Yellowing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Causes, Solutions, and Prevention

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Growing Lion’s Mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) at home can be a rewarding and fascinating endeavor. These unique fungi, known for their cognitive benefits, make an excellent addition to any home grower’s repertoire. However, like with any mushroom cultivation, challenges can arise. One issue that growers may encounter is the yellowing of their Lion’s Mane mushrooms. In this blog post, we will explore the potential causes of yellowing Lion’s Mane mushrooms, offer solutions to address the problem, and provide tips for preventing it in the future.

Example of yellowing Lion’s Mane mushrooms

Causes of Yellowing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Several factors can contribute to the yellowing of Lion’s Mane mushrooms during cultivation:

  1. Excess moisture: Overwatering or high humidity can lead to excess moisture, which can cause the mushrooms to turn yellow. Lion’s Mane mushrooms require a balance of moisture to thrive, and too much water can hinder their growth and health.
  2. Insufficient fresh air exchange (FAE): Like all mushrooms, Lion’s Mane requires a proper balance of fresh air and carbon dioxide for optimal growth. Insufficient FAE can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide, which may cause the mushrooms to turn yellow.
  3. Contamination: The presence of contaminants, such as mold or bacteria, can also cause yellowing. Contaminants can compete with the mushrooms for resources, causing stress and impacting their overall health and appearance.
  4. Over-maturity: If Lion’s Mane mushrooms are not harvested in time, they can become over-mature and start to yellow as they age. Ideally, the mushrooms should be harvested when the spines are still soft and tender to ensure the best flavor and texture.

Solutions to Address Yellowing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

If you notice your Lion’s Mane mushrooms turning yellow, consider the following solutions:

  1. Adjust the moisture levels: If excess moisture is the issue, reduce the amount of water given to the mushrooms or adjust the humidity levels in the growing environment. Keep an eye on the substrate to ensure it remains moist but not overly wet.
  2. Improve fresh air exchange: Increase the frequency and duration of fresh air exchanges in your growing environment. This can be done by opening the grow chamber or tent more frequently or by adding a fan to circulate air and promote gas exchange.
  3. Address contamination: If you suspect contamination, isolate the affected mushrooms to prevent the spread of contaminants to other parts of the grow. Thoroughly clean the growing environment and sterilize all tools and equipment used in the cultivation process. In some cases, it may be necessary to discard the entire grow and start over to avoid persistent contamination issues.
  4. Harvest in time: Monitor your Lion’s Mane mushrooms closely as they grow and harvest them at the appropriate stage to prevent over-maturity and yellowing. The ideal time to harvest is when the spines are still soft and tender, and the fruiting body is firm and white.

Prevention Tips for Yellowing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

To prevent yellowing in future grows, consider the following tips:

  1. Monitor moisture levels: Keep a close eye on the moisture levels in your growing environment and adjust as needed. Aim for a balance that keeps the substrate moist but not overly wet. A hygrometer can be helpful in monitoring humidity levels.
  2. Maintain proper fresh air exchange: Ensure adequate FAE by regularly opening the grow chamber or tent and using a fan to circulate air. This will help maintain the right balance of gases for optimal mushroom growth.
  3. Practice good hygiene and sanitation: Prevent contamination by following proper hygiene and sanitation practices. Sterilize all tools and equipment before use, and wear gloves, a mask, and clean clothing when working with your mushrooms. Regularly clean your growing environment to minimize the risk of contaminants.
  1. Choose a suitable substrate: Select a high-quality substrate that is well-suited for Lion’s Mane mushroom cultivation. Hardwood sawdust or hardwood fuel pellets are popular choices, as they provide the nutrients and structure that Lion’s Mane mushrooms need to thrive.
  2. Monitor temperature and lighting: Maintain an optimal temperature range for Lion’s Mane mushrooms, which is typically between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Although Lion’s Mane mushrooms can tolerate lower light levels than some other mushroom species, providing indirect or ambient light can help promote healthy growth.
  3. Learn from experience: As with any form of cultivation, experience is a valuable teacher. Take notes on your growing conditions, any issues that arise, and the steps you take to address them. This information can help you refine your growing techniques and prevent yellowing in future grows.


Yellowing Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be a cause for concern, but understanding the potential causes and implementing the appropriate solutions can help address the issue. By monitoring and maintaining optimal growing conditions, practicing good hygiene and sanitation, and learning from your experiences, you can cultivate healthy, thriving Lion’s Mane mushrooms and enjoy the numerous cognitive benefits they provide.

Remember, patience and persistence are key when it comes to mushroom cultivation. Even experienced growers can encounter challenges, but with dedication and a willingness to learn, you can continue to improve your skills and enjoy the fascinating world of mushroom growing.

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