Sometimes grow kits, Copelandia and Cubensis alike, will produce so-called aborts. Mushrooms have a mind of their own, and there is no known reason why they do this. When this happens the mushrooms start to grow and at some point, prematurely, they will start to open up their caps before they are fully grown. These aborts are fine to eat and are sometimes even stronger than expected because the psilocybin concentration can be higher.
Whenever this happens you should harvest all the mushrooms because they will start to decompose and might contaminate your grow kit.
How do I recognize aborts?
You can recognize aborts when the caps start opening when they are still very small. Also, as you can see from the picture below, the caps are still brown and the mushrooms are still in the baby phase. If these mushrooms would not have stopped growing they would have started shooting up and become white.
One theory is that when there is too much moisture on the substrate, the mushrooms do not want to grow up to be full adults and open their caps early to spread their spores. This is because their preferred habitat is threatened and they need to reproduce as soon as possible before it is too late. This is why it is important to make sure that the humidity is not too high when the kit is pinning.
Pic. 1 Copelandia aborts
What happens when you wait too long?
If you wait too long with harvesting the aborted mushrooms, they will start to decompose at some point. This process can be quite fast with the Copelandia: about 3 days. In the picture below you can see the effects of keeping the aborts for too long. If you see this happening it is important to harvest all of the mushrooms immediately even if they are too decomposed to eat. After harvesting all of them you can remoisten the substrate and start the next flush. The mushrooms that have been taken over by the white mycelium should also be taken out. The next flush will come out better if you follow the tips and tricks.
pic. 2 Decomposing Copelandia aborts