Growing Chaenomeles (Flowering Quince)

Latin Name Pronunciation: kih-nom'uh-leez  

Three species (and a legion of hybrids among them) make up this genus of deciduous, thorny shrubs native to Japan and China. The showy, bowl-shaped blooms of Chaenomeles begin to open in spring before the leaves emerge and continue as the leaves expand. The 2″ apple-like fruit is not particularly ornamental. A dense, spreading habit recommends these shrubs for use as specimens, espaliers, or hedges.

Light/Watering: Full sun will produce the most blooms and fruit. Tolerates dry soils.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soil; becomes chlorotic on very high pH soils. Fertilize once in early spring with a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10). Flowering Quince is adaptable, easy to grow, and tolerant of pollution.

Pests/Diseases: Susceptible to fire blight, canker, rust, apple scab, and scale insects.

Companions: Spring-blooming shrubs, bulbs, and perennials.

Calendar of Care

Mid-Spring—Prune back to strong buds after flowering to shape. Rejuvenate overgrown shrubs by cutting out about ¼ of the oldest shoots each year.