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Flowering Quince



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published October 2018, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf

Height: 10 feet

Spread: 12 feet

Shape: Upright

Flowering quince is a large fast-growing shrub whose main merit is showy flowers (red, orange, white, pink depending on cultivar) in early spring. Uses of this species include hedge, shrub border, or mass plantings. Plants have thorns and therefore need careful placement.

Plant Needs

Zone: 4 to 8

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay

pH Range: 3.7 to 7.0


Suggested uses for this plant include border, barrier, hedge, and attracting wildlife.

Planting Notes

Tolerates wide range of soil conditions except very alkaline soils which cause iron chlorosis.


Regular pruning is needed to maintain plant size and shape; this also results in better flowering. Remove approximately 1/3 of the wood, including the oldest branches and any weak growth, at ground level after flowering each spring.


Iron chlorosis develops when grown in high pH soils.

Heavy amounts of rainfall and leaf spot causes defoliation (leaf loss). Flowers can be damaged by late spring frosts.

Plants have thorns and should not be used where children play or any other areas where liability is an issue.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Chaenomeles speciosa:

  • `Cameo' has peach-pink double flowers.
  • `Nivalis' is an upright form with white flowers.
  • `Texas Scarlet' has profuse, red flowers.

Related species:

Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles japonica) is a smaller plant (only 3 feet high), and otherwise similar to flowering quince.


Quince shrubs are grown for their early spring flowers.

Their thorny stems make them a good plant to use as a barrier to direct traffic. The apple-like fruit can be used to make jellies.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

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Publication Date

March 7, 2024