Growing Oyster Mushrooms: The Top 6 Strains for Great Yields

Growing Oyster Mushrooms: The Top 6 Strains for Great Yields

Learn the process for growing oyster mushrooms, including best strains to use, and you can have a colorful harvest at your fingertips quickly

Growing oyster mushrooms has gained in popularity with mushroom farmers because the consumer group for edible, specialty mushrooms has been increasing. The production of specialty mushrooms increased by 37% between 2013-2015. Mushroom consumers are starting to understand that mushrooms can bring many different flavors and textures to a meal. 

Growing oyster mushrooms where it makes the most sense

Oyster mushrooms are particularly well suited for the small to medium mushroom producer. You can grow oyster mushrooms both indoors and outdoors. Your grows can vary in sizes too, from small, personal operations to commercial mushroom grows.  Oyster mushroom spawn is readily available as grain or sawdust throughout the United States. This is a valuable resource because the mushroom farmer does not have to dedicate the time and resources necessary to create a sterile lab.  If you want to grow oyster mushrooms indoors, then using our mushroom growing kit is a quick and easy option for you. All of the work is done for you. All you need to do is cut holes in the bag and mist it regularly so it stays properly moist. Check out all of our mushroom growing kits now.

Growing oyster mushrooms is best when you use the right strains

It is important to understand strain selection before your first oyster mushroom grow. Mycelium with identical DNA and traits can be cultured from a mushroom.. From there the mycelium can be expanded by vast quantities. A single petri plate can be the starting point for the production of 1000’s of pounds of mushrooms. Culturing allows the grower to select the correct strain for their situation and have predictable results. Consistent genetic information is expressed by culturing the mushroom rather than going through sexual reproduction. Consistency is the key to success. Certain strains of oyster mushrooms are abundant fruiters, giving a good yield compared to labor input. They fruit in clusters making it easy to harvest and store.  Check out this video below for a deeper look into growing oyster mushrooms at home:

The top six strains we recommend for growing oyster mushrooms

Blue Oyster Amycel 3015 - This strain is a high-yielding oyster mushroom with fast mycelial growth that will fruit at a wide range of temperatures between 50-75 degrees F. The fruiting clusters are large with large caps, ranging in color from blue to white depending on the temperature grown in and the stage harvested.  Blue Oyster Lambert 123 - Similar to above, this is another strain that is high-yielding with fast mycelial growth. The mushrooms are better and yield best when fruited at temperatures between 50-70 degrees F. The mushroom clusters are small and dense, which can make packaging easier.  Blue Oyster Pearl - This beautiful blue oyster mushroom is best grown at lower temperatures between 50-65 degrees F. The caps tend to be large and thick when grown at low temperatures, and they present a beautiful frosty blue color.  Yellow Oyster AM1 - This strain produces vibrant yellow oyster mushrooms which like to fruit at higher temperatures between 60-80 degrees F. The caps are typically small and numerous, and a large stem mass develops which can be eaten. Yields are medium to high.  White Oyster Elm A - This white oyster aggressively colonizes its substrate and has the ability to combat contaminants. It prefers to fruit in temperature in the 55-80 degrees F range. The caps are large, and the mushroom can fruit singularly or in clusters with large individual mushrooms.  Pink Oyster VDE-1 - This strain yields pink to red fruiting bodies and prefers temperatures from 60-85 degrees F. This mushroom cannot survive temperatures below 40 degrees F. It has extremely fast colonization and ability to grow on a wide range of substrates. The clusters and cap size are smaller than the blue oysters mentioned above. Storage and shelf life of this mushroom is limited, and it produces a medium yield. This mushroom is a good option for farmers’ markets or CSAs, but not for the wholesale market.

How long does growing oyster mushrooms take?

Oyster mushrooms are the fastest-growing mushrooms. The fastest substrates to grow them on are:
  • Masters mix, a mixture of sawdust and soybean hulls.
  • Straw
  • Toilet paper
  • Woodchips
  • Logs
All of these options take about 3-5 weeks, except for logs which take about six months or more. 

A complete guide to growing oyster mushrooms 

Now you have a good starting point for the types of oyster mushroom strains to use for growing delicious, often high-yielding oysters quickly.  If you are new to growing mushrooms, be sure to check out our free guide on the cultivation of oyster mushrooms. It brings you step-by-step for maximum efficiency. First, buy your oyster mushroom spawn from us directly and then read the guidebook. It will serve as a perfect starting point for you.  And remember, if you don’t want to get too deep into growing mushrooms right now but want to give it a try at a small scale, then it is best to try one of our mushroom growing kits to gauge your interest. 
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