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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 www.gardenclub.org 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!
Monarch Watch Chairman
Photo by Marian McNabb
Articles and photos reprinted with
permission by The National Gardener,