Is growing mushrooms in closet a good idea? Let’s talk about it in this article. First of all, there are two types of mushroom cultivation methods: they are, Indoor tray and outdoor log method. Outdoor mushroom uses traditionally and this cultivation method does not require sterilization methods. In this method, the spawns are inoculated on tree logs. Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms are mainly grown using this method.

Growing Mushrooms In Closet

The indoor mushroom cultivation method is used commercially. Controlled environmental conditions and sterilizing techniques are used in this cultivating method. Oyster mushrooms grow very easily under indoor techniques. Closet mushroom cultivation comes under this indoor cultivation method.

Can you grow mushrooms in closet?

There are several factors affecting mushroom growing. Temperature, type of growth media (substrate)  and humidity are the major environmental factors. You can grow mushrooms in a closet by controlling the above factors and preparing an environment favorable for mushrooms.   When growing mushrooms in closets, they should give proper environmental conditions like dark, cool, and moist places. The substrate (growing medium)  is also very important and it varies according to the mushroom type. 

Wood chips, cardboards, strew, logs and also cocoa seed hulls or corn cobs can be mixed with compost and then used as a growing medium. 

Growing Mushrooms In Closet

Steps of growing mushrooms in closet? 

There are a few steps to growing mushrooms in the closet. As the first step, you should check whether the dark, cool moist conditions are present around the closet. This may be a small space but mushrooms can grow in small areas and in various environments. You can use various materials such as newspapers, and foldable cardboard as the growth medium for your mushroom cultivation. The second step is to wet the newspaper or cardboard using a small amount of water because water is necessary for the growth of mushrooms.

Then apply the spawns on the newspaper or cardboard and spread it all over the substrate. (spawns are mushroom mycelium and are used in mushroom cultivation). Then roll the newspaper or cardboard with spawns as the third step. Put the rubber bands on the ends of rolled newspaper or cardboard. This step is used to keep the paper roll the same as before.

As the fourth step, the paper roll with spawns is put into a polythene bag. Then cover the open ends to retain the moisture in the growing environment.  The air holes should be added for this polythene bag to get oxygen because mushrooms need oxygen and need to exhale carbon dioxide. Oxygen is important for respiration for mushrooms. Then keep the prepared polythene bag (log) in the closet. This takes about 21 days to grow mushrooms. The time period depends on the growing medium and environmental conditions.

When fruiting occurs, the growing mushrooms need to change their environmental factors such as humidity, airflow, temperature and light. These factors affect different ways for mushroom species. The oyster mushrooms have a wide range of tolerating the condition of different substrates. Wood pallets or sawdust are the best growing medium for several mushroom types because those materials contain high amounts of nitrogen. The content of the growth medium can change according to the mushroom’s nutritional requirements. 

For a better output, you should consider 

  • Mushroom strains
  • Substrate type 
  • environmental factors like location, climate changes (humidity) and temperature changes. 

When considering the mushroom types, Oyster, Brown cap and Button mushrooms are the easiest growing mushrooms. White button, Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms are also easy to grow. The Lion’s mane mushroom is fruit once a year and therefore it is hard to grow. The substrate type also varies from mushroom to mushroom. Oyster mushrooms grow best in the straw substrate, Shiitake mushrooms grow best in sawdust and Button mushrooms grow best in compost manure. 

Is growing mushrooms indoors dangerous?

Edible mushrooms are not harmful to humans. But mushrooms are fungi and they produce spores for their reproduction process. These spores are tiny and can not be seen by the naked eye. If these spores are inhaled by someone, allergy reactions, aggressive asthma, fungal sinusitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis can occur. 

Not only above health issues but there also occur kidney failure and lung diseases such as lung inflammation and irritation. To avoid these risks, you should follow precautionary methods such as wearing masks when working with mushrooms and keeping proper ventilation for the mushroom growth area. 

Growing Mushrooms In Closet

How to take care of a closet mushroom?

You should sterilize the substrate before inoculating the spawns. This is needed to prevent contaminations of mushrooms from Trichoderma sp. Like molds. The place where the closet is located should be dark, humid, and cool (below 21 degrees Celsius). And there should be good ventilation.  The substrate and other equipment that are used for mushroom cultivation should sterilize to prevent unnecessary contaminations. 

