Can I Grow Morel Mushrooms?

The short answer: No. It has been tried, believe me. And it is still being tried but so far with only very limited and often unrepeatable success. The mushroom loving world would do back-flips of joy if the process to propagate morel mushrooms could be figured out. 

The biggest problem with growing morels is that they don’t just feed on dead or dying organic material, like many other easily grown mushrooms do. A saprotrophic mushroom, like the oyster mushroom, feeds off dead trees. This is an easy thing to replicate in an indoor setting. Give the mushroom something to eat and it will grow.

Morels, on the other hand, are saprotrophic and also mycorrhizal, which means they have a relationship with the tree they are growing next to and they get nutrients from the trees’ roots. This symbiotic relationship isn’t so easy to replicate in an indoor setting.  Many attempts have been made to mimic or force the relationship between tree and mycelium.  So far, this hasn’t produced many repeatable results. 

Adding to the complications of growing morels is sclerotium. A sclerotium is a mass of nutrients that a mushroom stores for use during tough times. This is mainly used for winter months, however, a mushroom can choose not to grow an actual mushroom at all if it has enough in its’ reserves. Instead, it will just produce more mycelium and not produce any fruit. Morels do this all the time; they just decide not to grow for a year or two or three. It’s very hard to predict what these mushrooms are going to do.

And there’s more! In addition, morels take years to establish new places to grow. This is because the mycelium is working to secure the relationship with the symbiotic tree before fruiting. Any endeavor to grow them requires multitudes of patience and an acceptance that failure is the most likely outcome.

There are people and companies out there who will sell you morel spawn. A variety of morel growing kits are available online with in-depth instructions. There are folks, also, who will tell you step-by-step how to create a morel mushroom slurry to spread at the base of your trees. Many blog posts exist that explain precisely how a person can grow morels. While it is nice to believe in miracles, I would ask each and every person providing this information or offering stuff for sale if they have had success and how often. It seems much of it is hype and very little of it is real.

Maybe a few people have had good results but the majority of it all is money wasted on methods that just don’t work on a consistent basis. This mushroom needs to be studied a lot longer in order to figure out how to grow it reliably. There is still so much about how it actually grows that is unknown or not entirely understood. Until there is a well-documented, real success story, dreams of growing morels will have to be set aside.

Still Wanna Try Growing Morels on Your Own?

If you still have the itch and want to try it yourself, these are the two highest rated options on Amazon.