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Apple Blossom Quince

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Apple Blossom’

Apple Blossom Quince

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Apple Blossom’

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

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The Apple Blossom Quince is a deciduous shrub with many branches, carrying short spines. It grows into a wide-spreading bush up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet or more wide, and it is also often grown in walls or fences, or as a hedge. It has glossy almost round leaves, and flowers in winter and early spring on the bare branches, with showy clusters of cup-shaped blossoms that are pink on the outside and white inside, like over-sized apple blossoms. It produces fragrant rounded fruits like hard apples that make excellent jellies and preserves. It is a wonderful shrub for early color in your garden beds, and becomes a gorgeous wall shrub with some simple training

  • Clusters of bowl-shaped blooms in winter and early spring
  • Gorgeous combination of pink and white
  • Fruit makes delicious jelly
  • Great shrub to cover walls and fences
  • Easy to grow and trouble free

Plant the Apple Blossom Quince in full sun. It is hardy in zone 5, growing well and blooming earlier in the year in warmer zones. This tough shrub grows in most garden soils, preferring good drainage and richer soil, but tolerated drought and dry soil well. Deer and rabbits don’t touch it, and it has no significant pests or diseases. When grown on a wall or fence it should be pruned immediately after flowering and again in late summer.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 3-8
Mature Height 3-8
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun
Drought Tolerance Moderate Drought Tolerance
Zones 5-9

Spring is a magical time of year, and we wait so patiently through the cold, dark days of winter for its arrival. That magic is seen most dramatically in those plants that bloom on bare branches, because the flowers stand out in all their glory, without being hidden among the leaves. Once incredibly popular, but today sometimes overlooked, flowering quince, once called ‘Japonica’, expresses that glory of blossoms on bare stems most dramatically, with big bowls of glowing beauty clustered all along its smooth mahogany stems. The Apple Blossom Quince has gorgeous blooms that really do look like over-sized apple blossoms when the pink buds open to show their white interiors. A plant in bloom, which can be before February, is a sight we can never tire of. The fragrant fruits that come in summer are worth the work for the rare and delicious quince jelly they become, a treat not to be missed. So what if the summer is just green leaves, and ideally this plant needs some regular pruning? That wondrous spring display makes it all worthwhile.

Growing the Apple Blossom Quince

Size and Appearance

The Apple Blossom Quince is a spreading deciduous shrub with many branches, naturally growing wider than it is tall, but often grown against a wall or fence into a taller and narrower wall-shrub. The size varies with how it is pruned, but if left to grow naturally it can be 4 to 6 tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. The younger stems have a smooth, dark reddish-brown bark, turning rougher as they age. There are inch-long spines on the stems, with a sharp tip. The leaves are 1½ to 3½ inches long, oval to rounded, with a saw-toothed edge, and they are smooth, glossy and bright green.

The flower buds develop in clusters along the stems, and in warm areas, or grown on a warm, sunny wall, they may begin to open even before Christmas, and often in February. In cooler zones late March and into April is more normal, and blooming is spread over several weeks, with the cooler days keeping the flowers fresh for a long time. The dark-pink buds open into a bowl-shaped blossom 1½ inches across, often with several blooms in a cluster open at the same time. The inside of the petals is white, occasionally with a very pale yellow tone to it. Some flowers have 5 petals, and others have more, making a semi-double flower. The center of the bloom is decorated with a cluster of golden stamens.

As the last flowers finish the new leaves arrive, and by late summer you may be greeted with clusters of pale green to yellowish apple-like fruits, about 2 inches across. These are strongly fragrant, and a bowl of them will scent a room. They are very hard and inedible when raw, but they can be cooked into a very delicious fragrant and tangy jelly for toast or even with cold-cuts.

Using the Apple Blossom Quince in Your Garden

There are several different ways to grow the Apple Blossom Quince. You can plant it at the back of a bed, or at the edge of a wooded area, and let it grow naturally. Cut some branches and bring them inside in a vase to open their blooms and gather the fruit for jelly. To really show off the flowers, many gardeners grow it against a sunny wall or fence, and it can be trained so it grows around the windows of your home. This method does need some regular pruning. It can also be grown as a hedge, trimmed to different heights as needed.

Hardiness

The Apple Blossom Quince is hardy in zone 5 and grows well through all the warmer zones, including zone 9, where it will bloom the earliest.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

This bush enjoys a position in full sun, so grow it in a south-facing site, which will also encourage the earliest blooms. It is tough and almost indestructible, growing easily in most garden soils, including clay, but preferring a balanced loam soil that is well-drained. It is moderately resistant to drought when well-established.

Maintenance and Pruning

The Apple Blossom Quince is rarely bothered by pests or diseases, and both deer and rabbits avoid it. The only maintenance needed is pruning, especially if grown against a wall or fence. As soon as blooming is over, shorten back the stems to a main framework of branches. Prune again in late summer, removing any unwanted branches, and shortening outward pointing ones. On older plants new strong growths should be tied in and some older stems removed completely, as needed to keep your plant vigorous.

History and Origin of the Apple Blossom Quince

Once called ‘Japonica’ and put in the same group as pears, the flowering quince is also not the same as the true quince (Cydonia) which has larger yellow fruits. Today known correctly as Chaenomeles speciosa, this plant was incredibly popular in previous centuries, and hundreds of varieties used to exist. The variety called ‘Apple Blossom’ was created in America, around 1930, at the Leonard Nursery in Piqua, Ohio, but only released for sale in 1937 by W. B. Clarke Nurseries in San Jose, California. It is often incorrectly thought to be the same as an older variety called ’Moerloosii’, which was developed by Maurice (?) de Moerloose, a plantsman from Ledeberg in Belgium sometime before 1856.

Buying the Apple Blossom Quince at The Tree Center

We love being able to offer this great plant, and we know that this overlooked shrub will be a big hit in your garden the moment you see those gorgeous beckoning blooms. This easy and versatile plant deserves a revival, so join in and order now – don’t wait, because our stock of this highly-regarded variety is very limited.

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Apple Blossom Quince

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Apple Blossom’