Propagate flowering quince (Chaenomelea speciosa) in your home to produce new specimens of this fruit-bearing shrub. It thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Quince is not attractive until its flowers appear in spring. The flowers turn into fruit that can be mistaken for small apples. Remove the seeds from the fruit when harvesting for jams and jellies in late summer, or take semi-hardwood clippings in early summer to propagate new plants.
1. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
1 Disinfect a pruning clipper by wiping the blades with isopropyl alcohol or washing them with a solution of 9 parts clean water and 1 part household bleach.
2. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
2 Clip a 6-inch-long piece from the current year's growth on the end of the branch with clean clippers. Verify the cutting has a minimum of two leaf sets on the top half of the stem. Wrap the Quince cutting in a moist paper towel, and place it in a plastic bag until you are finished cutting branches.
3. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
3 Moisten propagation soil with water while working it with your hands until it feels like a moist sponge. Pour the moist soil into a 4-inch-tall propagation tray, and tamp it lightly with your hands to remove air pockets. Purchase propagation soil at a garden store, or make your own by mixing even amounts of horticulture sand, perlite and sphagnum peat moss for a well-draining medium.
4. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
4 Remove the cuttings from the plastic bag. Clip off any leaves on the bottom half of the cutting, making sure to leave two sets of leaves on the upper half.
5. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
5 Dip the bottom cut end of the quince cutting into rooting hormone to stimulate root production. Tap the stem lightly to remove any excess. Stick the bottom end of the cutting into the propagation soil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Space the cuttings in the tray so the leaves on the top half of the stem don't touch.
6. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
6 Cover the tray with a large, clear plastic bag and tie it closed. Set the tray in a warm area with a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit that receives indirect sunlight. Monitor the soil moisture by opening the bag every day. Mist the soil with water to keep it evenly moist and the consistency of a moist sponge.
7. Semi-hardwood Cuttings
7 Grow the quince cuttings in the tray until the roots are at least 1 inch long. This takes about six weeks. Move the soil gently with your finger to verify root length. Repot the cuttings into individual 4-inch-diameter containers filled with a well-draining potting soil, and continue to grow them indoors for another year before planting outside.
1 Moisten a paper towel. Sprinkle the quince seeds on the towel. Slide the towel into a zippered plastic bag. Seal the bag, and place it in a refrigerator for 60 to 90 days for a cold stratification period before germination.
2 Remove the bag from the refrigerator. Moisten a high-quality seed starting soil with water, and work it with your hands until the soil is moist. Put the soil into a growing tray.
3 Sprinkle the quince seeds on top of the soil. Sprinkle about 1/4 inch of moist seed starting soil on top of the seeds, and pack gently with your hands to hold the seeds in place. Cover the growing tray with clear plastic to hold moisture and humidity around the seeds. Set the tray in an area with indirect light and a temperature of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
4 Open the plastic covering daily to provide fresh air and check the soil moisture. Mist the soil with water as needed to keep it evenly moist, but not wet.
5 Remove the plastic cover once the quince seedlings appear through the soil, generally in about six weeks. Move the uncovered tray to a sunny area. Monitor the soil moisture closely since it will dry more quickly without the plastic covering.
6 Transplant the quince seedlings into 4-inch pots filled with a well-draining potting soil once the seedlings have two sets of true leaves and are 4 to 6 inches tall. Continue growing the seedlings indoors until they are about 12 inches tall.
Items you will need
- Plant clippers
- Paper towel
- Plastic zipper bag
- Propagation soil
- Propagation tray
- Rooting hormone
- Clear plastic bag
- Water mister
- 4-inch pots
- Well-draining potting soil
- Seed starting soil
- Growing tray
- Move the quince seedlings to an area that receives more sunlight if they appear lanky or spindly. This is sign they are not receiving enough sunlight.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images