Collect milkweed pods to help Monarchs thrive

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Collect: Common milkweed pods have a warty surface and are ready to be collected when the color changes to gold/gray to brown.

(Posted Oct. 6, 2018)

The Madison Soil and Water Conservation District, 831 U.S. Rte. 42 NE, London, is a drop-off site for the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative’s milkweed pod collection.

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 and many other pollinator species. The disappearance of milkweed across the United States has contributed to an 80 percent decline in the Eastern Monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years.

Follow these simple tips:

* Make sure you are collecting pods from the common milkweed. There are other similar plants.

* It is best to collect the pods when they are dry, grey, or brown. It is very important to check this.

* If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be harvested.

* Store the pods in paper bags; plastic bags collect unwanted moisture.

* Put the date and county collected on the bag when you turn it in.

* Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the nearest collection site.

For details, contact Julia Cumming at Julia.cumming@oh.nacdnet.net.

Don’t Collect: Don’t collect common milkweed pods when they are green because the seed is not mature.
Common Milkweed Plant: The common milkweed plant can be identified by its stout single stems growing from a thick base at the ground. Stems are hairy and can grow to 6.5 ft. tall.

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