Do Mushrooms Need Light Or Sunlight? The Facts Explained

Do Mushrooms Need Light Or Sunlight? The Facts Explained

It’s a common misconception that mushrooms need sunshine to develop, but this isn’t always the case.

Since most mushrooms lack chlorophyll and cannot perform photosynthesis, they don’t require light or sunlight to develop. Instead, these mushrooms generate spores on the surface of their caps while growing in complete darkness. They are known as saprophytic mushrooms because they mostly eat dead or rotting material.

Other mushrooms, however, do require some light throughout the fruiting stage. These are the common edible “mushrooms” that sprout from logs or stumps. To learn more about which mushrooms may grow in both light and darkness, keep reading.

Do All Mushrooms Need Sunlight To Grow?

Plants need sunlight to power the process of photosynthesis, which is a crucial aspect in accelerating their growth.

When you consider mushrooms, however, the situation changes significantly because they are not considered to be plants. They are heterotrophs (species that cannot produce their own food) and come under the umbrella of the Fungi kingdom.

They have a structure that is similar to that of a plant but do not engage in photosynthesis. They may also grow in the absence of sunshine.

Therefore, because they can survive in the dark fairly well, mushrooms don’t largely depend on sunlight for growth.

Why Do Some Mushrooms Need Light To Grow?

In general, mushrooms do not require light for growth, but while forming fruit, light availability becomes critical.

A few hours of sunlight each day can help mushrooms fruit successfully. For mushrooms to grow fruit, even a fluorescent lamp or a dim amount of light is sufficient.

According to studies, blue LEDs are better for mushrooms than regular light since they efficiently increase fruit harvests overall.

Botanists exposed the grey and white oyster mushroom bags to various light sources, such as fluorescent light, blue LED, red LED, and green LED, in an effort to identify the hue of light that will increase the productivity of mushroom fruiting.

Therefore, all of the mushroom bags showed the best development characteristics, and among all of them, the red LED-exposed mushroom bags emerged to produce the highest yield. White oysters outperformed gray oysters from both varieties of mushroom in terms of weight and output.

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List of Mushrooms That Grow in Sunlight:

The majority of mushrooms typically grow in the dark, although some can also sprout in the sun. Here are a few mushrooms that thrive in bright sunlight and grow at their best:

  1. Rugosoannulata Stropharia:

The wine cap Stropharia, garden giant, burgundy mushroom, and king Stropharia are some of the other names for this fungus. Its origins in Europe and North America were found in Bogota, Colombia, in April 2018.

The king Stropharia is fairly substantial for its size, growing to a height of 20 cm and a width of 30 cm.

In North American locations, it grows on wood chips in the summer and fall. It is edible, and some authors have said it is exceedingly delicious.

  1. Comatus, Coprinus:

Coprinus Comatus is also known by the terms shaggy ink hat, lawyer’s wig, and shaggy mane. It is a typical fungus that is usually discovered on lawns, dumps, and gravel roads.

The distinctive feature of Coprinus Comatus is that after being plucked, they turn black and dissolve. In China, Coprinus Comatus are widely grown for food and should be eaten as soon as possible to prevent deterioration.

  1. Argiculus bisporus

It is a North American and European native edible mushroom. It combines the shades of brown and white.

“White button mushroom” is a common name for Agaricus bisporus. In his 1871 handbook of British Fungi, English botanist Mordecai Cubitt Cooke provided the first explanation of it.

When fully grown, it takes on a brown hue and grows to a height of 10 to 15 centimeters. Since white button mushrooms are so widely consumed, they are grown in more than 70 different nations.

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Why Do Some Mushrooms Prefer The Dark?

Do All Mushrooms Need Sunlight To Grow?

Since mushrooms grow from spores rather than seeds and some of them even glow, almost all of them do so in the dark. Darkness allows them to multiply because it preserves the moisture in their spores at its best, which is why they need uniform moisture in them.

Furthermore, the optimal conditions for the growth of mushrooms are usually those with high humidity and little light exposure.

When growing mushrooms, even the farmers use humidifiers to maintain the ideal air humidity because low humidity prevents water loss, which promotes development.

List of Mushrooms That Grow in Dark:

There is a sizable number of mushrooms that can grow and even glow at night. But eventually I would write down a couple of them.

The majority of these mushrooms can be found in deep forests, close to dead wood or tree stumps.

  1. Oyster Bitter (Panellus stipticus)
  2. Ping-Pong bats, little (Panellus pusillus)
  3. Butter Mushroom (Armillaria mellea)
  4. Honey Bulbous Fungus (Armillaria gallica)
  5. Blue Pepe (Mycena chlorophos)
  6. Miniature Mushrooms (Baby Bella)
  7. From the Woods, Hen
  8. Shelf-sulfur mushrooms
  9. Colophyllum filaris
  10. The list continues with Deadly Dapperling (Lepiota brunneoincarnata).

How Many Hours of Light Do Mushrooms Need?

When producing fruit from Mycelium, often referred to as hyphae, mushrooms typically need light.

