Japanese quince, or Henomeles: cultivation, planting and care
In early spring, branches of a surprising plant burn in red-orange flames in the front gardens and hedges. It blooms quince Japanese, or genomeles. Her flowers, orange-yellow, scarlet, dark red, bright orange, white or light pink, warm the eye, lift the mood. Tune in the spring mood. A relatively low, sometimes creeping shrub is a fruit miracle, the fruit of which is a large natural pharmacy of substances recognized as “live” medicines.
Japanese quince in the pink family (Rosaceae) is allocated to a separate genus Henomeles (Chaenomeles), currently represented by 6 species. In all regions of Russia and the CIS among amateur gardeners, the greatest recognition and distribution has received Henomeles Japanese, or japonica (Chaenomeles japonica).
The birthplace of this amazing fruit is Japan. Fruit and ornamental-flowering shrubs are widely grown in Japan and China. Japanese quince came to Europe and Asian countries only in the 18th century and for its originality and usefulness began to spread rapidly in private gardens and summer cottages.
As a fruit crop, quince Japanese refers to the early. It begins to bear fruit for 3-4 years and with one bush, with good care, you can get up to 4-6 kg of fruits, and large-fruited varieties form an apple-shaped fruit weighing up to 50-70 g. The pulp of Japanese quince fruits is usually yellow or orange, and the skin is bright or pale yellow, sometimes white-pink flowers. Henomeles fruits are distinguished by an exquisite delicate aroma of lemon and other citrus fruits. Until late autumn, they remain on the branches.
Japanese quince spread
Japanese quince, or genomeles grows well in many countries of Europe, Central Asia. It is ubiquitous in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Crimea, and the Caucasus. In the northern regions and the central zone of Russia, Japanese genomeles often has frostbite on the tops of branches. Therefore, in cold areas, Japanese quince is often grown in bush or creeping forms, and in winter they shelter (throw snow or prepare temporary shelters). In the south and in areas with warm, frosty winters, amateur gardeners form this garden culture with a multi-stem tree whose height does not exceed 2.5-3.0 m.
Benefits of Japanese Quince as a Fruit Culture
All fruit trees and shrubs are useful in the garden, but Japanese quince has a number of advantages over them.
- Japanese quinces are not afraid of frosts down to -25 ° С. With high snow cover, even in cold regions with high negative temperatures, it normally survives.
- Japanese quince is characterized by its high reducing ability, and freezing of the ends of branches does not affect the overall crop yield.
- Genomeles Japanese practically does not need watering, drought-resistant.
- Genomeles is a Japanese tolerant of air pollution. With proper care, it grows and bears fruit in one place for more than 50 years.
- Fruits of Japanese genomeles at a temperature of + 2..3 ° C are stored without losing their taste until February-March.
The healing properties of the "northern lemon"
For a sour astringent taste, the natives call Japanese quince northern lemon. The content of vitamin "C" in the fruits of henomeles is several times higher than in lemon. They contain almost all groups of vitamins, including P, E, F, B, organic acids, macro- and micronutrients and other substances that are vital for a person.
The fruits of Japanese quince are used in official and traditional medicine. Due to the high potassium content, they have the ability to normalize blood pressure and prevent problems of the cardiovascular system. The combination of pectins with ascorbic acid in the fruits of henomeles contribute to the removal of heavy metals and radionuclides from the body, which is very important for areas with poor ecology. Tannins in combination with pectins have a therapeutic effect in inflammatory processes. Seed and leaf preparations are a universal remedy for burns and skin problems, and juice for lung diseases.
The use of Japanese quince in cooking
Due to the high content of stony cells in the pulp, the fruits of Japanese quince are very dense, have an astringent taste and are not used in raw form. When processed, they become an unrivaled delicacy. Compotes, preserves, jellies, candied fruits, baked, in the form of medicinal decoctions, tinctures are so tasty and useful that today they occupy a worthy place in the menu of many families.
How to grow Japanese quince?
Japanese quince is notable for its high unpretentiousness to the conditions of its cultivation. Quince is a Japanese cross-pollinated crop and needs pollinators. In addition, for the formation of the crop, she needs good lighting.
12 years ago, I bought 3 seedlings of different varieties of Japanese quince and planted along the fence, where there is no shadow, at a distance of 3 meters from each other. All three varieties grow in the form of bushes. There are no more patient plants on my site. No weather disasters in the form of temperature drops, spring frosts to -8 ... -10 ° C, snowless winters did not affect the yield of Japanese henomeles bushes. They still form annually 2.5-3.0 kg of fruits from the bush, weighing 35-40 g.
Soil preparation and planting of genomeles
Japanese quince grows on any soil, ranging from light to clayey, from slightly acidic to alkaline (pH = 6-8). On strongly alkaline soils, the culture slows down growth, reduces productivity, changes the color of leaves. Naturally, it develops better on fertile ones with pH = 6-7.
Japanese quince can be planted in a permanent place in spring and autumn, with 2-year-old seedlings. Planting pits are prepared the size of the size of the root system, placing them through 1.5-2.0 m. I planted the seedlings in the spring.
Stagnant groundwater can cause rotting of the root system. In this case, choose a place higher or make good drainage. Drainage for planting the seedlings of genomeles I bought was not needed.
