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Agar Plates for Mushrooms | Growing Mushroom Spores on Agar FAQs

Agar Plates For Mushrooms - Growing Mushroom Spores On Agar - Expert Answers To FAQs

Agar Plates for Mushrooms Growing Mushroom Spores on Agar FAQs. This article provides comprehensive guidelines and instructions for customers who have purchased mushroom grow kits from Curative Mushrooms.

Maximizing Your Mushroom Cultivation: Expert Answers to FAQs on Using Agar Plates for Growing Mushroom Spores

The article explains why it is essential to test the agar plate and how it helps to determine if the spore syringe, grow bag, or both have issues. It also provides instructions on what to do upon receiving the grow kit and how to request replacements if necessary.

The article discusses what to do if the spore syringe does not grow, or if it grows contamination, as well as when it’s allowed to request a replacement. Lastly, the article advises customers on what not to mention when communicating with customer support, as well as the legality of obtaining magic mushroom spores for microscopy use in certain states in the USA.

What are agar plates?

Agar plates with nutrients, such as nutrient agar, starch agar, milk agar, egg yolk agar, L agar, and minimal agar with sugar, can be used as long as they are free from contamination or drying out. It is important to check the plates for any small microbial colonies that may have grown during storage. If the plates are not contaminated or dried out, they are suitable for use.

Labeling Agar Plates

To label agar plates quickly, the source suggests using colored marking pens. Stack the empty petri plates around 10 high, place one hand on top of the stack, and use the other hand to draw a vertical line along the outside edge of all the plates at once. Different colors can be used to indicate various media or dates the plates were made. Wider pens make lines easier to see, and darker colors last longer than lighter ones.

Storing Agar Plates

To prevent water condensation in agar plates, the source suggests storing them upside down in a refrigerator (not a freezer!) or cold room. If stored in a room, check the plates after a few hours for any condensation in the lid. If the plates are upside down and there is condensation, it means there is a heat source above that is causing the water to move from the agar into the lid. Conversely, if the plates are upright and there is condensation in the lid, there is a heat source from below causing water to move out of the agar.

Tips on Agar plate setting conditions, storage, inoculation, and disposal

9 Frequently Asked Questions about Agar Plates for Mushrooms

1. Why is testing the agar plate important for replacement requests?

Included with all grow kit orders is an agar plate, which is shipped alongside Package 1’s three Grow Bags. It is essential to test the viability of the mushroom spore syringes using the agar plate. This step allows us to determine whether it is the spore syringe, the grow bag, or both that have issues.

  • If the agar plate test reveals that the spore syringe is contaminated, we will promptly send you a spore syringe replacement.
  • Similarly, if the agar plate shows that the spore syringe grows mycelium, but the grow bags become contaminated after inoculation with the same spore syringe, we will replace the grow bag.

To receive spore syringe and grow bag replacements, it is critical to comply with the agar plate test. Failure to do so will result in the non-issuance of any replacements.

2. What is the recommended course of action after receiving the Grow Kit?

Upon receiving the two packages containing (1) Grow Bags + Agar Plate and (2) Spore Syringes, we highly recommend starting the Agar Plate Test within 7 days. This early testing allows you to determine whether the spore syringe is viable for use in inoculating the grow bag.

Taking this proactive approach maximizes the freshness of your growing supplies while minimizing the risk of contamination due to using outdated supplies.

3. Can you specify the expiration date for replacement requests?

We would like to remind you that replacement or refund requests for grow kits are only valid for 45 days from the date you received both packages. After this time, we cannot accept any requests for replacement or refund.

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If you need a replacement or refund for the grow bags, kindly provide us with

  • a clear image of the agar dish showing good mycelium growth
  • and the contaminated grow bag.

4. “I tested the spore syringe on agar, and nothing grew.”

If there is no visible mycelium growth on the agar plate five days after dropping the spore syringe content, we recommend shaking the syringe and adding three more drops. Wait for another two days before conducting a second agar test attempt.

If the second test still does not produce any mycelium growth, we advise repeating the agar test for the third time. In some instances, the spores in the water solution may be clumped up in other areas of the syringe, and the initial drop that you placed on the agar may not contain any spores.

Our team understands that this can be a frustrating experience, but we assure you that we are here to help you through the process and provide the necessary support to ensure that you have a successful growing experience.

5. “I tested the spore syringe on agar, and only mold or bacteria grew.”

If you observe bacteria, gray, green, black, or orange mold on the agar plate instead of white mycelium, this indicates that the spore syringe content is contaminated.

To proceed with the replacement process, please email us a photo of the contaminated agar plate with the date it was tested or take a picture of the agar plate alongside the Grow Bag ID Number label.

This is to ensure that the photo of the contaminated agar plate truly belongs to you and to avoid any confusion. Once we receive the photo proof, we will promptly send you a replacement spore syringe within 7 business days.

6. “I tested the spore syringe on agar, and I see both mycelium and contamination.”

If you observe both mycelium growth and contamination on the agar plate, and the majority of the growth is white mycelium, you can still proceed to use your spore syringe for inoculating your grow bag.

However, if the majority of the growth on the agar plate is contaminated, either with sour-smelling bacteria or mold, we can send you a replacement spore syringe.

Just provide us with a photo of the agar plate showing the contamination, and we will promptly ship a replacement within 7 business days.

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7. Grounds for Non-Approval of Replacement Inquiry: Do NOT mention “magic”!

To ensure that your replacement inquiry is honored, please avoid mentioning any illegal mushroom strain in our email conversation. If you mention “magic mushroom” or any specific psychoactive mushroom strain in the context of attempting to grow them, our Customer Support Team reserves the right to discontinue the email conversation and may not honor any further inquiry from you.

As a responsible company, we do not condone the cultivation of illegal substances, and we take this matter seriously. This is to ensure that we comply with all applicable laws and regulations and to protect both you and our company.

8. “Can I legally obtain magic mushroom spores for microscopy use if I live in California, Georgia, or Idaho?”

In the United States, federal law prohibits the possession of psilocybin mushrooms. However, possession of spores of “magic” mushrooms is legal in most states except for California, Georgia, and Idaho.

It’s important to note that possession of spores may still be illegal under local or state laws, so it’s always best to check your local laws before ordering or possessing spores.

If you decide to purchase spore syringes from us, please note that our supplier reserves the right to refuse the shipment and issue a refund if they choose not to ship to your location. Additionally, if our supplier decides to ship out your spore syringe package and the package is seized by Customs, neither the supplier nor Curative Mushrooms will be liable for a refund or replacement.

It is important to understand the risks involved before making a purchase if you reside in California, Georgia, or Idaho.

9. “When is it allowed to mention “magic”?

You may only mention “magic mushroom” or any specific psychoactive mushroom strain if your inquiry is related to the microscopy use of the mushroom spore syringe. This means that you are studying the mushroom spores under a microscope without the intention of growing or germinating them.

Please note that magic mushroom spores do not contain the illegal substances psilocybin and psilocin. These substances are only produced when the spores are germinated in a growing medium such as a grain jar, a CVG grow bag, or an agar plate.

As such, any mention of growing or germinating magic mushrooms is strictly prohibited in our email conversations.

Here are other helpful resources:



Curative Mushrooms has to post the standard FDA Disclaimer…The statements made regarding medicinal mushrooms have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Curative Mushrooms is not making claims intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before consuming the medicinal mushrooms. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Curative Mushrooms nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.



Always looking for ways to improve the health of myself and my family led me to the discovery of medicinal mushrooms and the numerous health benefits they have on the body. My mission is to spread this knowledge and help as many people as possible.

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