Sorry, Succulents—These Two Plants Are Taking Over in 2023

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You know that scene from Sex and The City where Carrie replaces her “sweet little suit” with a showstopping, one-of-a-kind Vivienne Westwood wedding gown? Well, that’s kind of what’s happening in the world of plants right now. Experts at 1-800-Flowers have named the orchid as its flower of the year—plus the Calathea Rattlesnake as its plant of the year—and they’re definitely giving the unassuming succulent a run for its money. Below, find everything you need to know. 

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Flower of the Year: The Orchid

First up, we have a flower that’s bringing the Barbiecore trend into 2023: The orchid. Aside from its statement-making pink hue and slim silhouette, this flower was chosen to represent “unity, love and new beginnings,” according to the team at 1-800-Flowers.

“Orchids generally represent love, fertility, thoughtfulness and charm. However, each variety of orchid and each color of orchid has its own meaning," the experts explain in a blog post. “Phalaenopsis orchids symbolize health and prosperity, while Dendrobium orchids represent wisdom and beauty. Cymbidium orchids symbolize strength and nobility, and oncidium orchids symbolize love and talent.”

While the symbolic definition may vary with each variety, one thing’s clear: The orchid embodies three post-pandemic themes we’ve been seeing across the board: Fresh starts, natural beauty and unapologetic indulgence. (Just be sure to check here on where to place your orchid, since this tropical flower can be incredibly sensitive to its environment.)

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Plant of the Year: The Calathea Rattlesnake 

Sticking with the theme of starting anew, the Calathea Rattlesnake is another plant that symbolizes “good luck, positivity and new beginnings,” according to the 1-800-Flowers experts. “It features wavy, elongated foliage with light and dark green markings that resemble a rattlesnake, [while its] rich burgundy undersides add color and depth…Plant enthusiasts prize it for foliage that features dramatic stripes and color variations that seem to change with the lighting.”

While we've prized succulents for their low-maintenance care, we’re seeing a shift toward more temperamental plants that celebrate wild expressions of nature. What’s more, if this plant’s rattlesnake-inspired title is any indication, it represents the challenges we’re ready to tackle as we head into the new year. “Though some varieties of Calathea have a reputation for being temperamental, amateur growers should do fine so long as they monitor their plants for signs of stress,” the experts explain in a blog post. “This popular variety of prayer plant hails from the Brazilian tropics and thrives in low-light conditions.” (Click here for more on how to take care of the Calathea Rattlesnake plant properly).  

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Assistant Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Assistant Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, beauty...