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How to Care for a Flowering Quince Plant

Amazing red flower blossoms in the sun of the flowering quince plant

Chaenomeles Speciosa

If you’re a novice gardener, the thought of growing a fruit shrub or tree can be.. intimidating, to say the least. A lot of them have some pretty specific growing requirements that not all properties possess. But when it comes to chaenomeles speciosa, this flowering plant can grow in the most unexpected places.

C speciosa is more commonly known as the flowering quince plant, and it is a proud member of the rose botanical family (rosaceae). This deciduous shrub is not only known for its flurry of early spring blooms, but it also bears interesting fruit..

The flowering quince is the perfect flowering and fruiting shrub for any gardener to grow in their garden. It is super easy to care for and flowering quince blooms enthusiastically without tons of pruning required from you.

What do Flowering Quince Plants Look Like?

Large flowering quince shrubs with bright pink flower blossoms in spring

Growth Habit

The flowering quince is a deciduous shrub that has multiple sturdy stems. They grow rather compactly together, creating a dense and messy growth habit. It has many spiny branches covered in thorns.

These flowering plants can considered either as a large shrub or a small tree, but possess more of a shrubby shape to them. They will usually grow to be between 6 to 10 feet in height.

Leaves

Flowering quinces are deciduous shrubs, meaning that they bear foliage that will fall away in the colder months, and come back in the spring. This is a plant variety that actually bears its spring blossoms before its leaves come out on the branch!

Each leaf is ovular in shape usually with a serrated margin. The leaves are very dark green in color with a lovely glossy sheen to them. Flowering quince foliage is another wonderfully ornamental aspect to these plants.

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Flowers

Though flowering quince flowers only last a few short weeks, their flurry of blooms is well worth the effort of growing them. They will only last about 10-14 days in the late winter or very early spring. They bloom around the same time as cherry tree blossoms.

Each flower is comprised of 5 petals that create a charming cup shape to them. Though they are more commonly pink flowers or white flowers, there are some varieties that bear orange or red flowers as well.

Fruit

Once a flowering quince bloom is fertilized, it will produce fruit in the form of a small round pome that is very similar in shape and appearance to a pear!

These fruits have a very hard and aromatic flesh that is enrobed in skin that is a bright golden color. These fruits are very seldom eaten raw, but can easily be made into jams and jellies.

What are some other Notable Chaenomeles Species?

Gorgeous orange double flowers of the flowering quince plant with green background

Chinese Quince (Chaenomeles Cathayensis)

The Chinese quince is a wonderful deciduous shrub that is native to China. C cathayensis can be identified by its thorn covered branches, pointed leaves, and pink or white bell shaped flowers.

C cathayensis can grow to be up to 20 feet in height and is flowers will often bloom in April, in the early spring or late spring. Their yellow or red pome fruits will usually emerge in October in the early fall.

Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles Japonica)

The Japanese flowering quince is a heritage ornamental plant that has been cultivated in Japan for thousands of years. The Japanese quince is loved for its brief but incredible floral blossoms that emerge in the early spring

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C japonica can be identified by thorn covered branches that bear lanceolate shaped leaves of glossy green, and red, pink, or white flowers that bloom before the leaves do.

Once the Japanese flowering quince flower has been fertilized, it will bear golden yellow quince fruit that is very popularly made into jams and jellies. Chaenomeles japonica can grow to be about 10 feet in height, making them a perfect small backyard specimen.

Texas Scarlet Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles Speciosa ‘Texas Scarlet’)

The Texas scarlet flowering quince is a gorgeous chaenomeles cultivar that is known for producing incredibly bright red flowers shaped like little cups.

This c speciosa cultivar also bears beautiful dark green foliage. They are smaller shrubs that only grow to be 4-6 feet in height. They have lovely yellow quince fruit that emerge in the mid fall and are very popular for making into preserves.

Orange Storm Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles Speciosa ‘Orange Storm’)

The orange storm flowering quince is a gorgeous c speciosa cultivar that can grow to be 3-4 feet in height, and it is technically a dwarf variety. It bears huge and gorgeous orange double flowers that resemble camellias.

