The Great Fake Out – The Definitive Guide To Buying And Maintaining Artificial Plants

I love getting a new flower arrangement or plant for my home. There’s just something about bringing it home and finding the perfect spot for something new because a new plant or arrangement can change the look of the whole room.

But choosing and maintaining faux flowers and plants can be tricky if you’re not sure what to look for. The whole point of using artificial flowers and plants is to get the realistic look of live plants without the hassle and expense of caring for and replacing them, which means you want to take time and care when choosing new faux plants for your home.

We want to help you choose the best artificial plants and flowers possible, so check out these 10 tips for choosing and maintaining artificial plants.

1. Focus on quality

You can find all sorts of artificial flowers and plants in a variety of price ranges, but if you’re looking for a faux plant that will bring realistic beauty to your home for years to come, find a quality artificial plant. Choose better quality artificial plants and flowers that are hard to differentiate from a live plant. Those made from high-quality materials will look, and even feel, like live plants.

2. Go for realism

Poor quality artificial plants and flowers often have a plasticky shine to them and are easily identifiable as cheaper imitations. The faux flowers and plants that look the best in your home are the ones that resemble what you’d find in nature. That means you should choose plants where the colors have gradients and stems are not all the same length or texture. Some stems should droop like live flowers would.

3. Avoid perfection

Rarely do you find a “perfect” flower or plant in nature, so don’t purchase one for your home. Look for plants that don’t have perfect symmetry or exactly the same color pattern on each leaf or bloom. Trees and plants should have branches and stems that vary in length and the angle they “grow” from the trunk. Nothing marks a plant as fake more than perfect symmetry.

A simple elegant Phalaenopsis Orchid will look beautiful in your entryway


Look for plants that aren’t perfect, like this phalaenopsis. Droop stems and half-formed buds project an image of realism.


4. Remember it’s an investment

High-quality artificial plants and flowers are an investment just like a couch or an end table. Sure, you might pay more up front for a better quality faux arrangement, but you will be able to keep it longer than a cheaper version because it will fade less and hold up better over time. Consider that you can keep many high-quality plants and flowers for 10 years or more, and the higher price tag on good-quality faux plants doesn’t seem as high.

5. Don’t limit your choices

Faux plants and flowers can work in both indoor and outdoor spaces, so don’t limit yourself to just thinking about the interior of your home. Outdoor living spaces aren’t always conducive to live plants. For example, if you want to surround a pool with plants, the constant splashing of chlorine-treated or salt water can damage live plants. Faux plants can provide the beauty you want without worries about protecting them from harm.

Image two of these 4' Spiral Cedar Topiary flanking the entrance to your home - pure class and elegance!

Don’t limit yourself to purchasing plants for indoor spaces. Consider plants like topiaries to spruce up outdoor living spaces as well.

6. Rotate periodically

Although artificial plants and flowers require almost no care, plan to rotate them periodically to avoid having them fade on just one side. If your artificial plants sit in the sun, simply give the pot a turn every couple of weeks to make sure the sun hits the plant evenly over time. This will prevent the dead giveaway of an artificial plant – sun fading on just one side.

7. Use UV spray

Slow down fading of plants in sunny areas and outside by coating them with a UV spray. This will protect the fabric and other materials from the harmful UV rays of the sun that cause fading. While the spray won’t stop fading completely, it will slow it down.

8. Clean them frequently

You can purchase the best quality and most realistic artificial flowers and plants, but if you don’t keep them clean, leaves covered in dust will give away your faux secrets. The easiest way to clean faux plants and flowers is to simply run a feather duster over them when you’re doing your regular house cleaning, but if you want to get them even cleaner, check out our post on the best ways to clean fake plants and flowers.

9. Don’t be afraid to use the scissors

Over time, even well-made artificial plants and flowers can lose some of their mojo and might require some grooming to get them back into tip-top shape. If you have a plant with a droopy stem or a leaves that have seen better days, it’s fine to give your plant a trim. Just snip off the offending appendage, and your fake plant will be as good as new.

This beautiful planter is made even more stunning by the faux floral Azalea plant.

Seek out realistic-looking plants like this azalea in an attractive planter.

10. Store them properly

You may have some seasonal artificial plants and flowers that you like to bring out for certain times of the year. To keep them looking their best the longest, make sure you store them properly. Place them in plastic bins with locking lids or cover them with a sheet or cloth bag to keep dirt and dust from collecting on them. Avoid squishing them in storage to keep them looking fresh and new for the next time you want to use them.

Buying and maintaining artificial flowers and plants won’t be difficult if you follow our tips, but remember the best tip is to purchase faux flowers and plants that you love and make you happy.

What are your best tips when it comes to artificial flowers and plants? Let us know in the comments.

As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Barb Signature

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