The quince – whether apple quince or pear quince – is still a decidedly exotic species in many places. These plants are easy to care for and quite undemanding, enrich the kitchen and, with appropriate care, offer a rich harvest. And the look is not to be despised either. A compact yet airy growth habit, fluffy leaves and fruits as well as huge flowers in spring and bright colors for harvest – all of this creates a Mediterranean flair. Not to mention the mouthwashing aromas and the charm of the unusual. In order for the pear or apple quince to really thrive in the local area, the right measures are necessary at the right time.

The difference between apple quince and pear quince

The noticeable difference between the two types of quince lies in the shape of the fruit. The apple quince produces rather rounded fruit bodies. These are reminiscent of apples, as the name suggests. The pear quince, which carries pear-shaped quinces, is different.

In addition to their appearance, the two types of quince also differ in taste and texture. Apple quinces have a more intense smell and taste. But also harder and drier. They are more difficult to process and are not as productive in terms of quantity.
The pear quince, on the other hand, is softer and juicier in the fruit, which makes it much easier to process. The pear quince is also more productive with juices and jams. On the other hand, it is less intense in taste and smell.

Tip: If you want to be ahead in terms of both aroma and quantity, you can simply combine both types.

Choose the right location

Both types of quince prefer a warm, sunny location that is somewhat protected. Above all, cold, dry wind is to be avoided. A location that is in the south and gets a lot of sun is therefore ideal.

During the winter, the site must be as protected as possible. Ideally near a house wall or surrounded by other, also tall plants.

Tip: Quince trees can reach a height of up to six meters. About the same measurements apply to the width. Accordingly, a lot of free space should be available at the location.

When it comes to the substrate , pear and apple quinces are quite undemanding. The substrate should still be neutral to acidic, sandy or loamy and well-drained.Basically, normal garden soil is suitable, which is moderately rich in nutrients and allows water to run off well. In the case of solid soils, adding sand or coconut fibers can make sense. If the structure is too loose, clay powder should be mixed in.


Quinces are more and more winterproof with advancing age, but especially at the beginning they are quite sensitive to frost. Therefore, the planting time should be placed after the first frost.

When planting, additional compost can be added to the substrate so that the apple or pear quince gets a nutrient boost right at the beginning. Apart from the location, time and preparation of the substrate, nothing needs to be considered.

Care and watering

Caring for apple quince is just as easy as caring for pear quince. It consists of watering, fertilization and clippings. However, these three measures are very limited in the case of the acknowledgment types, which means that they can be left to themselves for most of the time.

Apart from the initial watering, quinces require very little water. In fact, they can withstand drought much better than waterlogging. Nevertheless, additional watering is necessary in longer dry phases and also makes sense outside of these. If the quinces are kept moderately moist throughout, especially when the tree is bearing fruit, this has a positive effect on the yield and juiciness.

The optimal choice is collected rainwater. Stale, soft and lime-free tap water is also suitable.

Tip: If you want to preserve the moisture without having to use a watering can or hose too often, apply a thick layer of bark mulch over the tree grate. This restricts evaporation and makes frequent watering unnecessary.


When it comes to fertilization, pear quinces and apple quinces are very undemanding. It is not really necessary to provide additional nutrients, but it does promote growth and yield.

However, the fertilization should not be overdone. It is sufficient to work some compost under the substrate every two to three years. The gift can also be given annually, but should then be really very weak.

Alternatively, the top layer of the substrate can be removed and replaced with fresh soil.

Tips: In any case, water should be abundant after fertilization. As a result, the nutrients are evenly distributed and the sensitive roots are not damaged by excessive concentrations. The ideal time for adding additional nutrients is early summer.

To cut

As with watering and fertilizing, blending the quince types is very easy. So it is not necessary to shorten or shape the plants annually.

But what should be done is to ventilate the crown and remove dead or diseased parts of the plant. This can be done as required. When thinning the crown, it is sufficient to use pruning shears every two to three years. And even then, not too much length needs to be removed. This is advisable if only because the quince grows very slowly.

With increasing age, the yield of the oldest shoots also decreases. These, too, can easily be shortened to encourage new growth.


Both apple quinces and the pear-shaped variants fertilize themselves and can thus produce a yield of up to 50 kg per tree. The more quinces there are in the immediate vicinity, the better the harvest of each one will be. Because in addition to self-fertilization, it is also possible for the plants to pollinate each other.

Apart from the sheer number, larger fruits can also be expected. So it can be two or three. The variety “Constantinople”, for example, is suitable as a pollen donor.

