Flowering quince shrubs and trees make colorful additions to the garden landscape when planted properly. In general, flowering quince is fairly tolerant to a wide variety of conditions, although there are a few mistakes to avoid.
Planting in Shade
Flowering quince requires full sun to do well. In shady areas, quinces tend to get too much water and moisture. In hot climates only, planting in partial shade may be warranted.
Pruning at the Wrong Time
Since flowering quince blooms in spring on new wood, if it is pruned when the buds have already begun to appear, this cuts off spring blooms.
In full sun, flowering quince photosynthesizes more efficiently than in shade. But it does require thorough watering. If not watered deeply, the flowering quince will not thrive.
Watering from Above
Misting or watering from above encourages rot. Always water at the base of the plant.
Not Planting Sprouted Seed
Once harvested, flowering quince seeds should be placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If they begin to sprout, they can’t be kept alive over winter. Once sprouted, the seeds need to be planted. Plant outside in a protected area and after a freeze and mulch with 4 to 5 inches of organic material. Flowering quince seeds can be planted indoors, but use a shop light to provide sufficient illumination. Plant outside after last frost in spring.
Planting in Wrong Soil
Flowering quince likes heavy, moist soil – the kind found on creek and river banks where flowering quinces often grow wild. Once they’re established, flowering quince can tolerate very wet conditions, but they do best in well-drained soil.
Planting on Hillsides with Cold Spring Air
Flowering quince can be planted on slopes and hillsides with the proper exposure. When planted in areas with cold spring air, while this may not damage the tree or shrub, the air may be too cold for pollinating insects during the spring blossoming period.
Planting in Area with Late Frost Pockets
Avoid planting flowering quince in any area that receives heavy frost pockets, especially valley areas which lack sufficient air circulation. Quince are the last deciduous fruit to appear, so late frost can damage blooms and result in loss of fruit.
Planting in Unprotected Area
Too much wind hampers flowering quince growth. The tree limbs can break in heavy wind, especially when laden with fruit. Use artificial barriers around flowering quince or plant in a protected area.
Pruning too hard or too late (after buds have begun to appear) will lessen blooms and fruit production. Do all new pruning in winter, especially moderate to hard cutting. Do keep flowering quince tidy during the growing season by cutting off dead or diseased branches.
Improper Disease and Pest Control
Although generally trouble-free, flowering quince can be attached by vermin, pests and diseases. Keep trees and shrubs fenced or protected. Use fungicides and pesticides as appropriate to control quince fleck, fruit fly and coddling moths.
In summary, plant flowering quince in the right location, tend to its needs for water, disease/pest/vermin control, and watch it grow.