You can use flowering quince seeds to propagate quince trees and shrubs. Originally from parts of Asia, quince plants bear fruit that is similar in culture to apples and pears. Varieties include compact and low-spreading 2 to 3 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide Crimson and Gold to much larger varieties such as the 15-foot tall Chaenomeles Cathayensis tree. Follow these steps to grow a flowering quince from seed.
Step 1: Harvest (or Buy) Flowering Quince Seeds
It’s easiest to buy flowering quince seeds from reputable growers, both locally and online. But harvesting seeds from quince is another possibility. Extract seeds from mature fruit, clean them, stratify in sand and store in a cool location or in a moist plastic bag that’s kept in the refrigerator until planting—in either late winter or early spring.
Note that when planting quince from seeds, expect fruit by the fifth year of the shrub or plant’s life.
Step 2: Plant Seeds
Place sterilized growing medium or sterilized soil mixed with equal parts peat and fine vermiculite or perlite in growing pots or containers. Level soil, but do not pack it. Mix the flowering quince seeds with moist sand and spread over the soil. Then cover with a fine layer of soil. Alternately, bury the seed to a depth of twice the seed diameter.
Step 3: Provide Adequate Light and Humidity
Flowering quince seeds need adequate light—bright, filtered light is best—in order to germinate. They also require humidity. Tent a plastic bag or sheeting over the pots or growing containers. To ensure enough air circulation, consider using a small fan.
Step 4: Water Appropriately
Best watering for propagating flowering quince seeds is from below. Place growing pots or containers in standing water for about 20 minutes.
Step 5: Transplant
When flowering quince seeds have reached the stage to transplant, they can be moved into larger pots or containers or planted directly outside. Outdoors, quince prefers slightly acidic and moist soil. Many flowering quinces grow along creek beds. Once established, quince can tolerate very wet climates, but they still need good drainage.
Step 6: Other Growing Considerations
- Protect young seedling flowering quinces from vermin and animals by installing perimeter fences, stem guards and by using repellant when necessary.
- Keep new flowering quince seeds weeded and use herbicides. Protect stems and remove any suckers in the early growth period.
- Protect these deciduous shrubs/trees in winter with a 4 to 5-inch layer of organic mulch. Flowering quince trees need the chill of winter to ensure good fruit production.
- In hotter climates, make sure flowering quince receives adequate watering. Consider adding an irrigation system to ensure sufficient moisture.
In summary, growing flowering quince seeds take some time and patience, but the end result will be a worthwhile addition to you home garden.