Guide to Growing Quinces

Discover how these easy-to-grow trees can add beautiful fruit and foliage to your garden.

From: DK Books - Gardeners Guide
Similar Topics:
Quince Should Be Left to Ripen On Tree

Quince Should Be Left to Ripen On Tree

Photo by: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

These trees are an asset in any garden with their fragrant, pale pink spring blossoms, gnarled bark, and large, attractive, unusual autumn fruit. Slow ripening, the fruit is best eaten cooked in jams and pies.

How to Grow

These trees are easy to grow and need little care once established. They require a warm, sheltered site and prefer deep, fertile, free-draining, acidic soil (pH of 6.5). Bare root trees should be planted in the winter; container-grown trees can be planted at any time if kept well watered afterward. Dig in plenty of organic matter when planting, such as well-rotted garden compost, and mulch annually in the spring with more of the same material.

Varieties to Try

When choosing varieties, you’ll often find quinces listed under their botanical name, Cydonia oblonga. Varieties to try include: ‘Meech’s Prolific’, ‘Vranja’, ’Lusitanica’ and ’Champion’.

Picking and Storing

Quinces rarely ripen fully in cool climates and should be left as long as possible before picking. Even so, they are still likely to be too hard and sour to eat fresh from the tree. To promote ripening indoors, store unblemished fruit over the winter in a frost-free, ventilated place. Check regularly for damage or decay.

Rootstocks

Quinces are often grown on their own root system but may be grafted to restrict their size, making them more suitable for a small garden. Two rootstocks are commonly used. Quince C Suitable for small gardens. Trees grow to 10 feet (3 m). Quince A Suitable for larger plots. Trees grow to over 12 feet (4 m).

Pruning and Training

Quinces are normally grown as freestanding trees and are pruned in the winter. They are too vigorous to train or to grow against walls. To prune established trees, cut back strong sideshoots to 12 inches (30 cm), and tip-prune the main branches. Maintain an open center. 

Watch Out for These Pests and Diseases

Quince leaf blight is a fungal disease, most prevalent in wet summers. It causes small red-brown spots on the leaves, which turn yellow and drop, weakening the tree. Destroy fallen leaves. Prune to form an open canopy with good airflow.

Quinces are usually pest free, but splitting fruit is commonly caused when trees in fruit have been allowed to become dry. Avoid this by watering well during dry spells.

Next Up

How to Plant and Grow Persimmons

Experts pick their best tips on how to achieve persimmon perfection.

How to Grow Peaches by the Patio

If you want to cultivate fruit trees in a small yard, you have to think big and grow small.

Growing Dwarf Fruit Trees

Turn your backyard into a miniature orchard—these gorgeous fruit trees are perfect for pots.

Guide to Growing Gooseberries

Having less to do with their name and much more to do with their juicy flavor, gooseberries are a welcome addition to any garden.

Grow a Persimmon Tree

Easy to grow and maintain, persimmon trees are cold hardy and bear beautiful fruit in the fall.

A Guide to Growing Apples

Perhaps the most classic fruit, apples are a bountiful crop when given proper attention and care.

Guide to Growing Peach, Nectarine and Apricot Trees

While some have fuzz and others do not, these fruits all have one thing in common—they taste delicious.

Guide to Growing Fig Trees

Figs come in a range of delicious varieties fit for any garden area.

Growing Figs in the Home Garden

There are thousands of varieties of fig trees worldwide that grow in a range of conditions. Here are tips for growing them at home from the garden experts at HGTV.com.

Guide to Growing Plum Trees

Discover how to grow delicious and juicy plums with this simple planting and maintenance guide.