Growing black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) at hot house or at home
It is not uncommon for flower growers when mushrooms suddenly begin to grow in a flower pot. Most often these are small mushrooms and small lepiots, but there are also more exotic species.
There are known cases when a truffle grew in a flower pot, most often this happens in the roots of an oak or walnut seedling that contained truffle mycelium.
But in this case it is difficult to detect the grown truffle — it is usually small and does not give off a smell. Also it can only be discovered during transplantation, so often such a good mushroom rots before being harvested: the grower does not even suspect what surprise was waiting for him in the pot.
To avoid these difficulties, you can grow the truffle in a small transparent container inside a flower pot. The diagram shows how this can be done.
Truffle growing process
1. Prepare the substrate for the seedling. As a substrate, you can use black soil (30%), vermiculite (35%), sand (30%), limestone (5%) or use any ready-made store-bought mixture suitable for growing oak or walnut seedlings.
2. You need a grown seedling. You can grow it from an acorn or purchase a ready-made seedling of a suitable size. When growing from an acorn, place the container with truffle mycelium into a larger pot during the next planned replanting.
3. In a small container with the same substrate (wet), add clean truffle mycelium. You need to make two holes in the sides of the container. The mycelium will begin to grow and should fill the container in 2-4 weeks.
4. Prepare a pot for growing truffles: glue in a separator that separates substrate from air as shown in the figure and cut a viewing window. For the separator you can use any plastic.
Growing black truffle — growing scheme:
Then we place this container with mycelium in a flower pot and a seedling above it. The flower pot is divided into 2 parts by a separator. The smaller part contains air, and the larger part contains substrate. The container is placed in such a way that it is partially in the substrate, and a smaller part is in the air. As a result of this, the mycelium that is in the container begins to grow, exits through the hole into the substrate of the flower pot and forms mycorrhiza with the roots of the seedling. The grown mycelium can be seen on the surface of the substrate in the flower pot.
5. The truffle will grow from the container from the second hole, which is in the air.
The growth of the truffle can be observed through an access window cut into the flower pot.
Temperature 23 °C, air humidity 70%.
Sterility will never be 100% and cultivation is never guaranteed. In a pot, “domestic” mushrooms grow in the same way as wild ones: one grows, and the other is destroyed by a slug or fungus. But we must strive for maximum sterility — grow from an acorn and add a container filled with mycelium to the grown seedling. Moreover, when the mycelium has filled the container, you don’t have to wait for a long time, but immediately replant it — otherwise the mycelium goes into a different state. For wild seedlings and soil mixture collected independently, rather than purchased, it is better to boil the soil and dip the roots in hydrogen peroxide, but I have not tried it. Once I took an oak sapling from the forest and there were two-spotted mites that feed on the sap of the leaves. I still can’t get them out, but some truffles are growing.
Tuber melanosporum starting.
The grown truffle is white in color because it grows in the air and not underground. Truffle is large, up to 10cm. Sometimes it has some truffle smell, but not always.
Questions about growing truffles in a flower pot
How long does the process take?
The process is not 100% sterile, so the time varies — if all is well — 3 months.
How many fruiting bodies can grow?
One hole = 1 truffle.
Is this multiple fruiting or one-time fruiting?
One-time for now.
Do we make a pot with a partition ourselves or do they sell these?
The pot and all the insides are made of plastic — the partition is glued, a hole is cut.
Is drainage necessary?
Drainage is needed for the seedling; the container is placed in the center of the pot (closer to the roots). Pot sizes: the bigger the better. I have containers 250ml-500ml, pot 50cm high
Ingredients for growing truffles at home
- oak seedling or acorn
- truffle mycelium
- plastic flower pot 50cm high
- plastic container 250-500ml
- black soil
- coarse sand or fine gravel
- limestone or calcareous soil
See more photos on the author’s page.