Faux Plants: Yay or Nay?

Since I’ve been blogging for 10 years now, there have been a few changes in my decor habits over the years, as I’m sure has been the case for you too, right?  It’s amazing how 10  years can really change the direction we take with our homes.

One of those big changes for me being fake plants.  I remember writing a blog post back in my early days of blogging when I  was considering being done with fake plants and one by one got rid of all of the ones in my house at the time. That was written 10 years ago this year.  I think so many of us used fake flower arrangements in our home back then and it was very popular at the time, but like many things we get tired of them.  I had my share of dusty ficus trees in the corner too as well as fake palm trees.  I can’t imagine doing those again now!

That seems so long ago now, that type of decorating, but it was so popular at the time and most of my friends had these florals in their homes too.  There was some good discussion in the comments back in that post that’s worth reading again if you want to go back and read it all.

Here’s an example of one of my lovely (ahem) flower arrangements that I had in my house years ago.  Probably 20 years ago by now and I got rid of it after I moved to AL.  I definitely do not miss these big and fluffy fake flowers at all! They are dust catchers for sure! If you still have these in your house, I’m not throwing stones, I am speaking for myself here.  But, if you ask my opinion, I’ll tell you what I think!

So, that being said, I still concur with with getting rid of the fakes for the most part and don’t like many fake plants even now.  I do however, love real plants and have a bunch of those around my house. They do promote oxygen in the air and make a house more homey, no doubt about it.  I love to grow plants inside and outside and add many of them to my porch too. Real live plants have so many benefits and I’ll always love them and they will be at the top of my list for making a house a home. Here’s a post I did on some of my real plants.  Some of these made it and some did not, but I never give up on real plants, I still love them all over my house and porch.

Sometimes though, there are reasons to use a faux plant and I don’t have a problem with some of the newer ones that are out now.  They have greatly improve, in my opinion and look much better than they used to look. Do you agree with that?

I’ll share the ones I  have in my house now, these are all newer ones and I do think the quality has improved so much over the years.

This faux orchid came from Costco and I really loved it because it looked so real to me even in the store and  it was in a pretty blue and white pot.  Double win!

I picked up these 2 cute succulents up in TN at an antiques place, Scarlet Scales in Franklin.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any of her faux plants online.  These succulents are really realistic looking and look nice plopped in a small planter.

This is a tiny planter I picked up thrifting and added this cute hen and chicks succulent on top.  Totally looks real.

Here’s what a real succulent looks like, trying to grow in a pot inside and this is in the window!  They do not do well inside, they require a lot of sunlight.  Look at all those babies trying to hatch.

This is a little faux fern I picked up while in Birmingham and it’s been in this white planter for a few years. I still like it, it works fine on top of a bookcase or cabinet.

Preserved boxwood has my heart (not the plastic kind, please)!  Really, this trend is one I can get on board with and I have several preserved boxwood items around and they do add a lot of green and freshness to a space.  These small topiaries are great for a bookcase that needs perked up with greenery. Bookcases are a great place add these faux plants, since typically you’re not going to get sunshine on them.

This larger one I have used several places and even though it’s in a pot already, it fits nicely inside a thrifted brass pot I have too.  This one and the small one above are both from Birch Lane and they are listed below the post in the slideshow.

A taller boxwood topiary from Homegoods is another piece that is so versatile.  I’d like to find another of these so I’d have a pair. I’ve loved topiaries for a long time too!

Moss balls are another nice greenery item to decorate with and these are versatile as well in what you can do with them.  Put one one top of a candlestick for some added fresh green.

On my spring table I used a large one with my iron and glasses vases on the table.  Just a nice punch of texture and color for spring decorating when you want to add some plant like material around.  You can see I also have a square boxwood wreath that is fun to pull out and use too.

So, that’s how I’ve used faux plants and greenery around my house. What do you think of faux now?  Still have any big floral arrangements or like me, have you tossed those to the curb for more simple plants and real greenery for the most part?  These fauxs I can live with, but I can’t handle too much anymore.  I still love, love the real plants that I have better than ever!

