Coral Charm Peony Growing Guide For Growing It In Your Garden

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Are you ready to start your summer with a colorful burst of coral-colored flowers? If your answer is yes, you can accomplish that with Coral Charm Peony (Paeonia lactifloral ‘Coral Charm’). This naturally adorable variety opens gradually from rigid round buds to show layer after layer of two-tone salmon and coral petals.

Taking the baton for the early summer and late spring slot, Coral Charm Peony steps right in with its magnificent floral offering among the salmon, apricot, peach, and coral tones that enjoy their time in the spotlight.

You will like having Coral Charm Peony in your garden if you love having a fresh supply of flowers for the indoor arrangement. Its long-lasting and sweet fragrance, flower power with elegant shape, and unique color make it a fabulous flower for cutting. In addition, Coral Charm Peony is shade-tolerant, hardy, and resilient, making it ideal for having a much-needed summer vibrance instead of those tricky lackluster areas.

What is Coral Charm Peony?

Coral Charm Peony received the Garden Merit Award of the Royal Horticultural Society and Gold Medal from the 1986 American Peony Society. Samuel Wissing first introduced it in 1964, producing three flower blooms in its first blooming season. It belongs to the Paeoniaceae family as a hybrid of the Paeonia Peregrina and the Chinese Peony.

Coral Charm Peony is an award-winner, exceptionally beautiful that is part of the first peonies to flower. The semi-double, large blossoms open into bowl-sculpted blooms from deep coral buds, with stunningly incurved rosy coral-peach petals before slowly receding to faint ivory. These peonies are a genuine garden standout, sustained in abundance on robust stems.

This peony is the early season that will bloom for about seven to ten days as it flowers heavily in early summer and late spring. Other cultivars with staggered flower times are ideal as companion plantings. This process will help to extend Coral Charm Peony season to about six weeks!

Your Coral Charm can also make fantastic cut flowers with around one-week vase life when you cut it in the bud. With that, your home can have a magnificent bouquet of coral peonies. This herbaceous Peony thrives well in a bushy, lush mound of divided, dark green, and glossy foliage that can reach up to 24 to 36 inches.

It is also vigorous and reliable, spreading to about 60 to 75 cm. The whole summer with see its foliage being attractive until it colors up in the fall or frost.

Coral Charm Peony Details

Color Coral/salmon pink
Height 100 – 110 cm / 40 – 44”
Planting season Autumn or spring
Flowering time Summer
Botanical name Paeonia lactiflora Coral Charm
Light requirements Full sun/partial shade
Soil moisture Average
Naturalizing Strong
Perennial Yes

Planting Coral Charm Peony: A Step-by-Step Guide

It is essential to ensure you plant these dormant perennials as soon as you get them. You can open plastic or cartons around the roots if you need to store them for some time before planting them. Use warm water to soak the roots for a few hours if they appear dry.

After that, use slightly moist peat moss to store them in the cold but not freezing place until you are ready to plant them. You can also put them in pots of soil if you have more than two weeks delay in your planting. Peat-based pots or packaged potting soil or containers with drainage holes are appropriate to use.

When you are ready to plant Coral Charm peonies, it is ideal for soaking them in water for some hours. However, don’t soak them for more than 24 hours before planting. Apply organic matter to the spot. Ensure you have perfect drainage in place except for your plant varieties like moist roots.

Identify space with ideal soil drainage. Soil that offers average moisture is suitable for Coral Charm Peony. However, the soil must not be waterlogged. Prepare your mind that your peonies can live for years. As such, it is not wrong to apply nutrients like compost to the soil during planting season.

A location with a very light shade or full sun is good to plant your peonies. However, your peonies will not bloom quite well and will not have strong stems when placed in sunnier spots, even though they can survive in a moderate shade.

Planting From Seed

Before we continue how to plant your Coral Charm Peony from seed, you need to consider:

  • You may not have a viable seed when collected from single specimen tree peonies without proximity to other tree peonies.
  • Put the seeds in dry and cold storage if you cannot plant them right away.
  • Semi-double, single flowers yield more seeds than complex double forms.

