Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs in the family Rosaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Boasting bright red, orange, pink or white flowers surrounded by shiny dark green foliage, this plant is typically planted in the winter months. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, this low-maintenance shrub likes full to partial sun. Growing 6-10 ft. tall and 6-10 ft. wide, this multi-stemmed deciduous shrub is great as a hedge, shrub or border. Flowering Quince can produce berries and attracts hummingbirds.
Planting Flowering Quince
Flowering Quince is an early bloomer, bursting into the scene as early as late January. It is best to plant this shrub in the fall so it is ready to go in the early spring. This easy to care for shrub likes full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Tolerating most soil conditions, Flowering Quince is heat tolerant and can handle dry conditions. Depending on mature size, space each shrub 4-10 feet apart. Water newly planted Flowering Quince regularly until fully established.
Watering Flowering Quince
Flowering Quinces are typically drought tolerant. New planted shrubs need to be watered regularly. Due to its deep root system, once established, this shrub requires minimal water. It is best to water at the base of the plant and avoid getting the foliage wet. Water during the morning hours, allowing the plant to dry out during the day. Mulch around the base of the shrub to help retain moisture in the soil.
Fertilizing Flowering Quince
This less than fussy shrub will do just fine when planted in moderately fertile well drained soil. All it will need is an application of fertilizer once in the spring. Use a well balanced slow release all purpose fertilizer. Apply just before new growth appears. Scatter the fertilizer around the base of the plant, avoiding the foliage. Deeply water the shrub afterwards to help absorb the fertiliser.
Pruning Flowering Quince
This shrub blooms on old wood. Prune just after flowers are done blooming so you don't hurt flower production for the following year. You can also prune to shape the shrub. It is best to not cut the entire plant down as this could cause disease. To prevent spreading, cut off any suckers growing for the base of the shrub.
Caring For Flowering Quince in Pots
Smaller varieties of Flowering Quince can be grown in a container. Choose a container that is 8-10 inches wider than the pot it is currently in. This will allow for good root development. The container should have good drainage holes as this plant does not like wet feet. Amend the soil with perlite and water well after planting. This plant likes full to partial sun. Container plants dry out quicker, frequent watering may be needed.
Winter Care for Flowering Quince
Flowering Quince is typically grown as an ornamental shrub. It is best planted during the cold weather season so it is ready to be the first to bloom in the spring. In southern regions, it can bloom as early as late January. In northern regions, it can appear in March.