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Growing quince from seed

 
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Hello everyone,

This is my first post, though I have been lurking for a little while!

I was hoping to get some advice from permies who have tried growing quince from seed. Being part of the Rosaceae family, I understand that it might not grow true to seed like its apple and pear cousins, but as the plant is self-fertile, I thought that there may be a chance that it would grow fairly true to type. As I mostly use quince in preserves I don't think a little difference would be too problematic. I understand there have been some varieties bred in the US that can be eaten raw, but these quince are very much of the old types that need to be cooked. They have been grown locally by a neighbour who was giving them away.

As I've read that they can fruit within 5 years, I am keen to experiment anyway, but I would very much appreciate hearing other peoples' stories with this plant. At the very least, even if it is not true-to-type, I should be able to use resultant plants as root stock for pear trees, am I right?

Advice greatly appreciated.

 
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welcome to permies, Concepta.........hopefully this will bring your post back to the top and you will get some good input to your question:).
 
gardener
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Concepta, I don't have any actual experience growing quince from seed, but I did just break down a supermarket quince for the seeds (and cooked the fruit into a feral-pear compote I was cooking).

My Google research makes me thinks that seedling quince are worth growing. However, I slso learned that a reason they are rare in the United States is that they are highly susceptibe to fire blight. So that may be a growing chsllenge.
 
pollinator
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Funny, I just planted a bunch of quince seeds from a supermarket quince I included in an apple crisp I was making! I have a quince tree taller than me planted but I have only seen one flower on it so far. I believe you are right about being able to use the quince seedlings as rootstock.
 
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Hi, We planted some seeds we got from another poster who does grow them. None sprouted this year. I am keeping the pots as some fruit can lay dormant a year or two before sprouting. I would like to get more seeds from those of you with seeds sources and try again next spring. We are growing a wide variety of fruits from seed and have had good results with the following sprouting: Apples, Pears, Cherries and Peaches
 
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I'm subscribing to this topic since I am also wanting to start quince from seed. Actually got 4-5 fruits from the farmer's market.

My goal is a little different. I'm planning on grafting pear to them:


"Some of our pear trees grafted onto quince rootstock and planted at the edge of our marsh do fine with their roots under water for six months of the year!" - Douglas Bullock
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@ Sam...

If you are looking for root stock; I have info (somewhere) on a company that sells the root stock quinces (smallest qty was 100 I think). If of interest, I will hunt the info down for you.
 
pollinator
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Hello Concepta,

I love quinces for the fruit which makes good jelly and quince pâte - a delicacy in France, for good reason.

I've grown seeds (Chinese quince) successfully but I haven't eaten their fruit yet.

Use really ripe quinces and leave them outdoors but protected in a pot. 18 months later, you may be lucky !



I then grew mine on in larger pots for another year...



Now I have seven growing in different soils ranging from heavy clay to dusty sand. All of them are still OK and I'll scream from the rooftops and post loads of photos when they finally have fruit.

Year three in really heavy clay






 
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I have grown quince for years. In fact, I've even been called the "Prince of Quince".

If you grow a quince tree in an area of high rainfall, like mine, you will probably need to prune it. If you don't, here, they will get a fungal disease called rust. I use compost tea to fight that. THey probably won't get that in dry areas. If you prune them during certain parts of the year, depending on your specific climate, almost all of the cuttings can grow into trees. I have been grafting pears onto quinces for years. In my climate, I plant the cuttings from Fall to Spring. The ones from the fall have the highest rates of growing into trees, because here they have more time to develop a real set of roots before our dry hot summers.

I don't see much of a need to experiment with quince from seed.

The kinds of quinces that I grow for fruit are the Russian kinds that are good to eat fresh: Crimea, Kuganskaya, and Kaunching from One Green World. The Russian name for these is Krimskaya.

They are so flavorful! They taste like the most flavorful heirloom apple that you have ever eaten: Belle de BOskoop, Karmijn da Sonnaville, etc.

They are shockingly productive. We eat them fresh, freeze most of the production for the winter season, and slice them up in salads, rice and pasta dishes and casseroles.

