Making Spore Prints from Magic Mushrooms

Making Spore Prints

Seeing as every plant have seeds, one may wonder what the seed of the mushroom is. The spores are the “seeds” of the mushroom. They are the major reproductive parts of the fungi (mushroom is a type of fungi) and the main means through which mushrooms are propagated. However, the means of propagation is usually haphazard and random in most cases, as these spores are picked up and deposited in another area by either a human shoe, animal fur, or blowing wind.

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This doesn’t mean that there are no intentional and controlled methods of propagating the mushroom spores. There are three methods. The first is to put the spores into the Petri dishes containing sterile agar. You can also wash the spores into the water and spread them over a substrate and finally, you can make a spore syringe usable in the PF Tek which is a form of mushroom cultivation methodology.

Despite functioning as a seed, the physical appearance of the spores is way different from that of a regular seed. A spore exists as a single-celled organism protected from harsh weather and unfavorable conditions by a hard coating.  A spore print is formed when spores of different mushrooms are deposited by the cap onto a surface. Thus, a spore print is therefore a means of recording and identifying your collection of mushrooms.

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Spore prints provide a practical way of keeping your strain alive. The alternative is to store the mushrooms, and this is impractical, especially concerning preserving the genetic makeup of the mushrooms. Adopting the use of spore prints is a better option as it reduces the likelihood of contamination during the inoculation process.

The Process of Making a Spore Print

As long as you are very particular about cleanliness, you will enjoy the process of making a spore print. It is important to mention that it is not an easy process, even for people who have been doing it for a while, but if you follow every single step, you will be able to prevent the contamination of the spores.

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The following are things that you will need to make a magic mushroom spore prints

  • Ziploc Bags (as many as the spores you have)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Sterilized Straight Edge
  • Drinking glass (as much as the available spores)
  • Scalpel
  • Sanitizing Spray
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Flat Serving Tray
  • Alcohol Gel
  • Heavy Grade Aluminum Foil
  • Glass jar


  • Select a room dedicated to the spore prints and clean it. You need to do a deep cleaning and sterilizing process and also clean yourself before you begin the process. Take a shower, clean your clothes and sanitize your hands using an alcohol gel.  
  • Proceed to sterilize about 10cm by 10cm aluminum foil by placing them in the oven at 250 degrees Celsius and then letting them cool. The number of aluminum foil you need to sterilize depends on the number of spores you are working with. You will need about two pieces of aluminum foil for one spore.
  • You need to disinfect all the equipment you are going to use. From your tweezers to the glasses, scissors, and serving tray. You can disinfect them using the sanitizing spray. You can also use the alcohol gel for the scalpel or use a gas burner.
  • Put half of the sterilized aluminum foil with its shiny face up on the serving tray. Place a glass jar on each aluminum foil and cover the jar with the remainder of the aluminum.
  • Pick the magic mushrooms and separate the cap from the stem by cutting under the cap using the scalpel. You need to exercise caution not to damage the gills. Put the mushroom cap face down on the foil square and set the glass back over it.
  • Place the serving tray in a secure area for about 36 hours. Within this duration, the spores will fall off the gills and settle on the foil.
  • After the time elapses, return to the project but ensure that you and your tools are sterilized. Use the tweezers to poke at the cap and make sure not to move it or damage the foil underneath. Gently lift the cap and set it aside to be used later
  • Place the serving tray somewhere for it to dry off for about 24 hours
  • Re-sterilize yourself, the surfaces, and the tools you are working with. Then remove the second foil from the jar and put it on a sanitized surface with the shiny surface facing up. Use the sterilized straight edge to create a crease on the foil and fold one side up.
  • To get the “dark, cool place” condition right for the development of the spores, you can trim the foil around the print and put it in a folded foil square while ensuring that it butts up against the crease. Ensure that the print stays in place by folding the foil square tightly.
  • Place it in a Ziploc bag, seal and label it. Ensure that the spores are well-sealed because mites eat spores and will also be attracted to prints.


From the process outlined above, it is clear to see that the process of making a spore print is not easy. However, it is worth it and very beneficial to everybody that wants to keep their strain alive. While it is a known fact that spores are tough and persistent, you should germinate them within a year. If you don’t, they may never germinate again.

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