The Ornamental Quince, or Chaenomele, is an outstanding plant to add to the garden. Plants are low maintenance and generally need very little care making them ideal for the novice or time limited gardener. Ornamental quince have spiny branches making them ideal for adding security to boundaries, small green leaves and their flowers range from white to scarlet.
Chaenomeles are quite tolerant plants that once planted are happy to grow unchecked for many years after once established. Once you have bought your plants and taken them home you should move them in to their final planting positions as soon as possible. If you cannot plant them straight away you should keep plants well watered and store them in a cool and sheltered space until you are ready to plant them.
You can grow your Chaenomele in open soil as a bush or alternatively you may choose to train them to shape against a wall. A gay or partially shaded spot is best, with plants growing and flowering better in sun. More suited to being planted in the middle or back of the border, Chaenomeles will help to provide permanence, structure and colour to the garden.
Chaenomeles grow best in neutral to slightly alkaline soil and if you are unaware of where your soil is placed on the scale you can check your soil pH with the use of a soil testing kit. Most soil types are suitable for planting although drain is essential when growing these plants. If you choose to grow on heavy clay soil it is advisable to incorporate a good amount of horticultural grit or another form of drain material. You can improve soil structure further by dig it over with a garden fork or spade and adding plenty of organic matter, such as well-rotted garden compost, leaf mould or multi-purpose compost. Apply a mulch of leaf mould each fall to help increase soil humus and feed with a general fertiliser in the growing season.
Watering is key to the establishment of new plants and you should ensure that newly planted plants are not allowed to dry out for the first year especially as this will affect growth and could possibly lead to death. That said you should be careful not to over water plants. Pruning is not an essential requirement when growing these plants and unless you ar training plants against a structure they can be left mostly untouched.
You can add further interest to the garden by growing annual or perennial mounting plants, such as clematis, on your Chaenomele to prolong the season of interest and to add a splash of colour to differently flower free foliage.