The average amount of low light needed for mushrooms to reach thriving fruiting is a few hours. When mushrooms are cultivated inside, even a 100-watt fluorescent light or indirect sunlight can provide the demand.

Nearly 12 hours of light exposure per day is more than sufficient for mushroom growth when grown indoors. The majority rely on indirect sunlight, but some choose to utilize LED lights on a 12-hour cycle.

Some people have a tendency to follow the same schedule for their mushrooms in order to maintain them in light, just like we do, i.e., work for 16 hours during the day and sleep for 8 hours. It can be to make it easier for them to manage their daily job schedule.

What Conditions Are Needed For a Mushroom To Grow?

If you want to produce mushrooms in a healthy and significant way, you must meet certain requirements.

These circumstances are essential for the considerable growth of mushrooms and serve as their foundation. Light, humidity, temperature, and nutrition are a few of them.


Except when they are in the fruiting stage, mushrooms do not require light. Because they require moisture for their spores to multiply, mushrooms grow more rapidly in the dark because the darkness protects the moisture, preventing it from drying out.

Humidity :

A humid climate is the ideal for mushroom growth. Typically, we go to view mushrooms growing in damp places rather than in the direct sun.

When growing mushrooms, growers also make sure the right amount of moisture is present.

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Temperature :

The right temperature is essential for the growth of mushrooms. The majority of mushrooms will develop best at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so avoid going above that range. Above this temperature, mushrooms may dry out or experience growth inhibition.

Shiitake mushrooms may grow in temperatures between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, although between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit is best for their growth.

Nutrients :

It is yet another essential element for the consistent and sufficient productivity of mushrooms. Mushrooms in particular need lignin, nitrogen, sugar, starch, protein, and lipids. They get all of these nutrients from the environment and the site where they grow.

Compost consisting of straw and manure can be used in homes to grow mushrooms because it has all the necessary nutrients.

As an alternative, you can offer all the nutrients necessary for the mushrooms to thrive by mixing maize, peat moss, and sand.

How To Grow Mushrooms At Home?

Here, I’ll go into more detail about how to cultivate mushrooms at home with step-by-step instructions.

I would advise you to check the availability of the specific mushroom spores you wish to grow and the medium to add the spores into before starting this tutorial.


Set up a tray with a surface area of about 12 by 18 inches and a depth of 5 inches made of plastic, wood, or metal. Spread the spores on top of the medium (compost composed of manure or a combination of maize, peat moss, and sand) after filling the tray with the medium.


Make sure that the medium is wet before adding the mushroom spores. Till the mushrooms grow to their optimum, mist the medium with water once or twice every day.


Place the dish in a warmer area of your house to incubate the spores at a temperature of about 70 degrees. The growth of mushrooms will be accelerated by incubating the spores.

A thermometer can be used to check the temperature and make sure it is not higher than the ideal temperature.


Reduce the temperature when you see mycelia or roots emerging from the spores. Add extra medium to cover the mycelium and adjust the temperature to its ideal range of 55 to 60 degrees.

At this temperature, little mushrooms start to emerge a few days later.


Allow the mushrooms to grow until they are fully developed. Mushrooms typically need three to four weeks to mature before harvest. To avoid ruining the nearby growth, slice the mushrooms using a knife.

As soon as they are completely developed, mushrooms release their spores, which allows them to continue growing for approximately six months after being harvested. And eventually, these spores develop into fresh mushrooms.

You can now use these mushrooms to sate your demands for eating them as soup ingredients and toppings for pizza, among other things.

The Takeaway:

Sunlight is not necessary for the development of mushrooms. A bulb or a dim light might also contribute to accelerating their growth.

Moreover, during the time when they are fruiting, mushrooms only yearn for light. If we cultivate them or position them somewhere dark or shaded, it won’t hurt anything else.


How many hours of light do mushrooms need?

Nearly 12 hours of light exposure per day is more than sufficient for mushroom growth when grown indoors. The majority rely on indirect sunlight, but some choose to utilize LED lights on a 12-hour cycle.

How much light should I give my mushrooms?

Some gardeners choose to give their mushrooms far less light, while others adhere to a strict 12/12 lighting cycle. Mushrooms may thrive in a healthy amount of light thanks to a 12/12 timetable. This much light, however, is probably not necessary, and much less light might be sufficient to carry out the fruiting process.

What kind of light do you need to grow mushrooms?

A hotter light that leans more toward the blue end of the spectrum, such as that emitted by “daylight” fluorescent tubes with a Kelvin temperature of 6,000–7,000, is ideal for magic mushrooms.

How much light should my mushrooms have?

Some gardeners choose to give their mushrooms far less light, while others adhere to a strict 12/12 lighting cycle. Mushrooms may thrive in a healthy amount of light thanks to a 12/12 timetable. This much light, however, is probably not necessary, and much less light might be sufficient to carry out the fruiting process.

Can you grow mushrooms with LED lights?

Light is necessary for mycelium to develop full fruiting bodies. Others just rely on the indirect sunlight given by a window, while some growers prefer to utilize LED or CFL lights on 12-hour schedules. Some types of mushrooms can grow with absolutely no light.