Milkweed for Monarchs

MilkweedFayette Soil and Water Conservation District (FSWCD) will once again be the local collection center for common milkweed seeds. Make sure that before you collect seed, you become familiar with common milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane and swamp milkweed. Locate common milkweed stands for seed pod collection in areas such as pastures, meadows, railroad tracks, bike paths, agricultural field margins, vacant land, cultivated gardens, and parks. Establish ownership of the land and make sure to get landowner permission for monitoring and collecting the seed pods. Arrange for the owner to conserve the stand until the seed pods are ripe and ready to harvest. Also, make sure the seeds inside the pod are mature.

Seed pods from common milkweed should be collected when the pods are dry and gray or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, it can be harvested. Don't collect pods that are already open, as they might be infested with insects. It is best to store pods in paper bags because in plastic bags moisture can collect and allow mold to develop. The collection period runs from September 1 to October 31.

Monarch ButterflyThe Fayette SWCD office is located in the Fayette County Agricultural Center, 1415 U.S. 22 SW, Suite 500 Washington Court House.

ODNR organizes the collection of milkweed seeds sent around Ohio. The department also educates the public on creating monarch habitats. Since 2014, ODNR has planted milkweed and nectar plants across 58,000 acres of wildlife areas. Monarchs need milkweed to lay eggs on the plant.