Milkweed pod collection with Darke SWCD

GREENVILLE — The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) is seeking public involvement to collect common milkweed seed pods from established plants. Pods can be dropped off at the Darke Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office until Nov. 15. The collected pods will be cleaned and the seed will be used to establish new plantings and to create additional habitat for the Monarch Butterfly in Ohio.

Don’t collect your pods too early. Seed pods should be collected when they are dry and either gray or brown in color. Green pods are not ready to be picked, wait for them to change color. A good way to test if the pods are ready, apply gentle pressure and if the center seam pops, they can be picked.

A few tips to follow when collecting milkweed pods:

– Wear disposable gloves when harvesting pods.

– Collect pods in paper bags, avoid using plastic because they can attract moisture and allow mold to develop.

– Store in a cool, dry area until you are able to deliver to the Darke SWCD office.

– Leave a couple pods per plant to allow for natural regeneration to occur.

The deadline to drop off your milkweed pods has been extended this year to Nov. 15 to allow pods to dry naturally. Pods can be dropped off during business hours, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., or place them in the green collection bin located on the south side of the building.

For more information, contact 937-548-1715, extension 3 or email [email protected]