While it is easier than ever to buy living plants online, despite our greatest efforts, those live plants can sometimes become dead plants. Artificial plants, also known as fake plants, silk plants, faux foliage, or whatever you prefer to call them, provide an alternative option. They will never outgrow their pots, the leaves will never droop and turn yellow, and there is no need to water or fertilizing.
Plants add a soothing, natural decorative element to any room—but the plant you want for the space you’re decorating may not be suitable for a variety of reasons. Whether your room is overly sunny, you have children or pets, or you simply have a “brown thumb,” artificial plants can be a great option for many spaces.
Whether you want something lush, like a fern or palm, or something sleeker, like aloe or succulents, there’s a fake plant for nearly every home. They vary in size and shape, just like houseplants, so you can fill your home with tall trees or add a couple of small options to a bookcase or shelf. Some options even come without pots, allowing you to truly customize the look to your liking.
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What Are Artificial Plants?
One of the primary reasons many people consider having artificial plants in their homes is that they are an excellent alternative to actual live plants for decorating spaces. Not only do synthetic plants relieve the responsibility that comes with caring for fresh, live plants, but they are also excellent options for people who are allergic to flower pollen. Among the various materials that make them up, including silk and plastic, the latter is suitable for areas subject to extreme heat and temperatures. Some artificial plants are fire-resistant without sacrificing appearance.
Benefits of Artificial Plants
The benefits of artificial plants include the low maintenance required to keep your home or office looking beautiful and alive. Another advantage of artificial plants is that they come in such a wide variety of styles that you can get artificial plants for specific holidays or themes. Artificial trees require little maintenance in terms of time and energy to keep them looking healthy and vibrant.
Can artificial plants be used outdoors?
Because of the demand to keep homes and gardens looking their best all year, artificial plants have become a very popular option both indoors and outdoors. There has been a revolutionary line of artificial plants that are UV stable and resistant to the elements. This ensures that the artificial plants can be safely kept outside as a permanent feature and continue to look just as good outside as they do inside. Not all artificial plants on the market are suitable for outdoor use, and if left outside will discolour and fade, so check the UV stability before purchasing a plant to keep outdoors.
What to look for when buying artificial plants?
Fake plants can differ in terms of quality and appearance, as well as whether they are suitable for outdoor or only indoor use.
Cheaper replica plants are almost entirely made of plastic mouldings that are mass-produced at a low cost, resulting in little variation in the sizes and colours of leaves.
Another obvious indicator of whether artificial silk is inferior is the appearance and feel of the stem, which on cheaper products can be very plastic-looking and poorly cut, shaped, and constructed. Furthermore, with the possibility of lower-priced false plants not being U.V. If exposed to continuous sunlight after treatment, there is a high risk of colour fade. As a result, they are unsuitable for outdoor use.
Better quality plants, on the other hand, use advanced manufacturing techniques and are made of superior materials such as natural wood for the stems and printed silk leaves with a natural sheen that is more natural-looking and vary in size. Furthermore, they will have been U.V. treated to prevent the colour from fading too dramatically when exposed to sunlight. Due to the fact that silk is a natural fibre, all artificial flowers fade to some extent.
Higher quality artificial plants are also known and popular for their fire-retardant properties for safety.
Decorating with artificial foliage
If you decide to buy artificial plants, make sure you see them in person first. This will allow you to get a better look at the plant’s details, such as the colour of the leaves and stems. It will also allow you to feel the realistic texture and high-quality materials of the plant. Although some artificial plants may look great in photos, they may not perform as well in real life.
Choose artificial plants with realistic colour gradations and leaf veining. Even monochromatic plants have shade variations on their stems and leaves. Quality artificial plants are frequently coloured to include flaws such as partially dried leaf edges. Look for realistic textures and colours on the stems of the artificial plants you intend to buy.
Artificial plants with perfect symmetry should be avoided because they usually scream fake. Remove some stems and leaves from leafy plants to make one side slightly bushier than the other. However, make sure that the thicker side is closest to a source of natural light.
Real plants should be displayed alongside artificial plants. Consider putting a real potted plant in the middle of a group of artificial potted plants. Alternately, mix in a vase of real flowers with the fakes. One of the cheapest ways to decorate with artificial plants is to place a pruned branch in a vase of fake plants and grass, then replace it with a fresh one when it dries.
Choose a plausible location for your fake plants. As a general rule, place your artificial plants in areas where they could thrive if they were real. Typically, these are areas that receive a lot of natural light and are easily accessible for watering. Artificial plants look great in areas of a room that don’t get a lot of attention.
Caring for artificial foliage
Replicas collect dust over time, so take them outside every now and then and give them a light flick with a duster or cheap paintbrush.
Some plants, such as silk plants, may be harmed if you use mild soapy water or even water alone. They may alter their colour, shape, or disintegrate.
