PLANTING MILKWEED FOR MONARCHS IS VITAL!
To help foster the creation of habitat for the monarch butterfly, Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI), in cooperation with Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts is organizing a Statewide Milkweed Pod Collection each year starting September 1st and ending October 31st.
Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies in Ohio and Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. The monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring.
Since 2015, volunteers have collected approximately 5000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds! Milkweed is the only host plant for the Monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for Monarchs as well as many other pollinator species. The disappearance of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years.
During September - October, everyone is encouraged to collect Common Milkweed pods from established plants and drop them off at a pod collection station. The majority of Ohio counties have a Milkweed Pod Collection Station, most of them being located at the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office such as the Carroll Soil & Water Conservation District.
COLLECTING SEED PODS
- To collect the seed pods from a Common Milkweed plant it is best to pick them when they are dry and gray or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. You can prevent the rest from popping open by gently putting a rubber band around them.
- Do not pick them when they are green - the seeds will not be viable.
- Collect pods into paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture.
- Please mark on the sack: the county in which the Common Milkweed pods came from and the date collected.
- Store pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver to the closest pod collection area.
613 High St. NW
Carrollton, OH 44615
Pollinator Habitat Establishment Recommendations
Milkweed Pod Collection Tips