Can you tell whether this plant is fake or real?

[Answered] Are Artificial Plants And Flowers Tacky?

One of the more common questions I hear from people who are considering including artificial plants in their home or office decor is “aren’t fake plants kind of tacky?”.

It’s a fair question, since there are lot of poor quality products on the market.

Can you tell whether this plant is fake or real?

Can you tell whether this plant is fake or real?

My answer to that question usually comes in the form of one of the following responses:

Response 1

Yes. Some fake plants can look tacky, but wilting and dying plants that haven’t been cared for can look equally bad. No one feels bad for a cheap fake plant, but there’s a sense of sadness that comes from seeing a dying plant.

Response 2

Yes. Cheap fake plants can definitely look tacky. However, artificial plants and flowers that are carefully crafted with high-quality materials by a company that cares about their craftsmanship can fool even the keenest eye.

Response 3

Sure. If you buy inexpensive fake plants, you can expect to get a result that doesn’t really look real. Just like nearly every other product out there, the cheaper the price tag, the cheaper it looks and feels.

Any of these response, usually kicks off a great conversation about quality, price, and care required…three topics that are important when deciding whether you want to include artificial plants in your decorations.

The Price Of Your Plants Often Determines The Quality And Durability

Let’s face it. There are a lot of cheaply made fake plants out there.

You can find them at big box stores, at the large hobby stores, and even online at bulk retailers. The thing to consider, however, is the longevity of that plant over time. If you buy a cheaply made fake plant or flower arrangement, expect to replace it ever couple of years as the coloring of the materials fades and the cheap plastic break down.

High-quality artificial plants and arrangements, on the other hand, can last decades if they are properly cared for. So, rather than purchasing several cheap replacement plants over time, just think of your purchase as an investment in a product that’s going to last.

The Quality Of The Plant Will Be Determined By How Closely It Resembles Nature

When looking for high-quality products, the idea is to find plants that actually resemble live plants. Nature isn’t perfect and live plants have imperfections. Your artificial plants should both look and feel like nature created them.

Nature adds blemishes to real plants, manufacturers should mimic that in their artificial products

Nature adds blemishes to real plants, manufacturers should mimic that in their artificial products

They should have inconsistencies in the stems and sometimes even have what would look like “defects” in the leaves or petals. Everything should not be uniform in color and pattern because every petal of a flower isn’t the same and every leaf on a shrub is unique.

You want anyone looking at the plant or arrangement to observe it, make a mental note or verbal content about their beauty, and then move on. Cheap plants trigger something in our brains that cause us to reach out and touch the plants to see if they’re real. Choosing something that mimics the uniqueness of nature will be less likely to trigger that exploratory instinct.

Higher Quality Artificial Plants Require Less Maintenance And Last Longer

Cheap fake plants fade and break down over time. The only thing sadder than a wilting live plant is a fake plant that has torn leaves or faded colors. That just screams “fake”, as well as “I can’t even take care of my fake plants”. Trust me, you don’t want that.

High quality artificial flowers and plants (aka those not bought from a big box store) will last longer and bring years of beauty to your home or office.

What Characteristics Should You Consider When Choosing Quality Artificial Plants Or Flowers?

Just like live plants, there are four components that you should consider when choosing artificial plants that don’t look tacky or fake. These include:

The Leaves/Petals

Leaves and petals should feel “real” and have texture. Just like nature never creates a completely smooth flower petal, your artificial plants shouldn’t feel completely smooth either. It’s okay if your faux plants also have imperfections in their leaves or petals.

Again, the company is doing their best to mimic nature so you never look at the plant and think “That looks fake”.

Take a look at this Rose and Berry arrangement below. Each of the roses have different shades and petal structures. The leaves have unique patterns and the berries are a variety of sizes and shades. Each element in the arrangement feels as though it is unique and wasn’t “manufactured.

10″ H Rose and Berry Arrangement

The Stems or Trunks

If your plant or tree has a visible trunk or visible stems, they should have texture, as well. Additionally, the if your flowers are part of an arrangement, the stems should have slightly different color tones. Some might be a bit darker green than other or have different striations.

That’s okay, the goal is to have them each look slightly different, just as in nature.

Take a look at the trunk of the fiddle leaf tree below. Each of the individual trunks has unique knots and burls. Each also varies in length and diameter and has it’s own unique bend. The goal is to mimic the natural look of a real fiddle leaf tree as it would look in nature.

4.5’ Fiddle Leaf Artificial Tree in Decorative Planter

The Container

When your faux arrangement, tree, or shrub comes in a container, look for a quality container that compliments your decor. You want the container to blend in and not “outshine” the flowers or plant that it contains.

On the other hand, you don’t want it to look cheap or tacky. If you love an arrangement, but don’t like the container that it comes in, you can always re-pot the flowers or plant in a new container.

The Rose and Hydrangea arrangement below has a beautiful pot that doesn’t outshine the flowers.

21″ ROSE/HYDRANGEA (POT)

The Color

Color is one of the most important elements of selecting artificial flowers or plants. First and foremost, the colors should compliment the space where they will be placed. Your artificial plants or flowers are going to last a long time, so be sure they coordinate with the rest of your decor.

If your flowers are part of an arrangement, be sure that the various colors across the entire arrangement compliment one another. The reds, golds, and oranges in the sunflower candelabrum create a bright, beautiful centerpiece arrangement that work together to brighten any room.

16″ H Sunflower Candelabrum

I hope that helps and gets you started toward thinking about what qualities you should look for when avoiding “tacky” fake plants and decorating with high-quality artificial plants.

As always, if you have questions about artificial plants, or our products in general, be sure to leave a comment or reach out via the contact form.

–Barb

 

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