growing flowering quince for the fruit

timothina(7a)November 9, 2013

Hi. I was thinking of growing flowering quince for the fruit, and I have a ton of questions! Your advice is appreciated.

1. Any cultivars have especially tasty fruit for jelly? Any good baked or poached?

2. Some sites say flowering quince has fall color and some say it does not. Do you know of any cultivars with nice fall color? Know of any pics?

3. I heard it grows well in partial shade. Does it fruit well in partial shade?

4. I was hoping to espalier it. Any advice?

5. I was wondering if any of the flowers last extra long, or have an especially nice smell.

Thank you so much.

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jadie88(7 MD)

Not an expert, but here are a couple thoughts...

If you want fruit, you need sun. Less sun=fewer fruits. Same idea applies to pruning. Espalier will mean fewer branches, which will also lower yield. I have grown flowering quince mostly for forcing twigs indoors (love them!!), so I don't get much fruit from what's left. I have made jam before though...see the link if you're interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Quince Jam

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 9:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you might want to try the fruit nuts in the fruit forum ...

one thing for sure.. the shrub version will NOT give viable jelly ...

you need the tree ... and not a shrub pruned into tree shape ...

as noted.. fruit production requires full sun ... fruit are a lot of work ... they need the suns energy ... but.. as to part shade.. those words mean so little... that all i can suggest is that you try ... 8 hours is usually considered full sun ... and more is better ...

your other questions are somewhat irrelevant to a fruit production tree ... do you want fruit.. or do you want a pretty plant??? often.. the two variables do not coincide ...


    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 9:08AM
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I have a small flowering quince bush (don't know what kind), in full sun, and it gives an amazing amount of fruit every year. But the fruit is not too juicy and not sweet and very tart and not much flesh and full of seeds. I haven't tried to make jam, but I have made jelly and quince paste. The fruit is kind of like cranberries in its tartness, seediness, etc. I guess you could chop it up and make a kind of marmalade.

The quince jam recipe someone linked above gives a good idea of the amount of effort involved to chop and seed and you end up with a small amount of flesh.

It's one of my favorite plants overall.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

after ten years.. i found someone who wanted to play with making jelly from my SHRUB ... just last week ...


you need the fruit tree .. not the FLOWERIING SHRUB ...


    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Jadie88 -- did you enjoy your jam? What variety do you grow?

Ken--I definitely know of people who have cooked flowering quince to make jelly and jam. Apparently, you need to use totally different recipes from when using real quince.

Do any of your shrubs give you fall color?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 2:46PM
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Flowering quince is often used to make jelly.....the problem is the plant is not always inclined to produce much of a crop so you would probably need more than one or two shrubs to reliably generate sufficient fruit for preserving. Of the ones I've grown, a single quince or two at the most was a typical crop for a single shrub. IOW, they are far more ornamental in purpose than fruitful :-)

In my climate, the shrub is semi-evergreen - it produces no fall color to speak of. It also tends to be thorny, suckers freely, has no discernible fragrance and can be prone to fireblight in areas where that is an issue. And I also agree about planting in full or as much sun as you can manage. More sun = more fruit! Espaliering it is very possible and an excellent way to grow the shrub......some of the most attractive flowering quinces I've seen (and this is not a highly attractive shrub under the best of circumstances) have been those grown as an espalier.

Here is a link that might be useful: chaenomeles as a fruit crop

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Hi Timothina,
The old fashioned flowering quince shrubs with single flowers will produce fruit. These can be found on old orchards, farmsteads and abandoned nurseries (which we have plenty). If I were gonna make jelly I would wash them well and chop them up, skin and all and cook. It's quite a bit of work since they don't make much juice.
Honestly I do it the lazy man's way:

You might also experiment with ornamental quince tree which has no thorns, see link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Trini Lopez Thread

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 7:35PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Ken - I've made jelly out of Chaenomeles fruit. It's perfectly possible. Tart and a very pretty pink colour. Mine is grown against a wall as is often done here where people do not usually have much space. And it is semi evergreen as gardengal48 describes.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 7:52AM
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The Chinese quince (ornamental quince tree) looks lovely, but it requires lots of sun and gets bigger than I need.

I think I am going to go with an espaliered flowering quince. Thanks for letting me know that it is a semi-evergreen in zone 8. I am not that far away, so it could be here, too.

Now I just need to figure out the cultivars I should grow!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 8:04AM
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jadie88(7 MD)

I'm afraid I can't help with choosing a cultivar...I picked mine up at a clearance sale, and the labels were long gone.

I did enjoy the jam, but not enough to make it frequently. I mostly use rhubarb...waaay easier and more productive, and has a similar sharp flavor. I leave the quince to the critters. :)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Here's our quince bush from this weekend, maybe it doesn't look like many fruit in the photo but in person I think it does. (I switched the photo for a slightly better one. I will try to remember to post a picture in spring).

This post was edited by olreader on Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 12:16

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I think it looks like a lot of beautiful fruit! I would really appreciate it if you could post a picture of the flowers in the spring so I could figure out what variety it is.

The bush is such a lovely shape. I bet it is pretty year-round.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:25AM
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I pruned the quince a week or more ago and took the branches inside, here are the blossoms this morning. I wonder how well the bush outside will flower and/or fruit this year after the bad freezes the last two mornings? (edited to add photo)

This post was edited by olreader on Tue, Apr 15, 14 at 10:41

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:36AM
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I love quince. I remember our quince tree in Belgrade. A long time ago, I should add. It wasn't tall, looked kind of gnarly. Single white flowers, and in late summer nice size yellow fruit. I didn't even know there was such thing as ornamental quince. While, there is no quince in my garden, I have picked fruit off ornamental quince. Not much but what I would do is wash and cook the fruit and mix in apple sauce. My greek neighbor has a quince tree. The fruit does not look like much but there is a lot of it. I'm curious to see if the tree has survived this awful winter.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:45PM
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