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How to Care for a Flowering Quince Bush

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.

Flowering Quince Trees

Flowering quince is a deciduous shrub that reaches a height and width up to 10 feet. Quince has dark green, glossy foliage and scarlet flowers that grow as clusters in early spring. Flowering quince stems have thorns for natural protection against animals and pests. Flowering quince grows best in an area with full sun to partial shade. Plant the flowering quince during the winter months, when the plant is dormant, in a hole that is the same depth as the root ball and twice as wide. Flowering quince trees are drought-tolerant, but they benefit from supplemental deep watering once a week when there is no rainfall during the first growing season to help with root establishment. Prune out dead branches during the winter dormant months to remove the fungus from the area.

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