To contrast these bold double flowers, they also bear oblong, dark green leaves that emerge in the late spring, after the plant has finished flowering.

Where is the Flowering Quince a Native Plant?

Gorgeous hot pink flower blossoms of the flowering quince plant

Something super valuable that all gardeners should put effort into, is learning where a species is considered to be a native plant. This way you can better understand how to mimic the conditions of their native land!

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When it comes to the flowering quince, they are a native plant to many parts of eastern Asia, but most prosperously in China. They have become naturalized in western North America as well, and many other temperate regions in the world.

Flowering quinces can exist outdoors all year long in USDA zone 4 through 9. Outside of those zones, they should be kept in a large rolling container so that they can be brought indoors to a warmer location.

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions for a Flowering Quince Shrub?

Now that we’ve gone through all of the preliminary information regarding flowering quince shrubs, it’s time to learn the ease in which you could care for one of your very own. Flowering quince can easily be incorporated into your regular gardening routine if you follow these simple guidelines:

Bright yellow pome fruits of the flowering quince plant

Soil Type

Flowering quince plants are capable of tolerating all sorts of different soil types in the wild. However, there are certain features their soil type can have in order to keep them as happy as possible.

Flowering quinces tend to perform best in soil that has a medium to low pH level. It is also important that the soil is well draining and moderately fertile.

A way to accomplish all of these things is by incorporating both compost and peat moss to the mix at the beginning of the growing season. The peat moss will achieve the ideal pH level, and the compost will increase soil fertility and drainage.

Water Level

Something wonderfully low maintenance about flowering quince plants is the fact that they do not require much from you in terms of watering. Once they are established, they are actually remarkably drought tolerant!

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When the shrub is first planted it should receive a deep watering, but once it has taken root and is growing happily, natural precipitation should be more than enough water to keep them happy. This is quite rare for a fruit tree!

Sun Exposure

Another reason why gardeners love flowering quince plants is because they aren’t super picky about the amount of sun exposure that they receive.

They’re capable of tolerating partial shade as well as direct sunlight exposure for the majority of the day. That being said, if they are planted in full sun exposure they tend to produce more enthusiastic flower blossoms and sweeter fruit.

Amazing bright red flower blossoms of the flowering quince plant growing in the trees

Temperature

Just another reason why flowering quinces are amazing is the fact that they are remarkably cold hardy plants! They can tolerate some pretty cold winters and bounce back with no problem, and will be fine in temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Something to keep in mind is that they might not do too well in very warm climates as they require a certain period of cold. They requires temps to dip periodically below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to flower properly.

Fertilizer

Flowering quinces do not require heaps and heaps of fertilizer in order to thrive. In fact it’s totally optional to give them fertilizer at all! If you’re intent on it, provide your specimen with a slow release fertilizer in the early spring.

Pruning

And the final reason why gardeners love flowering quinces: they do not need to be pruned! A gardener could neglect pruning their shrub for years and they would still grow very happily.

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However, they can grow quite quickly and enthusiastically and can easily develop a rather unruly shape. So, if you’re keen on keeping it neat and tidy, pruning will be the most maintenance the plant requires from you.

How do you Propagate a Flowering Quince Plant?

Amazing golden quince fruits heaving on a flowering quince plant

And now for the final step: propagating a flowering quince specimen of your very own! This is most easily done by taking stem cuttings. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have a blooming plant of your very own in no time:

1. Take cuttings from an existing specimen from last years growth. Make sure that cutting in 6-8 inches in length and remove the lower leaves of the cutting, but keep the top leaves.

2. Dip your cuttings in rooting hormone.

3. Prepare your soil mix. It should be a mix oh sphagnum peat and perlite.

4. Pick a spot in a container or in your garden that receives full sun with partial shade in the afternoon. Plant your cuttings a couple of inches into the soil. New growth should start to emerge in a few short weeks.

5. Maintain soil moisture as the plants are first getting established. Afterwards, the plants will be entirely drought tolerant.

Happy planting!

