the flower and fruit quinces used for bonsai are chaenomeles japonica, chaenomeles speciosa, chaenomeles superba, and pseucydonia sinensis, the fruit quince. Chaenomeles speciosa is widely used as a bonsai for smaller leaves than other species, which usually keep a leaf large enough for a bonsai plant; they are however very used for the decorative bark, which peels off leaving dark spots on the trunk, for the white or pinkish flowers, which in the case of the flower cotogo are present on the plant for many months, for the fruits, small sour yellowish apples . Moreover, another peculiar characteristic of these plants is constituted by the twisted and thorny branches.
Pruning and exposure
Pruning: being a flowering plant the most vigorous pruning should be done when there are no buds, so it is advisable to choose the autumn period; to favor an abundant flowering it is good to keep the branches short, cutting them after letting them grow even many centimeters; in July it is good to proceed with the topping of the shoots, it is advisable to remove most of the fruits if they are very abundant, this will avoid over-fatigue of the plant.
Exposure: these plants do not fear the cold, so in winter we can leave them outside; like a very bright, even sunny position.
Cydonia, Japanese peach, Peach blossom - Chaenomeles japonica: Other tips
Watering: throughout the flowering period the watering must be very frequent, but not excessive, keeping the soil moist, but not too wet. In winter supply water once a month, observing however that it does not dry too much and avoiding watering in the event of prolonged frost. During the vegetative period, fertilize every 15 days, using in the spring a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content, in the autumn change to a fertilizer with a high phosphorus content.
Soil: cotogni are not very demanding as far as the soil is concerned; to obtain an ideal substrate, sand, peat and clay can be mixed in equal parts. It is advisable not to repot them too often, as the roots do not grow much; proceed with repotting every 3-4 years, possibly in autumn, to avoid compromising flowering.
Multiplication: the cotogni produce numerous suckers at the base, to have new seedlings it is necessary to remove them from the mother plant and let them root in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, placing them immediately in a single pot.
Pests and diseases: they are often attacked by aphids, which ruin flowers and fruits. Quinces are often attacked by fruit flies.