Paeonia 'Zhu Sha Pan' CINNABAR RED

Common Name: peony 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Paeoniaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Easily grown in rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Add compost as needed before planting. Each plant will flower for approximately 7-10 days. Plant other cultivars with staggered bloom times to extend the total peony bloom period to approximately 6 weeks during May and June (St. Louis area). Remove spent flowers after bloom. Cut foliage to the ground and remove from the garden in fall after frost. Plants are long-lived, do not need to be divided and can be left undisturbed for years.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Paeonia is a genus of about 30 species of herbaceous and subshrubs from Europe to Asia and in Western North America. Hebaceous types die to the ground each year where the subshrub (tree peonies) have woody stems.

Genus name comes from the Greek name for Paeon, physician of the gods and reputed discoverer of the medicinal properties of plants in this genus.

‘Zhu Sha Pan’, commonly sold under the trade name of CINNABAR RED, is an herbaceous, shrubby perennial that typically grows to 24-30" tall. This peony produces anemone-type flowers that bloom in mid-spring, displays attractive foliage throughout the summer and early fall, and then dies to the ground after frost. Each flower (4" x 3") features showy purplish red (cinnabar red) petals. Flowers bloom in mid-season (May in St. Louis). Flowers are fragrant. Deep green foliage is divided into oval to lance-shaped segments.

Problems

Peonies are considered to be relatively pest free. Botyrtis blight and Phytopthora blight are sometimes problems. Ants on peony buds are common and totally harmless. If plants do not flower, possible causes include: (1) planted too deep or too shallow, (2) planted in too much shade, (3) late frost killed flower buds or (4) plant is too young or has been recently moved or disturbed.

CINNABAR RED has large blooms that usually need staking or other support because they tend to arch toward the ground in the best of weather and can be literally driven into the ground by a hard rain.

Garden Uses

Peonies are a standard of the perennial border, both as specimens and in groups. Also effective as accents or herbaceous hedges along fences, sidewalks, driveways or walls. Flowers are extremely showy, and foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season either alone or as a frame or backdrop for other perennials.