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Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Orange Storm’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)
Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Orange Storm’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)

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Zone
Zones 2-23, 28-41
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Chaenomeles

Flowering Quince
Rosaceae
Deciduous, Shrubs

These are among the first shrubs to bloom each year. As early as January, you can take a budded stem indoors, place it in water in a sunny window, and watch buds break into bloom. Blossoms are 1 1/2–2 1/2 in. across, single to semidouble or double, in white and soft to vibrant shades of pink, orange, and red. Leaves are red tinged when young, maturing to shiny green.

Growth habit varies widely among the many available selections: some grow to 10 ft. and spread wider, while others are compact and low growing. Most are thorny, but a few are thornless or nearly so. Some bear small quincelike fruit. All are useful as hedges and barriers.

Flowering quince is easy to grow and virtually indestructible, tolerating extremes of cold and heat, and light to heavy soil. May bloom sparsely or sporadically in warm-winter areas. Prune to shape or to limit growth at any time—but bud and bloom season is a good time for the job, since cut branches can be used for indoor arrangements. New growth that follows bears next year’s flowers. Blossoms attract birds.

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