Fruit medlar - plants, groom and cut

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The fruit medlar is not only a visual highlight in the garden due to its strikingly beautiful tree blossom, it also produces small tasty fruits.

Fruit medlar - plants, groom and cut

The fruit medlar is an ancient cultivated plant that has been cultivated for centuries for its fruits. Nevertheless, the plant, also known as DΓΆrllitze, has almost been forgotten in our latitudes. In Roman times, the plant reached the southwest of Germany and was mainly found in monastery gardens. The small apple fruits harvested in autumn were often made into jams and jellies. Recently, old varieties of fruit have increasingly become the focus of attention. The fruit medlar deserves not only due to the vitamin and mineral rich fruits attention, the pretty flower is also reason enough to give the fruit medlar meaning as an ornamental plant. If you want to get to know the plant, which has been wrongly forgotten, and cultivate it in your own garden, you will find out everything you need to know here.

The origin of the fruit medlar

The natural range of the plants is suspected in the Caucasus, Greece or Bulgaria. For about 3,000 years, the plant has been cultivated in the Orient. The medlar has also been cultivated in Africa, Australia, New Zealand or the USA for centuries. Introduced to the Roman era in Germany, the plant was widely used in the Middle Ages. At that time, medlars were found in almost every cottage garden. Today, the interest in the industrious fruit supplier of the past has unfortunately declined. But it is worthwhile in any case to help this attractive and easy-care plant to revive in the orchard.

The appearance of the fruit medlar

The fruit medlar is a thorny and moderately branched deciduous shrub. The growth height of the rose plant is about three meters. The killing of young shoots takes place only in the second year. Initially the shoots appear fuzzy-hairy. The leaves are arranged alternately and about ten inches long. While the upper side of the leaf appears shiny and dark green, the underside of the leaf has a gray-green color and appears hairy. A spreading treetop marks the fruit medlar. Often, the growth habit tends to be broader than directed upward. A flat but widely branched root system ensures that the plant is anchored in the soil. The attractive, white to pink flowers, reminiscent of the blossom of the apple tree, follow in October the brownish fruits. These are not without reason referred to as a stone apple, because at first they are actually rock hard. Only through appropriate storage, the pulp is softer and therefore edible.

The fruit medlar as an ideal garden plant

Who is looking for a plant for the Eastern Garden, not everyone calls his own, finds the perfect candidate with the fruit medlar. Since the trees do not grow excessively in height, even the rather small home garden can be enriched with it. The tree blossom is strikingly attractive and also for the fruit harvest in autumn can be found with certain uses.

" Tip: The dwarf medlar is a direct relatives of the fruit medlar and can be planted as groundcover. Dwarf medlars flower in May and show red fruits in late summer.

When does the fruit medlar blossom?

The flower of the fruit medlar is an ornament, so it is worth the purchase. The white flowers are reminiscent of roses and appear about the same time as the pear blossom, in about mid-May. The flowers are between three and five inches tall. The five carpels are completely fused with the flower cup. The stamens have reddish dust bags.

Fruchtmispel Typeexplanation
Dutch large-fruited medlarThis species promises you rich returns. The plant is very vigorous and the fruits are particularly aromatic. The eye-catching leaves are similar to those of the laurel.
Fruit medlar RoyalThe fruit medlar Royal is also suitable for small gardens, because it has a rather shrubby habit. High yields also speak for this variety.
Hungarian fruit medlarSince this variety grows only weakly, it is also suitable for the small orchard. High yields can be expected. The harvest can start unusually early for medlars, namely in September.
Coreless fruit medlarOf advantage are the seedless fruits of this very productive variety. The fruits are particularly aromatic, but remain rather small in growth.
Fruit medlar NottinghamThis strain likes it a bit wetter. The fruits have a yellowish color and the usual dark flesh.
Fruit medlar MacrocarpaIf you want to harvest especially large fruits, you should opt for this strong variety.

Planting the fruit medlar - tips and advice at a glance

As an easy-care and robust plant, the fruit medlar will delight the ambitious hobby gardener. Last but not least, one can be lucky to have revitalized an old cultural fruit. Those who are less concerned with the fruit harvest will appreciate the medlars for their attractive flowering and pretty foliage. Taking some tips and advice, the plants will quickly settle in your garden and guaranteed to feel good.


