It is many a teen’s dream: following cowering for months in a corner and blending into the scenery, to blossom immediately into dramatic, drop-dead gorgeous. Such is the lot of this flowering quince (Chaenomeles spp.) , an ugly duckling of a gray-green attached tree until early spring once the buds in its bare branches burst into blossom in vibrant shades of red and scarlet. This deciduous tree thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 though 9, where it can be grown from seed by thrifty gardeners.

Harvest a quince fruit after it ripens and turns a deep yellow. Slice it open and extract the seeds using a kitchen fork.

Clean out the seeds by massaging them repeatedly between your fingers under running water.

Place seeds in a plastic, self-closing bag partially full of moist sand. Catch the bag of seeds and sand in the refrigerator before planting time in early spring.

Plant seeds in small individual pots full of moist potting soil. Scatter the seeds in the surface, covering lightly with a sprinkling of soil.

Place plants in a warm place and keep moist but not wet with regular watering. Expect the seeds to germinate in about fourteen days.

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