Are You Faux Real? How to Find the Most Convincing Faux Plants!

Are you faux real? (How to find convincing fake plants) Fake plants are a WEIRD SUBJECT, and I get that. But today it’s what we’re talking about… let’s go there!

For years I didn’t want any fake plants in my house. Then I finally cracked due to one really dark nook in our previous home. It was a total DEATH ZONE for plants. Do you have a spot like that in your house? If you do, listen up – it’s not your fault. (hug) I’m here for you.

So I bought a few cheap fakies from Ikea for that stubborn hallway corner. And I was instantly converted. They never died, required no effort, and when I moved a couple years later, they moved with me. So I bought more… obviously.

Today, I still have a lot of real plants in my home, but there are plenty of fake ones too. You can’t really tell unless you look closely or touch them (which is the sign of a good one). I use them to fill high shelves that are tricky to water, and, for the most part, to replace succulents and air plants.

It’s so weird because I hear people say all the time that succulents don’t die…. Ummmm – what? They definitely die on me. Kind of fast too. Cacti are pretty reliable for me, but succulents aren’t. They either shrivel up, melt into a weird puddle or grow into a really awkward shape. Some are better than others (for sure), but a friend recently told me, “Don’t think of succulents as plants. Think of them as flowers that die slower.” Haha! So true.

Are you faux real? (How to find convincing fake plants)Here’s my Ikea fakie still going strong, like, five years later! It’s not even the most convincing fake plant, but up there on the shelves, you can’t tell.

Are you faux real? (How to find convincing fake plants) On the shelves here, six out of the eight are fake. It doesn’t get the best light in this spot. At first I filled it with all real plants, but had to move a bunch of them when they started looking sad. So I just refilled it with fake guys (mostly from craft stores and West Elm).

The bigger ones on the ledge are real, but they’re low light varieties.

Are you faux real? (How to find convincing fake plants) Close up you can tell it’s fake, but stand back 5 feet when you’re trying to decide at the store. This one looks totally great on my shelves; I might even buy more!

 

How to Find The Most Convincing Faux Plants! (click through for links)Here’s a guide to some of the best we’ve found online! I generally like to pay around the same price as what I’d pay for a real one in that size, whatever that is. A lot of the big box craft stores sell them and you can use weekly coupons there. I’ve also found some pretty decent ones randomly at places like Home Goods, just keep an eye out!

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Are you faux real? (How to find convincing fake plants) Here’s a fake one next to a real one, for reference.

In my opinion, the best places for fake plants are on high shelves, in naturally dark rooms or rooms where you rarely open the windows (like a bathroom, for example), and anywhere in your home where you have to move a plant away because it starts to die.

I will probably always have at least 75% real plants in my home. I love them, for one, but I also think it helps the fake ones seem more real. But if you live in a SUPER dark space or travel constantly, there’s no shame in faking it. I mean, it’s way better than letting them die over and over!

Now, it’s your turn! What are your thoughts about fake plants? Love them or hate them? Have you found any sources for really good ones? And what about fake plants for the outdoors?? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

xx- Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • I’ve been in the fence for a while. Mainly because I didn’t know it was ok and people did it! I have a cat that will eat any plant and so many pretty plants are toxic for her. This is going to be a great alternative!

  • YES ELSIE! I have been wanting someone to share the truth on faking it! We live in a beautiful (large windowed) home, but because of the crazy amount of trees in our neighborhood it creates a canopy not ideal for plant growth! I have found some that will thrive, but most of them end up looking sad & cannot be revived. I definitely agree with the idea of mixing fake with real to make them all seem a little more authentic! Thank you for this & your advice as always! (:

  • I have many real plants in my house but I do have a few realistic-looking fakes in places with no natural light (bathroom) and awkward to reach for watering spots. I was away for a week and my husband may have watered the fauxs, tee hee!

