Artificial Plants: Everything You Need to Know to Choose the Perfect Faux Plants for Your Space
Until recently, fake plants were thought to be out-of-style relics from the era of our grandmothers – poorly constructed, gaudily colored abominations that could be identified as artificial within a millisecond of torturing our eyes.
But thanks to a shift away from tacky and toward high-end craftmanship and artistic styling, artificial plants and trees have found favour with some of the world’s top decorators and interior designers. Faux plants are everywhere, and we’re excited to share with you what we consider an Artificial Plant 101 — your introductory guide into the wonderful world of artificial plants. Let’s begin with the basics.
Why Go Faux?
They’re Currently On-Trend Everywhere
Just about every designer’s must-have list for this year includes faux greenery, from olive trees to hanging baskets. Fake plants allow you to enjoy the luxe look of designer plants and stems without paying designer prices.
There are people who love caring for ‘live’ plants—replacing potting soil and maintaining a strict fertilizing and watering schedule—but, for those who prefer less upkeep, faux is the way to go.
Aside from the occasional dusting or wipe, faux plants are virtually maintenance free and incredibly forgiving, should you forget to dust them for a few weeks (not so with regular plants and water).
It’s easy to fall down the real plant rabbit hole in which you purchase a beautiful plant, enjoy it for a few weeks, then notice its beauty has begun to wane. You spend the next several weeks (or months), babying and nurturing a plant with 3 remaining leaves that you’ve moved outdoors…or to the garage…or to a back room…too embarrassed of its’ condition to have it seen by company, but too practical (it wasn’t cheap!) or kindhearted (it’s trying to live!) to let it go.
When you purchase quality faux plants and greenery, you can rest easy knowing the plant you buy today will look just as lovely six months…or six years…from now.
Can Be Used in Any Room
Live houseplants require a certain amount of sunlight each day, which can limit where in your home you can keep them.
With faux options, you are free to use them anywhere regardless of light conditions. You may also use them as visual points of interest in high, hard-to-reach areas, like above kitchen cabinets or on the upper level of a bookshelf, without having to climb up and retrieve them each week for watering. With faux plants, set them…then forget them. They’ll do just fine.
Great Option for Families and Pet Owners
There are many wildly popular houseplants that also happen to be poisonous to pets and babies. Parents and pet owners should carefully research any plant coming into the home that will be within reach of children or animals. For example, the perennially popular real Fiddle Leaf Fig can be harmful if ingested, hence many are turning to artificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees for peace of mind. Similarly the real Sago Cycad is one to be careful of around pets, but thankfully there are great looking faux alternatives.
Faux plants provide the beauty of real plants with none of the potentially harmful side effects.
Incorporating Artificial Plants into Your Home
The beauty of working with modern artificial plants is, unless you tell your friends and guests, they’ll never know the plants in your home are faux…provided you follow a few simple rules.
Space Them Appropriately
The right plant size will depend on where the plant will live. As a rule, plants that will sit on desks, counters, or windowsills should be less than 1m tall. Floor plants can range from 1m to 2.5m tall depending on the dimensions of your room.
Other tips to consider when adding faux plants to your space include:
- Place plants in areas where they would sit if they were ‘living’—next to windows, bright corners, or anywhere they have some access to sunlight. Although your fake plants don’t need the natural light, they just make more (visual) sense when positioned where a real plant would go
- Use all the surfaces in a room (floor, walls, ceilings, furniture tops) to spread your plants appropriately and think three dimensionally
- Leave 1.5m of space between larger floor plants and furniture (where possible) to prevent your room from feeling crowded
- Don’t forget about the ceilings! Hanging plants are quite popular and are a great option for smaller apartments and homes, or to use in small spaces like bathrooms
Choosing the Right Plants for Your Rooms
Choosing the right plant for your room allows the greenery to blend naturally and complement each area.
The living area is where we spend most of our time and it is a great place to showcase a floor plant or two. These are especially wonderful for adding visual interest to an empty corner. Bird of Paradise, Ficus, and Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig are excellent options for the living area.
Carefully placed potted plants can brighten up a kitchen, and islands are perfect for displaying a dramatic arrangement. Dining rooms often have a corner in need of a floor plant (again, Fiddle Leaf Figs are stunning here) and a long arrangement of small plants such as ferns in unique pots or vases look lovely running down the length of a dining room table.
The place you lay your head at night should be a haven for rest. Because bedrooms often suffer from low light, plants that thrive in shady conditions will look the most natural. If you have space for them, floor plants add plenty of visual interest. Artificial Olive trees, fake Snake plant, and faux Peace Lily are great bedroom options. For smaller rooms, consider artificial hanging plants from the ceiling or adding a faux wall planter with faux succulents and/or air plants.
Because bathrooms are moist and humid, tropical plants are often placed there. Try adding faux ferns, artificial palms, and, for a pop of color, faux orchids into your bathroom décor. Wall planters can also be used here, with bromeliads and ferns filling in the spaces.
The Right Plants to Compliment Your Design Style
Adding the right plants to your current design aesthetic can elevate the look you’re trying to achieve and make your room feel effortlessly authentic. But it’s important to choose artificial plants and/or trees that work with the look you’re trying to achieve rather than fighting against it.
There’s something viscerally appealing in the sleek and uncluttered style of modern design. With modern furniture and other décor vying for attention, opt for plants with plenty of visual interest like a large artificial Bird of Paradise, or, for a smaller option, a Zamifolia (Zanzibar) potted plant.
Farmhouse styling blends traditional with rustic in a way that feels refreshing and new.
Dense boxwoods compliment the traditional aspects of farmhouse décor. Use large faux topiaries to anchor your front door, welcoming guests as they arrive. Topiaries are equally lovely indoors where they can take up space in an empty corner.
If you need a smaller version, choose a smaller potted topiary. You’ll still get all the traditional, rustic charm…just on a smaller scale.
This retro design style is currently having a moment, and the right plants can elevate this nostalgic style even further.
Fill up empty space with a large, striking artificial dracaena plant that’s sure to add plenty of visual interest and was the houseplant of choice in the 1950’s and 60’s. Another large option that is MCM appropriate is a lovely faux monstera. Lush and dramatic, this beauty has plenty of interesting foliage, providing plenty of bang for your buck.
If you need something smaller for your space, we carry more diminutive Monsteras. Don’t let the smaller size fool you—this beauty still packs plenty of attention-getting punch. Even smaller, the delicate phalaenopsis orchid, is beautiful while still evoking that mid-century feel.
There’s nothing quite like the timeless appeal of a vintage-inspired design style. You’ll find no put-together-yourself furniture here. No, the look is classic, slightly opulent, and undeniably high end.
There is something undeniably strong and appealing about the industrial design aesthetic. Inspired by historic factories, industrial design typically incorporates building materials into rooms. You’ll often see exposed beams and plenty of iron and concrete in industrial spaces.
Because such elements can create a space that reads cold and impersonal, it’s important to balance industrial spaces with plenty of lush artificial plants and trees. The delicate beauty of an faux olive tree is the perfect foil for the strong lines found in industrial design. Dramatic additions like a pot of striking pampas grass can also add an important organic element to an industrial-heavy space.
And don’t forget about hanging pots. Nothing offsets exposed wood and metal like a waterfall of greenery. Consider hanging a basket of wild meadow or heart petal, letting the tendrils cascade toward the floor.
At PlantBox, your satisfaction is our number one priority. Our team look forward to helping you find the perfect plants to compliment your home. Contact us today to get started building your collection of stunning artificial plants and trees.