Urban Spore

Growing King Oyster Mushrooms

king oyster mushrooms

What Do King Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?

King oyster mushrooms are thick and meaty with a mild mushroom flavour which sweetens upon cooking. It holds together well during cooking and if often used as a substitute for scallops or other mild flavour meats.

King oyster mushrooms are some of my favourite for cooking with. Either fried, grilled or even in soups. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried some crumbed king oyster mushrooms. 

king oyster skewers

What Substrates Do King Oyster Mushrooms Grow on?

King oyster mushrooms are often found growing wild on dead and decaying hardwood. However, unlike the other oyster species P. eryngii can be mildly parasitic of the roots of herbaceus plants.

In terms of mushroom cultivation the king oyster mushroom can be cultivated on cellulose rich substrates like sugar cane mulch, straw and corn cob however it will perform better yielding more and higher quality fruits when grown on hardwood or a supplemented hardwood mix like masters’ mix.

king oyster caps

How To Open A King Oyster Grow Kit?

A different approach can be taken when opening a king oyster mushroom grow kit or fruiting block. Due to the top-fruiting nature of this species, the top can of the bag can be removed without need to fold back the plastic bag. This will create a reservoir which will retain CO2.

This species will produce thick meaty stems when grown in higher levels of CO2. The bag can be kept sealed until pins begin forming, making it one of the easiest mushrooms to fruit.

open king oyster kit

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What Is A Casing Layer?

A casing layer is applied to the fully colonised surface of some mushroom species to increase humidity, improve yield and quality of the fruiting bodies.

When cultivating king oyster mushrooms a casing layer is completely optional. There is a slight risk of contamination when applying a casing layer. As an alternative we recommend to lightly scratch the top surface of the grow kit. Without opening the bag use your fingers or the handle of a spoon to scratch against the surface. This will create indentations which will generate the ideal conditions for the formation of king oyster mushroom primordia (pins).

For those who wish to apply a casing layer we recommend to use a mixture of 50% coco-coir and 50% vermiculite with 1% hydrated lime which is rehydrated with boiling water. Once cooled to room temperature a layer can be applied to the fully colonised surface of the substrate. 

king oyster primordia

King Oyster Mycelium Appearance

King oyster mushroom mycelium is similar in appearance and structure to white oyster mushroom mycelium. The strands of hyphal threads will grow vigorously creating  a thick, dense mat of mycelium if left undisturbed.

Like most species the mycelium will be noticeably less visible after agitation however the grain spawn will remain viable and ready for use.

oyster mushroom grain spawn

King Oyster Time Line

  • Agar/Liquid Culture to Grain – 3 weeks
  • Grain to Grain/Hardwood Substrate – 3 weeks
  • Fruiting Chamber to 1st Flush – 1 week
  • 1st Flush to 2nd Flush – 2/3 weeks (maintain high humidity)
bulk substrate

King Oyster Spawn Run & Fruiting Conditions

  • Spawn Run – 10 – 25 degrees Celsius
  • Fruiting Conditions – 7 – 20 degrees Celsius
  • Humidity above 80% 
king oysters on straw

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