Why are there many plants that can be grown in a greenhouse, but some, like ramps and truffles, that can only be grown in nature with conditions that can’t be mimicked in a greenhouse?



Why are there many plants that can be grown in a greenhouse, but some, like ramps and truffles, that can only be grown in nature with conditions that can’t be mimicked in a greenhouse?

In: Biology

Truffles can be cultivated, and regularly are. The catches are:

* They’re very picky about the environment they’re growing in which includes the soil, trees, etc. and that’s a lot of factors to cover. You can’t just build a greenhouse or just plant them wherever you are. Some places just won’t work.

* They take several years to develop, so you need to go through a ton of work and money to get set up and then you might find out 10 years later that they didn’t grow after all. Womp womp.

The ELI5 version is that you CAN grow ramps and truffles in greenhouse.

The reason why you DONT is because 1: the environment it needs is quite specific, unlike alot of green house plants, from soil acidity to humidity, you need to control it to a much higher precision. This means a extremely complex climate control system and not just a glass room. 2: its a fungi that grows on tree roots so you need trees. Which means a big green house. 3. it takes a long time for it to grow, + big house + all that expensive equipment, unless you have money to burn, simply cultivating them in the wild is MUCH cheaper.

Because truffles grow on the roots of hardwood trees. Hardwood trees take decades to grow and can’t be grown inside a greenhouse due to their size.


Truffles are the mushroom of a fungus that is symbiotic with the roots of certain trees (most notably oak and hazel). They take up to a decade to become established (and you have to grow the trees too). this obviously requires a rather large space and oak trees need temperature variation anyway so being in a greenhouse wouldn’t really help in the first place. Truffles can be cultivated, and are cultivated, but they are cultivated in forests not greenhouses.

Ramps (and wild ginseng) are slow growing specialists in forest understories. The bulb/root takes several years to mature and (in ginseng anyway) is considered more flavorful/powerful because it has matured slowly in the relatively harsh conditions of the wild.

You could raise these in greenhouses but….first of all, like oak trees (and many other fruit trees and berry bushes) they are adapted to seasonal climates and need to be cold in the winter to mature properly. The whole point of a greenhouse is to keep things from getting cold, so there’s not much point. You can grow them in a suitable patch of forest after sowing them there, but you have to wait for them to grow to maturity which takes up to a decade. Also farmed plants can lack the marketing power of wild ones (wild ginseng sells for much more)

Maybe someone could answer this. Can truffles grow anywhere? Say northern Scandinavia?

It is not about can/can’t but about how easy and economically viable something is. A (regular) greenhouse provides a ver static and limited environment only. Many plants have evolved for varying conditions and as a part of larger ecosystems, that don’t fit into a sime glasshouse.

Wish you would have added huckleberries to your question. Family of blueberry but unable to grow outside of the wild.

Some things just can’t survive inside but must be wild and free to breathe in the world directly with no filters. You know, like….Harley riders?

They could be mimicked in a green house, however given the conditions they need, its not really economically viable to do so, even with how expensive truffles are.

It takes a very long time for them to grow, and they grow on oaks so it would be a huge greenhouse, and it needs to change weather seasonably so you would have to both heat and cool the place.