Profusely blooming flowering quince plant with red flowers in the sun

FAQs

Is the flowering quince plant deer resistant?

Just another reason why you should love a flowering quince plant is the fact that it is completely resistant to nibbling from larger pests like deer, rabbits, and squirrels!

What are the damaging agents to flowering quinces?

Flowering quinces are remarkably tough plants. The only issues they will usually experience come from being planted in too much shade or being watered too much.

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Is the flowering quince shrub an annual species or perennial species?

The flowering quince shrub is a perennial plant species, meaning that it will continue to bloom year after year as long as its ideal growing conditions are met and maintained.

What time of year do flowering quince plants flower?

Though flowering quince flowers only last a few short weeks, their flurry of blooms is well worth the effort of growing them. They will only last about 10-14 days in the late winter or very early spring. They bloom around the same time as cherry tree blossoms.

Each flower is comprised of 5 petals that create a charming cup shape to them. Though they are more commonly pink flowers or white flowers, there are some varieties that bear orange or red flowers as well.

Does the flowering quince grow edible fruit?

Once a flowering quince bloom is fertilized, it will produce fruit in the form of a small round pome that is very similar in shape and appearance to a pear!

These fruits have a very hard and aromatic flesh that is enrobed in skin that is a bright golden color. These fruits are very seldom eaten raw, but can easily be made into jams and jellies.

Can a flowering quince shrub be grown in a pot or container?

A smaller species of flowering quince can be grown in a large container as long as it has drainage holes and is placed in an area that receives an adequate amount of sunlight.

Can flowering quinces be grown indoors?

There are smaller flowering quince species that can be grown indoors, but if that is the case they will not be able to be pollinated since pollinators wouldn’t have access to them indoors. This would result in the plant not being able to produce any fruit.

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How often should a flowering quince plant be watered?

Something wonderfully low maintenance about flowering quince plants is the fact that they do not require much from you in terms of watering. Once they are established, they are actually remarkably drought tolerant!

When the shrub is first planted it should receive a deep watering, but once it has taken root and is growing happily, natural precipitation should be more than enough water to keep them happy. This is quite rare for a fruit tree!

Do flowering quince flowers attract pollinators?

The lovely color and scent of flowering quince plants attracts all sorts of pollinators to the area, including bees, moths, butterflies, wasps, and hummingbirds.

What is the preferred soil type for flowering quince shrubs?

Flowering quince plants are capable of tolerating all sorts of different soil types in the wild. However, there are certain features their soil type can have in order to keep them as happy as possible.

Flowering quinces tend to perform best in soil that has a medium to low pH level. It is also important that the soil is well draining and moderately fertile.

A way to accomplish all of these things is by incorporating both compost and peat moss to the mix at the beginning of the growing season. The peat moss will achieve the ideal pH level, and the compost will increase soil fertility and drainage.

What USDA zone can flowering quinces grow in?

When it comes to the flowering quince, they are a native plant to many parts of eastern Asia, but most prosperously in China. They have become naturalized in western North America as well, and many other temperate regions in the world.

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Flowering quinces can exist outdoors all year long in USDA zone 4 through 9. Outside of those zones, they should be kept in a large rolling container so that they can be brought indoors to a warmer location.

Are flowering quince plants cold hardy?

Just another reason why flowering quinces are amazing is the fact that they are remarkably cold hardy plants! They can tolerate some pretty cold winters and bounce back with no problem, and will be fine in temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Something to keep in mind is that they might not do too well in very warm climates as they require a certain period of cold. They requires temps to dip periodically below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to flower properly.

Do flowering quinces need to be pruned?

And the final reason why gardeners love flowering quinces: they do not need to be pruned! A gardener could neglect pruning their shrub for years and they would still grow very happily.

However, they can grow quite quickly and enthusiastically and can easily develop a rather unruly shape. So, if you’re keen on keeping it neat and tidy, pruning will be the most maintenance the plant requires from you.

Where can you find flowering quince seeds?

A great source for finding all sorts of different seed types is an online resource called NETPS plant finder that will also give you all sorts of tips, planting instructions, and other related content.