The flowering quince shrub, Chaenomeles speciosa, is native to Asia where the Japanese have spent centuries creating hybrids known for their color and beauty. The shrub, which is hardy in USDA growing zones 4 to 9, grows to a height and width of 6 to10 feet. The flowers, which blossom in spring prior to the appearance of foliage, are 1 to 2 inches wide and appear as single flowers or in clusters.
Plant a flowering quince in a location that offers full sunlight or part shade or where there is at least 6 hours of continuous sunlight. The shrub prefers a slightly heavy soil, however most soil types are adequate as long as they are well draining.
Dig a hole that is the same depth as the nursery container and twice as wide. Add compost to the bottom of the hole to increase the nutrient value and moisture retention. Remove the shrub from the container and separate the roots. Place the shrub in the hole and fill with a mixture of soil and compost, gently packing it into place.
Water the shrub generously after planting to stimulate root growth. Continue to water daily for several weeks after planting when there is no rainfall. Water weekly throughout the growing season when rainfall is less than one inch per week.
Mulch the area around the shrub with a 2-inch layer of bark or wood chips to prevent weed growth and help with moisture retention.
Fertilize flowering quince plants yearly in the spring with a slow release fertilizer prior to the new growth appearing. Use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen to prevent excessive leafy growth as this will inhibit flower production.
Prune dead and damaged branches from the flowering quince in the spring.
Prune the flowering quince shrub in summer after flowering is complete. Cut back old branches to the ground to increase air circulation in the plant and stimulate new growth that will produce flowers.
Things You Will Need
- Hand pruner
- Do not fertilize in the fall as it will stimulate green growth that will not harden before the winter cold.
- Some varieties of flowering quince will produce a hard fruit that is approximately 2 inches in diameter. The fruit can be used for making jelly.