Die Quittenernte

The quinces can be harvested in October as soon as they turn a bright yellow and begin to smell. The fluff also gives an indication of when the time will come. Because it slowly falls off the fruit skin as it ripens. It should be ensured that the fruits do not get frost, as this negatively affects the taste.

If a frosty night threatens, all quinces – including the unripe ones – should be removed immediately. If necessary, these can still ripen in the light.

If the quinces are to be pickled or juiced, a later harvest date is ideal. For jellies and jams, it is better to lose weight early.

Before processing begins or simply to use the quince as a fragrant decoration, the remaining hairs should be rubbed off with a cloth. This polishing allows the aroma to emerge more strongly and preparation is made easier at the same time.

Recommended varieties

Both types of quince have a rather manageable number of varieties, which are usually very old. So have proven themselves. The most popular varieties of apple quince:

  • Constantinople
  • Leskovac or giant quince from Leskovac
  • Champion

The Constantinople apple quince or the Constantinople is, as already mentioned, a very good pollen donor – it also significantly increases the yield of other quince trees. In addition, the plant itself produces numerous large to very large fruits. The yield also starts in good time.

The giant quince from Leskovac lives up to its name thanks to the size of the fruit. With her, too, the yield is high and starts early. The first fruits can be expected from around the second year of standing. Leskovac still has the peculiarity of a not entirely fixed shape. Apple-shaped and sometimes pear-shaped quinces can be found on the tree.

The Champion variety is particularly robust. It may not be the most productive quince, but it does offer reliable harvests. The fruits are medium to large in size. The most popular varieties of pear quince:

  • Portugieser
  • Bereczki
  • Cydonia

The Portuguese pear quince bears golden yellow, extremely juicy fruits that only have a slight fluff. They are noble and have a wonderful aroma. The yields are moderate to good.

The Bereczki is an old, Hungarian variety. It bears large, soft fruits and is juicy. When cooked, the pulp turns reddish.

The Cydonia pear quince produces bright yellow, sweet and sour fruits. They delight the palate with a wonderful smell and taste, the little felt hair is extremely low and thus reduces the effort before preparation. The specialty of the Cydonia is the robustness against diseases.

Culture in the bucket

Young and therefore still small apple quinces and their pear-shaped relatives can be cultivated well in the tub. This culture can be continued within the first few years, as the trees grow only slowly.

If the protruding shoots are also shortened and the tree is kept so compact, it can stand in the container for a longer period of time. Of course, it is then necessary to water and fertilize more often. In addition, the vessel must be large and wide so that it is stable.

Tip: Edible ornamental quinces such as the “Cido” variety are a compact alternative for long-term bucket culture.


Wintering in the garden is possible from the second year of standing and in a protected location without any further protection.

In the case of younger plants or in more open places that are more exposed to the wind, however, the trunk and tree slice should be covered. Several layers of garden fleece that are wrapped around the trunk are well suited. A layer of brushwood and straw on the tree grate can prevent the worst frost effects in advance.

A little more protection is necessary when cultivating in the bucket. For this purpose, the quince should be overwintered in the container in the house in a cool but frost-free room, where it is moderately light and does not dry out completely. Alternatively, it can be placed in a sheltered corner and also generously wrapped with garden fleece. Even then, however, it is important to ensure that the substrate does not become completely dry. It is advisable to water very little on frost-free days and not to water it down. If the substrate gets snow or rain, watering is not necessary.

Typical diseases and pests

The pear quince and apple quince are usually quite robust and are not very susceptible to pests. There may be an infestation with aphids and, more rarely, with frost sphincters, but these hardly leave any major damage even without control. The use of natural enemies is recommended. In the case of aphids, ladybirds help, which are acquired directly and released in the relevant area. Great tits, which can be attracted directly in the tree with nesting boxes, are extremely effective against frost-wrenches.

On the disease side, fire blight and peak drought are dangerous. These also rarely occur, but require immediate action. In the case of a peak drought, the affected shoots must be cut off immediately and radically. Chemical agents must then be used. If necessary, the measures must be repeated.

In a fire blight, the shoot tips turn brown or even turn completely black, wither or curl up. The disease is transmitted by bacteria and can only be treated by professionals. It is also notifiable. If it breaks out, it is not uncommon for the quince to be completely removed and destroyed. This is the only way to prevent it from spreading to the entire garden.

The quince – whether apple or pear – is an underrated plant for pots and gardens. Visually appealing, a delight for the nose and palate and also easy to care for, it is even suitable for beginners in plant care. Once you’ve planted them, you won’t want to be without them anytime soon.

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