The 2023 Plant of the Year Is a Two-Toned Wonder—Is It Right for Your Home?
It’s supposed to bring joy and positivity into your space.
There’s the Color of the Year (Pantone called it with Viva Magenta), but did you know there’s also the Plant of the Year? Yep, that’s right, the trend forecasting doesn’t stop with color and paint. Recently 1-800-Flowers.com deemed the 2023 Plant of the Year the calathea rattlesnake (Goeppertia insignis). Previous years’ plants have been 2022’s baby rubber plant (Peperomia) and 2021’s Red Maranta Prayer Plant.
Keeping in mind that during the pandemic, people prioritized and sought out things and activities that brought them peace and joy and have continued to do so even as the world returns “back to normal,” 1-800-Flowers.com believes that the calathea rattlesnake “embodies that hopeful outlook and the feeling that a brighter future awaits us.” Native to the rainforests of Brazil, the tropical evergreen perennial has beautiful variegated, wavy-edged leaves and reddish-purple undersurfaces. From its look, you can tell why the rattlesnake inspired its name. At night, it folds its leaves upward and in the morning, it folds its leaves back down—this helps the plant maximize its exposure to sunlight. It’s also compact and won’t grow higher than 20 inches.
“The calathea rattlesnake symbolizes turning over a new leaf and a new beginning in 2023,” Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising and “Resident Plant Dad” at 1-800-Flowers.com, said in a blog post. “Because of its nature, its movement, and its unique sort of language, there’s something very special about this plant. It brings a lot of joy and positivity to your well-being.”
If you’re thinking about getting one for your space, keep in mind that it’s not exactly a low-maintenance plant. According to 1-800-Flowers.com, it needs moderate indirect or filtered light, warm temperatures, and lots of humidity. The company recommends misting the calathea daily because it likes humid conditions, and put it on a pebble tray near other plants or by a humidifier. You can also keep it in a bathroom or kitchen if there’s enough light. For watering, make sure the soil is moist but not soggy or waterlogged. “When its growth slows in the winter, water it when the soil is dry down half an inch from the top,” reads the instructions from the company. “Allow the water to run out of the drainage holes and then discard the excess water. Fertilize your plant every month during the spring and summer with an all-purpose, balanced fertilizer per instructions.”
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