Quince – Growing From Seeds

Q: Can I grow a quince tree from a seed? I grew up with them in Alabama and many people here in Coweta county don=t even know what I’m talking about.

A: My colleague Marco Fonseca recently brought a quince fruit to a meeting of Extension agents. We all agreed that the flesh was still as sour as we remembered from childhood. We shared tales of finding quince trees at abandoned home sites and enjoying quince jelly.

Lest readers confuse your Chinese quince tree, ^Pseudocydonia sinensis^ with the common flowering quince shrub ^Chaenomeles speciosa^, the thorns tell the tale. Chinese quince does not have thorns while flowering quince requires a recent tetanus shot before working with it.

Now, to confuse the issue further, there is another quince called common quince ^Cydonia oblonga^. It is thornless but the size of its fruit distinguishes it from Chinese quince. Common quince fruit is only three or four inches long while Chinese quince fruit is five to ten inches long.

That said, the answer to your question is yes, you can grow any of the quince from seed. The fruit needs three months of moist cold before the seeds inside can be removed and planted. The easiest way to accomplish this is to put the fruit into a plastic bag with some moist sphagnum peat. Place the bag in your refrigerator until next April. Remove the seed from the fruit then and plant them outdoors when days are warm.