The sun’s rays are the most damaging to artificial plants. It is possible to keep them from fading. UV inhibitors may have already been applied to your phoney plant. If not, you can treat them with a UV-resistant spray that is compatible with the materials in your plant. Most people rotate their live plants to ensure that the entire plant receives sun exposure.
If the real plant has a noticeable shine, you will want to keep your fake plant(s) looking real. Using “a microfiber cloth lightly dampened with a furnish polish,” you can gently rub on a shine. Selecting a furniture polish with a pleasant smell, such as lemon, may give your home a wonderful aroma. There are other ways to give your plants a shine.
Plastic Plants vs. Fabric Plants
Technology has come a long way since our grandmothers had super-fake-looking silk plants all over the place. Because of advancements, fake plants now have incredibly realistic texture, colour, and, depending on the quality of the fake plant, even reflective properties. This is especially true for plastic plants, which can be made from moulds of real plants. Some are even filled with foam for a more realistic textile appearance.
However, one significant advantage of plastic plants is that many of the trendy house plants in modern home décor appear to be plastic to begin with. Succulents are a great example because the real ones already look fake, so the fake ones look real as well. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like the look of succulents?
Silk plants are also much more susceptible to wear and tear than artificial plants. When the leaves of a faux fern are frayed or bleached out by the sun, you know you’ve got a fake on your hands.
If you want something large and tall to put indoors but don’t want a live tree, an artificial tree is a good option. One of the primary advantages of these is that they improve the appearance of your living space and add a fresh new feel with minimal effort. However, it is dependent on the type of interior design and space you have in your home. Artificial trees will look out of place in a small, modern apartment. A palm tree will look out of place in a rustic setting. Consider whether an artificial tree will be attractive and refreshing to look at if it is placed in your home.
Artificial trees look great in gardens, balconies, lobbies, poolside areas, and large interior spaces. Favourite outdoor artificial trees include ficus trees, olive trees, Buxus, bamboo, and yucca. You can buy a bird of paradise, monstera, and golden cane palm to give your home a tropical or Caribbean feel.
Places to buy fake foliage
Amazon has a plethora of options for just about anything you can think of, including fake plants and flowers. As an added bonus, you can easily sort by material, size, location of the plants, and other criteria.
However, with so many options available from various brands, it’s easy to end up with plastic-looking plants that won’t fool anyone into thinking they’re real. Just make sure to read reviews carefully and choose options that have been thoroughly vetted because, let’s face it, when fake plants are bad, they are bad.
- The Sill
If you like live plants, the Sill is probably already on your radar because of their large selection of living greenery that can be shipped right to your door. They are, however, an option for faux plants.
While The Sill doesn’t have the largest selection and is a more expensive option, their fakes are praised for looking particularly natural and for the lovely pots that come with the plants in a variety of neutral color options.
Wayfair is best known as an online retailer of low-cost furniture, but it also caters to home decor needs. The company sells a wide range of artificial plants, flowers, trees, wreaths, and hedges.
While some are obviously plastic-looking and should be used for crafts, there are several options that serve as excellent substitutes for indoor greenery.
- West Elm
West Elm (which is owned by the same parent company as Pottery Barn) sells pricey but high-quality artificial plants and flowers, similar to Pottery Barn. Their botanical decor collection allows you to bring a touch of nature into your space without having to search for the right soil or fertiliser.
Many of the plants come with exquisitely designed pots and planters, giving these decorative plants a truly upscale appearance.
- Home Depot
Sure, Home Depot may be the place you go to get tools, fertiliser, or even materials to build your own planters to help you grow a real garden. However, it can also be the place to go if you want a lush indoor oasis without having to do any of the work.
The artificial plants and flowers available at Home Depot range from fake hedges and single flowers to potted trees and decorative hanging baskets.
Target creates a classic look by combining the lush vibes of fake palm fronds and tropical plants with tasteful, neutral planters. They have a wide range of options, including realistic and long-lasting potted artificial hyacinths and individual wisteria stems, as well as large-scale banana plants and bamboo trees.
Get creative with your stem arrangement by combining different varieties, or create your own vases and planters to suit your tastes.
- Pottery Barn
Furniture and housewares store Pottery Barn is another great place to buy faux foliage. While the plants and flowers aren’t as cheap as some other options, these handcrafted beauties are some of the most authentic-looking imposters available, and many come with planters or vases that would look great at a special event, such as a wedding. Simply be prepared to spend some cash, particularly if you’re opting for larger-size plants and trees.
Pottery Barn also sells non-traditional artificial options such as cacti, foxglove, and even potted citrus trees.
