How to pull off fake plants

Annabel Thain Content marketing executive 🌱

We all know someone who’s a bit of a plant snob; their tropical plants seem to effortlessly thrive regardless of lighting and humidity, and their bouquets always seem so perfectly fresh. For many of us, this is just not possible! Here are our tips and tricks on how to make artificial plants mistakable for the real thing!

Artificial pilea house plant in pink pot on white mantlepiece

Staging and styling artificial plants around your home

Place fake plants where their real counterparts would go

One of the biggest tells is when a plant obviously doesn’t belong in a room. For instance, a natural orchid won’t survive a week in direct sunlight - so don’t place your artificial orchid there.

Consider where the natural version of your fake plant would like to live and put your artificial plant there to help it blend into your surroundings.

For outdoor artificial plants, think about the amount of shade your space receives. When sat in the shade, plants that naturally thrive in sunlight will stick out like a sore thumb to experienced gardeners. Similarly, naturally shade-loving artificial outdoor trees will look out of place in full sun, so if you really want to convince your guests, take this into account when choosing faux plants.

Look for higher-quality faux plants

Decorating with artificial plants is becoming easier. Manufacturing techniques are forever improving and faux plants are more realistic than ever before.

Look at the close-up pictures on our website to check leaf detail, stem quality and whether flower colours look natural, and make sure to read the product descriptions to see if the petals and foliage are made from silk, plastic or a combination of the two. We try to include as much detail as we can in both our photos and descriptions for each product, so they're well worth a read!

Finally, make sure you check what other customers are saying about the product. They may have different expectations to you, but they'll give you a feel for the quality of each product. If in doubt, you can always get in touch with our friendly customer service team to ask more about a product.

Artificial dracaena marginata dragon tree in white living next to green sofa

Repot with soil or gravel

Almost all artificial plants come in a relatively plain black pot and although this keeps your plant secure while it's winging its way to you, it’s unlikely to be a feature in your living room.

Without a doubt, it always looks best to repot your faux plant into a more stylish planter to give it an extra boost. A bigger pot will give it more stability and make it look far more realistic, as it will mimic the real plant's need to grow roots.

To repot your fake plant, take your new, larger pot and add a little bit of filling to the bottom (soil or stones are good for this) to raise up your plant a little if needed. Then, add your plant, with its existing pot to the new planter and fill in the gaps with more soil, sand or stones. Go the extra mile and top off your plant pot with some gravel, soil or moss and your guests will be none the wiser!

Explore our range of stylish plant pots to accompany your greenery.

Artificial erica & geranium patio planter pink

Pre-potted artificial plants

Want to buy your plant already potted? Shop our range of pre-potted artificial plants!

Shop potted plants

Keep your faux leaves and petals clean

To make fake leaves more realistic, it's important to keep them clean. You can use a paintbrush, damp cloth or compressed air to remove dust from most artificial plants, though care should be taken not to use warm water when cleaning plants and flowers with silk leaves in order to prevent colours from running.

For more help, watch our video which covers how to clean your artificial plants.

‘Fluff’ your plants to avoid unnatural symmetry

Perhaps the most impactful thing you can do is make sure that you arrange your artificial plant properly to look just like the real thing.

In order to securely deliver your plant to your front door, we package it tightly, but in order to pull off the look, you want your plant to look like it's grown rather than just unwrapped.

So how do you fluff fake plants? It depends on the plant, but for most of them simply spread out their stems into natural-looking arches and straighten out the leaves so there are no folds in them.

The majority of faux plants are made with internal wires, which means you can quite easily shape the foliage however you desire. After a week or two, any remaining creases should drop out by themselves. For more help, read our guide on how to arrange artificial plants.

Artificial oriental bamboo tree standing in colourful kitchen

Opt for themed interior and exterior spaces

Each room in your home (or even your entire home) will have a theme or style. Whether it’s classic, contemporary, art-deco, mid-century modern or something different, it's best to have plants that fit in with your theme if you want to pull off the look.

Think about what sort of artificial plant would blend in with your existing colours and furniture. Would tall, luscious green palm trees fit? Or would a classic artificial orchid look better? Doing so will help your fake plants add style to your home without looking out of place.

To make things easy, we have a few fake plants that tend to look good pretty much anywhere including artificial hanging plants that can match minimalist or maximalist spaces, fake bamboo plants which are also brilliant at dividing your space to create a little more privacy if needed, and faux bouquets which are available in a range of styles to suit your theme.

How do you make a fake plant stem look more real?

To make your artificial plant stem look more realistic, make sure to bend out its leaves/petals until they resemble its natural version. It's easier to have a photo of the real thing to hand so you can follow it as a guide.

As with all artificial plants, make sure you give your fake plant stem a clean as part of your usual routine. For big waxy leaves like our cheese plant stem, you can simply use a damp cloth, or if it's a more delicate silk stem like our delphinium flower, try giving it a spray of compressed air to blow off any dust.

Red polka dot painted artificial plant

Can you paint fake greenery?

If you want to create a standout feature, painting your fake plants is a new trend, great for adding vibrant colour and elevating your artificial plants to the next level! Painting your fake greenery won't help it look real, but you can create a unique accessory to liven up your space.

Give your plant a clean beforehand, then use a multi-purpose paint in a colour of your choice. We recommend using spray paint all over your plant, then either keep it simple and leave it as it is or use a paintbrush to try out different patterns in various colours for something a little more exciting. For a full how-to, read our guide on how to paint your artificial plants.

Need more tips?

Our blog is full of tips and advice around artificial planting. If this blog hasn't answered your query, maybe one of these will. View all design blog posts here.

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