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What's the difference between Liquid Culture & Spore Solution?

With all the various terms used in mycology and mushroom cultivation, it's easy to get a little confused with the different methods and terminologies being tossed around. Here's a little breakdown to better understand the difference between spore syringes and liquid culture solution.

What is a Liquid Culture Syringe?

Liquid culture solutions contain a nutritious, sterilized liquid that acts as a food source for spores to feed off of, giving them the opportunity to germinate. When you inoculate with a liquid culture solution, you are injecting live mycelium into your spawn. If we were gardening, it would be the equivalent to using a seedling- ready to start growing and doing it's thing right off the bat! 

Using a liquid culture solution also allows the grower to isolate a specific strain and clone it, producing plentiful harvests of your mushroom variety of choice! When you use a liquid culture solution to isolate genetics, you are given the chance to have some say on the outcome of your grow- the size of your yield, colonization time, preferred incubating/fruiting conditions. Although it involves some extra work, the final results can be well worth your while! 

What is a Spore Syringe?

A spore syringe consists of spores suspended in sterilized water. Spore syringes contain thousands of genetics; in order for spores to germinate, two spores with matching genetics must meet, germinate, then start their life cycle. 

Pros and Cons of Liquid Culture vs Spore Syringes

Liquid Culture


  • Allows you to isolate based on genetics
  • Faster colonization times
  • Lower chances of contamination when working with whole grains
  • Easily accessible to purchase/make at home


  • Limited shelf life 
  • Requires sterile environment (advanced technique) 

Spore Syringes


  • Long shelf life
  • Diverse range of genetics 
  • Easily accessible


  • Longer colonization times
  • Unknown genetics
  • Increased risk of contamination when working with whole grains

Want to turn your spore syringe into liquid culture?

All you need is a spore syringe, some agar plates, a liquid culture kit, and a sterile working area! Our agar plate guide and liquid culture kit guide can be used as a reference every step of the way

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