A sun place is gladly accepted by the fruit medlar. Anyone hoping for a rich harvest of the small apple fruits, should in any case provide a sunny spot, so that the fruits can ripen well. Partial shade is usually tolerated. However, the lack of sunlight can be at the expense of flowering and later fruits. Likewise, value should be attached to a sheltered location.

In short:

  • sunny
  • bright
  • sheltered


The fruit medlar does not make great demands on the substrate. A loose and deep soil offers good conditions. Waterlogging is not tolerated by the plant, so the water should always drain well. This can only ensure a porous floor.

" Tip: If you have the option, you should determine the pH value of the soil. A value of six to eight is considered optimal.

The ideal substrate is a fresh, sandy and loamy soil with good permeability. In the area of ​​the tree disc, the substrate can be covered with mulch.

In short:

  • relaxed
  • permeable
  • calcareous

Planting instructions:

  1. best time - April to mid-May
  2. Loosen the soil
  3. Mix substrate with sand or clay
  4. Select a planting hole at least twice as large as the root ball
  5. Drain from clay or gravel
  6. Gently insert the plant into the planting hole
  7. fill with substrate
  8. Press earth
  9. Cast on the trees well
  10. Insert post as support

Taking into account the origin of the plant is quickly clear, the fruit medlar loves heat and light. The planting should take place as soon as possible, if no frost is to be expected, ideally only after the Eisheiligen. Since the trees fertilize themselves, not necessarily another plant to be purchased to start with the fruit growing. A profound loosening of the soil ensures that the plant grows well. Soil permeability can also be improved by drainage from clay or pebbles.

This is how to properly cultivate the fruit medlar

Fruit medlar berries

❍ pouring:

The water requirement of the plant is rather moderate. However, young plants need regular watering. The use of calcareous water helps the plants. Therefore, nothing speaks against the irrigation with tap water. Older plants require additional watering only during longer periods of drought.

" Tip: Check the location regularly. The soil ideally has a slight moisture content.

❍ Fertilize:

A regular fertilization is not necessary for the fruit medlar. It can do no harm to enrich the soil with compost before planting. During the growth phase lime or horn shavings can be mixed in. These organic fertilizers are sufficient.

❍ Harvesting:

In autumn, the small apple fruits can be harvested. Not doing so would be a waste, because the fruits are rich in vitamin C and minerals. Do not be put off by the initially rock-hard fruits. The fruit ripening begins around October. Harvested, however, is only when it is possible to detect dark spots on the skin. Mostly the first frosty nights are necessary. The pulp of the nut apple then takes on a brown color and the pulp is softer.

" Tip: The fruits can also be harvested before the first frost and remain in the open air in steps until the first frosts.

Make good use of the fruits
After sufficient storage, the fruits have assumed a quite aromatic taste. The apples can be cut open. After removal of the kernels, the pulp is cut. If the fruits are already noticeably mellow, the pulp can also be spooned out. The raw consumption is possible, but more often the medlars are processed into mus, jelly or jam. In the Middle Ages, the production of wine and liqueur was popular.

" Tip: If you do not like the taste of the fruit, you can mix medlars with pears or apples, consume them as a compote or process them together.

❍ pruning:

Young plants do not have to be cut yet. For older plants to keep their shape, offers after the hibernation a shape cut. Also in the fall can be used for scissors, namely, when old and withered branches are to be removed. In order to keep an eye on the growth height of the plants, the trunk extension can be shortened in the summer about 30 centimeters above the last branch fork.

" Tip: Fruit medlars should not be cut back radically. This would mean that the plant does not produce fruit, because these form on the extreme end of the shoot.

Since the fruit medlar reacts quite sensitively to cutting measures, the cutting tool should always be sharp. This results in smooth cut surfaces that bleed less and make the plant less vulnerable to diseases and pests. In addition, it is advisable to use a wound closure agent.

❍ Propagation:

This can be done in different ways. In nature, the generative propagation prevails. The seeds remain germinable for nearly two years and are spread by birds, squirrels and other forest animals.

The passionate hobby gardener can use the following methods:

  • cuttings
  • seed
  • finishing

The propagation through cuttings

This is the simplest method of propagation of the fruit medlar. If the plant is pruned in spring, the cuttings can be won. As cuttings, annual shoots are used. These should be cut about 15 to 20 inches long. The lower part of the cuttings is freed from leaves. The rooting can be done either in a glass of water or in seedling soil. The cuttings are watered evenly and can be set outdoors the following spring.

