Common Milkweed Pod Collection

We will be collecting Common Milkweed pod in 2023. Please drop off your pods by November 12, 2023! We cannot accept pods after this date.

**Please do NOT collect pods from the Cleveland Metroparks or other park properties. Be sure you have permission to pick them on any other property if it is not yours. Thank you!


To help foster the creation of habitat for the monarch butterfly, Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI), in cooperation with Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts is organizing a Statewide Milkweed Pod Collection.

Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies in Ohio and Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. The monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring.

Since 2015, volunteers have collected approximately 5000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds! 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.

Everyone is encouraged to collect Common Milkweed pods from established plants and drop them off at a pod collection station. The majority of Ohio counties have a Milkweed Pod Collection Station, most of them being located at the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office such as the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District.


  • To collect the seed pods from a Common Milkweed plant it is best to pick them when they are dry and gray or brown in color.
  • If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. You can prevent the rest from popping open by gently putting a rubber band around them.
  • Do not pick them when they are green - the seeds will not be viable.
  • If the pod does stay green, keep it on the plant for as long as possible before picking it.
  • Collect pods into paper bags.
  • Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture.
  • Please mark on the sack the county in which the Common Milkweed pods came from and the date.
  • Store pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver to the closest pod collection area

Drop Common Milkweed pods off drop off in the bin located on the west side of our building by the garage door - off E. 33rd St.
Cuyahoga SWCD
3311 Perkins Ave, Suite 100
Cleveland, OH 44114

Questions, contact Amy: 216/524-6580, x1005; aroskilly@cuyahogaswcd.org

Other SWCD's collecting Common Milkweed pods:
Check with your local Soil and Water Conservation District to see if they are collecting Common Milkweed pods. However, you can always take them to any district's collection, they do not have to go to the county you collected them in or live in.

When we know which ones are doing the collection this year, we will post it here.


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