Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Dr. Alexander Fleming Peony

Paeonia lactiflora 'Dr. Alexander Fleming'
Fun, flouncy flowers that make you feel good all over.
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Just what the doctor ordered! Dr. Alexander Fleming Peony is a first-rate antidepressant in flower form. Every year, during that blessed, balmy season between spring and summer, this marvelous Spirit will put on an uplifting performance. Fat, round flower buds burst open to reveal huge blossoms packed with satiny, rich pink petals. Get close and breathe them in—they give off an intoxicating perfume. Peony time will become a seasonal celebration at your house. Plant Dr. Alexander Fleming by your patio, your entryway, your herb garden, your entertaining area, your children’s play space. In your cutting garden as well—it makes beautiful bouquets!


Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

The Story

Peonies originated in northern Asia, growing in what are modern-day China, Korea, Japan, and Siberia. In China, they have been grown in gardens for 2,500 years. In the West, they’ve been cultivated since the late 1700s. Dr. Alexander Fleming Peony was developed sometime before 1950 by a Dutch plantsman named Blonk, using the incomparable Sarah Bernhardt Peony as one of the parents. In naming the new plant, Blonk honored the renowned Scottish physician, who in 1928, famously left his messy laboratory to go on vacation… and returned to find he had accidentally discovered penicillin!

The Details

People are often concerned when they see ants crawling on their Peony buds. This is no cause for alarm—they are only seeking out the little drops of nectar that appear when the blossoms form. Of course, you’ll want to shake off any ants before you cut your Dr. Alexander Fleming Peonies for a bouquet for the house!

How to Grow

You’ll want to prepare the ground well for your Dr. Alexander Fleming Peony, because it will be in place a long time. Peonies are long-lived and don’t like to be transplanted. Choose a site that’s sunny and open, with soil that’s rich, deep, and well-drained. Take care not to plant too deeply. If the crown is more than an inch or two below the soil line, flowering may be inhibited. Peonies relish cold climates and, in fact, need a certain amount of low winter temperatures in order to bloom well. In hot, humid climates, they are also more susceptible to diseases.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 3
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 8
Exposure Full Sun to Part Shade
Avg Mature Height 2-3'
Avg Mature Width 2-3'
Flower Color Pink
Foliage Color Green
Bloom Time Spring
Attracts Butterflies Yes
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators No
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant Yes
Dry, Poor Soils No
Fragrant Yes
Groundcover No
Native No
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Shade Tolerance No
Showy Flowers Yes
Wet Moist Soils No
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use Yes

Size Guide

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