Red Charm Peony (Step-by-Step Guide & PHOTOS)
Red Charm peonies are a form of peony that is a deep and vibrant red color, and it tends to grow quite large. Its outer petals are splayed out, with a slight curve, and the inner petals are ruffled and piled high in the center pointing upwards at a peak. It is a stunning variety of peony and a gorgeous addition to any home garden.
Red Charm Peonies
The Red Charm Peony is well known for its shade of red and was awarded a gold medal by the American Peony Society in 1956. The Red Charm has been cultivated in home gardens for over 600 years and blooms very early in the peony season. It's a part of the Paeoniaceae family and is a cross between two different types of peonies; the Chinese Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) and the Garden Peony (Paeonia officinalis). The Chinese Peony is native to Siberia and Mongolia, while the Garden Peony comes to us from France, Switzerland, and Italy.
In terms of plant classifications, this peony hybrid is designated as Paeonia 'Red Charm' and its full scientific name is Paeonia lactiflora x Paeonia officinalis 'Red Charm' because of the crossing of the two peonies. Their genus name Paeonia comes from the Greek name for Paeon, who was a physician of the gods and who discovered the medicinal properties of plants.
Growing Red Charm Peonies
Red Charm peonies have a beautiful fragrance and are known to attract butterflies. There are certain things that need to be known before one should plant them, such as the amount of sunlight they are going to need and the type of soil they can survive in.
Red Charm peonies grow in a lush, bushy mound of dark green, and are best suited to outdoor life. They can reach between 32 and 36 inches in height, and bloom for approximately 7-10 days. It's a good idea to choose an area where the Red Charms will be sheltered from strong winds, as their stems are delicate, and they need to be placed where they won't have to compete for nutrients and water with other shrubs and trees.
Red Charms do well as accents along fences, sidewalks, driveways, and walls.
Zones and Weather
Red Charms are considered herbaceous perennials, meaning that they only bloom through late spring and early summer, and they wither and are dormant in the fall and winter, even though they're always budded. They can thrive in zones 3 through 8 and prefer full sun to part shade, needing at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to properly blossom. The Red Charms may not bloom if they are lacking in sunlight.
Red Charm peonies are adaptable, but they need soil that is moist and they need to be in a space where the water can drain away well. Red Charms can grow in sand, clay soil, chalk soil, and loam soil, and they can stand levels of acidity and soil that contains alkaline. They need a fertilizer that is rich with phosphorous.
Red Charm peonies need to be watered regularly, at least once a week. They may require more water in instances of extreme or intense heat.
Red Charm peonies need to be planted a few feet apart so that they have plenty of room to grow. Peonies are prone to gray mold when planted too closely, and it's caused by the lack of airflow between the plants. They are planted in a shallow hole to allow the peonies to feel the chill of winter and set buds.
Red Charm peonies should be planted sometime in the fall, before the ground freezes, so that they have enough time to fully settle in and establish their roots before winter.
Step By Step Planting Guide
There are two ways to plant Red Charm Peonies: with the bare root or with a potted peony.
Bare Root Peonies
- Dig a hole in the ground 2 feet deep and the same length across and add in a fertilizer of your choice that contains phosphorus, because that's what the Red Charms need.
- Mound soil up in the center of the hole so that it's only about 2 or 3 inches deep. Set the root clump on top so that the eyes face upward.
- Fill the rest of the hole and lightly pack down the soil. Water by sprinkling the area, careful not to flood.
- Prepare a large hole with a fertilizer with phosphorus.
- Remove the peony from the pot and slightly loosen the root ball. In the hole, set it at the same height it was in the pot.
- Fill the rest of the hole and lightly pack down the soil. Thoroughly water the planting site.
This is a perfect visual representation of the deep and rich crimson red that Red Charm peonies can bloom into.
When blooming, the outer petals slowly begin to relax and part, and we can get a peek of the ruffled petals that are to come.
Red Charm peonies can grow quite large and can even bloom to the span of two hands!
Red Charm peonies grow as singular flowers from a bush and are grown with space between them and other plants.
Deer are known to munch on garden flowers, but not Red Charms! The flower has a strong fragrance that turns deer away.
Lovely in Bouquets
Red Charm peonies are simply gorgeous and look beautiful in any bouquets for any occasion, whether by themselves or mingled with other flowers.
Long Vase Life
Red Charms can last as long as eight or nine days in a vase and are the perfect centerpiece for gatherings.
Enjoying the Sun
These baby Red Charms are newly planted and enjoying a lot of sunshine, which is exactly what they need.
These Red Charms are planted in a group, but with enough space between them to prevent gray mold and overcrowding.
A Lovely Gift
If you're looking for flowers to gift to that certain someone, Red Charm peonies are an amazing gift choice.
Even the deep red buds are a sight to behold.
This Red Charm peony centerpiece is a great addition to what looks like an intimate dinner.
Red Charm peonies are a strain of the Garden peony and can be purchased in bulb form.
Red Charm peonies can be used as cake decorations to add a burst of dark color. Just be sure not to eat them!
These Red Charms are waiting to be purchased and planted into the earth!
Buying Red Charm Peonies
The internet has some great options for Red Charm peonies, and offers both root and seed planting options.
Red Charm Bareroots
These Red Charm Peony roots from Amazon come in a pack of 3 and are both deer and rabbit resistant. The peonies grow better when spaced apart, and can be supported with a hoop stake or a trellis. You can find these Red Charm roots here.
Red Charm Seeds
This pack of Red Charm seeds comes with 30 seeds in total, and the end result produces beautiful blooms. Plant these seeds in early fall to allow the roots more time to grow and settle. These Red Charm seeds can be found here on Amazon.