Botanically called Chaenomeles speciosa, the Japanese flowering quince is a hardy plant that can also be trained for bonsai. This deciduous shrub or small ornamental tree resembles a tangled mass of thorny bushes most of the year except in spring, when beautiful blossoms about 2 inches in size decorate the branches in orange, pink, white or red. These blooms develop into tiny edible apple-like fruit that are succulent and sweet, and favored by birds who chew on them, and people who use them for jams, pies or jelly.
Select a location in your yard that receives full sunlight to partial shade. Depending on the cultivar grown, these trees can reach from 8 to 10 feet in height, so make sure there are no towering trees nearby that may block their sunlight.
Loosen the soil at the planting site with a spade or shovel to aerate it, and break down any large clods into small pieces. Amending the soil or adding fertilizers is not necessary; a flowering quince is a hardy plant that is known to grow in all soil conditions.
Purchase a flowering quince from your local nursery. These are usually available as young plants in lightweight plastic containers.
Lift the quince from the container and roughly measure its root ball to get an idea of how wide you need to dig a hole in the soil to plant it. If it is hard to remove the quince from the container, gently roll it on the ground for one complete rotation to help loosen and release it.
Dig a hole in the ground with a spade that is the same depth as the root ball, but several inches wider.
Gently lift the flowering quince from the container and place it in the center of the hole. Make sure the root ball is level with the ground.
Backfill the hole with soil and press it down with your fingers to remove any air bubbles or gaps.
Water the planting site well so excess water pools around the plant and then gets absorbed by the soil.
Spread a layer of mulch around the flowering quince to help retain moisture and prevent competing weeds from growing there.
Water the flowering quince every other day, especially if you notice the soil around it becoming dry. However, avoid over-watering the plant since it is as dangerous as under-watering. Water it just enough to ensure the soil is evenly moist.
Look out for your flowering quince for any signs of a disease called fire blight, which will cause the affected areas to appear black or burnt. This serious disease can cause the entire tree to rot and must be treated immediately. Cut any affected branches off with a saw and burn them to prevent the disease from spreading. Also, sterilize the saw or any other cutting equipment that came in contact with the tree thoroughly.