Due to the drastic decline in monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) populations, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) and local Soil & Water Conservation Districts are again seeking public involvement to collect common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) seed pods from established plants September 1 through October 31. This is an annual event and we hope you can participate!
The seeds will be used to establish new plantings and additional habitat for the monarch butterfly throughout the buckeye state.
It is best to collect pods into paper bags. Avoid using plastic bags because they can allow mold to develop. It is recommended to wear disposable gloves when picking and handling pods. Ideally, it is recommended to leave at least 50 percent of the seed crop at a given site is left to allow for natural recruitment and regeneration of the native population the next growing season.
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To learn more about the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative, visit their website.
Seed pods from common milkweed should be collected ONLY WHEN THE PODS ARE DRY & BROWN-GREY in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. The seeds in green pods will not be viable and won't be able to be used. Be patient and don't collect too soon!
Drop off your DRY and BROWN milkweed pods inside PAPER BAGS at the Lucas SWCD office, in the green and yellow bin outside our front door.
Questions?? Contact us at (419) 893-1966.