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How to Care for a Flowering Quince Bush

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

Flowering quince, also called japonica, is an old-fashioned thorny shrub that was once planted extensively on farms as fence-like border hedges. They produce white, pink or red flowers in early to mid-spring. The leaves open after the flowers bloom, starting out red-bronze and turning dark green when hot summer weather arrives. They produce small, bitter, bumpy, pear-shaped fruits that can be made into jelly. Flowering quinces are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 and grow 6 to 10 feet tall.

Grow flowering quince bushes in full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Quince will tolerate dry soils once established.

Prune in mid spring after it the blossoms fade. Remove any dead or diseased branches and any branches that cross another as they grow. Thin out about one-third of the branches growing from the base of the bush. Cut them off just above ground level with a pruning clippers.

Mulch the soil around the bush with wood chips, landscape rocks or shredded bark. Put down a 3- to 6-inch layer out to the quince's drip line.

Water the equivalent of an inch of rainfall per week until your quince bush is established. Thereafter, supplement rainfall only in times of drought.

Fertilize in early spring. Remove the mulch and apply granulated all-purpose slow-release fertilizer around the base of the bush. Keep the granules from touching the crown of the plant or it can suffer fertilizer burn. Replace mulch.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning clippers
  • Mulch
  • Granulated fertilizer

About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.