What is UV resistance?

Ultra violet (UV) resistance is defined as the ability to resist UV light or sunlight which will cause non-resistant surfaces to fade or discolour.

Artificial plant foliage such as boxwood is made from polyethylene plastic. During the manufacturing stage a UV stabilising chemical is added to the mix which provides a level of stability and UV resistance.

How are products tested?

UV resistance is tested using fluorescent UV lamps. Samples of foliage are exposed to UV light and moisture in a test chamber for several hundred hours which is designed to be equivalent to one year of exposure in the UK climate. The samples are then reviewed against an original sample for signs of fading and/ or discolouring.

UV testing only provides a loose guide to potential lifespan because there are many variables. Location, weather conditions and time spent in direct sunlight can dramatically impact the lifespan of our artificial plants.

Our classifications

Not suitable for outside use

These plants are made from delicate materials such as silk. They are not designed for outside use and are highly likely to fade when exposed to sunlight.

Limited outdoor use

These plants are not designed for outside use, however are not likely to discolour. We recommend using these products in areas out of direct sunlight.

Suitable for outside use

The vast majority of products in this category are UV resistant. This mean they will last for a reasonable period of time when exposed to direct sunlight. We cannot provide specific guidance due to variables such as location, amount of sunlight per day and general weather conditions.

Using flowers outdoors

All of our hanging baskets, flowering bushes, window boxes and patio tubs are included in the outdoor use category. However the petals on the flowers are not UV resistant. This is because they are manufactured using silk rather than plastic, giving them a highly authentic and intricate appearance. The drawback is that they are likely to fade faster than our foliage and trees.

In most cases our flowers will last for many seasons with minimal fading. If they fade or discolour quickly, get in touch as you may be entitled to a refund or replacement under your statutory rights.

Non UV protected silk flowers are the norm across the artificial plant industry, as to our knowledge nobody can produce UV resistant silk foliage.

Extending the lifespan of your products

There a couple of ways you can extend the lifespan of your artificial plants, flowers and trees.

1. Rotate or turn the products regularly. This means that any gradual fading will occur all the way round the product, rather than on just one side, making it far less noticeable.

2. Avoid placing plants in south facing areas. They will be exposed to more sunlight in these areas causing the UV resistance to wear off causing the plants to discolour faster.

3. If you’re planning to use flowers in a south facing area – choose pastel colours. Red dye degrades faster than all other colours and is very noticeable. Pinks and creams do fade, however they are far less noticeable than their darker counterparts.

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