Mushroom items are useful for a variety of purposes. They are available from two sources: huge mushrooms and normal small mushrooms.
- 1 Huge mushrooms
- 2 Small mushrooms
- 3 History
Using bone meal on either a red or brown mushroom will cause a huge mushroom to grow if enough room is available, and if the mushroom is planted on the appropriate block. Huge mushrooms can give upwards of 20 mushrooms when harvested. The image to the right illustrates the minimum growth requirements:
- The wood above illustrates the minimum height required to grow a huge mushroom of that size. Huge mushrooms can be 5, 6, or 7 blocks tall, with the maximum height being 1 block shorter than the available space above it. Thus, if there is a block 7 meters above, the huge mushroom will always grow to be 5 blocks tall.
- The slabs below illustrate the area required, 7×7, as well as the fact that the blocks immediately adjacent to the stalk must be free, but not the rest of the bottom row.
- The mycelium on the right shows the area where the required space overlaps due to the smaller footprint of the huge red mushroom.
- The mushroom must be planted on a dirt, grass, podzol, or mycelium blocks (not shown).
- Placing blocks where the inside of a red mushroom would be does not hinder the growth of the mushroom substantially, only if the blocks are directly in the way or lie outside of the mushroom will it not grow. Occasionally much taller (11+ blocks) mushrooms will grow when blocked by blocks in the normal growth space below, however this is unreliable and takes significant bone meal.
- By placing dirt blocks around where the stem of the mushroom is supposed to be, you can block the light allowing you to place the mushroom even closer to the surface - then fill up your tunnel and remove the dirt inside of the mushroom once it's grown.
Bear in mind that the huge mushroom may still attempt to grow at a taller height than space is available, failing and wasting a bone meal. It is therefore usually ideal to farm with the maximum space available (7×7×8), so that the bone meal will never fail.
Huge mushroom farming
The basic of huge mushroom farming involves a 7x7x8 space and suitable ground. If you are outdoors, you can plant the mushroom using podzol or mycellium. Podzol is more easily available. To make podzol, plant a giant spruce tree with four sapings, and wait for it to grow. When it grows up, chop the tree down and use the newly formed podzol to plant a mushroom and bone meal it up. Planting consumes the underlying block, so you will need to occasionally regenrate by planting giant spurce again. (Mycellium can spread to the dirt, so no manual work is required.)
Another way to farm mushroom outside relies on timing: dig a 1x1 hole where you want your farm to be. Place a water bucket in the 1x1 hole. Then, plant a mushroom in the water and bone meal it quickly or the mushroom will unplant.
Because mushrooms will not grow on areas where the light level is greater than 12, the farmer must carefully consider the placement of light sources. Mushrooms are placeable everywhere but well lit areas or non solid / transparent blocks, and do not require water, sand, or extra space like crops, cacti or saplings. However, even at night, they can only be planted on blocks where the light level would be less than 12. The exceptions to this are mycelium and podzol, on which they can be planted and remain in full light. They can then spread slowly to other opaque blocks, including types where they could not be planted.
The main danger in small mushroom farming is that they must be low-lit indoor rooms, which poses the risk of hostile mobs spawning in the same area (except on Peaceful mode). This can be countered in several ways. An easy way is placing torches two blocks above from where you want your mushrooms to grow (sometimes in tiny holes cut into the ceiling overhead). Another way involves making the farming area just one block high and paving any walkways with slabs and using a water system to channel the mushrooms out of the farm room and into a collection point. This removes most of the danger, since mobs cannot spawn on half-blocks or in one-block-tall areas and any other areas can be lit up. The Nether is a safe place to start a mushroom farm, since mobs there will not spawn in small spaces.
 Every tick, every mushroom is given a 1% chance to do the following:
- Choose a random block in the 3x3x3 cube centered on the mushroom. This favors the mushroom's own level, the middle 3×3 square: upper and lower levels are given a 25% chance each whereas the mushroom's level is given 50%. If a mushroom could be planted in the chosen block (empty, light ≤ 12, lower block is opaque), then:
- Choose another random block in the 3×3 square centered on the previously chosen block. If this block could support a mushroom as well, create one there.
Note that the first randomly chosen block can be the mushroom itself, the block it's sitting on, or the block above. The “can be planted" check can fail in all three cases, further reducing the overall spread chance.
The following can be deduced from the algorithm:
- Mushrooms may spread up to two blocks away, though only if the block on the way is free.
- Mushrooms may spread diagonally along all three axis.
In addition, mushrooms will only spread if there are fewer than 5 mushrooms in an area of 9x9x3 around the original mushroom.
Small mushroom growth has been nerfed in Java Edition Beta 1.8, so don't bother trying.
Basic small mushroom farming
This method relies on thorough lighting to ensure a monster-free, no-mining-required farm for the beginner mushroom farmer. Create a room two blocks high and as large horizontally as desired. At regular intervals dig one block up into the ceiling of your room, and place a torch to create recessed lighting. This will cast light of level 12 at floor height, allowing mushrooms to grow and spread. You can have as few as one torch every six squares with no danger of mobs spawning. This setup will allow for the fastest mushroom growth. Spread the mushrooms on the floor with room around them to grow and wait.
