OPHI Milkweed Pod Collection


Monarch caterpillar on Common Milkweed

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 as well as many other pollinator species.  The disappearance of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years.  We are working hard to change this, and you can help!

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) and the Sandusky County SWCD is calling on residents for another year of Milkweed pod collections!  Ohioans can collect Milkweed pods and drop them off at their local SWCD office where they will be later sent out to OPHI to be used in conservation and restoration projects.

Let’s make our collection efforts in 2019 even better by following these simple tips!
• Make sure that before you collect seed, you become familiar with the common milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane and swamp milkweed.
• It is best to collect the pods when they are dry, grey, or brown.  Make sure not to collect pods that are infested with aphids or other insects.
• 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 them in.
• Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the Sandusky County Soil & Water Conservation office.

If you have questions regarding milkweed collection, please contact the office.

See the resources below for more information:

OSU Bee Lab – Milkweed Collection

Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative

Monarch Joint Venture

ODNR – Milkweeds & Monarchs

NRCS – Monarch Butterflies