Propagation by sowing

Who wants to dare to sow the seeds, must bring some patience. The seeds can be obtained directly from inside the ripe fruit. Around November, the fruits are likely to have reached the necessary maturity. The seeds are also easier to remove as the pulp has become softer. The seeds are cleaned and can then be sown directly in the field or grown in planters. These should then be placed on the terrace or balcony. The seeds do not germinate if they have not lived through a cold spell. Patience is required, it can take up to two years to germinate. More years go into the country until the first fruits show.

The multiplication by refinement

The multiplication of cultural forms usually takes place via refinement. Here, the refinement has proven on a pear. The fruits convince taste even fruit connoisseurs. A refinement is also possible on hawthorn or on quinces.

❍ Overwinter:

Mature fruit medlar come well without protection over the winter. This can be surprising because the plants actually come from warmer regions. Over the centuries, however, the medlar has adapted to our climatic conditions and is generally able to handle temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius.

Younger plants show less robustness. Here, in the first two years offers a winter protection. Especially sensitive are the roots. If the soil around the roots is provided with bark mulch or foliage, adequate protection is also provided for young plants in the cold season.

Vulnerable show themselves in the bucket held plants. The attitude of the fruit medlar in the tub is rather uncommon, but quite possible with young plants. Container plants should be allowed to move into the staircase if possible. A protective layer of garden fleece also protects against frost damage. Since the roots are particularly vulnerable, they should be specially protected. If the planter is placed on a base made of Styrofoam, potted plants are also well through the winter.

❍ Diseases and pests:

With the fruit medlar you get a rather robust plant in the orchard. However, incorrect site selection and waterlogging can lead to illnesses.
The following damages can occur:

  • Monilia rot
  • fire blight
  • Leaf spot
  • aphids

The Monilia Rot

The Monilia rot occurs as a fruit rot and as a branch rot. Affected are, in addition to fruit medlar, also pears, cherries or apples. Injuries to the fruit clear the way for the fungus, which manifests itself as rotting patches and a moldy coating. If the fungus has attacked the branches and flowers, it only takes a few days until the leaves and flowers turn brown and dry out. The shoot tips can die to a length of 30 centimeters, resulting in an unsightly and verkahlte treetop result. The branch monilia is only rarely seen in medlar. Far more susceptible are cherries or apricots.

What should I do?
All affected parts of plants should be removed. A pruning must be done down to the healthy wood. Plant protection products can only be used preventively during flowering. A direct fight with infestation is not possible.

The fire blaze

If the bacterium Erwinia amylovora takes possession of the medlar fruit, there is usually no salvation for the plant. There is also a danger for the rest of the orchard, because the disease can spread rapidly. The biggest danger is the flowers. The bacteria find their way into the plants via the flowers and spread out over all other plant parts. Also via wounds on the leaves and fruits, the pathogens can penetrate and lead to the onset of the disease in the fall.

What should I do?
Sick shoots should be immediately cut back to healthy wood.Diseased plants and plant parts must not be placed on the compost and should be disposed of or disposed of in small quantities in excess of the residual waste. All tools used must be disinfected with alcohol.

" Danger: If there is a fire blight on your plants, you must report this to the Phytosanitary Department.

The leaf spot disease

Especially in persistent wet weather, this fungus may occur. The leaves appear brownish in infestation and get dark spots. These can spread to the entire leaf and lead to the death of the affected leaves.

What should I do?
If the infestation is noticed, action should be taken quickly. The leaves are to be removed immediately and already fallen leaves are to be disposed of, as the fungus can spread further.


Especially young plants are occasionally hit by aphids. This especially affects weak plants that are in the wrong location or do not get enough nutrients. If the plant is regularly checked, the aphids can be easily identified.

What should I do?
Aphids can usually be controlled very well without the use of chemical pesticides. Beware of spraying with a jet of water or spraying with soapy water, garlic or nettle.

The fruit medlar as bonsai

Who wants to cultivate the fruit medlar as bonsai, should assign a sunny location to his plant. Pouring is only moderate. The soil should be dried until the next watering occurs. The plants are well tolerated cut and larger leaves or long shoots can be removed at any time. It makes sense to work out an upright form or a broom shape. The branches are flexible and can be wired well. The wire should not grow over and should be removed after about six months. Older and less flexible branches can be shaped with tension wires. The best time for this is spring, when plant juice flows through the branches again. You should repot your bonsai every two to three years. The bonsai needs winter protection and should be set up frost-free.

Video Board: Quince and Medlars.

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