Japanese quince patiently grows without fertilizers, but when applied, it forms larger fruits and a larger yield. Therefore, on soils that are unsuccessful in composition and fertility, organic and mineral fertilizers are applied under planting to improve their physical and chemical soil properties. I mixed with soil on a bucket of humus (you can use mature compost) with 150 g of superphosphate and 40 g of potassium sulfate in the landing pit. The mixture was well mixed. Japanese quince sapling was placed in the center of the planting pit and filled up with soil mixture to the middle. Almost a bucket of water was poured and after soaking it, the rest of the mixture was added to the top of the pit. The root neck was left at the level of the soil. Deepening of the root neck leads to abundant shoot formation.
Japanese quince care
In the first year, the Japanese genomeles seedlings were watered with a moderate norm after 2-3 weeks. In the next 2 years, watering was carried out in 1-2 months if necessary. The roots of Japanese quince reach a depth of 4-6 meters and are able to independently provide the bush with moisture and nutrients.
Fertilizing the genomeles of the Japanese
Japanese quince can do without dressing, but to increase productivity and enlarge the fruits, the culture is fed 1-2 times per year. In the spring, full or nitrogen fertilizer is usually applied (ammonium nitrate, urea, nitrophosphate, kemir), and in the fall - phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, respectively, 80-100 and 40-50 g per bush or in the form of a solution for 10 l of water.
The first 4 years I spent 2 feeding, and then switched to one. Usually fed in the spring with full fertilizer (nitrophos or kemira). In the last 4 years I have not fed or quenched Japanese quince. Yield reduction has not yet been noticed.
Japanese genomeles pruning
Pruning is carried out sanitary, annually after flowering and anti-aging, after 5-6 years. With sanitary pruning, curves that thicken the crown inside, numerous new shoots of Japanese quince, frozen and dried, and also horizontally close to the soil are removed. With anti-aging pruning, 5-6 year old branches are removed. They are sparsely bearing.
Every year after flowering, I subjected my bushes in the country to sanitary pruning. Already carried out anti-aging pruning twice. That is, I cut out 6 summer branches (they almost did not bear fruit). During this period, I annually deleted the entire shoot, leaving only 3 branches. In the spring of the 3 left, one of the weakest was cut off at the root neck. At 6 and 11, she received rejuvenated bushes from 10-12 and 12-15 branches, respectively. A normally developed bush should have 15-16 shoots.
In warm regions, Japanese quince can be formed by a multi-stem tree. Leave 3-5 trunks. At a level of 50 cm, all side branches and foliage are removed. This is a standard, and above they form a crown like ordinary trees.
Protection of genomeles against diseases and pests
Japanese quince does not need protective measures. No diseases or pests harmful to the culture have been identified. But in some regions, according to gardeners, aphids and powdery mildew appear. The methods of protection are the same as on currants and other fruit bushes.
Methods of propagation of Japanese genomeles
Japanese quince is propagated by seeds and vegetatively (by layering, green cuttings, root shoots).
Japanese quince seeds need to be stratified, so seed propagation is conveniently carried out in autumn. Freshly picked seeds are sown on a separate bed. During the winter, the seeds undergo a natural stratification and spring together. The grown seedlings in the second year are cut to stimulate growth and transplanted to a permanent place. Transplantation can be carried out in spring and autumn. Seed propagation is convenient if you need planting material to protect the site or decor.
To preserve the properties of the mother variety of Japanese genomeles, it is better to propagate the culture vegetatively. Vegetative propagation of Japanese quince is carried out as well as on berry bushes.
Varieties and hybrids of Japanese quince for summer cultivation
Genomeles genus combines several natural species and interspecific hybrids common in Russia: Japanese Quince (Japanese henomeles), beautiful henomeles and excellent henomeles. About 500 varieties were bred on their basis, but in the climatic conditions of Russia only a small part (up to 40 varieties) are successfully grown in the conditions of the central chernozem regions, the middle strip, in the Far East and literally several varieties bear fruit in the north (Ural, Leningrad Region). In cold regions, henomeles needs temporary shelters for the winter.
In the cold regions of Russia, mainly grown varieties of Japanese quince (Japanese genomeles). Varieties of Japanese quince are characterized by frost resistance and early maturity.
Of the large-fruited varieties of Japanese quince, one can recommend the varieties Vitamin, Nika, Caliph, Nina. They form fruits weighing 80-100 g, which are distinguished by a pronounced aroma, high keeping quality, low roundness of branches and resistance to diseases and pests. The Japanese genomeles variety Volgogradsky is distinguished by high resistance to drought, is not damaged by diseases and pests, it is hardy, but the fruits are small - up to 35-40 g, although they have a wonderful aroma.
At my dacha, varieties of Japanese quince are grown Volgograd, Vitamin and Nikolai. They tolerate southern winters and spring temperature drops well. The fruits are not large, 35-50 g, but the bushes bear fruit annually and practically do not require care, except for cutting sanitary and rejuvenating.
Of the fruit varieties of Japanese quince - the beautiful (high) henomeles for central Russia and the more northern central black earth regions, the following, bred by breeders of Western Europe, but tested in Russia and Ukraine: Diana, Nivalis, Merlusi and others, can be recommended. Bushes 1.5-2.0 m tall. The color of the flowers is pale cream, white, light pink. Fruits up to 80 g are yellow or yellow with a red barrel.
Varieties of excellent genomeles are mainly bred as ornamental.
How to get a good harvest of Japanese quince?
To grow large-fruited henomeles in the country, you need to select a zoned variety from the catalog. Familiarize yourself with its biological characteristics and requirements for providing nutrients.
Please note! With a low supply of nutrients, untimely pruning, especially anti-aging, the fruits of Japanese quince will be finer, and the flesh will be coarser.