It is also helpful to know that collecting your Coral Charm Peony seeds in August is the best time if you are looking for a viable yield. However, you can raise peonies crop from seed to have the pods on the plant all summer. Unfortunately, growing peonies from seed do not come true to the parent plant, even though they look alike.

That is why you will find nearly all herbaceous peonies and cultivated trees as hybrids far away from their ancestors’ wild species. Seeds from a single peony species are this rule’s exception when they don’t cross-pollinate with other varieties.

When it comes to techniques for herbaceous peonies and seeding trees, you can follow along. You will know that you have ripe and ready to harvest seeds when seed shells start cracking open and becoming brown. Open each seed pod segment carefully to remove the seeds. Damaged seeds will not germinate.

Peony seeds can develop a double dormancy consisting of a dormant embryo and a hard outer seed coat when fully ripe. The germination will happen with water and air penetration through the seed coat and get to the root. Starting peony seeds consists of various methods.

The dormancy level, which is the natural seed condition, determines some of them. The primary weather for outdoor or indoor seed germination and the grower determines other methods.

Direct Seeding Outdoors

Undeveloped, freshly harvested seeds without a hard outer coat can germinate as a small green shoot above the soil in a similar season and sprout the following spring. However, your peonies will require two growing seasons to outweigh the double-dormancy naturally when directly planting seeds with dry and hard seed coats.

Plant fresh seeds, black or tan, directly in a garden, sandy loam soil mixed with perlite, sand, or old bark nuggets for drainage.

You must have about 7.0 pH, meaning that you need to sweeten the soil by adding a bit of garden lime. Use about ten to twelve inches of good drainage pots to plant the seed or plant directly in a seedbed. Plastic pots can work. However, we recommend using root control bags or clay pots for seeding.

Use about two inches in depth and one to two inches apart when planting your seeds. Let them settle in by watering them. Seed orientation may not be critical since the rootlet can find its way downward. Many growers will sink their pots into the garden beds to protect them during winter.

Prepare a half-shade, half-sun site and use two to three inches of mulch to protect the seeds against squirrels. You can water periodically to prevent drying if you have dry and hot late fall and summer weather. Then, you can add two to three inches of mulch for winter protection in late November or later in fall.

Planting in a Container

Choose the Mediterranean early-blooming peony varieties to enjoy the blooms for an extended period. Prepare a light-colored, large pot with many drainage holes on the bottom. Coral Charm Peony boasts an extensive root system, mainly herbaceous varieties.

As such, it will need deeper containers than other pot plants. While more enormous peonies will need more space, you can plant your young peonies in about one and a half feet of soil. You will need around 18 to 24 inches deeper and broader containers when planting larger, older peonies.

Use about 35 percent perlite and 65 percent topsoil of a very well-draining potting soil mix to fill the container. We recommend not to plant your Coral Charm Peony in standard potting soil since it is quite susceptible to root rot. In addition, the typical potting soil does not offer plants adequate drainage.

Prepare a shaded spot to place the container. Ensure that the area can also get about three to four hours of sunlight every day. The ideal area for potted peonies is a dappled shade area. Ensure to water your Coral Charm Peony once a week. It typically requires little water since peonies tend to be drought tolerant. However, you may need to water container plants more than those you plant in the ground.

Early spring, when your Coral Charm Peony leaves are beginning to unfurl, is the perfect time to fertilize it. First, feed the plant with a low-nitrogen formula like 5-10-10. Then, feed the peonies again with fertilizer after they have finished blooming for the season.

Prepare a sheltered spot to move the container for the winter months. Ensure it is a spot where it won’t freeze. Container plants can bloom the following spring when they experience cold winter temperatures, even though growers need to protect them from deep freezes. Hardiness zone 8 will be ideal for the plants. However, your peonies may not bloom in the spring when you grow them in zone 9 and 10 with too mild winter.

