harmful chemicals or pesticides were involved in the production, including their suppliers.
The plastic bags used inside each kit can also be recycled through DTG Recycling which is a company that collects non-recyclable waste and turns it into a brand new product. Amazing!
The kit itself is easy to use even though it is labeled with an intermediate level of difficulty.
The company marks an ‘X’ on each kit to clearly show each customer where to cut the bag and mist daily (2-3 times a day). In the following 1-2 weeks, you should see your mushrooms flourish and grow until they’re ready to be picked and used.
- Easy to use - The company marks out where to create a cut in your bag and detailed instructions are included in your kit.
- Knowledge - The team is incredibly knowledgeable and on hand to provide you with any answers you may need.
- Quality - High-quality mushrooms are guaranteed by this company.
- Spray Bottle - Not included in this kit as it is in some others.
This growing kit is a perfect introduction for those who are completely new to the world of mushrooms.
Each kit provides you with everything you need; one Lion’s Mane log, a humidity tent, a spray bottle, and detailed instructions for you to follow.
The growing process with this kit begins only when you start to spray, which makes it a great choice for a gift as it can stay in the box unopened for months.
This company has a great track record and is eager for users to have the same easy experience of growing mushrooms at home that they have on a bigger scale.
The company uses a mixture of wheat bran, sawdust, spent coffee grounds, as well as other agricultural wastes to grow their mushrooms, so you can relax knowing that no harmful chemicals have been used.
With lots of useful information on their website, the Root Mushroom Farm Store is always on hand to answer any queries you may have and their main aim is to help deliver high-quality gourmet mushrooms to their customers.
With very easy-to-follow instructions, this kit is perfect for customers of all ages and could even be given to children to help teach them how to grow mushrooms at home.
- Equipment - Everything that you need to grow these mushrooms is included in this kit.
- Growth - When you start using the kit, you can expect rapid growth.
- Flushes - You can expect multiple flushes (growth periods) with this kit.
- Environment - If the temperature is too high then the humidity tent is prone to drying out which creates the wrong environment for the mushrooms to grow in.
Foraged is a great company for providing you with products that are rare to come by so you can use them at home.
From mushrooms to wild honey, this company is great at championing independent sellers and delivering products straight to your door.
Their organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom kit is incredibly simple to use and perfect for anyone interested in growing mushrooms at home.
Their jumbo-sized grow kits have between 6.5-7lbs of organic mycelium in them, which is a great amount to begin experimenting with.
As it’s certified organic, this company guarantees that no harmful chemicals or pesticides were used in the process of creating these kits which is great for the environment and also for the customers.
With 6.5-7lbs of mycelium in each kit, you can also potentially grow up to 3 pounds of mushrooms over multiple flushes, so get those recipes at the ready!
The instructions are easy-to-follow with the customer simply having to pull out the circle off the back of the kit when it arrives, then mist the kit 2-3 times a day.
After 10-14 days of misting, you should have yourself a good crop of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms to enjoy.
The great thing about this kit is that everything you need is included in it. You’ll receive a misting bottle to give you that perfectly fine misting spray, a humidity dome to guarantee your mushrooms have the perfect environment to grow in, and detailed instructions for you to follow along with advice in case you run into any issues.
This kit is also perfect as a present as it can be stored before being used, meaning that you won’t miss out on any mushroom growth.
If you want it to arrive well in advance of a special event, you can store it in the fridge for up to 6 weeks before using, or at room temperature for 2 weeks.
- Organic - The mushrooms in this kit are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides.
- Storage - You can keep this kit stored until you are ready to use it.
- Equipment - All the equipment you need is included in this kit.
- Amount - Other kits offer a larger amount of mushrooms but this is good as a starter kit.
Far West Fungi is a family-run company based in the San Francisco Bay area of California.
Passionate about mushrooms for more than 35, this incredible family has dedicated their lives to growing and distributing organic mushrooms to local retail stores, restaurants, and farmer’s markets.
This particular kit is a mini-farm grow kit but still provides you with plenty of mushrooms if used correctly.
Generally, you can expect around 3-4 harvests, however, the company does mention that each kit is handcrafted so this may differ slightly with each order.
For the mushrooms to grow, each kit requires a light misting daily and to be grown indoors at temperatures ideally between 50-65’ Fahrenheit.
Mini-Farm kits typically produce around 1.5-2lbs of mushrooms per flush, but the aim of this kit isn’t to produce the biggest amount of mushrooms, but instead to teach you more about the whole mushroom growing process.
From having to look after your mushrooms with daily mistings to recognizing when they are ready to be harvested, this kit is a great way to familiarize yourself with the life cycle of a mushroom.
It’s also a brilliant gift to family members and friends, but If doing so, the kit should be set up and ready to start being used within about 7-10 days of purchase - something to bear in mind when planning presents.
As mentioned above, this company produces organic mushrooms so you are guaranteed to receive a product that is free from chemicals and pesticides which is great for the environment.
Each kit comes with detailed instructions but the company also provides customers with detailed videos on their website on how to set up their kits and how to also deal with any issues.
From helping you with mold, second flushes, and issues of growth inside each bag, this company will turn you into a mushroom expert before you know it!
- Information - This company provides set-up instructions in each kit as well as problem-solving videos on their website.
- Organic - Each kit is chemical and pesticide-free.
- Flushes - You can expect around 3-4 flushes with each kit, sometimes even 5.
- Environment - If the temperature is too high the mushrooms will fail to grow properly.
Best Lion’s Mane Grow Kit Buying Guide
The best way to find Lion’s Mane mushrooms is to grow them at home, but what do you need to look out for if you’ve never grown mushrooms before.
We’ve noted some important things for you to keep in mind before purchasing your very own kit.
Every kit is different and not all of them include every piece of equipment needed to successfully grow your mushrooms.
You’ll need a Lion’s Mane log, humidity dome, and misting bottle to guarantee perfect results, as well as detailed instructions that you can follow so before purchasing make sure that these are all included in your kit.
Otherwise, you can head to the pound store and pick up what’s missing.
When it comes to mushrooms, a ‘crop’ of mushrooms is what’s known as a flush. Mushroom mycelium tends to send up fruits in groups, then has a resting period, and then will send up another flush.
When researching kits, make sure you check out how many flushes you can expect. Generally, the higher the better as you can keep using your kit and growing mushrooms for a longer period.
The environment in which mushrooms grow has to be perfect to see any results, and the temperature has to be just right.
Each company will give you a different set of instructions to follow with a slightly different temperature range to keep your kit between.
If it’s too hot, your humidity dome may dry out which can cause the mushrooms to die, or if it’s too wet then the mushrooms will struggle to grow at all.
Is Lion’s Mane An Easy Mushroom To Grow At Home?
Yes. Like anything else, if you’re doing it for the first time it can take a bit of learning to know what to look out for and to create just the right environment for your mushrooms to flourish.
The mycelium of Lion’s Mane mushrooms is also very fine which can make it difficult to know when it’s fully colonized, but if you follow the instructions you will see the results!
How Long Does Lion’s Mane Take To Grow?
Growing Lion’s Mane indoors at home is a relatively quick process.
The mycelium generally takes around 2-3 weeks to colonize (this can sometimes take place before your kit is sent to you), and once fully colonized, the pins (beginning stages of a mushroom) can appear in 2-3 days.
With 1-2 weeks of growth following this, your mushrooms are usually ready to harvest.