In addition, they are one of the strongest anti-angiogenic foods, which means they fight cancer.
They are one of my favorite fruits.

John S
PDX OR
 
Dan Boone
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John Saltveit wrote:
I don't see much of a need to experiment with quince from seed.



Fair enough, but...

This is pretty much what everybody says about plants that are more readily propagated vegetatively -- once they have healthy plants from which to get propagation material.
 
Irene Kightley
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Thanks for the tip about pruning, I pruned mine because the new growth looked very straggly and weak and I want thick bushes but it's good to know that it also help the plant.

These are three of the Chinese quince trees I grew from seed a year later in Autumn, the red bushes - the colour is spectacular and all three are doing well in thick clay.



As for growing from seed, I'm lucky enough to have a large amount of growing space and I can allow myself the pleasure and excitement of experimenting with anything I can get my hands on whether it's cuttings or seeds.

I think it's important to take chances, to try new things, to do things that people say will never work or are too much effort. That's how we learn and develop new ideas and plants.
 
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NAFEX has a free online grafting handbook with this kind of stuff in it, membership required, $19.99 annually.
Or watch for open meetings locally, local members will know someone with rootstock for most anything, and usually willing to show you how.
I caught up with them at a meeting sponsored by a local church (not mine) Latter-day-saints.
 
Irene Kightley
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I've just spotted some flower buds on the Chinese quinces I grew from seed which are now about seven feet tall. How exciting ! :-)

 
Irene Kightley
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...and this year, there's fruit !

 
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Interesting to know what the fruit tastes like when ready. I've tried growing from seed this year and put the seeds in the fridge for a few months to stratify.
 
gardener
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If anyone can help with sourcing seeds for quince trees, Cydonia oblonga, that are fire blight resistant I would be very appreciative to get some.  I'd be very happy to set up a trade or pay for them.  My 3 trees battle fire blight every year and it's just a matter of time until they are done for.  I'd love to replace them with resistant seedlings, otherwise I'll be replacing them with resistant pear varieties.  But if I do that I'm sure I'll miss my quinces forever...they are such wonderful, beautiful trees.  
 
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I have not heard of any fire blight resistant quinces.  I have about 160 trees mostly Portugal and Pineapple.  I also have some cultivars I grafted to some seedings that came from the USDA germplasm repository in Corvallis, Oregon.  Those include Seker Gevrek (from Turkey), Limon, and Krimskaya which was brought in as seed from I believe Azerbaijan.

I am told by the Quince curator that quince come fairly true to type from seed since they are self pollinating.
 
Greg Martin
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Hi Carl.  Thank you for your reply.  When I did a search I ran across this abstract which discusses a Bulgarian study that identified 19 seedlings with significant resistance to fire blight.  They also mentioned that "two native cultivars, ‘Hemus’ and ‘Triumph’, were found to have high levels of field resistance".  So it seems that there is some hope.  I'd love to find someone that can send seeds.
 
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Hello Greg, My girlfriend and I live in Bulgaria and we have a Quince tree on our plot. I have no idea what cultivar it is since it was here before we bought the place, but it is 10 meters away from an old neglected (and fireblight infested) apple orchard. However, this Quince tree does not seem to have fireblight at all. This fall I collected seeds that are now going through stratification. I plan on planting these in the orchard in between the apple trees (we are converting from a monoculture to a permaculture orchard, Stefan Sobkowiak style). We'll see how resistant it really is.

Anyway, I have plenty of seeds and would be happy to send some if shipping is not crazy expensive. PM me if you're interested.

Cheers, J
 
Greg Martin
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Thank you for your kindness Jelle!  PM sent.  Fingers crossed.  I am very hopeful.
 
Jelle Post
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Got your message and replied Greg! I will send you some seeds.
 
Irene Kightley
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These are the same quince trees I showed a few years ago. I haven't eaten or used the fruit yet because there wasn't enough. I decided to give them away to folk who wanted to sprout the seeds, especially the woman who gave me the first fruit - who now has a garden to plant hers in.

I think that they're worth growing for the autumn colour alone!

 
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