Decorative quince or Japanese (Chaenoméles japónica) belongs to the monotypic genus of woody plants from the Pink family. For many gardeners and landscape designers, this dicotyledonous flowering plant is known as Japanese Genomeles.
Japanese quince is a deciduous shrub, the height of which exceeds three meters. Young branches have a green color; as they age, they change color to black-brown. Initially, their surface is scaly-felt, and eventually becomes bare.
The kidneys are black, bare type. Leaves of obovate or scapular shape, not more than 5 cm long and 3 cm wide. A pronounced narrowing to the base and blunt-edged edges are observed. The flowers are characterized by a very attractive appearance, staining them from pink to orange-red. The average flower diameter does not exceed 3.5 cm. Petals are obovate or almost rounded.
Characterization and features of the fruit
Decorative quince forms almost spherical fruits, which at the stage of complete ripening have a bright yellow color. Their diameter does not exceed 3.5-4 cm. The fruits contain a significant amount of brown seeds. They are edible, but are characterized by rather hard flesh, therefore they are most often used for making jam.
The fruits ripen in the late autumn. MWeight collection is carried out in the last ten days of September or early October. In the conditions of competent agricultural technology and optimal soil and climatic indicators, the average yield of each adult bush can reach 2.5-3.2 kg. In order to obtain maximum yield, it is recommended to plant several varieties at once.
In the middle zone of our country, fruits rarely ripen completely. Grabbed by the first frosts, they become watery and fall from the branches. It is for this reason that the often ripened fruits are collected and placed to ripen in standard room conditions. Subject to the temperature regime and optimal indicators of humidity, quince is perfectly stored until January.
How to plant a decorative quince (video)
Japanese quince is a very photophilous plant, so planting should be carried out in the most lighted areas. When cultivated in the shade, a poor development of the culture and insufficiently plentiful flowering are observed. It is preferable to plant from the south side of buildings, where the plant will be protected from heavy snowfall and cold gusty wind.
Despite the drought tolerance of the plant, the soil on the site should be moisture-resistant, but without a tendency to stagnate water. The shrub grows well and grows when grown in areas with light sandy, loamy and sod-podzolic soils rich in humus. The soil should have a slightly acidic pH reaction of 6.5. Too alkaline environment often causes foliage chlorosis. Spring planting of ornamental shrubs involves soil preparation since the fall. In the process of digging, peat compost, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers should be added.
Saplings with an open root system should be planted in the early spring, before buds begin to bloom. Two-year-old seedlings with a closed root system take root best. A pre-prepared landing pit should have a diameter of up to 0.5-0.6 m with a depth of at least 0.6-0.8 m, which will allow to fill the mixture of humus with superphosphate, potassium nitrate and wood ash to the bottom. The root neck of decorative quince seedlings should be located on the same level with the ground. Significantly deepening it can significantly slow down the growth and development of bushes.
It is important to know that decorative quince is very difficult to transplant. Subject to the technology of care, an ornamental plant can grow, bloom magnificently and bear fruit abundantly for more than fifty years.
Usually, care of decorative quince is not difficult even for beginners and inexperienced gardeners. In the summer period, for more lush and abundant flowering, it is necessary to carry out a systematic shallow loosening of soil around plants. Experts and experienced summer residents recommend mulching trunks with a layer of peat or sawdust 3-5 cm high. In the autumn, mulch becomes a good protection of the root system from frost.
In the first year after planting decorative quince seedlings, feeding with liquid fertilizers should not be used. After a couple of years, mineral and organic fertilizers are applied under the decorative shrub - a compost bucket with the addition of 0.3 kg of superphosphate and the same amount of potassium-containing fertilizer. Throughout the summer, it is useful to use liquid fertilizers (ammonium nitrate or a solution of bird droppings). For winter, the plant should provide shelter that protects the ornamental shrub from winter frosts.
Pest and disease protection
Japanese Quince is extremely rarely damaged by plant parasites or affected by diseases. However, in the wet and fairly cold season, there is a risk of damage to the ornamental shrub with various spotting or necrosis. The defeat of fungal infections is expressed in the appearance of brown spots of a different nature.
Preventive spraying is carried out using a 0.2% solution of the drug "Fundazol" or copper-containing preparations. Copper-soap liquid based on copper sulfate, which processes the crown of an ornamental shrub in the early spring, has good efficiency. It is also allowed to use an infusion of onion husks or garlic.
Landscape design application
Quince decorative belongs to the category of thermophilic plants, therefore, it grows and develops very well in regions characterized by mild climatic conditions. In the more northern regions, this ornamental shrub is not too common. At temperatures below -29-30 ° C, freezing of flower buds and annual shoots is observed, which are located above the level of snow cover. As a result of freezing, the plant blooms poorly or the flowering period does not occur at all, as a result of which quince does not bear fruit.
For decorative purposes, Russian gardeners cultivate several types of Japanese quince in personal plots.
Decorative quince: cultivation features (video)
Decorative quince is most often located in a small group or along the edges of garden paths, which allows you to create a very beautiful low hedge. The bushes of this plant can become an excellent independent accent when decorating the site, and also perfectly complement plant compositions from trees, shrubs or flowers.