Milkweed pods to be collected

TROY — The annual milkweed pod collecting will get under way soon.

Pods can be dropped off at the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District, 1330 N. County Road 25-A, Troy.

Those who plan to bring pods are asked to wait until the turn yellowish brown and then start checking the inside of the pods. If the seeds are dark brown, then the pod is ready for harvesting.

The iconic monarch butterfly, which has long been a welcome sight in backyard gardens across Ohio, faces many threats. In Ohio, one way we can ensure future generations of monarch butterflies continue to visit flower gardens throughout our state is by protecting native milkweed plants.

As butterflies, monarchs can feed on the nectar of a number of different flowering plants, but as caterpillars, monarchs are entirely dependent on the availability of milkweed.

Monarch caterpillars hatch from eggs laid on milkweed plants and feed on the leaves of the plant as they grow. If these plants are mowed, removed, or sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, the caterpillars will not survive. Protecting these plants, especially during the egg-laying period from July through September, helps both monarch butterflies and caterpillars continue their life cycle and ultimately results in more monarch butterflies that can complete their journey to Mexico and back.

In the past, milkweed was viewed as a toxic weed. Today, we know that milkweed is a very important group of native plants that helps support many species of wildlife, including monarch butterflies. Learn more about ways you can help ensure these beautiful butterflies are around for generations to come by visiting the Monarch Joint Venture.

For more information, contact Linda at (937) 335-7645.