Question and Answer

How can I collect, save, and share my milkweed seeds with friends and family?

If you want to harvest your milkweed seeds to share or donate, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remember to only collect local, native milkweed seeds!
  • Always identify the species prior to harvesting and clearly mark the container you keep them in (Suggested label: Your name, date, species common and/or scientific name, location of collection)
  • It’s best to only collect a portion of the seeds in the area you find milkweed so that the milkweed can continue to propagate your area! (Recommendation: collect 1/3 of the seeds and leave 2/3)
  • Know when to collect! This is important because the seeds need to be ripe in order to germinate. If the seeds are white or pale, they are not ready yet. Keep an eye out for browning on the pod. When ready, the seed pods will easily split open.
  • After collecting the seed pods, leave them out to dry in an open, dry area. Once the pods are dry, open them to collect the seeds. There will be a silk-material that needs to be removed before storing. You can remove this by hand or by placing the seeds and silk material in a paper bag. Shake vigorously to separate the seeds. Cut a small hole in the bottom corner to shake out seeds. To see how to remove the silk by hand, watch this video.
  • Once the seeds are stripped of the silk material, store them in a cool, dry place away from mice and insects! (Plastic baggies or glass or plastic jars work well.)

You can also check out this article from the Native Plant Society of Texas for more information on how to harvest milkweed seeds. 

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