Chaenomeles are much beloved for bonsai because of their tiny, lovely flowers, and in spite of their prickly thorns. Most varieties flower before leafing out, sometimes as early as January, and may continue to flower for a long time following. The fruit is yellow and large, too hard to be edible, but making tolerable preserves.
Cascade, Semi-cascade, Clump, Sinuous, Straight Line, Group planting
It loves the sun and for a profuse bloom prefers to grown out in direct sunlight. Needs to protected from very deep frost as these will kill of any blooms. But despite that for it to flower profusely it must get a good chilling and must feel the seasons changing. A cold house is an ideal storage for it during the frosty night. It can grow in full shade, semi-shade or full sun.
Generous, but avoid misting as this damages the flowers and may rot the fruit. Reduce watering in winter, but never allow the soil to become fully dry.
Every two weeks from the end of flowering until fall. Some varieties have spot blooms throughout the season and need to be fed when growing actively. Use liquid bonsai fertilizer or half-strength plant food. Proper feeding is essential for good flowering. Calcium in the soil helps to form fruit and flowers.
Leaf and Branch Pruning:
New shoots should be cut back to 1-2 leaves after 5-7 leaves have formed, which may be as often as every two weeks in a vigorous plant. Suckers need to be removed to encourage sturdy growth of the plant. Some species may need to be cut back hard to encourage branch formation.
Re-potting & Growing Medium:
Every second year for young plants in autumn, or late spring after flowers have faded away. Remove an fruits so as to allow plant to concentrate on regenerating roots. Older plants once every 4-5 years. Use 1 part loam, 1 part peat, 1 part sharp sand.
These plants are most often grown in clump style. Chaenomeles can be wired from spring through the end of summer, leaving the wire on for up to four months, and can be repeated yearly.