Thursday, May 13, 2010
Chaenomeles (Flowering Quince) is an easy to grow, round-topped, deciduous shrub growing 6 feet tall and 10 feet across, with - let's be honest- beastly thorns. BUT this thorny beast becomes laden with showy spring blossoms.
When planting this very sturdy and low maintenance shrub you have two options: for those of you who (like most of us) would prefer to avoid battle scars while gardening, plant your Quince in full sun somewhere where you can admire its profusion of blooms from a distance. (One gardener even recommended a hedge of the tangled, dense shrub as an excellent security barrier!?)
But for the brave gardeners (with heavy leather gloves) this shrub can be pruned every year to keep it a manageable size. Flowering Quince can also be espaliered (trained to grow against a wall) and is a popular bonsai choice. Pruning the quince has the added benefit of encourages better blooming.
Flowering quince will produce a hard, pear-like fruit. These tart fruit can be used in jelly making.
Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8
Growth Rate: Moderate
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade; range of soil types; best flowers in full sun; prefers acidic soil
Height: 6 to 10 feet
Width: 6 to 10 feet
Form: Rounded, broad spreading, multi-stemmed shrub; tangled and dense growth