monarch seed mix

Johnston Seed Co. of Enid has issued a regional pollinator seed mix for monarchs in eastern, central and western Oklahoma. MARY WALLER/Courtesy

A custom Oklahoma wildflower seed mix bloomed on the Okies for Monarchs Facebook page this week, indicating just how much people across the state are interested in helping pollinators.

“I’ve never seen one of our Facebook posts reach that high,” said Mary Waller, state director for Okies, an initiative of the Oklahoma Monarch & Pollinator Collaborative. “We tapped into something that people are really interested in.”

Pollinator seed mixes have been available in the past, but this mix tagged with the Okies for Monarchs label and called “Wildflowers for Monarchs” includes three regional options designed for eastern, central and western Oklahoma.

The launch of the seed mixes from Johnston Seed Company of Enid will coincide with the Rewilding Oklahoma symposium Aug. 28 at the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden Education Center, she said.

The symposium is designed for everyone from home gardeners to commercial landscape designers, municipal planners and urban designers to large landholders. Loaded with expert instruction, the symposium also will qualify as an opportunity to gain continuing education credit for professional landscape architects, Waller said.

What’s new with the Okies mix is the regionalized focus, said Sarah McLaughlin, native and conservation sales representative at Johnston.

While there is overlap of native flower types from region to region, the new mixes will offer a slightly higher success rate of seeds because each will favor annuals more prone to reseed and perennials better suited to each region, she said.

The mix contains a variety of wildflowers for nectar sources, plus a variety of milkweeds. The mixes are about 75% perennials and 25% annuals, she said. The seeds come in 1-ounce packets, 1-pound bags or larger bags by request, she said.

“I had an order for 200 pounds just the other day,” she said.

When planning the seed launch for the symposium McLaughlin said she planned to “bring a few packets” for the company’s information booth, but given the early interest in the regional mixes, she’s prepared to load quite a few more for the trip to town.

“I think people are starting to understand pollinators and wanting to get involved in helping,” she said. “People are seeing that we need to do something, (and) they’re more ecologically concerned.”

For information on the monarch mix seeds go to johnstonseed.com or call 580-249-4449.

Learn more about the Rewilding Oklahoma symposium and pre-register via eventbrite.com/e/rewilding-oklahoma-a-people-places-and-pollinators-symposium-tickets-62815443683

Kelly Bostian

918-581-8357

kelly.bostian@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @KellyBostian