Once again, to help create habitat for the monarch butterfly, Clermont SWCD is collecting milkweed seed pods at our offices in the county fairgrounds (1000 Locust Street in Owensville) from September 1 through October 31.
Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies (it is their only food source!), 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. During September and October, everyone is encouraged to collect milkweed pods from established plants and bring them to our office.
To collect the seed pods from a milkweed plant, it is best to pick them when they are dry, gray, or brown in color (see photo). If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. It is best to collect pods into paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver it to our office. Harvesting pods from milkweed plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas. It is recommended that you wear disposable gloves when picking and handling pods.
All milkweed pods collected during this time will be given to our partners at the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the monarch butterfly throughout Ohio.
If you have any questions about this program, you can contact Judy Krebs, Clermont SWCD Education Specialist at (513) 732-7075 x5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.