I did a little shopping for you, in case you want to add a few faux green plants to your spaces.  These all look like great candidates to me.  Be aware on the boxwood greenery, there is preserved boxwood and plastic boxwood. You definitely want the preserved, it’s real greenery that’s been preserved for use:

- Rhoda


  1. Nay for me. Something I’ve never been fond of. You can almost always tell they are fake. And putting something on a bookcase or an area where a a real plant won’t live, is a dead give away. I do like the moss balls and some dried items (such as hydrangeas) but that is about it. There are so many great houseplants that are actually easy – why go fake? And succulents, gosh I’ve had such good luck with them! They really don’t require much. You need to check out a recent post on Jones Design Company blog about easy houseplants.

    • Hey, Renee, I totally get that they aren’t for everyone and I’m way over the overdone fakes that were used years ago. I should have mentioned and linked to my post about my houseplants (I’ll add that in). I have lots of real ones all over my house as I mentioned in the post, these are just little fillers I use for different areas that get almost zero light. I’ve never had good luck with succulents inside, ever. You must know something I don’t. See that pic I posted of what happens to them in the window? That’s what I’ve experienced every time with those.

  2. The faux plants lately are so much nicer than we had in the past. I say yes to the ones that look real – like the examples you’ve given. I love faux boxwood! I can grow anything outside but insider there are just a few plants that I’ve had great success with. Last year I did a post on this houseplant and it is huge and beautiful now: http://www.poofingthepillows.com/2016/01/a-houseplant-that-lives-i-promise.html
    One more thing, faux orchids are a million times prettier than the leaves that are usually on the plant with no flowers. 😉

    • Thanks, Stacey, I agree. I’ve tried a couple of orchids before and after the blooms die, they might as well be thrown out. I love your plant you shared. I have a similar one to that in my living room now. Many of my plants have been with me for a few years.

      • It’s easy to get orchids to bloom again. Trim off the dead stem and water a little at a time. They should only have diffused light and moderate temperature. Mine return on a regular basis.

        • Bente, I guess I don’t have the patience for live orchids. The few I’ve had, once the blooms are gone, they just lose their appeal to me and I don’t want to deal with them anymore if it’s a year until they bloom again. Good for you on learning how to do it though!

  3. Rhoda,
    This post brought back so many funny memories of my late grandmothers house with all her silk flower arrangements and when you say they were dust collectors that’s an understatement! No, I don’t miss those big arrangements either.

    However, I do think fake flowers have come a long way in the last twenty years. I bought some fake palm leaves last summer and I was very impressed with the quality. I have also been impressed with many of the fake orchids and succulents I have seen recently. I have never had luck with orchids so this would definitely be something I would consider. However, when I want flowers for my dining room table I want fresh flowers only.

  4. Well, I used to have some gorgeous huge lime and lemon tree that was producing fruit. But they can’t survive without water and when you leave for three months at a time, real plants are a challenge. I’ve been thinking of getting some succulents for in the house but again would they survive for three months. So I won’t judge anyone who uses fakes in his or her house.

  5. Tina Ramer says:

    Real is still better. The new fake are still going to catch dust. You can buy a real orchid at Kroger here in Texas for 15.00. If you put a couple of ice cubes a week in it, it will flower for months. If you feed it Orchid food it will flower again. No fake in the houses we stage. We occasionally use
    some dried.

  6. Moicna Converse says:

    Good Day!

    I like to call them “everlasting botanicals” – that being said – YES! I do think they can be done very well – I have a seen lots of beauties at TJMaxx – and since I just moved I’ve got a couple little areas that could use a pop of color!

    Great Post!

  7. I say YES! I have both real and faux indoor plants. After buying two nice full real plants to put on top of my kitchen cabinets most of the foliage died. So I went out and bought faux ones. I think there is a place for them all.

  8. I have a fake airplane plant or spider plant that I’ve had for 15 years. Everyone thinks it’s real. I just run it through the shower a couple of times a year.

