Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Plant Profile: Flowering Quince

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) is one of the earliest blooming shrubs in spring. The blossom colors can be peachy-orange, red, pink, or white. Note that Flowering Quince is not the same plant as the larger, fruit-bearing quince tree (Cydonia oblonga).

Flowering Quince is an Asian native and was once a very popular garden shrub, but had fallen into disfavor. In recent years, new cultivars, such as the ‘Double Take’ series, are bringing the plant back into fashion again.

This shrub is not picky about soil type and is generally drought-tolerant once established. It is hardy to zones 4 to 9 and prefers a full sun location. It is a rose relative and has shiny, dark-green foliage that emerges once the blooms shed.

This is a fairly tough plant. The only maintenance it needs is regular pruning to keep the size in check and to keep the interior from turning into a messy thicket. It can reach 10 feet high and wide, though there are new dwarf forms now available from local garden centers.

A bit of a warning, Flowering Quince has sharp thorns, so be careful when working around it. This trait does make it a useful shrub for creating a security hedge or as a safe nesting spot for birds.

If you get impatient waiting for spring, the branches are easily forced into bloom in late winter by cutting a few and placing them in a vase filled with room temperature water indoors. It is also a great plant to experiment with for bonsai or training into different forms.

Flowering Quince - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz


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~Podcast: GardenDC



  1. Does anyone know where to find Flowering Quince with a single flower in DC metro area? Meadows Farms and Merrifield only have double flowered types.

    1. I do not know of any sources of the singles locally, aside from asking someone who has one for a cutting and seeing of that will easily root.


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