COLUMBUS — Due to the drastic decline in the population of the Monarch butterfly, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) is seeking public involvement to collect and drop off common and swamp milkweed seed pods from established plants, Sept. 1-Oct. 30 at collection stations around the state.
The seeds will be used to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the Monarch butterfly throughout Ohio in the coming years.
To date, 75 of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation District offices have a collection station (for the complete list, visit www.ofswcd.org). Collection boxes will be located either outside or inside the SWCD offices.
Seed pods from common or swamp milkweed should be collected when the pods are dry and gray or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked.
Collect pods in paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they can attract moisture and allow mold to develop.
Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver to the closest pod collection area. It is recommended to wear disposable gloves when picking and handling pods.
Harvesting seed pods from milkweed plants will not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas.
For more information on OPHI or the seed pod collection, contact OPHI at 614-416-8993.
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