For years, artificial plants have gotten a very bad rap. Some would even argue that fake flora can be spotted right away—much like an ill-fitting toupee.
“People are accustomed to seeing poor-quality varieties of silk and artificial plants either in office buildings, places of worship, or event halls,” says Elisabeth Sanders, founder of ES Blooms, a boutique floral design firm in New York and the Hamptons. “We were scarred from the hideous designs of the ’80s and ’90s and didn’t have access to the quality and varieties we have now.”
But we have good news for you, brown thumbs: You don’t have to be ashamed or wary of reaching for faux foliage anymore.
“Materials and designs have come a long way, and the quality is so high nowadays most people can’t tell the difference even when they’re looking at an artificial plant, flower, or tree,” says Brandon McCormick, brand director of Artificial Plants Unlimited.
Even Joanna Gaines, design maven and former star of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” isn’t ashamed to use fake plants. Her and husband Chip‘s immensely popular home goods line at Target, Hearth & Hand With Magnolia, is filled with the stuff.
Looking for some more good reasons to experiment with fake plants in your home? Consider the examples below.
Fake plants keep costs down
The No. 1 reason fake plants are better than live ones: They don’t die. So you don’t need to spend all that money on replacing them week after week.
That’s why some of Sanders’ clients prefer to use silk flowers and artificial plants in their spaces.
“This allows them to reduce their overhead costs while still maintaining a beautiful aesthetic,” she said.
Artificial plants brighten a room all year long
If your ideal spot to display blooms receives little to no sunlight, fear not. You can still transform these spaces with artificial flowers or plants.
“Plants will remain fresh-looking and won’t wither or die,” McCormick says. “They can be placed anywhere—even in the darkest corners.”
You can rotate fake flowers seasonally without breaking the bank
Ever tried to find a bouquet of peonies in June but balked at the astronomical price tag? That’s because out-of-season flowers typically cost way more to source than the ones that are in season. But with artificial flowers you can have a vase of your favorite stems around the house year-round.
Where to find real-looking artificial plants
So if you’re ready to join us on the fake plants train, our experts shared the places they go to find the most authentic-looking faux blooms.
Lack the patience to see if you can grow a real amaryllis? Sanders points to these faux flowers (Crate and Barrel, $59.95), which you can display year after year without fail.
Love a hanging plant but dread picking leaves off the floor in the off-season? This silk philodendron (Wayfair.com, $46.99) won’t lose its looks or its leaves no matter the season. Reviewers remark that it looks both “full” and “natural.”
Going for a Southwestern look? This yucca plant (Wayfair.com, $61.99), designed for both indoor and outdoor use, will survive in arid conditions without any problem.
Bamboo’s popularity has been on the rise for years. But if you fear this fast-growing plant taking over the house, McCormick suggests considering this artificial indoor bamboo (Artificial Plants Unlimited, $123.85).
Living walls are all the rage, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to grow a vertical garden, consider the next best thing: a replica living wall (Hooks and Lattice.com, starting at $614.85).
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