Terrain, as the name suggests, has a wide selection of greenery, stems, and bouquets so you can deck out your space with as much faux as you want. There are even floral arrangements that have been broken down into specific items so that you can buy them all together and recreate them at home, as well as wire wreath bases for making centrepieces for special occasions.
- Nearly Natural
Nearly Natural, as the name suggests, specialises in fake plants that look as natural as possible. Other retailers, such as Home Depot and Amazon, carry some Nearly Natural branded products. However, you can buy directly from them for a much larger selection of their plants, flowers, trees, and arrangements. Their artificial faux-liage is made of silk for a realistic finish.
While there are no flowers available, Artiplanto has a beautiful selection of artificial potted plants and hanging plants. Because of the chic appearance of these green decor options, even interior designers have been known to turn to them. Their elegant woven basket planters are a particularly nice addition to any room’s aesthetic, and baskets and planters are sold separately from the plants themselves.
Afloral carries silk plants, outdoor plants, and fig trees, as well as wedding garlands and succulents. They also sell silk flowers, fake leaves, and live plants. Purchase just the plants, or choose plants and flowers that come with decorative planters — these would make especially lovely arrangements for weddings or special occasions.
The Swedish DIY furniture behemoth sells more than just pieces of tables and dressers. With the retailer’s lifelike artificial flowers and plants, you can add a touch of nature to your home. Ikea has some of the most affordable options, with many that include pots and planters still costing less than $10.
Best Artificial Foliage Choices
Featuring a lush green colouring and generous leaves, this artificial ivy is perfect for spreading cheer to your decor without taking up any tablespace. Each ivy garland has 80 pieces of leaves; 18 * Ivy garlands in total. Each ivy garland is about 6.9 feet/ 2.1 meters long. The leaf is about 3 to 4cm. Hang it on a kitchen cabinet, wall decor, mirror, bedroom, living rooms, fences, enclosures, stairs, hallway, doors and anywhere you want a touch of naturalness. This faux hanging vine is made with cloth leaves and a plastic metal branch, maintenance-free and durable, will add a rich and elegant look to any decor. It can be used for wedding, bedroom, garden, balcony, swing stand, shopping malls, staircase decoration, easy to install and disassemble.
- Brand: GOFRIEND
- Colour: Green
- Package Dimensions: 36 x 28 x 3 cm; 300 Grams
- Material: Cloth and Plastic
- Item Weight: 300 g
Each ivy garland has 80 pieces of leaves; 12 * Ivy garlands in total. Each ivy garland is about 6.9 feet/ 2.1 meters long. The leaf is about 4 to 5cm. This faux hanging leaf is made with cloth leaves and a plastic metal branch, maintenance-free and durable, will add a rich and elegant look to any decor. Featuring a lush green colouring and generous leaves, this artificial ivy is perfect for spreading cheer to your decor without taking up any tablespace. Hang it on a kitchen cabinet, wall decor, mirror, bedroom, living rooms, fences, enclosures, stairs, hallway, doors and anywhere you want a touch of naturalness. Can be used for wedding, bedroom, garden, balcony, swing stand, shopping malls, staircase decoration, easy to install and disassemble.
- Brand: GoFriend
- Colour: Green
- Package Dimensions: 32.4 x 28.5 x 8.8 cm; 210 Grams
- Material: Cotton
- Item Weight: 210 g
Made from Top Quality and Soft Realistic Face-Resistant Polyester. This fabulous artificial ivy has emulated the veins of the leaves that look quite wonderfully realistic and life-like. Remain green colour throughout the year that helps to add to the realism. Each order contains 2 garlands, a total of 24 strands, 168 feet/51 meters. Each strand is approximately 7 feet /2.13 meters long.
- Brand: Charismau
- Colour: Ivy Leaves
- Package Dimensions: 29.2 x 9.8 x 8.9 cm; 370 Grams
- Material: Polyester
- Item Weight: 370 g
Transform your dull spaces into lush green spaces brimming with life. Featuring wonderful shapely leaves and green hues, BKSAI Artificial Ivy vines is 6.88ft long, with 80 silk fake leaves per vine that will add elegance to your landscape. Use these attached 12 Butterfly wall stickers to make your space come alive, and give it a natural fresh look and feel.
- Brand: BKSAI
- Colour: Green
- Package Dimensions: 30 x 28.1 x 6.7 cm; 260 Grams
- Material: Plastic
- Item Weight: 260 g
Suitable for wedding, bedroom, garden, balcony, swing frame, shopping shop, stairs, etc. Leaves are made of silk and stems are made of plastic. High quality, easy to install and remove. Each ivy garland has 80 pieces of leaves. Each strand of ivy garland is about 6.6 feet.
- Brand: Binen
- Colour: Green
- Package Dimensions: 28.7 x 24.3 x 6.5 cm; 170 Grams
- Material: Silk
- Item Weight: 170 g