Things Needed

The large containers peonies need can be pretty heavy and hard to move when complete. As such, you need to put them on casters before planting. Also, root bags are perfect for planting peonies.

Planting in the Ground

When preparing to plant your Coral Charm Peony in the ground, you must choose and prepare a planting spot.

  • Choose your spot wisely even though Coral Charm Peony is not fussy since the plant does not transplant quite well and resent disturbance.
  • Peonies can manage half a day sun but prefer full sun and thrive well with about eight hours of sunlight every day.
  • Ensure to protect them from strong winds since they can be heavy at the top due to their large blooms. Hold them together using stakes.
  • Coral Charm Peony doesn’t like competing for moisture, light, or food. As such, don’t plant it too close to shrubs or trees.
  • Use neutral pH and grow your Coral Charm in moist, humus-rich, fertile, and deep soil that drains relatively well.

When planting your Coral Charm Peony in the ground, follow these steps:

  • Coral Charm Peony typically has three to five buds when you purchase the plant as bare root tubers.
  • Allow for good air circulation between your plants by spacing them three to four feet apart. One of the recipes for disease to develop is humid, stagnant air.
  • Prepare a sunny place to dig a generous-sized hole of around two feet across and two feet deep in well-drained soil. Organic matter addition will be a benefit for the soil in the planting hole. Enrich the soil with additional compost if it is very sandy or heavy. You can also use a cup of bonemeal to enrich the soil.
  • Ensure the root buds are facing upward when setting on a mound of soil in the hole. Allow the root to be about two inches below the soil surface. Never plant your Coral Charm Peony too deep in the soil. Select the early-blooming varieties in southern states and provide some shade by planting them one inch deep.
  • Ensure the soil does not bury your plant’s root deeper than two inches when backfilling the hole. Remember to tap the soil gently.
  • Cover your Coral Charm Peony deeper when it grew in the container when planting a peony in a container. Ensure to thoroughly water during planting time.

Coral Charm Peony Growing Guide: What Does This Plant Need?

Coral Charm Peony has a strong scent meant to drive away wild animals like rabbits and deer. But, like a beautiful flower, it is critical to know your peonies’ requirements before adding them to your garden.  

Sunlight Requirements

Coral Charm Peony needs about eight hours of sunlight. A partial shade is okay for them to grow, but the plant won’t bloom as readily. A few of the infrequently grown Asian woodland varieties are the only exceptions that need partial shade.

These peonies will grow well in full sun. However, about half a day of the light shade will be perfect for some cultivars, even though you can expect a reduction in flowering. Coral Charm Peony flowers are more fragile and more prominent than those of herbaceous peonies. Therefore, full sun protection will benefit the flowers during the afternoon’s hottest part. Some Asian cultures favor parasols to extend their peony flowers lifespan in full sun.

Soil Requirements

Friable and loamy soil that can break into small pieces is quite ideal for Coral Charm Peony. A wrong choice for peonies is sol with a considerable amount of clay because it creates large clumps that encourage root issues and hold water. Ensure to mix your soil with one or two cups of perlite around your plant if your soil has a low or modest amount of clay. This process will enhance the soil’s friability and drainage.

Soil containing considerable organic matter is also perfect for peonies. Mix compost into the soil to backfill all the planting holes to improve its value and even increase its organic content. In addition, compost can help improve the soil drainage and loosen it.

Adequate Soil pH

agricultural limestone

Neutral to slightly acidic soil with six to seven pH is preferable for your Coral Charm Peony. You will need to use a soil test kit to determine whether your soil has a proper pH to plant your Coral Charm Peony. We recommend doing this to have significant success before planting your peonies.

You can raise your soil pH level by applying ground limestone if you have excessively acidic soil with six pH levels. Ensure to work the ground limestone into about seven inches of moist soil. If you have above seven pH with an excessive alkaline level in your soil, apply sulfur or aluminum sulfate to increase its acidity. Your soil type and its starting pH will determine the amount of sulfur or lime to use.

