Scarlet Storm flowering quince looks exquisite and
polished after a spring rain.
has been a storm brewing in North Carolina and it is one
that will prove to beautify our landscapes across the
country. The Mountain Horticultural Crops Research
Station in Mills River N.C. already horticultural heroes
of sorts with their incredible white flowered Sweet Tea
Mountain Gordlinia are now bringing the landscape the
Double Take Storm flowering quinces with the most
shocking blooms you ever imagined.
three selections are Scarlet Storm, Pink Storm, and
Orange Storm. They are all double flowered and look
similar to camellia.
speaking, they are all selections of Chaenomeles
speciosa which is native to China. It is the breeding at
North Carolina State however that is bringing us these
shrubs that will reach approximately 6-feet tall and
4-feet wide at maturity, boasting dazzling double
flowers with huge petal counts.
old fashioned flowering quince always seems to be bare
of flowers on the tips or tops of the plant but these
blooms that reach up to 2 1/2-inches in diameter stretch
outward to the tip of the stem. That means the blossoms
are almost as large as a tennis ball. Here at the
Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden, they have been
sensational. They are cold hardy from zones 5-9 and deer
your selection in a site in full to part sun. These
great flowering quinces deserve to be planted in a
well-prepared shrub bed. Incorporate 3- to 4- inches
organic matter along with about two pounds of a 5-10-5
fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting area. Till
your soil deeply and dig your hole about three times as
wide as the rootball but no deeper. Place the flowering
quince in the hole and backfill to two-thirds. Tamp the
soil and water to settle. Add the remaining backfill and
repeat the process to get all of the air pockets out and
provide a great start for acclimatization of your new
plants bloom on old wood so remember not to over do it
when pruning when they are in their deciduous or dormant
state of winter. If any pruning is needed make these
cuts after the spring bloom. Of course, these make
breathtaking cut flowers, so select as needed.
blooms sequence nicely with spring blooming bulbs like
Dutch iris, daffodils, and the iridescent blue of the
Peruvian lily, Scilla peruviana which is cold hardy to
around zero. Try clustering three in front of evergreen
hollies. Our Chinese snowball viburnums and Scarlet
Storm are blooming, however, they are in different parts
of the garden.
me, the flowering quince has always been that harbinger
of spring. Itís the one plant that shouts with its
colorful blooms, "You Have Survived Winter!"
Even though I loved those old blooms they pale in
comparison to a plant like Scarlet Storm. Spring is
early in the South so gardeners here may want to start
shopping. Elsewhere in the country, you can
procrastinate a little, or better yet go ahead and let
your favorite nurseryman know you are coming soon to
pick up three.