Flowering quince is a welcome surprise in early spring. This is one of the earliest blooming shrubs available and it thrives in United States Department of Agriculture zones 5 to 9. The plant’s form depends upon the amount of sunlight it needs, but it can develop into a broad, rounded bushy shrub or an erect hedge. When installing, consider what to plant with flowering quince, to enhance the floral display and enjoy the same cultural requirements. There are many quince companions that will accent its spring beauty and screen the winter spikiness of its bare branches.
What to Plant with Flowering Quince
Chaenomeles speciosa is the botanical name for flowering quince. These attractive plants can be espaliered for maximum vertical impact or simply left to grow into a natural form. The deep rose red of the blooms looks impressive when combined with golden foliage and floral tones. The flowers form before the plant leafs out, so evergreen flowering quince companion plants complement the stark grayish brown stems decorated with wicked spines.
Shrub and Tree Quince Companions
One of the better companions for flowering quince is forsythia. The golden blooms arrive just about the same time as the quince flowers and the yellow color really makes the quince’s pink-red blooms stand out. Both have similar growing zones as well as soil and moisture requirements. As an added bonus, both species thrive with minimal care.
Quince plants can grow 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m.) tall with a similar spread but are easy to keep trimmed to a smaller aspect. Taller quince plants benefit from having flowering almond or spirea as decorative base plants.
Lower or espaliered forms might be paired with big mature mock orange or even some pyracantha mixed around them. Golden creeping jenny provides ground cover and golden beauty that matches the yellow quince flower’s stamen.
If a color display to drop jaws is your goal, try some of the early spring flowering trees. Carolina silverbell has dangling creamy white blooms early in the season and the same zone requirements, while eastern redbud almost mimics the color of the quince flowers.
A smoke bush will not have flowers at the same time but by the time the quince has produced foliage, its burgundy foliage sets off the deeply green, glossy leaves and later the puffs of blooms blur the quince with an almost Monet effect.
Evergreen plants, such as conifers, offer a huge selection of flowering quince companion plants. Juniper’s blue green foliage offsets the bright pink blooms and golden arborvitae’s yellow scales bring out the flower colors to maximum impact. A golden Ilex, Helleri Dwarf Gold, is a smaller tree that can be interwoven amongst quince shrubs, as well as Chamaecyparis Fernspray Gold.
Bulb Companion Plants for Flowering Quince
Springtime is the time for many of our favorite blooming bulbs. There are many tones of tulips that will bring out the jewel tones of quince and create a parade of colorful flowers.
Another obvious choice to bring in golden accents are narcissus. Daffodils dotted around a flowering quince add base color and enliven the area.
While most hyacinths can’t match the brilliant color of quince blooms, their pastel tones soften the flower display and add a lazy grace to a quince tree.
The smaller grape hyacinth, with their little purple heads, are a cheery counterpoint for deeply red flowering quince.
If nothing else, bulbs, with their strappy foliage, bring a green note to accent the bare branches of a quince in flower. There are many companion plants for flowering quince that will provide several types of emphasis on this early spring bloomer.