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Coral Charm vs Coral Sunset Peony: What Is The Difference Between Them?

Peonies! Who invented this beauty? Whoever it was, all we can do is express our great gratitude for it. The author of today’s varieties, Samuel Wissing, deserves no fewer thanks. It was he who in the middle of the last century created these two wonderful peonies.

Coral Sunset Peony has flatter flowers while Coral Charm Peony flowers are more ball-like. The flowers of Coral Charm are larger than those of Coral Sunset which makes the first one more noticeable in the garden against the background of other plants.

The color of Coral Charm is coral-apricot and Coral Sunset Peony is pink-peach. The next thing that can be said about Coral Charm and Coral Sunset Peony is that they are kindred to each other. Their parent varieties were Minnie Shaylor and Otto Froebel peonies. The result is very similar peonies which differ from each other mainly in their blooming.

You will also find out what makes these two peonies different from most other peonies.

  Coral Charm Peony Coral Sunset Peony
USDA Hardiness zone 3-8 3-8
Mature height 2-3′ (0.6-0.9 m) 2-3′ (0.6-0.9 m)
Mature width 2-3′ (0.6-0.9 m) 2-3′ (0.6-0.9 m)
Growth rate fast fast
Light exposure Full sun, partial sun Full sun, partial sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.0-7.0 6.0-7.0
Watering 1-2 times per week in a drought 1-2 times per week in a drought
Diseases fungus fungus
Pests insects, mites insects, mites
coral charm vs coral sunset peony

Coral Charm Peony and Coral Sunset Peony

They have different shape of flowers

Both Coral Charm and Coral Sunset are semi-double peonies, which means that the number of petals is much higher than in the usual varieties. But the shape of their flowers is different.

Coral Charm is more spherical (ball-like) in shape. The center is more closed with petals than the competitor. As a result, the plant looks very interesting.

Coral Sunset has a flatter flower shape. The center is a bit more open and the petals are flared out. This shape makes the yellow center (pistil and stamens) more prominent and certainly makes this variety more ornamental.

In terms of flower shape, it is hard to judge which one is better. Coral Sunset may have the slight advantage of a yellow center, but sometimes with petals that unfold outwards too far, which can make it look unattractive. So here the score between the two is even.

Coral Charm has bigger flowers

In addition to the shape, the size of the flowers is also different.

Coral Charm flowers are slightly larger than those of the competitor. They are about 4 inches across, and this even though the flower is not fully opened. The large balls of color against the green foliage look delightful.

Coral Sunset, on the other hand, has flowers 3 inches across. Though the difference is not significant, still along with the different flower shapes, these plants look each in their own unique way.

An important prerequisite for large flowers is to feed the plants. In poor soil, you may not get a big bloom from Coral Charm. If you want your peonies to flower well, you have to feed them at least once a year with a slow-release phosphorous-rich fertilizer. The best time to do this in early spring.

The color is different

Coral Charm and Coral Sunset bloom at approximately the same time, either in late May or early June. Flowering time lasts about 10 days; under unfavorable conditions, the flowering period may be shortened to 7 days. During this time both of these peonies change color, their color palette is very rich but not the same.

Coral Charm begins to flower in coral and then changes to apricot. At the end of the flowering, the color is creamy white.

Coral Sunset has more interesting young petals. At the beginning of flowering, it has a coral pink color that changes to peach. It ends in a creamy color like its competitor. Besides, the number of flowers is a little more, which is a small advantage.


Now let’s talk about the similarities between these two peonies since I have already described the main differences above. Next, you will learn about what distinguishes them from most peonies.

They don’t smell

The first thing that unites these varieties and at the same time sets them apart from others is the scent. The lack of scent, to be precise.

It is no secret that most peonies have a very pleasant scent. Sometimes it can be very strong and the whole garden becomes a fragrant place where it is pleasant to enter.

Well, today’s heroes have almost no scent. It is so faint that it is impossible to sense it from a distance. You almost have to touch a flower with your nose to smell these varieties.

Also, the aroma itself is not very pleasant. Some people say it is even very unpleasant. But you must take into account that this is a subjective opinion.

Be that as it may if the smell of the flowers is important to you more than their appearance then you must look at other varieties. Or together with coral peonies plant others that have a strong and pleasant fragrance.

Both of them have strong stems

The next thing to say here is that both of these varieties have unusually sturdy stems and do not lie on the ground.

One of the unpleasant things about most herbaceous peonies is that their stems are weak. During flowering, if there is a strong wind or rain, the stems may not be able to hold their weight and sag to the ground. This is a real problem. There are many different supports and frameworks available just for peonies. Gardeners have to keep an eye on their peonies at all times to make sure they are supported by the frame.

None of these are needed for Coral Charm or Coral Sunset. They are powerful plants that can hold the weight of their own flowers and leaves even in the worst of weather. This is although they are quite large plants, up to 3 feet high and 2.5 feet wide.

If you don’t want to bother setting up a cage for your peonies, those two are the best choices.

They need warmth

All peonies need warm weather to bloom successfully. But for tree peonies, for example, 50-53 °F is sufficient. While herbaceous peonies need about 59°F.

Coral peonies need higher temperatures for good blooms. They will reach their flowering potential at 64°F. If the weather is cool during blooming, they will not bloom as abundantly.

At the same time, herbaceous peonies will bloom less if it is hot outside. They need a slightly cooler environment.

Also, you need to provide enough sun. A small advantage of Coral Charm Peony and Coral Sunset Peony is that they can tolerate partial shade. But they should still get at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.