Sure, you can buy a quince seedling from a nursery, but what fun is that? My sister has a gorgeous quince tree in her backyard, and we regularly make the fruit into delicious quince preserves. Rather than go to her house to procure fruit, I pondered the question “can I grow quince trees from seed instead?” Turns out that seed grown quince is, indeed, one method of propagation along with layering and hardwood cuttings. Interested in growing quince fruit from seeds? Read on to find out how to grow a quince tree from seed and just how long it takes to grow following quince seed germination.
Can I Grow Quince from Seed?
Many types of fruit can be started from seed. Not all of them will be true to the parent plant, including seed grown quince, but if you are a curious, experimental gardener like me, then by all means, try growing quince fruit from seeds.
How to Grow a Quince Tree from Seed
Quince seed germination isn’t particularly difficult, although it takes some planning since the seeds need a period of cooling or stratification prior to planting.
Acquire quince fruit in the fall and separate the seeds from the pulp. Wash the seeds in clean water, drain them, and allow them to dry on a paper towel for a day or so in a cool area out of the sun.
Place the dry seeds in a zip lock bag that has been filled about ¾ full with clean, moist sand or sphagnum moss. Seal the bag and gently toss the seeds around in the sand filled bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator for three months to stratify.
After three months or so have passed, it’s time to plant the quince seeds. Plant one or two seeds in a pot filled with potting mix. Seeds should be planted about ½ inch (1 cm.) deep. Water the seeds in well and place the potted seeds in a southern facing window.
Once the seeds have sprouted and are showing their second set of leaves, select the weakest plant from each pot and pinch or pull it out.
Before planting the seedlings outside, harden them off for a few hours each day once the weather has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. Gradually, increase their outdoor time each day over the course of a week until they are fully acclimated.
If the seedlings were germinated in peat pots, plant them that way. If they were in a different type of pot, gently remove them from the pot and plant them at the same depth as they were currently growing.
While fruit quality may be a gamble, planting quince from seed is still fun and certainly the resulting fruit will be suitable for cooking purposes. Seedling quince also accept scions from pear cultivars as well as some other quince trees which will give you choices of many fruit varieties on this species of hardy rootstock.