  9. Thanks for the info, Rhoda! All my fake plants are gone but I still have couple costly flower arrangements. Need to dispose of them ..the one on the dining table was $180 & had it done in a shop for the dining room so it is still there & one is dried……….like dried hydrageas that were for real & were dried in a small shop I went to. I usually get real ferns but those fake trees have been long gone too. I will check out your links for the dining room 🙂 Since we hope to move in another 2 years to a forever home I haven’t bothered much with replacing a lot -less to move and get tore up. LOL! I just tried to make this home comfy & concentrated on the big issues. I know you can relate as we were redoing at the same time. Thanks again for the links to real fake stuff!

  10. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Rhoda: I confess I did not read every word closely in this post – but did you mention the issue of pets who chew the leaves and blooms of live plants? That is one valid reason to ‘go faux.’. My kitty will chew on any plant or flower that comes in my front door – so I mostly just did away with anything resembling a plant real or fake. A friend told me that African violets are non-toxic, so I’ve directed my attention to growing those – and so far I’ve been successful – and, yes – my kitty chews those too – but without bad results! I also confess that in my last home I had a very expensive dried and silk flower arrangement on my dining room table (done professionally). It was very hard to let go of it – but I sold it in a yard sale. (I do like the fake succulents – and may pick up one for my bathroom.)

    • Hey, Becky, yes pets are an issue, especially cats, which I don’t have, so of course everyone has to take that into consideration if you have pets, no doubt about it!

  11. Good points for and against faux plants. I like your faux orchid…I have live orchids on my porch, they do really well there, but once I bring them in the house they don’t do well. Checking out the preserved boxwoods – they are so pretty!

  12. Just like Becky in bama said, I have indoor only cats due to coyote issues. The crazy things try to eat every green plant that comes in. And most house plants are toxic. Even if not, it is no fun to clean up kitty vomit from nibbles. I do keep nontoxic herb planters on my deck, no chives or ggarlic, and some majesty palms and rosemaryinside, but I do use some fake arrangements. The key is to buy the expensive stems, some nice ones at Pottery Barn and the high end ones at Hobby Lobby or a garden center, using coupons or on clearance. Not as good as real, which can get dusty too!, but better than the old faux flowers that were en vogue 20 years ago.

  13. Jean McGee says:

    When we lived in IL I had live plants in my home. Moved them to IN and every single one of them died :(. Sooo, artificial it was. :). When they get dusty I put them in my laundry tub and swish them around, let them dry …..and no dust. I soooo like the “real looking” artificial plants in my home…no watering, no replanting, no asking someone to come in to water them while we vacation. Yyyyessss!!!!!
    I do have flower gardens. 🙂 I have a friend that “plants” artificial in her gardens so she does not have to water them. O well….to each his/her own.
    Jean McGee

  14. If you can find realistic fake plants it is so worth it! Adding greenery or flora to any home decor really brightens up the space, without making it feel cluttered. For me, I am horrible at keeping real plants alive so it is worth it to invest in the fake ones!

  15. Hi Rhoda, I have the kitty I, so I’ve converted to the faux plants (which look so very real nowadays.) Sure they get dusty, but so do the real ones! A good source for the faux succulents is SaveOnCrafts.com. They have a huge selection at good prices. If what you want is out of stock, wait 2 – 3 days and check back, your item will be there. They also have the moss bunnies, so popular this year.

  16. Nancy Cox says:

    I just read another blog post on faux plants. I totally agree with you about them. They look 10x better than they used to. I have several in my house too. Several times people have had to feel and see if they are real.

  17. In defense of faux plants, back in the day, arrangements were useful to pull all the different colors in a room together and give the room a coordinated look. The tall ficus trees brought some much needed height to rooms. Without something tall rooms are left with everything at chair hieight around the entire room.

    • Hey Carol, you’re right we were a little more formal back then and floral arrangements were all the rage, as were those tall trees in the corners. I think things look better now with less fuss and stuff so my house feels so much better. When I look back at my old house pics, I cringe now at all the clutter and I’m still not a minimalist by any stretch.

  18. I prefer genuine houseplants than the fake ones.Faux plants do catch dust easily.
    We have two fake plants but any more than that is a big NO. Our home is dominated by houseplants because they improve the air and such a pleasure for the eyes .
    Succulents are great indoor plants,very easy to grow and maintain plus they’re very pretty.

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