Temperature Requirements

The funny thing about your beautiful Coral Charm Peony is that you may not need to pay much attention to it during winter if you live in Zone 3 or 4, but you may need to intensify winter care if you are in Zone 7 or 8. The requirement can be from 500 to 1,000 chilling hours for some varieties, getting to around 32 to 40 degrees F for 20 to 42 days.

As chill hours stimulate bud development, your peonies will require at least one month of chilly wintertime weather for spring blooming. Zone 3 to 5 can expect about six months of below-freezing temperatures.

The cold, long winters of the extra freezing time are suitable for peonies. However, getting a whole month of almost freezing temperatures can be pretty impossible if you are in Zone 6 to 8. So essentially, it is wrong to pull up your Coral Charm Peony and attempt to force them indoors like spring-flowering bulbs since the plant doesn’t grow from bulbs.

Therefore, how does your Coral Charm Peony get enough cold in Zone 6, 7, and 8 winters?

Here are some of our recommendations:

Examine your peonies’ planting depth. Your plant has buds that grow new shoots since it grows from tuberous roots. Your plant requires the proper depth to thrive well. We recommend planting your Coral Charm Peony tuber for the tiny pink buds where the leaf stalks grow are around two inches below the soil surface if you live in Zone 3 to 5.

We also recommend planting it two inches deep. As such, ensure the buds enjoy the required planting depth by using your ruler. For example, grow the bud one inch below the soil surface if you live in Zone 6 and 7 and an inch below those in Zone 8. Coral Charm Peony will grow well and produce lots of heavy, gorgeous blooms with the correct planting depth.

Water Requirements

When it comes to water requirements for your Coral Charm Peony, follow these steps:

  • Prepare a well-drained spot susceptible to standing water throughout the year to plant your peonies. Apply about two inches of compost into the soil before planting to provide organic matter and improve drainage.
  • Ensure you water your peonies when there is no rain for more than two weeks when you notice new growth. Slight irrigation two times a week is perfect. With that, the top four to six inches of the soil will have adequate moisture and not leading to standing water.
  • Use about a two-inch layer of bark or related organic mulch to cover the soil around your Coral Charm Peony, leaving some space between the plant stems and the mulch. Mulch can retain the soil moisture through slow evaporation.
  • Give your peonies continuous watering throughout the summer when the flowers have died or wilted. Ensure that the topsoil remains evenly moist by giving it about one inch of water weekly when there is no rain. You can be sure that your peonies’ foliage will be healthy throughout the summer. With that, you will have healthy plants the following year.

Fertilizer Requirements

instant compost tea

Fertilizing your Coral Charm Peony is an enjoyable and easy spring task in your perennial flower garden. Peonies don’t require obsessive care once formed and are low maintenance. But, even with that, most growers use a phosphorus-rich fertilizer in the springtime to give their plants a little bloom boost.

We recommend following these steps to fertilize your Coral Charm Peony:

  • Use a thin compost layer over the flower bed area in early spring or late winter. You can do this simple task before the commencement of spring growth.
  • Apply a slow-release, organic granular fertilizer to the soil around the plant’s stems when the stems are around one foot high in mid-spring. Bone meal, perennial flower fertilizer, bulb fertilizer, and rose food are the best Coral Charm Peony fertilizer options.

You can start feeding your Coral Charm Peony using compost’s simple top-dressing at the wintertime ending. Ensure you have cleared any plant debris from the flower bed before using an organic mulch of one inch of homemade compost on the entire area.

The plant will have a dark, lovely uniform background from the compost. Your peonies will also enjoy a nutritional boost as it gets out of dormancy.

Generally, you can apply packaged fertilizer products later in the spring when your plant begins to put on flower buds and leaves and grow stems.

How to Prune a Coral Charm Peony

Growing Coral Charm Peony means keeping your pruners sharp. While moderate pruning is all these perennials need, pruning them is also critical. You will be able to keep any diseases at bay when you know when to cut back your peonies. If you deadhead your peonies or are not sure when to prune them, keep reading because our team has the answers to your questions about peonies pruning.

