Alternative for hemp in growing mycelium material


Hi I am Chaitanya I am Mushroom grower and I am experimenting with mycelium materials and I am trying with straw which does not give good strength to the material and hemp is illegal or controlled here in India
Can anyone help me with this for alternatives to hemp that can be used?


Hey Chaitanya,

You might want to try combining straw with things like woodchips or saw residue from a local carpenter or wood workshop. I don’t have any experience with bamboo, but I would definitely test with that as it has a great strength on its own. It will have to be small enough as the waxy surface makes it hard to get wet (and thus for it to stay wet enough for the mycelium to grow on it).

Also consider combining larger (1-2cm) and smaller parts (from dust to a few mm’s). Large parts help for the structural strength, small parts/dust help fill up gaps and are nice food for the fungi. This way the structure can be dense and strong. It is the way most plate materials are made.

Good luck!


Thank you! I was really stuck, this would certainly help me and combining smaller and bigger parts is a great idea and I will try that within a day or two.
also what do you think how should i use bamboo bamboo chips or is there something else that you have in mind.


Hey @Chaitanya I agree with what @Ellen said. I’ve grown materials using whole bamboo sticks and it works. I haven’t tried using them as small pieces or fibers, but it’s definitely worth trying. I’d say you could try using any local hardwood species. Just check that it doesn’t have antifungal properties, like many fir species do, or that it has been treated with chemicals. This will prevent the mycelium from growing.


Basically what Winnie says. I guess it also depends on what scale you want to grow the mycelium. It’s worth it to try different tactics: long sticks versus chips, or even a combination of those. The finer the chips, the finer the surface will be.