Karl Rosenfield peony

Karl Rosenfield peony is an herbaceous peony variety with large, deep-red, fluffy double blooms. These hardy perennial plants grow to be 32″-38″ tall with glossy green foliage. The large blooms can reach 6″-7″ wide each on established plants and make wonderful cut flowers for bouquets.

The Karl Rosenfield Peony is a cultivar of Paeonia lactiflora bred in Nebraska by John Rosenfield and introduced in 1908.

Karl Rosenfield peony basics

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Karl Rosenfield’ was bred by John Rosenfield and introduced in 1908. Mr. Rosenfield named his new peony cultivar after his son. Mr. Rosenfield bred peonies in his greenhouses located in West Point and later in Omaha, Nebraska.

John Rosenfield is known in gardening for introducing dozens of peonies, including the popular Floral Treasure peony. The Karl Rosenfield Peony remains one of the most popular varieties of peonies in gardens around America today.

This peony is sometimes called the “Karl Rosenfeld” peony, as the breeder’s last name was “Rosenfeld” (meaning “rose field” in German) before he anglicized it to “Rosenfield.”

Karl rosenfield peony
Karl rosenfield peony

Considered one of the best red double peonies, the Karl Rosenfield peony is a herbaceous cultivar known as a soft-stemmed garden peony. It is a very shrubby plant, so it looks like a small shrub during the early spring and late summer months when the blossoms have not yet appeared.

Karl Rosenfield peonies are often crimson-red or ruby-red in color, although some people find they are dark pink. The color of these red double peonies can vary depending on the growing zone and conditions of individual growing plants.

Karl Rosenfield peonies are very attractive to butterflies and produce very fragrant blooms. They also have a long vase life, making for a great table-side decoration.

The Karl Rosenfield Peony is a good example of a “double” peony with multiple layers of petals to form that classic puffball shape. Other popular double peonies include Sarah Bernhardt peony, Festiva Maxima peony, and Shirley Temple peony.


Karl Rosenfield Peonies (Paeonia lactifloraKarl Rosenfield’) are herbaceous perennial peony plants with full double-type peony flowers that bloom mid-season (mid-late spring). Full Double peonies are known for their voluminous layers of petals. In this flower type, all stamens and carpels are transformed into petals.

Karl rosenfield peony

Planting peonies

When you plant a bare root of a Karl Rosenfield peony, do it early on in the fall growing season if possible. You can plant peonies during the early spring, but you may not see the blossoms bloom until the next spring, depending on how the plant does.

When you plant a bare root of a Karl Rosenfield peony, dig a hole that is about twice as wide as the root but not terribly deep. While digging the planting hole, soak the plant root in clean water to hydrate it before planting peonies. Peony roots can be soaked for 20 minutes – 4 hours, depending on how dry they are.

Place the Karl Rosenfield peony root in the hole, ensuring that the creamy-pink “eyes” (the flower buds) face upwards towards the sky. Backfill the hole with the potting soil that came out and cover the root up with the soil surface.

Make sure to pack the soil tightly around the roots, but do so gently so you do not harm them in any way. Water the newly-planted peony deeply after planting.

Plant Karl Rosenfield peonies about 2-3 feet away from each other, although you can plant them further apart if space allows. Peonies do not do well when they have to compete with other plants and flowers for nutrients and sunlight.

Karl rosenfield peony

Caring for peony plants in the garden

Karl Rosenfield peonies grow to be about 3 feet tall – generally in the range of 32″-38″ in height. They are mid-sized perennial flowers in the garden, and during most of the year, they look like shrubs.

Karl Rosenfield peonies do sometimes need support as they don’t always have strong stems, especially when the blossoms are in full bloom.

You should add support to the Karl Rosenfield peonies that are in your garden early on in the spring after the well-drained soil becomes soft again. If you add support to the Karl Rosenfield peonies, they will grow and thrive, sturdy stems will be created, and the blossoms will not droop toward the ground. Use stakes or peony support rings.

Place the peony support rings underneath the blossoms before they bloom to keep them from drooping to the ground. The peony can be gently fastened to a stake or held up with the peony support ring, so with careful placement, you will not be able to see them soon after you place them.

Karl Rosenfield peonies typically bloom in mid-late spring, depending on your garden’s temperatures and weather conditions. If the area that you live in is warmer, they will bloom during the middle or late spring. If you live in an area with slightly colder temperatures, they will likely bloom during the early summer. It is important to have proper air circulation and use well-drained soils.

Karl rosenfield peony

Karl Rosenfield peonies typically bloom for 7-10 days, although they sometimes bloom for longer. These herbaceous plants bloom only once per year (in the mid or late spring).

Although Karl Rosenfield peonies only bloom for a little over a week or two, the plants look good for most of the year. After the Karl Rosenfield peony finishes blooming, the blossoms fall off or are removed, and the foliage of the plant is left standing until the first frost in the fall.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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