Quinces are large, yellow fruits with a strong and pleasing aroma. They can be grown in many gardens and can be used to make a variety of jams and preserves. The Spanish use them to make membrillo, a hard preserve that is eaten with cheese. Quince trees are relatively easy to care for and do not suffer the common problems of many other fruit trees.

Growing quince:

Quince trees will require a sunny and sheltered position. You should take care to avoid any frost pockets and in northern gardens, these trees are best grown as fans or cordons against a south or west facing wall. Only in warmer southern gardens can you grow these trees as free standing specimens.

Quinces can be grown in containers or in the ground but wherever and however you grow these trees you should be sure to keep them well watered in dry weather but make sure that the roots do not become waterlogged. If growing in pots it is a good idea to raise these onto pot feet to allow all excess moisture to drain away.

Quinces will grow in most relatively fertile soil types but if your soil is light, shallow and/or chalky then you will have to mix plenty of organic matter into the soil prior to planting. Wherever you plant your tree, be sure to mulch thickly in the spring.

Quince trees are usually bought as grafted plants and you should be sure to choose the one with the rootstock that best suits your requirements. Some are best suited to ground growing whereas others will be far better for use in containers. Plant out in March.

In the winter you should be sure to remove any diseased, dead or damaged branches and to open up the structure. Aim for well spaced branches on a clear stem and remove any unwanted stems when they appear.

Quinces will be ready to harvest between September and November. Fruits are ready to harvest when they have turned from lighter yellow to a deep, rich gold and are very aromatic. Pick only undamaged quinces and store them in a cool, dark place. Fruits should be in shallow trays and should not be touching one another. Fruits should be left to mature for six weeks before use and they will keep in this way for up to three months.

Why grow quince in the garden?

Quince are a great addition to a fruit garden or orchard and will add to the variety of fruit in a home garden. Quince are delicious on their own or in combination with other fruits in a variety of bakes, jams and preserves. This fruit is somewhat out of fashion which is a shame since there are so many ways it can be used.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Cydonia oblonga