The Japanese Quince is a deciduous shrub in the rose family that is grown for its flowers which bloom in the early spring. It is a low-growing, densely-branched, deciduous shrub with spiny, often-tangled, gray-brown twigs. It typically grows to 3’ tall but spreads to 6' wide. Five-petaled, orange-scarlet flowers (to 1.5” across) with creamy white stamens bloom before the leaves unfold in an often showy early spring floral display. Flowers are followed by hard, greenish-yellow fruits (1.5” pomes that are commonly called quinces) which ripen in early autumn. Ripe quinces are fragrant. Quinces are edible, but usually are considered too bitter to be eaten directly from the shrub. Quinces are sometimes used to make preserves and jellies. Coarsely-toothed, broad-oval, green leaves (to 2” long).
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best flowering occurs in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soil conditions, but prefers well-drained loams. Established plants tolerate some dry soils. Plants bloom on old growth. Garden Uses. Low hedge. Specimen or group in shrub border or cottage garden. Shrubs may also be trained against a wall. Branches may be clipped and forced for winter bloom. Hardy in zones 5-9.
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year.
- Place the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Store the bag in a refrigerator for 4-6 weeks.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Fill a pot with a mixture of half potting soil and half sand or vermiculite.
- Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the container.
- Put the pot in a warm, sunny area.
- Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet.
- The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.