Should keep your hands clean while you are using the substrate and other sterilized equipment. Always keep the substrate moist. Should manage the heat and air circulation around the closet. In the beginning, the temperature should be high. When the mushrooms grow and come out from the substrate (mycelium grows), it should lower the temperature.

When harvesting mushrooms, you should use a clean knife or scissors to harvest them. After harvesting you can keep the mushroom fresh or dry and it depends on the way you consume it. The fresh mushrooms can keep under 2-4 ℃ in the refrigerator for two weeks. The mushrooms should be kept in a plastic or paper bag. When drying the mushrooms, the mushrooms spread on a board (cardboard) and let it dry in a well-ventilated place. Direct sunlight is not suitable for mushroom drying. You can also use a dehydrator or desiccant to dry mushrooms efficiently. Every mushroom must be placed separately while drying for proper drying. 

After drying the mushrooms, they are stored in cool and dark places or can store the mushroom in a sealable bag and vacuum sealing them. The airtight mason jars are also used to store dried mushrooms and can add a silica gel packet to ensure that there is no more moisture in the jars.  Another method of storing mushrooms is Vault containers and can protect mushrooms from humidity and also can retain the original taste and aroma of the stored foods.   

Growing Mushrooms In Closet

Related questions

Do mushrooms need light to grow?

Mushrooms are saprophytes and which means they use dead or decaying organic compounds as their food and therefore they don’t have chlorophyll for photosynthesis. Too much light is not good for mushrooms due to overheating. But a little amount of light is not harmful to mushrooms and light needs to form fruit bodies. 

Why are mushrooms growing in my closet?

Mushrooms grow in cool, moist environments and a little amount of light is enough for their growth. The mushrooms growing in your closet means the environment is suitable for the growth of mushrooms. The environment which locates your closet may not get enough ventilation and therefore the humidity may increase the sound closet. This condition helps to grow mushrooms. The leaking pipes cause increasing moisture around the closet and enhance the growth of mushrooms. 

The other condition is the environment/ closet rich with some decomposing materials. Mushrooms are saprophytes and they depend on dead or decomposing materials. So if your closet consists of decomposing materials (if the closet is wood and the closet may be the decomposing material) there is a good environment for the growth of mushrooms. 

Can you get sick from mushroom spores?

Exposing a high amount of mushroom spores and exposure for a long time period may cause several illnesses. The health issue conditions that you expose to high amounts of mushroom spores are,  rhinitis, allergic fungal sinusitis, allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis, asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

When you are exposed to mushroom spores for a long time period, lung inflammations and acute lung diseases may occur. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is the common disease type that mushroom spores can cause. Chills, cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and weight loss are the symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. An asthma attack is the other health issue that you can commonly get due to mushroom spores. This asthma attack may affect children and may get worse.  


Various types of edible, medicinal mushrooms are cultivated indoors and outdoors worldwide in large amounts because of their protein-fiber richness and medicinal values. Oyster mushrooms, Button mushrooms and Paddy straw mushrooms are the most common mushroom types that are cultivated. 

Temperature, moisture and light affect the growth of indoor cultivated mushrooms. Therefore when indoor cultivating, the above condition should be controlled. When considering the spaces, mushrooms can grow in small areas. But should maintain favorable conditions. A closet is one of the easiest ways of mushroom cultivation. The needed equipment and sterile conditions are less and it’s an advantage. Newspapers or cardboards are used as substrates and should maintain moisture and humidity using water. 

The substrate changed according to mushroom type and the harvesting amount of mushrooms also varied from mushroom to mushroom. The mushrooms should get proper environmental conditions during the mushroom cultivation period as well as the harvesting period and post-harvesting period too. There are several methods to keep mushrooms fresh or preservatives way. 

Mushrooms grow naturally in the closets because they get suitable favorable conditions in the closet. But mushroom spores cause health problems like lung irritation, asthma, etc. Therefore precautionary measures are important to avoid or minimize health issues. I hope you got a good idea about “Growing Mushrooms In Closet”. If you follow the steps right you also can grow mushrooms in your closet.

Credit to : Tony Camargo

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Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Environment and Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. My mission is to help other. You can use this knowledge to enhance your life THE BEST environments you possibly can.

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