Milkweed Pod collection has ended for 2023. Thanks to all those who brought us pods! Look for this initiative next September!
Knox Soil and Water Conservation District hosts a state-wide milkweed pod collection in autumn. The seed pod collection generally takes place from September 1st thru October 30th.
Over the two months, volunteers are encouraged to collect dried (brown) milkweed pods from established common milkweed plants and drop them off at Knox SWCD office located at 160 Columbus Road in Mount Vernon.
Monarch populations have been in decline. Development of rural lands and prevalent mowing and herbicide use have all reduced the abundance of naturally occurring milkweed plants. This has resulted in substantial loss of critical resources available for Monarchs and, therefore, aided in their drastic decline. Planting native milkweed species to help restore breeding habitat is critical. In addition to common milkweed, other native species of milkweed include: swamp or rose milkweed, butterfly milkweed, Sullivant’s milkweed, green milkweed, whorled milkweed, purple milkweed, and poke milkweed.
It is best to collect pods in paper bags. Avoid using plastic bags because condensation will create mold and mildew which will ruin the seed pod. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to Knox SWCD.
Harvesting pods from milkweed plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas. However, it is always a good practice to leave at least 25% of the seed out on the landscape so that the plants may re-seed themselves naturally.
ODA- Common Milkweed Handout
OPHI – Milkweed pod collection pamphlet