28. October 2020

Why Won't My Japanese Quince Grow Fruits?

Don't be surprised if your Japanese quince fails to produce fruits. There are a few things you need to know about pollinating the bush!

Yellow/green Japanese quince fruits.

I got around 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) of Japanese quince from my garden this year. The fruits started to fall before they turned completely yellow, and are a bit more tart than usual. Still delicious though!

 

I'm writing a long and detailed article about Japanese quince and how to grow it here on the blog, but I wanted to address a related subject that some of you have been asking about:

Why won't my Japanese quince grow fruits?

 

Read more: Columnar trees for the cottage garden

 

Cross-pollinating Japanese quince

The flowering quince is a common ornamental bush with many different varieties. It produces lovely flowers early in the season and you can often see it in public parks and gardens. The Japanese quince, or Maule's quince, is one type of flowering quince.

Those of us who are interested in the fruits might face some difficulties though. We need two genetically different kinds in order to succeed. So for example, if you have a bush at home that rarely produces any fruits, you might want to add another variety to the mix. If you on the other hand only have one bush at home that actually gives you fruits, then you can assume that there are other ones around. Bees can after all fly very long distances, so you don't need to rely on that your neighbors grow quince at home.

 

More about fruit: Peach tree with beautiful white fruits

 

A few of my readers talked about that some apple varieties can pollinate Japanese quince, which might be a reason for the unexpected fruits. I have however been going through plenty of information about flowering quince and I haven't found any proof that support this idea. There are plenty of other pome fruits after all. I haven't heard of for example pear pollinating quince. Have you?

 

Low-growing Japanese quince in front of a house.

This is what my quince bush looks like in the cottage garden.

Japanese quince

The bush in my little garden is a small Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica), but I'm not sure which variety it is. There are a few ones out there after all. The Japanese quince produces beautiful red flowers in spring, often in April here where I live (zone 3.) I really appreciate this bush and right now, I'm enjoying the smell of the newly harvested fruits in my kitchen. Not to mention the delicious marmalade and quince paste of course. I'm going to write more about how you can make them here on the blog!
/Sara Bäckmo

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