Double Take Orange™ QuinceChaenomeles speciosa ‘Orange Storm’ (PP# 20,950)
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Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Orange Storm’ (PP# 20,950)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Double Take Orange™ Quince is an upright deciduous shrub without thorns and with rounded, glossy and bright green leaves. It will normally grow to about 6 feet tall and wide, but it can be controlled by pruning and training, and it is very suitable for covering walls and fences. It blooms in winter or early spring, with very large, showy blooms that are fully-double, like miniature roses. These beautiful frilly flowers are brilliant clear orange, making a wonderful show in your spring garden. It also makes an effective flowering hedge.
The Double Take Orange™ Quince should be grown in full sun, in any well-drained soil. It tolerates clay soils as well as dry soils. once established. It normally has no pests or diseases, and rabbits don’t bother with it. It can be trimmed into a hedge and, in beds, pruned after flowering ends for size and to encourage new growth. When trained on a wall or fence, cut back the stems of the previous year to a few inches long after blooming, and trim back for neatness in late summer.
We are all attracted to the beautiful blooms of the flowering quince, pretty bowls of petals in shades of pink, white and red. But what if those 5 simple petals were instead 40 frilly ones, what if the 1½ inch bloom was suddenly over 2 inches across, and what if the nasty thorns that these plants have suddenly all disappeared? Best of all, what if those pretty soft tones were now vibrant orange, so that the bare branches danced with colorful blooms like miniature roses? Now we would have a garden shrub of quality and interest – and that’s exactly what we get from the Double Take Orange™ Quince. It has an upright form, not the sprawling and untidy habit of older varieties, so it fits perfectly among your shrubs, or makes a stunning hedge. Flowering lasts for weeks, and this colorful bush flowers in winter in warmer zones, and in early spring elsewhere, bringing in that glorious season not with a shy beginning, but with a scene stealer that will have you doing a double take on a stunner this gorgeous.
The Double Take Orange Quince is an upright deciduous shrub with many dense branches, that will grow about 6 feet tall and can easily be kept to just 3 or 4 feet wide. If you have been troubled by the thorns on older flowering quince, don’t worry, because this newer variety doesn’t have any – you can prune without being stabbed. The glossy green leaves are up to 2½ inches long, and 1½ inches wide, with a rounded oval shape and a finely-toothed edge. Leaves develop in spring as the flowering season is drawing to a close.
The flower buds develop in clusters along the stems of the previous year, and on older side shoots. In very warm zones some blossoms may open before Christmas, but February is more usual, moving to late March and April in cooler zones. The buds open into large blossoms, a full 2 inches across, with many ruffled petals (between 30 and 50) making a very showy bloom like a small rose. There is a tiny yellow center of stamens, but this variety doesn’t produce fruit. The bright orange color is clean and outstanding, and really glows across the garden. It looks great with golden daffodils and yellow or orange tulips – plant them around the base for a great spring show. Flowering lasts for weeks, with even individual flowers staying attractive for up to 3 weeks, depending on the temperatures.
Because it has a good upright habit, this shrub is much more attractive and easier to use in the garden than older sprawling varieties. Its lack of thorns means it can be planted where people might brush by, or where children play. It is ideal for early color in beds, in all styles of gardens, and it can easily be trained on a wall or fence, as flowering quinces are often grown. Spaced 3 feet apart it also makes a wonderful flowering hedge.
The Double Take Orange Quince is completely cold hardy in zone 5, and grows well through all warmer zones, including in zone 9.
Plant the Double Take Orange Quince in full sun, especially in cooler zones, for maximum bloom and flower color. In zones 8 and 9 some afternoon shade during the flowering season may extend the bloom period, but summer sun is still needed for good growth and flower bud development. This is a tough and reliable shrub that will grow in just about all well-drained soils. Although it prefers moderately-rich loamy soil, it grows in clay, and also in drier soils once it is well established.
Pests and diseases rarely bother the Double Take Orange Quince, and rabbits generally leave it alone. The only attention it needs is to some pruning, which will vary depending on how it is grown. For shrubs growing in beds, a light trim after flowering will keep it compact, and older plants can have one or two older branches removed at the same time, to encourage vigorous new stems to develop. On walls and fences cut back the previous years stems to just a few inches long, after flowering, and shorten back or tie in any long shoots and outward-facing shoots in late summer, to keep it tidy.
The flowering quince, Chaenomeles speciosa, is also called Japanese quince, and sometimes older people call it ‘Japonica’. It was once thought to be a relative of the pear tree, and it is not the same plant as the true quince, Cydonia, which has large yellow fruits. Flowering quince was introduced a long time ago into Western gardens from Japan, and up to the middle of last century it was very popular, and as many as 500 varieties have been created. Many of those have been lost, and interest in these plants declined. At the beginning of this century Dr. Thomas G. Ranney, a Professor of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University, became interested in reviving them, and he was given a plant of a rare variety of flowering quince called ‘Dragon’s Blood’ by the plantsman Don Shadow, owner or Shadow Nursery in Winchester Tennessee. That bush has dark red double flowers and no thorns. Dr. Ranney took pollen from ‘Dragon’s Blood’ and used it on an older variety with single crimson flowers, called ‘Spitfire’. Among the seedlings he grew was one outstanding bush with large, brilliant orange double blooms, which he named ‘Orange Storm’ and patented for the University in 2010. It is made available to gardeners as Double Take Orange™ by the Proven Winners™ brand.
The Double Take Orange Quince is an outstanding garden plant – take a look at the other Double Take colors as well. These outstanding new varieties signal a revival of this heirloom plant in a new, more desirable form, so order yours now – they will soon be all gone from our farm.