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How to Grow Cordyceps militaris

Guide to using Rootlab’s cordyceps militaris grow kit

Please use this guide and FAQs to assist you in using our kit. Remember that this kit is designed for educational purposes to introduce you to the world of medicinal mushrooms. Always adhere to safety guidelines and do further research where necessary when consuming them as tincture or powder.


Rootlab cordycep kit with container, Substrate, Alcohol and cordyceps militaris syringe.

Step 1: Setup

Unpack all items and familiarize yourself with the process by visiting our blog and watching the instructional video.
Sanitize your work surface with the isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) provided with the kit. Store alcohol safely away from children and pets. This alcohol is not for consumption and is also highly flammable, so keep it away from any naked flame.
Clean your work surface, gloves, scissors, substrate, and syringe with fresh paper towels, as shown in the video.

Cutting Codryceps Substrate bag

Step 2: Substrate Preparation


    • Use sanitized scissors to cut the corner of the substrate bag.
    • Open one container at a time and pour half the substrate in. It should be around 2 cm deep. Try not to get the substrate on the side wall. If some substrate gets stuck on the side wall, ignore it and do not attempt to clean it up to avoid risking contamination. Your main goal is to divide the substrate and the extra liquid in the substrate equally. Do not put all the liquid from the substrate in one container, as this will mean nothing is left for the other container. If you wish to do this step simultaneously with 2 containers to divide them equally, you can.
    • Ensure the lid is popped back on as soon as possible, as leaving it open will increase the chances of contamination.
    • Do the above steps quickly and perform it in a room that is still. Ensure no air-conditioning or fan is turned on, or any window is left open.

    Step 3: Leveling the Substrate


      • Tap the container until the substrate is somewhat flat. Uneven surfaces are fine; they won’t affect mushroom growth; they will just affect the aesthetics.

      Step 4: Inoculation

        • Inject 5 ml of the syringe contents into each container by removing the cap.
        • Seal the lids of the substrate container; they must remain closed to avoid contamination. You may need to press down firmly on all around the lid to ensure it is sealed. Don’t put too much pressure; the container will break.
        • Once the substrate has been inoculated, place it in darkness for 3-4 days and then place underneath light for 14 hours straight and then in darkness for 10 hours straight each day(or 12/12 cycle). The light source should not emit heat. Best light source is 6000-6500k white led strip.Temperature should not go above 20° C, best temperature is 18°C.

        Cordyceps pinning in the container

        Step 5: Monitoring

          • Label each container with the date it was inoculated.
          • Set a reminder for 45 days to check on the mushrooms for signs of growth. Monitor meanwhile for contamination.

          Step 6: Research and Community

            • Begin researching tincture preparation and join relevant Facebook groups.
            • Please do not ask for tincture-making support from us (this area is out of our scope), and make sure to research proper dosages and safety for pets, children and adults independently.

            Cordyceps fruiting in the container

            Cordyceps fruiting out of the container

            Step 7: Harvesting and storage

              • At around the 60-day mark, loosen the cake from the container sides and remove it.
              • Cut the mushrooms from the base and store them wrapped in a fresh paper towel.
              • For maximum nutritional benefits, keep the harvested mushrooms in a zip-lock bag(wrapped in a paper towel) in the fridge for up to 3 days.
              • You can also dehydrate your mushroom if you may.

              Step 8: Next Steps

                • Consider buying your own liquid culture and start growing Cordyceps at home on your own. You are not a beginner anymore, after all. You have grown one of the most difficult to grow mushrooms.

                • We will answer all your questions relating to growing them via phone (Jae 0416 399 905), email ([email protected]), or website chat.

                Cordyceps Grow Kit FAQ


                No, you can’t.
                Making tincture or cooking will kill the contamination but will not destroy the toxic substance contamination can secrete. Since we do not know what contamination is inside, please play it safe. Don’t use and discard it.

                Yes, if you clean them with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge and sterilise them with a germicidal UV light. Replace the micropore tape with a fresh one.

                The containers cannot be autoclaved.
                You can try cleaning it up with isopropyl alcohol post-wash and bypass UV sterilisation to reuse them, but understand it’s not a 100% guarantee it will work.

                Technically, yes, but it is not recommended. Our substrate is designed for fruit production, not direct mycelium consumption.
                If we were to eat the mycelium, we would have designed our substrate very differently and let it only produce mycelium and not fruits.

                Drying and powdering Cordyceps is out of the kit’s scope and requires deep knowledge of oxidation, heat, and other factors to preserve potency.
                If you do wish to dry and powder Cordyceps, you may, but please do your own research. Our part is to help you grow.

                The recommended temperature for growing the Cordyceps is 18-20°C, with slower growth leading to a higher concentration of medicinal compounds.
                Slower growth happens when the temperature are lower around 17-18°C.

