Common name: Japonica
The various forms of Chaenomeles are noted for their early flowering. Easily grown in most soils, it is the many named varieties of C. speciosa that are the most familiar in our gardens. The species itself was introduced from its native Japan in the mid 19th century.
There are numerous varieties of these colourful shrubs. One of the best known is ‘Crimson & Gold’ (AGM); its redare highlighted by the golden anthers. ‘Moerloosei’ (AGM) is another old favourite, with pale pink and white blooms. Others to look out for are ‘Pink Lady’ (AGM), a lovely clear rose pink, and ‘Elly Mossel’ with orange-red flowers. The deep scarlet ‘Nicoline’ (AGM) makes a fine show early in the year
Soil type These easy going shrubs will grow in most fertile soils.
Planting This can be carried out in the autumn or spring. Choose a sheltered spot, ideally against a wall. Chaenomeles are happy in full sun or lightly shaded areas.
Maintenance When grown against a wall, when flowering has finished in mid-spring, cut back the previous year’s growth to two or three buds. When grown as a bush, littleis required, with the exception of cutting out any crowded branches, again after flowering.
Propagation The best method is by taking semi-ripe cuttings with a heel in mid-summer Layering of suitable shoots can be done during the summer months.
Pests and diseases The flowers can be attacked by birds. In very alkaline soils chlorosis can cause yellowing of the foliage.