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This is a follow-up question concerning Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'. The plant has grown from seeds to more than 50 cm in height. I did not expect such a large specimen and would like to keep it around but in a different place in the garden.

What is the best way for moving this very plant (or its descendents) given that freezing will start in approx. a month? Should I just dig it up (1) this autumn or (2) next spring and transplant it, or can I (3) somehow obtain seeds from it that could be reused for next season?

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I would transplant it now. Fall is a great time to move perennials around, as it gives them a little time to grow some roots before the next season's growth. That said, you could also be very successful moving the plant next spring, and that would be fine too. The more important part is getting the entire rootball, as this plant can have quite a good, deep root system. Try to dig it with at least a 12x12" rootball, and be sure it doesn't fall apart. Plant it no higher than it was before, but don't put it lower either. Keep it watered until it starts freezing.

To save the seed, look for seed pods something like this:

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Once the pods are dry, e. g., in the second picture, you can harvest them, dry them inside, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until spring, when they can be sown.

The pictures are from Smith College Botanic Garden Image Directory.

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