For many people, the idea of decorating with fake plants is a little bit strange. Fake or artificial plants can seem like an odd choice because they lack the natural beauty & air-purifying qualities that you might find in nature.
However, there are some pros to this decision! Artificial plants offer convenience and affordability for those looking to spruce up their homes on a budget, especially for those who have a black thumb.
Artificial plants also come in many different styles that are perfect for home decor veterans who want more variety. In this article, we will outline some of the pros and cons of decorating with live plants vs using artificial plants as part of your home’s decor.
The Pros of Using Fake Plants :
- Affordable – Fake plants are much cheaper than real ones and you don’t have to worry about maintaining them.
- Convenient – Artificial plants can be brought anywhere and are easy to ship, making it easy for those who travel a lot or live in small spaces without any greenery nearby.
- Low Maintenance – No need to worry about watering, trimming, fertilizing, etc. Fake plants won’t die on you if you go away for a two-week vacation and forget to hire a plant-sitter.
- No Limits – If you want to add a bit of greenery to a spot in your house that is devoid of natural night, or difficult to reach with a watering can, you can still do so with the artificial alternative.
- Many People Won’t Notice the Difference – If artificial plants are done well, they can be nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
- Wider Variety – Fake plants come in many different styles, which is especially handy if you want to add a particular type of plant to your home – but your environment doesn’t support what the natural version needs to survive and thrive. This makes it easier to find artificial plants that will match your existing decor.
The Cons of Using Fake Plants
- Aesthetics – Although they have improved dramatically over the years, there is something about artificial plants that don’t quite match the natural beauty of their live counterparts.
- No Air Purification Properties – Because they aren’t live, they do not serve as great air purifiers as real plants do, so if your home tends towards stuffy this might not be an ideal option!
- No Growth – No matter how hard you try, you can never make a fake plant grow beyond what it was the day you bought it. For those who like the idea of starting small and growing something themselves, fake plants don’t provide that.
- They Can Look Cheap – If artificial plants are poorly made or do not look realistic, then they can cheapen the appearance of any room and make you feel like you wasted your money.
- Dusting – fake plants still require some maintenance such as dusting off leaves every once in a while, and if you don’t take care of them they might start to look even more fake.
Best Times to Use Fake vs Live Plants
There are some cases when using fake plants is an absolute no-brainer. Here are just a few situations that – for the most part – call out for the artificial greenery.
- Low Light – If you have a spot in your house that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, using fake plants is a great way to add some life (and green) to the space.
- Hard to Reach Places – For those out-of-the-way places where you want something to add a bit of color and texture, artificial plants are great because you won’t have to pull out the ladder every week to water them.
- Staging – Staging is all about creating the best possible first impression of your home. Fake plants are an easy way to spruce up spaces that feel neglected or uninviting without having too much of an impact on your wallet.
- Black Thumb – There’s a good chance that fake plants will last longer than your natural ones, because – well – you can’t kill artificial plants! (I do know someone who actually managed to do so, but that’s a completely different story!) If you have been stuck with the black thumb and find yourself killing every plant in sight, artificial might be for you.
- Specific Installations – If you’re looking to create a specific look – and have it stay that way – fake plants are usually the best option as they will not overgrow, or die off, and change the overall look. This could include if you want to cover an unsightly wall with a trellis and ivy installation.
- Allergies – If you suffer from allergies and don’t want to bring any more plant life into your home, fake plants are a great way to get around this issue! Artificial plants are great for people who have allergies because they don’t bring any plant life into the home.
- Pets – Some houseplants can be toxic to your four-legged fur babies. If you want to make sure that your super-cute puppy or adorable kitten doesn’t get sick because they nibbled on that exotic tropical plant, artificial plants may be the safer option.
- Short-Term Decorations – Fake plants are also great for temporary holiday decorations, weddings & parties where you are not sure if the fake plant will have a long life expectancy or if it needs to be moved around frequently. If your fake plant is staying put in one spot for longer than a month, install some LED lights inside of it to really give the fake plant some life!
- Avoiding Water Damage – One of the key issues with live plants is that they need water. And, unless you’re very careful, you can easily find yourself overwatering the plants which can lead to the never-fun spillover. If you have a spot that is crying out for a plant, but you’re afraid that water could spill or drip onto something close to it, artificial may be a better option.
For most people, fake or artificial plants are not a long-term solution. However, if you’re looking for something that provides a sense of nature and don’t want to deal with caring for live plants – fake is your best bet! There will always be pros and cons surrounding any decorating decision you make. In the case of fake vs real plants, however, fake wins out for most people!
When Fake Plants Aren’t the Right Choice
While fake plants can be a great option for many spots in your home, there are also some situations where it might not be ideal to use them as part of your décor.
- Natural Light – Artificial plants won’t fare well if you have natural light coming in from windows or other light sources. The fake plants will likely cast a yellow hue and look fake in comparison to the live plants that are receiving natural sunlight. They also tend to fade over time when exposed to direct sunlight (as nearly any synthetic material will).
- Oversized Plants – If you’re looking for an artificial plant to fill up a large space, it’s best to go with a live plant because fake plants tend to be much smaller. Also, historically I have found that the bigger the plant, the more obvious it is that it is – in fact – artificial.
- Lots of Other Live Plants – If you’re looking to add some life into a space and already have live plants, it’s best not to mix fake with natural plants. The artificial plants will look out of place and fake amongst the naturally growing plants. (However, artificial flowers can often blend perfectly in a setting that has live plants).
Tips & Tricks for Making Your Fake Plants Look More Real
If you decide to go the artificial plant route, there are a few tips that can help hide the fact that these bits of greenery did not come from the great outdoors.
- Place them in remote spots – The further people are from the plant, the less likely they will be able to spot the artificial nature of the plant. Remote placement is also one of the pros of artificial plants, so this makes sense across the board.
- Add some natural elements – For years, I tried to grow real ivy in the master bathroom as I wanted that touch of serene nature. After several failed attempts, I ended up purchasing some fake ivy plants and replacing the live ones. However, I kept a few of the “dead” ivy branches and intermixed them with the artificial ivy. The result is so realistic that nobody would ever guess that the majority of the plant is artificial.
- Invest in quality artificial plants – Fake plants that are cheaply made tend to look fake. If you’re going to use fake plants, it’s worth spending a bit more money on quality artificial greenery (and the same goes for fake flowers).
- Use multiple different types of artifical plants – Using several fake plants with similar leaves can make your artificial “garden” very obvious. Mix up fake plants with different leaves, textures, and heights to give the illusion of a real indoor garden.
Shop Artificial Plants
In conclusion, the pros of using fake plants definitely outweigh the cons for those who are looking for an affordable, convenient way to add some life – even if it’s the illusion of life – to their home decor.
Whether you’re someone with a black thumb or just want more variety in your artificial plant collection, we hope that these tips will help you make the most out of using fake plants!
When it comes down to it, the best time to use fake vs live plants really depends on your specific needs and what you’re looking for in terms of decor. If you’re not sure what will work best for you, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional!