How to Grow Quince – A Guide to Growing Quince
Quince grow on attractive trees producing fragrant, pear-shaped fruits. Quince trees start to produce fruit after three years or so. Suitable for cultivating in a large pot.
Quince are easy to grow and the fruit has a unique perfume and flavour that complements other fruits like apples or pears in pies, jellies etc.
- Plant bare-rooted stock in November–December, during the dormant period.
- Container grown trees can be planted at any time of the year, but during the winter is best.
- Quince prefer a humus rich, neutral to acid soil in a sunny, sheltered position, avoiding frost pockets. They flower early and frost will damage the blossom.
- Add plenty of well-rotted manure or compost to the planting hole and provide a stake to support the tree. Drive the stake into your hole before planting, to avoid root damage.
- Fill the hole to the original planting level and water in well.
- Keep free from weeds and water during dry periods.
- In spring add a layer of mulch around the tree, ensuring it is not against the stem in order to avoid rot.
- Prune in winter. Initially, prune back the leading stems by a third of the season’s growth to an outward facing bud. Quince fruit on year-old spurs.
- The fruits turn from green to yellow as they ripen. Leave them on the tree as long as possilbe but be sure to harvest them before the first frost.
- Handle them gently as they bruise easily and store in a cool, dry, dark place, ensuring that the fruit are not touching.
- Best left to mature for six weeks or so before using. They will keep for up to three months.
Pests and Problems with Quince
- Quince are generally problem free, although they can suffer from leaf blight, brown rot, fireblight and the codling moth.
Varieties of Quince
- Quince are self-fertile so don’t need a pollinator.
- There are several varieties available from plant nurseries, some of them suitable for container growing. Be sure to buy the right size of tree for your growing space.
- Harvest from October.
- Freshly picked quinces are bitter and inedible but soften when cooked.
- They make great jelly and jam, or add a few slices to apples before cooking to add their delicious flavour.
- Quinces can be used in most apple recipes. The flesh turns pink when cooked.