Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s often hard to care for. So why did pick it as the 2023 Flower of the Year?

Flower Shop
Tom Werner/Getty Images

We’ve already told you about the Pantone Color of Year, the other trending colors of 2023 highlighted by paint companies, and the plant of the year—and just when you thought that was it, we’re here to tell you that there’s also a flower of the year. Alongside its plant pick, the calathea rattlesnake, named the orchid its flower of the year

Yes, the beautiful, but oftentimes hard-to-care-for orchid is the “it” plant for 2023. It’s in good company with the tulip (the 2022 title holder) and sunflower (the 2021 star plant). The reason for the choice? says that since many of us have been separated from loved ones in recent years, we may be striving for “greater connection with others and to find deeper, more engaging relationships.” The folks at the retailer believe one way to gain more connection is by rallying around things that bring us together… and the orchid is one such thing. “This timeless flower—with its richly hued blooms; unusual-looking sepals, which are often mistaken for petals; long, wiry stems; and provocatively shaped and interestingly colored lips—is distinctive, alluring, and special,” reads a press release. “The qualities of unity, beauty, and love that the orchid embodies are much needed in today’s world, and they permeate any household that this unmistakable flower inhabits.”

Potted Orchid Plant

natalie_board/Getty Images

Orchids have been prized for centuries—in 2,600 BC China, it was valued for its medicinal properties; in ancient Greece, it was connected with fertility; in Aztec civilization, it was seen to give strength, with warriors drinking a concoction that contained vanilla orchid and cocoa. Throughout the world, orchids are seen as symbols of peace, respect, good fortune, and happiness. 

More Videos From Sunset

Nowadays, you can find orchids just about anywhere, from to your local Trader Joe’s, which is lucky since they’re beautiful blooms that look great as decor and make for special gifts. They can be a bit of a diva when it comes to care; it’s advised to cut the stems at an angle and put them in water with flower food if you are placing them in a vase.

Orchid in Vase

Courtesy of

Exotic Breeze Orchids, $77

If you have a potted orchid, recommends placing it in east-facing windows so it gets early-morning light. Keep orchids at temperatures between 65° and 90° F and make sure they aren’t near vents or drafty areas. Give them a balanced fertilizer and water them every five to seven days. You can also add three ice cubes to the soil of a full-size orchid to make sure they’re properly watered.

We only recommend things we love. If you buy something through our site, we might earn a commission.

Read the Current Issue Here!

Get one year of Sunset—and all kinds of bonuses—for just $24.95. Subscribe now!