                The kit is designed to require minimal maintenance once set up, only needing to be checked for contamination.
                We also check for mushroom pinning around 45 days.

                If you haven’t started using the kit yet, it needs to be used within a week (for the best results) or up to a maximum of 3 weeks.
                Cordyceps are also extremely sensitive to light and begin changing colour to orange from white and undergo some major changes in their structure, so the syringe must be kept in the fridge and not exposed to light, so keep it wrapped with foil paper inside a zip lock bag.

                Do not keep the substrate and plastic jar in fridge, store them in your cupboard until ready to use.

                The fruits however can be stored in the fridge when they are harvested but best consumed soon or dried .

                Harvest is expected around 60 days, and the yield from one container is between 10-45 grams (fresh) approx, suitable for making tinctures that can last for at least two months.

                It should take approximately 5 minutes to read the growing guide, 5 minutes to watch the instruction video, 10 minutes to clean all equipment using the alcohol spray bottle and set up the kit, and finally, about 5 minutes to harvest.

                You may additionally need to spend some time researching cordyceps, its benefits, side effects, and ways to consume it.

                Keep in mind, the secret lies within the broth. The liquid cordyceps culture you’ve received in the syringe is concocted using a unique formula that diverges from standard liquid cultures, containing over seven distinct ingredients. Below, we’ll share a simplified version of the recipe used by Rootlab for preparing your substrate, which is designed to fill five to six circular takeaway containers:

                Ingredients for the substrate:

                • Brown Rice: 200 grams
                • Potato-infused Water: 600 ml (Boil potatoes in water, then remove them before they become mushy, under a gentle flame for about 20-30 minutes)
                • Glucose Syrup: 25 ml
                • Yeast: 5 grams (A Vitamin B1 tablet, finely crushed, is an alternative)
                • Soy Peptone: 1 grams
                • Azomite: 1 gram (Purchase available on our website)
                • Pea Protein:5 gms

                Required equipment includes a pressure cooker, a mushroom cultivation bag, and optionally, UVC and Blue and Red LED lights.


                Before Sterilization:

                1. Thoroughly wash two medium-sized potatoes and quarter them (no need to peel). Boil in approximately 600 ml of water. Allow to cool to a warm temperature, then dissolve 25 ml of glucose syrup into it.
                2. Rinse 200 grams of brown rice 4-5 times, then set aside to dry.
                3. Combine the yeast, soy peptone, Protein and azomite in a container, and mix in the potato water with the dissolved glucose syrup.
                4. Place the brown rice into a mushroom cultivation bag, followed by the liquid mixture prepared in step 3.
                5. Sterilize the contents in a pressure cooker at 15 PSI/121°C for 45 minutes to an hour.

                After Sterilization:

                1. In a clean environment, preferably in front of a laminar flow hood, transfer the sterilized substrate into the takeaway containers by cutting a corner of the mushroom bag. Clean the containers beforehand with boiled water and a generous amount of isopropyl alcohol. To ensure all potential contaminants are eradicated, expose the inside of the containers to UVC light for about 30 minutes.
                2. Add the liquid culture after filling the containers with the substrate (to a depth of approximately 2 cm).

                Yes, you can. Cordyceps does not perform well when expanded or when exposed to light unless fruiting or when kept in a low nutritional environment.Use our LC Supercharge mix to expand your culture, add around 10ml liquid to 200ml Sterile LC to expand, stir for 4 days and use all content straight away. They cannot be stored once expanded, they will start to die in one week.

                Cordyceps are referred to as medicinal mushrooms, meaning they are consumed for health rather than culinary reasons (It is important to note that ‘medicinal mushrooms’ is not a euphemism for psychedelic. These mushrooms are not psychedelic). While we can’t list the medicinal benefits of cordyceps to abide by Australian Law, which is very restrictive in this regard, I am sure you are here because you have heard or know how amazing these mushrooms are and what they are capable of.

                The mushrooms won’t be ready for at least 55 days. Harvesting them after 60 days is ideal. Another sign your mushrooms could be ready is at least 3 mushrooms are 4 cm in length or above. (although this is not always a 100% reliable sign).

                You will need to get a sterile petri dish to collect cordyceps spores. Put some Vaseline in the inner part of the lid and stick one cordyceps mushroom harvested at 45 days. Close the petri dish with parafilm and let it drop spores on a sterile surface for 15 days. After 15 days, the mushroom would have shrivelled up and dropped all of its spores. Using a sterile cotton swab, collect the invisible spore from the bottom of the petri dish and roll it on an agar plate. Watch your spores grow.

                Rootlab Author

                Owner of Rootlab

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                2 Responses

                1. Can i grow these kits in a room with just normal day and night hours? Or do i need to control the light schedule to be 12 day and 12 night hours to get fruiting?

                  1. You can grow them in normal day and night hours with indirect light(Artificial light is not required but recommended), no direct sunlight.As long as temp are below 20 they will fruit.

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