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

Peonies are such a marvel! We owe a huge thank you to the unknown genius who first brought these beauties into the world. Equally deserving of our gratitude is Samuel Wissing. It was he who, in the mid-20th century, created two amazing peony varieties that we admire today.

The primary difference between Coral Charm Peony and Coral Sunset Peony lies in their color transformation and bloom time. Coral Charm Peony flowers start with a deep coral hue that gradually fades to a creamy yellow as they mature. In contrast, Coral Sunset Peony blooms exhibit a more consistent color, maintaining their vibrant coral shade throughout their bloom period.

Additionally, Coral Sunset Peony typically blooms a few days earlier than Coral Charm Peony, offering an extended display of color in the garden. Both varieties are known for their large, fragrant flowers and are popular choices among gardeners for their striking appearance.

coral charm vs coral sunset peony

Coral Charm Peony and Coral Sunset Peony

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

Flower Shape

Coral Charm and Coral Sunset peonies are both semi-double types, featuring a significantly higher petal count compared to standard varieties. However, their flower shapes set them apart.

Coral Charm boasts a more spherical, ball-like flower shape. Its center is densely packed with petals, giving it a uniquely intriguing appearance.

On the other hand, Coral Sunset displays a flatter flower shape. Its center is more open, with petals spreading outward. This design highlights the yellow center, comprising the pistil and stamens, adding to its ornamental appeal.

Flower Size

Coral Charm’s flowers are notably larger than its counterpart, measuring about 4 inches across, even when not fully opened. These large, colorful blooms set against green foliage create a delightful sight.

Conversely, Coral Sunset’s flowers are slightly smaller, at about 3 inches across. Although the size difference is modest, it, combined with the distinct flower shapes, gives each plant its own unique charm.

Color

Coral Charm and Coral Sunset peonies typically bloom around the same time, either in late May or early June, with the flowering period lasting about 10 days. Under less favorable conditions, this period may shorten to 7 days. During their bloom, both varieties undergo a fascinating change in color, each displaying a unique color palette.

Coral Charm’s blooms start off with a vivid coral hue, gradually transitioning to apricot, and finally settling into a creamy white by the end of its flowering phase.

Coral Sunset, on the other hand, showcases a more dynamic change in its younger petals. Initially, it blooms in a coral pink shade, which then shifts to peach before concluding in a creamy color, similar to Coral Charm. Additionally, Coral Sunset tends to have slightly more flowers, giving it a subtle edge.

Similarities

Let’s delve into what makes Coral Charm and Coral Sunset peonies similar, especially considering the differences already highlighted. These aspects also set them apart from most other peonies.

Scent

A key common feature of these varieties is their scent, or rather, the lack thereof. Unlike many peonies known for their delightful fragrance, which can sometimes be quite strong and fill an entire garden with aroma, Coral Charm and Coral Sunset have an almost imperceptible scent. You’d need to be extremely close, practically touching the flower with your nose, to detect their faint fragrance.

Stems

Another similarity lies in their stem strength. Both varieties boast exceptionally sturdy stems that don’t droop to the ground. This trait is quite advantageous, as many herbaceous peonies have weaker stems that can’t withstand strong wind or rain, causing them to sag under the weight of their blooms.

Coral Charm and Coral Sunset, however, remain upright even in harsh weather. Despite their considerable size, reaching up to 3 feet in height and 2.5 feet in width, their robust stems can support the weight of their flowers and leaves.

Growing Conditions

Regarding growing conditions, all peonies require warmth for successful blooming. For instance, tree peonies may bloom adequately at temperatures around 50-53°F, while herbaceous peonies prefer slightly warmer conditions, around 59°F.

Coral peonies, including Coral Charm and Coral Sunset, need even warmer temperatures, ideally around 64°F, to reach their full flowering potential. Cooler weather during their bloom period can result in less abundant flowering.

Conversely, herbaceous peonies may bloom less in hotter conditions, favoring a cooler environment. Additionally, Coral Charm and Coral Sunset can tolerate partial shade better than some other peonies, though they still need at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive.