Flowering quince (common flowering quince), Chaenomeles speciosa, is known for its showy red flowers that stand out in early spring. Find facts and information on growing healthy flowering quince shrubs.
Flowering Quince Facts and Information
Common flowering quince grows best in Zones 5-9 and will reach height and widths from 6-10 feet. They are deciduous shrubs that have an upright spreading form, and used in shrub borders, as hedges and specimen plants. They also require well drained soil.
If you are looking for shrubs with bright flowers, then this shrub is a good choice. The flowers bloom from early spring and into early summer and will sometimes rebloom lightly in the fall. Flowers may be red, pink, orange, or white depending on the variety.New growth emerges reddish-bronze and matures to a glossy dark green. The dense, tangled branches are spiny.
The plant seems to drop its leaves while it is still green. Its use should be restricted to more difficult sites. It is a great shrub to plant where pollution is a big concern as it is tolerant to pollution and urban conditions. The fruits of the quince can be harvested in October to make preserves.
Care of Flowering Quince
Flowering quince is fairly drought tolerant and usually does not require supplemental watering after establishment. Leaves can turn yellow when plants are grown in highly alkaline soils. Use an acid plant food, such as Miracle Gro for Azalea, camelia and rhodendron to help lower soil pH. You should avoid overfeeding which causes succulent growth that attracts pests. Regular renewal pruning after blooming will promote more lavish bloom. Overgrown shrubs can be cut back to 6” from the ground to renew.
Propagation: Cuttings may be taken in late summer and layered in spring.
Pests and Diseases: Leaf spot can partially defoliate plants so be sure to clean up and destroy fallen leaves to eliminate overwintering disease site. To control scale, prune and destroy any infested parts. Spray remaining stems with horticultural oil. Aphids can be controlled by spraying regularly with a garden hose.
Related Species to Consider
‘Cameo’ has double peach-pink flowers and is nearly thornless.
‘Jet Trail’ has 1” white flowers borne on nearly thornless plants.
‘Orange Delight’ has bright orange flowers on low-spreading plants.
‘Scarff’s Red’ is an upright, nearly thornless plant with bright red flowers.
‘Texas Scarlet’ is an almost thornless dwarf with thornless orange-red flowers.
*Japanese flowering quince (C. Japonica) is not as ornamental, grows 2-3’ tall.