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How To Grow and Care for Flowering Quince?

Flowering quince

Spring is finally here, and the air is filled with the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers.

As you take a stroll through your neighborhood, you can’t help but notice the vibrant colors of flowering shrubs in your neighbor’s garden.

Have you ever considered adding one to your own yard?

This article will introduce you to the stunning beauty of flowering quince and teaches you how to grow and care for this beautiful shrub.

What Is Flowering Quince?

Flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) is a deciduous shrub native to East Asia. It belongs to the Rosaceae family, including roses, apples, and pears.

Flowering quince is known for its showy flowers, which bloom in late winter or early spring before the foliage emerges.

The flowers are usually red, pink, or white and are about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) wide.

The shrub has a dense, thorny growth habit, and the leaves are oval-shaped and have a glossy texture.

They typically grow to a height of 6-10 feet (1.8-3 m) and have a spread of about 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 m). 

In the fall, the shrub produces small, apple-shaped fruit that is edible but not commonly eaten due to its tart taste.

Varieties of Flowering Quince

There are several varieties of flowering quince, including the following:

  • Crimson and Gold: Crimson and Gold has red and yellow flowers and is known for its colorful display.
  • Texas Scarlet: Bright red flowers that are larger than those of most other flowering quince varieties.
  • Toyo-Nishiki: This variety has flowers that are a mix of red, pink, and white, making for a stunning display of color.
  • Contorta: Has twisted and contorted branches that give it a unique appearance.
  • Jet Trail: This variety has white flowers and is a good choice for gardeners who prefer a more subtle display of color.
  • Apple Blossom: This variety has pale pink flowers that resemble apple blossoms.
  • Pink Lady: This variety has large, deep pink flowers that are highly fragrant.
  • Nivalis: This variety has white flowers and is known for its early blooming time
How Long Does It Take To Grow Flowering Quince?

It depends on a few things, like where you live, how old the plant is, and what variety you have. But usually takes a couple of years for younger plants to mature and start flowering and fruiting. Once it’s fully grown, you can expect to see beautiful blooms in the spring and tasty fruit in the fall.

Site Selection and Planting


To ensure the healthy growth of your flowering quince, choosing the right site and planting techniques is important.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Flowering quince thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil.

The shrub is tolerant of various soil types but will not grow well in waterlogged or compacted soil.

Choosing a site sheltered from strong winds is also important, as the shrub’s branches can be easily damaged.

Soil Preparation and pH Levels

Before planting your flowering quince, add organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to the soil.

This will improve the soil structure and fertility, promoting the healthy growth of the shrub.

The soil’s pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

Planting Technique

Here are some planting steps to follow:

  1. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball of your flowering quince and about as deep as the root ball.
  2. Remove the shrub from its container and gently loosen the roots.
  3. Place the shrub in the hole, planting it at the same depth as in its container.
  4. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots.
  5. Water the shrub well, ensuring the soil is evenly moist.

Watering Requirements

After planting your flowering quince, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged is important.

Water the shrub regularly during the growing season, especially during dry periods.

However, be careful not to overwater the shrub, as this can lead to root rot.

As the shrub matures, it will become more drought-tolerant, but it is still important to water it during periods of drought.

Propagating and Maintenance of Flowering Quince

Ornamental quince

Flowering quince can be propagated by seed, but it is not the most reliable method.

This is because the seeds can take a long time to germinate and may not produce plants with the same desirable characteristics as the parent plant.

As a result, most gardeners prefer to propagate flowering quince through cuttings or layering.

Here are your options for propagating Quince.

Softwood Cuttings

Take softwood cuttings from the tips of the shrub’s branches in early summer.

Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone, and plant them in a well-draining soil mix.

Keep the soil moist and warm; the cuttings should root in about 4-6 weeks.

Hardwood Cuttings

Take hardwood cuttings from the shrub’s branches in late fall or winter.

Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone, and plant them in a well-draining soil mix.

Keep the soil moist and cool; the cuttings should root in about 8-12 weeks.


Bend a low-hanging branch of the shrub down to the ground, and cover the portion of the stem with soil.

Secure the stem in place with a U-shaped stake or a rock.

The buried stem will produce roots, and a new plant can be separated from the parent plant once the new roots are established.


Join a flowering quince scion (a small branch from the desired plant) to the rootstock of another quince or closely related plant.

Grafting is a more advanced propagation method and requires specialized tools and knowledge.


To ensure optimal growth and health of your flowering quince, there are several maintenance tasks you should perform:

  • Pruning: Flowering quince blooms on old wood, so it is important to prune it after flowering to shape it and remove any dead or diseased wood.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilize your flowering quince in early spring with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of your flowering quince to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Winter protection: Flowering quince is hard in most areas but may need winter protection in colder climates. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the shrub and wrap it in burlap to protect it from harsh winter winds.

Common Problems and Solutions

Despite its hardiness and resilience, flowering quince can still fall victim to various pests and diseases.

Here are some common problems and their solutions.


Aphids and spider mites can cause damage to the leaves and flowers of your flowering quince.

Spray your shrub with insecticidal soap or neem oil to control these pests.


Fire blight and cedar-quince rust are two common diseases affecting flowering quince.

Prune infected areas and dispose of them in the trash to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Other Problems

Flowering quince may also suffer from nutrient deficiencies or environmental stress.

Ensure your shrub gets enough water and sunlight, and fertilize it to address nutrient deficiencies.


Flowering quince is a true showstopper in any garden with its vibrant blooms and zesty fruit.

Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or just starting out, this versatile and resilient shrub is a must-have for any gardener.

By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can grow and care for your flowering quince and enjoy its beauty and bounty for years to come.

So why wait? Plant your flowering quince today, and experience the joys of gardening at its finest!

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