The first thing to do after deciding to grow flowering quinces is to decide which type of bush you want to plant them in. There are many types of flowering quinces, but there are only two main varieties that are grown commercially today: the California and the Japanese. These two species have different growth habits and characteristics.
There are several ways to choose which type of bush you want to plant your cutting into. You could try growing it in soil or potting mix, then transplant it from one container to another. Or you could use a plastic bag and let the cutting root itself into the bag. Another option would be to use a clump of flowers and leave it alone until you’re ready to harvest.
You may not even need to choose between these options. Some growers prefer to keep their plants small so they can easily pick them up and move them around. Others like large bushes that require lots of space. And still others like the look of each variety, so they’ll plant whatever looks good at the time.
The choice is yours when it comes to this part of propagating a flowering quince. The rest of the instructions are fairly universal no matter what container you plant your cutting into or what variety of quince you grow.
Once you’ve chosen the type of container you want, it’s time to get started propagating your quince. You can set up a simple hydroponics system or an organic soil mix. Either way, the basic steps for growing your quince are going to be the same.
First, you’ll need a container. You can use anything from an old bucket to a nice glazed flower pot. It all depends upon how many quinces you’re planning to plant and how much space you have available. Be sure to choose a pot that has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom, because these plants like their soil to be moist but not soggy. If you’re using soil, you’ll want to mix in some organic material such as peat moss, compost or rotted leaves.
Second, you need to soak your container with water. The pot will need about an hour to soak, while a plastic container may only need a few minutes. You want the soil to be moist but not dripping wet.
Third, lightly scratch seeds into the soil about half an inch deep (1 cm). Or, you can cut sections of 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cm) off a flowering quince branch. If you’re cutting a branch, make sure you have at least two “eyes” in the stalk. These are the spots where leaves sprout. Place these cuttings in the container and cover with soil.
Fourth, water your container until the soil is evenly damp. Don’t over water. Allow the soil to dry out before you water it again. Continue to water lightly and keep an eye on the plants. When they’re big enough, they’ll start putting out roots all on their own.
That’s all there is to growing a flowering quince from seed! After a few months, you’ll have plenty of quince bushes that will bloom every year. You can even start taking cuttings of your own plants and start a whole new patch!
Flowering quince is an old-fashioned plant that fits in well in English gardens. But don’t let the British association fool you, these plants need no special conditions or climate to thrive in. They’re happy as long as they have well-drained soil and plenty of sun. You may even be able to harvest some fruit from your quince bush – if not the first year then certainly by the second or third.
So if you have a patch of overgrown land behind your house that you’re not sure what to do with, consider planting a few quince bushes. They’re easy to grow and will quickly cover an area in flowers every spring.
Sources & references used in this article:
Propagation of woody plants from stem cuttings by HB Lagerstedt, RA McNeilan – 1968 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Plant propagation through tissue cultures by T Murashige – Annual review of plant physiology, 1974 – annualreviews.org
Plant propagation from cuttings by J Krain – 1996 – academia.edu
Plant propagation by tissue culture: volume 1. the background by EF George, MA Hall, GJ De Klerk – 2007 – books.google.com
In vivo propagation of difficult-to-root bougainvillea cultivars by air-layering by P Kumari, K Swaroop, T Janakiram – Research on Crops, 2017 – indianjournals.com
Propagation of eight cultiv ars of Rhododendron in vitro using agar-solidified and liquid media and direct rooting of shoots in vivo by S Wood – 1880 – C. Lockwood and Company
A review of plant propagation methods by GC Douglas – Scientia Horticulturae, 1984 – Elsevier