Spores Vs. Liquid Culture

Spore Syringes Vs. Liquid Cultures (Complete Guide)

Mushroom cultivation & microscopy have become increasingly popular hobbies for many people around the world. Whether you're looking to grow gourmet mushrooms for culinary purposes or medicinal mushrooms for health benefits, the success of your project largely depends on the method you use to start it. Two popular methods are spore syringes and liquid cultures, but many people may not be aware of the differences between these methods or how they can impact the success of their project. In this article, we'll delve into the science behind spore syringes and liquid cultures and discuss the key differences between the two methods, helping you make an informed decision about which one is right for your mushroom cultivation project.

What are spore syringes?

Spore syringes are used to collect and transport mushroom spores. A spore is a microscopic reproductive structure that can be found on the underside of the cap of a mature mushroom. Spores are released into the air and can land on a variety of surfaces, including soil, wood, and other organic matter. When conditions are right, the spore will germinate and grow into a mycelium, which is the vegetative part of the mushroom.

A spore syringe is essentially a syringe filled with a liquid that contains spores suspended in a sterile solution. Spore syringes are created by injecting sterile water or another liquid into the cap of a mature mushroom, allowing the spores to mix with the liquid, and then drawing the solution back into the syringe. For more information, check out this complete guide to spore syringes we've prepared for you. 


What is a liquid culture?

A liquid culture, on the other hand, is created by growing mycelium in a liquid solution. To create a liquid culture, a small amount of mycelium is added to a sterilized liquid that contains nutrients and other growth factors. The mycelium grows and spreads throughout the liquid, eventually creating a dense, white mass. This mycelium can then be used to inoculate various media. Below, you can see a picture of liquid culture propagated in a jar. 

Liquid Culture In Jar

What are the differences between spore syringes and liquid cultures?

The main difference between spore syringes and liquid cultures is the starting material. Spore syringes contain spores, while liquid cultures contain mycelium. While both methods can be used to start a mushroom cultivation project, there are several advantages to using a liquid culture over a spore syringe, and visa versa.

Advantages Of Using Liquid Culture

One advantage of using a liquid culture is that it allows for faster colonization of grain, or whatever substrate you inoculate. Since the mycelium is already growing in the liquid, it can be easily transferred to the grain and will start colonizing it immediately. Spores, on the other hand, need to germinate and grow into mycelium before they can be introduced to sterile grain. This process can take several weeks, which can delay the start of the mushroom growing process. On the other side of the same token, spores allow mycologists to begin the process at the very beginning of the mushroom lifecycle. 


Fast colonization.. 6 days
by u/albertfrankenstien in shroomers


Another advantage of using a liquid culture is that it allows for a higher degree of genetic uniformity. Since the mycelium is growing in a liquid, it can be easily transferred to multiple substrates, creating a large number of identical mushroom colonies. Spores, on the other hand, can contain genetic variations, which can result in variations in the size, shape, and flavor of the mushrooms.

Finally, liquid cultures can be used to propagate mycelium over multiple generations. By transferring mycelium from one liquid culture to another, it is possible to create a large number of identical cultures that can be used to inoculate multiple substrates.

Please note that if you are looking for P. Cubensis liquid cultures, they are not legal in the USA as they contain psilocybin & psilosin. Spores, on the other hand, do not contain those compounds and are legal for purchase in the USA. Please refer to the disclaimer at the bottom of this article for more info. 

Advantages Of Using Spores Over Liquid Culture

Spore syringes offer several advantages over liquid cultures for mushroom cultivation enthusiasts. Firstly, they are relatively simple to obtain and store, making them a convenient choice for those who don't have access to specialized equipment or laboratories. 

Spores can also be stored for long periods of time without losing their viability, making them a cost-effective option for those who want to start multiple projects at different times. Finally, using spores allows growers to develop their own unique strains of mushrooms, as each spore print is genetically unique and can produce a different set of characteristics when grown. Overall, spore syringes are a great starting point for beginners or anyone looking for a more affordable and customizable option for growing mushrooms.

Spore Syringe Being Held Up


Spore syringes and liquid cultures are both useful methods for starting a mushroom cultivation project, but there are key differences between the two methods that should be considered when deciding which one to use. While spore syringes are easier to obtain and can be used to start a project on a small scale, liquid cultures offer several advantages, including faster colonization of the substrate, higher genetic uniformity, and the ability to propagate mycelium over multiple generations. Ultimately, the choice between the two methods will depend on the specific needs and goals of the cultivator.

Disclaimer: We offer Psilocybin mushroom spores intended for microscopy and taxonomy purposes only. Images & Text provided are for informational and educational reference only and originate from cultivators and labs outside of the USA. Buying magic mushroom spores is legal in the United States. However, cultivation of magic mushrooms, which includes all psilocybin and psilocin containing mushroom species, is illegal in many countries, including the United States. Please check your local regulations to ensure that you are following the law properly.