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Fall Projects For Monarchs

by Marian McNabb, Chairman Monarch Watch
March 16, 2020

                                                                              Fall Projects for



Fall is the time to collect milkweed seeds for spring planting. Monarch Watch has requested NGC members to collect milk­weed seed, native to your area, and send it to them so they can start plugs for spring planting. Monarch Watch is an excellent source for plugs and seeds in the spring for our Monarch Waystations.                      

Collect the seeds, locate dry seed pods on milkweed plants and make sure the pods are brown in color. Monarch Watch requests that seeds be separated from the pods whenever possible. There’s an extra advantage to separating the seeds –the pods make an attractive addition to your dried floral arrangements. If you send the whole pod, be sure to secure it with tape, so the seeds are intact during shipping.

Do not mix different species of milkweed. Each vari­ety should be placed in a separate envelope or package, and the species labeled accordingly. Monarch Watch asks that seeds be collected from wild-sourced plants, native to the United States. They do not accept tropical milkweed seeds. In addition, please make sure pods are dry and insect free. Please send at least one ounce of seed. For example, two to four onion bags of pods yield approxi­mately one pound of seed.

Collecting seeds, please package them in an envelope, paper bag or onion bag, so that if they’re not completely dry, mold won’t form as in a plastic bag. Please mark them, where they came from, your garden

                                                          “Monarch Watch has requested NGC
                                                           members to collect milkweed seed...

county, state, type of milkweed. For example, Common Milkweed - Ascle­pias syriaca, your name, the name of your club (if it’s a club project), your address and e-mail, along with the date collected. Please also include helpful information such as if the site had a large amount of milkweed, or if it collected from a small area.

Pollinator plant for monarch
Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies


Did you create a Monarch Way­station? Please first register your Monarch Watch Waystation with the University of Kansas, and then register it with NGC. E-mail your information to Joanna Kirby at Mail your seeds to Monarch Watch, University of Kansas, 2021 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047

Would you like to share butterfly infor­mation with your club or library? A new booklet from NGC, Inviting Butterflies into Your Garden, provides information for anyone interested in butterfly gardens. You may print the booklet directly from the NGC website at or contact NGC Member Services at 1-800-550-6007 or 314-776-7574, extension 218. The booklet is $3.

Do you love monarch butterflies, or know someone who does? Please consid­er purchasing a NGC monarch butterfly pin, $10, available on the NGC website or contact NGC Member Services.

Collecting milkweed seeds, registering your Monarch Waystation and sharing but­terfly information = fall projects complete!


ABOUT MONARCH WATCH: Monarch Watch, an affiliate program with the Kansas Biological Survey of the University of Kansas, tracks the annual North American migration of the monarch butterfly, an indicator species for the need for pollinator habitat conservation. The program engages citizen scientists of all ages in large-scale research projects involving the tagging and tracking of migrating monarchs. These projects produce significant data on the mi­gration and the conservation issues related to it. For more information, visit

Marian McNabb

Monarch Watch Chairman

Photo by Marian McNabb

Articles and photos reprinted with
permission by The National Gardener,
Fall 2016.





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