Deadheading of pruning your Coral Charm Peony is a simple task that does not require any expertise. Ensure to wear your garden gloves when pruning your peonies. Use clean and sharp pruners before starting any pruning job.

Fall is the perfect time for peonies pruning when the frost has killed some leaves. First, prune your Coral Charm Peony by clipping stems close to the ground. Next, collect all stems, leaves, and other plant debris. You need to throw away this leafy material with the thrash and never compost it. Since peonies’ fungal diseases can be on a stem or leaf during the winter, it is good to destroy the leafy material.

Pruning your Coral Charm Peony becomes significant with the woody stems of the plant. Many growers claim that pruning these plants is not typically necessary. They might be right since removing winter-damaged wood in late spring is the most common peonies pruning.

The colder regions are the most concerned since their harsh winters can destroy the stems. Wait until late spring to prune. The plant’s buds would have resumed growth by then. You can prune the stems at an angle by putting pruning cuts above an outward-facing bud.

Ultimately, pruning peonies is a personal choice as many growers have claimed that they never prune their plants, and it doesn’t affect their plants’ health. However, it is critical to understand that pruning your Coral Charm Peony can help improve its health as you can keep your plant problem-free by removing any hiding places for diseases.

How to Propagate a Coral Charm Peony

You can propagate your Coral Charm Peony from cuttings, and we recommend cutting far down the stem since the plant’s stems can establish in buds emerging below the soil surfacing from rhizomes. Thus, propagating the perennials is using the well-founded means of growing from rhizome cuttings or seeds.

Unlike seed-grown plants, rhizomes will produce a plant like its patent and typically blossom within one or two seasons. Therefore, we also recommend preparing your cuttings during the fall for spring blooms.

Essentially, you can use a sharp knife to cut rhizomes into various parts, with each piece consisting of a root set and three to four buds. You can dust the rhizomes parts with antifungal powder. Ensure to maintain the root’s moisture using a spray bottle while cutting the rhizome if you need to divide old or large rhizomes. Trim more aged or broken roots and eliminate discolored sections. Spongy roots may have root rot or nematodes. Therefore, remove them.

Coral Charm Peony: Common Pests and Diseases

Coral Charm Peony

Coral Charm Peony has a few diseases and pests. As such, leaf blotch and Botrytis blight are the fungal diseases that most frequently occur. You will need to cut all peony plant levels in the fall to help control diseases. Avoid overhead irrigation or adding the old tops to the compost pile.

Also, Japanese beetles and scales are the only insect pest of any consequences on your peonies. The sweet sap the flower buds secrete also attracts ants. One myth among some peony growers is that ants are critical for the plant to bloom. That is quite far from the truth.

Generally, failure to bloom is a common issue of Coral Charm Peony. Some causes can be a nutrient deficiency, overcrowding, inadequate sunlight, excess nitrogen, immature plants, or planting too deeply. Others are late freezes, competition from nearby roots, and disease or insect problems. Lack of adequate winter chilling in Zones 8 and 9 will cause some cultivars to fail.

Where to Buy Coral Charm Peony Seeds

Get your Coral Charm Peony seeds at:

Where to Buy a Mature Coral Charm Peony

The following places sell mature peonies:


Question: How do you grow a peony Coral Charm?

Answer: You can grow a peony from bare roots outdoors in spring or autumn. When growing in containers or borders, put them in partial shade or full sun. Grow the root shallowly using any upward-facing visible buds. Space the peonies in individual pots or about 60 to 90 cm apart.

Question: Is Coral Charm an Itoh peony?

Answer: Cup-shaped, large, nostalgic, and abundant flowers bloom out to semi-double, coral-cream colored, and elegant flowers and emerge as a deep persimmon color as they mature. Therefore, both have woody, strong stems that hold the fragrant blooms upright, even after heavy rain.

Question: How big does a Coral Charm Peony get?

Answer: The Coral Charm Peony can get to about two to three feet tall, with mature height at 28 inches.

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