Another way involves making the farming area just one block high and paving any walkways with slabs and using a water system to channel the mushrooms out of the farm room and into a collection point. This removes most of the danger since mobs cannot spawn on half-blocks or in one-block-tall areas and any other areas can be lit up. The Nether is a safe place to start a mushroom farm since mobs there will not spawn in small spaces.
Farming mushrooms in this way can be rather difficult due to their slow growth. Another option is to prepare a large underground room and use bonemeal to grow huge mushrooms, which can then be mined for multiple mushrooms per mushroom block. In order to secure a reliable source of bonemeal, the player can set up a crop farm and grow wheat, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins or melons as a "fodder crop" and use a composter to convert the produce and any excess seeds into bonemeal.
One way of growing a red mushroom on the surface of the world at any time of day without mycelium (using bone meal) is to dig a tunnel starting from several blocks where the mushroom should sprout, and plant the mushroom two or three blocks below the surface at the end of the tunnel. Then, dig a single block chute to the surface from above the mushroom. If the mushroom is deep enough underground, it will not pop off when exposed to the light above it. Once there's light, use the bone meal and see if it grows the mushroom. If it does not, there may be too many blocks in the way of the mushroom, in which case, planting the mushroom closer to the surface may make it grow.
- Lay down redstone in lines with 2 blocks in between each line 15 blocks long. Attach a button to this circuit. Fill the spaces in between the lines with sticky pistons. Place dirt on top of everything (pistons and redstone). Place a piston circuit to allow water to spill forward like in the original design. Attach a lever to this circuit. Adjust circuits as needed for length.
- Place seed mushrooms on the dirt on top of the redstone.
- Press button to dislodge mushrooms, then flip the lever to have water bring them down to you. Repeat the design down a hallway, raising the floor one time with each repetition. Allow the water to spill into a central channel and bring the mushrooms to you.
Fully-Automatic Mushroom Farming
Using water dispensers and a light sensor circuit
In the following design, mushrooms are planted on central platforms and new mushrooms will spread to side platforms. Water will flow once a day through the side platforms delivering the newly-spread mushrooms to hoppers and finally into chests.
On the central platforms, mushrooms can be planted in packs up to four mushroom of each kind. Planting more mushroom will increase the spreading speed, but will also reach its cap limit sooner. In the video, three mushroom of each kind are planted, as it gives higher daily output.
The side platforms should be one block high to improve efficiency. The central platforms should be 3 blocks high. In the video, the central platform uses glass blocks, as mushroom can't spread over glass.
A circuit, using a daylight detector, emits two delayed pulses once a day. Activating and deactivating dispensers containing water buckets, making water flow through the side platforms for about 12 seconds. Enough to deliver every new mushroom spread in the side platforms to a hopper collection point, that will eventually store the mushrooms into chests.
The farm can be covered in glass, if the platforms are built in mycelium. They can also be covered with any other non-transparent block.
First, a room of the height 2 is needed, in this room, place a water stream in the floor, 2 blocks wide. It will transport the mushrooms out of the room. Mushrooms should be planted along the bank of the water, leaving every other block empty. Lastly, pistons are required to be placed facing towards the water stream. They need to be placed beside the blocks, where no mushrooms are planted.
The pistons need to be wired to an outside switch, the water stream shall be redirected to your favorite collection point. Then, the room needs to be sealed to be completely dark. The only opening should be 1x1 wide, for the water stream. This being the only opening, spawned monsters cannot leave the room. Eventually, the mushrooms will spread to the blocks in front of the pistons. Activating the pistons will then harvest the mushrooms and push them into the water stream. The system is reset by deactivating the pistons without any need for replanting.
Higher efficiency can be achieved by multiple arrangements. The system can even be arranged in a room of the height 1, this makes setup more difficult though.
Piston/Glass Based (Dry farming)
The idea here is that mushrooms can also be popped off by causing the block beneath them to change to glass. Using pistons, you can push 12 blocks of alternating block/Glass rows causing any mushrooms growing on them to pop off.
The basic set up is two sets of pistons facing each other on either side of the seed mushroom row. Upon pushing a button a signal is sent causing the first group to extend popping off the mushrooms. The signal is delayed 12 ticks (3 repeaters) and the second group of pistons then extends resetting the farm.
Generally this is designed for use in the Nether, where “wet" methods are unavailable. Some benefits over other "dry" methods are simplicity and low resource requirements.
- Since the Java Edition Beta 1.6 update, mushrooms will slowly spread to nearby opaque blocks, allowing for the creation of farms. However, the rate at which mushrooms spread is considerably slow; therefore, starting a farm is an ordeal without multiple mushrooms.
- As of Java Edition Beta 1.8, mushroom spreading is nerfed, so that a mushroom will only spread if there are fewer than 5 mushrooms in an area of 9x9x3 around the original mushroom. This has made Mushroom farming very inefficient and many of the formerly proven methods (notably the "water flushable pentapipe") will not work in 1.8+. However, the addition of huge mushrooms provides a faster alternative.