    I recently bought 2 picks that look like the plant in the top photo at Hobby Lobby. I love the hazy coating on them and they look perfect in a tiny wood-bead hanging planter that I have but they have an odd odor. Like B.O./onions. They look legit but I may have to move the planter out of sniffing range of my sofa. I wonder if there’s a spray on product that would give my similar-looking Ikea plants that same hazy/frosted look. It definitely looks more natural.

  • I should add that I do put a few of my Ikea fakes outside at my front door before it’s safe to fill my planters with annuals in spring. There’s too long of a gap between snow melting and the last potentially frosty nights in May (yay Canada).

  • When I moved into my house there were potted fake plants out back by the pool that the previous owners had used for staging purposes. I had no idea until I realized a loooong time later that they still looked great even though I had never watered them! I was a convert after that! Especially since my house is super dark…and I’m terrible about actually remembering to care for them! I do have some real ones because I think it’s healthy to have plants in your home, but fake plants are awesome.

  • Perfect timing! I was just thinking that I need more plants in my house, but my cats tend to eat them and get sick, so we need some fake ones:)

  • Omg you guys read my mind!! I’m glad I’m not the only one who is opting for fake plants…also not the only one to kill succulents!! I’m on my third attempt now with my succulents, and these ones where a gift so I’m hoping I don’t kill these too!!

  • I used to be a fake plant snob….hated all fake and dried flowers/plants. But after (finally) learning how to take care of real plants I wanted them everywhere…..but everywhere didn’t want a real plant. My house is very dark so I bit the bullet and purchase my first fakie….then more and more came in! I love that a previous room that was left lifeless now seems more alive with even a fake plant. The craft store can be a good spot or Homesense ( Homegoods in the US )….it’s a hit or miss with the good ones. I’ve even lucked out at the grocery store and dollar store! As for succulents…I’m right there with you. It’s the only plant I cannot keep alive…lol

  • This post makes me so happy – new places to buy realistic fakes! I have exactly one window sill that gets adequate sunlight, and it’s very full. Not to mention I’m exceptional at killing real plants (which are not always that cheap to begin with). Plus, there’s the added bonus of them not attracting bugs, as my sill pots tend to do.

  • I’ve never been the biggest fan of fake plants, but I think that was mostly fake flowers. (I did have an eccentric neighbor while I was growing up who got fed up with the roses in her front yard dying, so she just bought fake roses – you know, by the stem from the craft store – and stuck them in her front flower bed. 0.o We never understood that one.) My current apartment has very odd window placements, so some of these suggestions might be really helpful! I’ve fallen in love with having succulents around, but I only have one place in my home where they won’t die currently. Thanks for the list!

  • I live on a heavily shaded property and every succulent I’ve ever tried just turns into a leggy sprawling mess. Now that I know there are convincing fakes out there I’m going to start looking for them.

  • This is so weird! I just bought fake plants from Ikea this weekend. I had been trying to deny the need for them for so long, but I live in a basement suite and my living room is DARK. Greenery in every room is needed for me, so I am stoked to see you found some great looking ones. Thanks for making me feel better about having the fakies around!!

  • This solves my bathroom decorating dilemma. I’ve turned my nose up to faux plants after being surrounded by dusty ficus trees growing up in the 90s. Thanks for the post!

  • I started using fake plants when our daughter became mobile. Many great houseplants are toxic if ingested – so all but one of ours now lives in my cubicle at work. I still love the look and hominess of plants though, so I’ve picked up a few fake ones (mostly from IKEA). Thanks for the tips on good ones!

  • Yes! I love that you posted this! I leave the real plants to outside. Inside I’ve struggled with even what are supposed to be fool-proof ones. I have some fake ones from ikea that are nice to use for awhile, then give a break and reintroduce later while I change decor around.

  • Target had some cute mini succulents in their $3 section a month or two ago. I picked up one and went back to pick up more another day and they were already gone! So bummed. My husband accidentally watered it, so it must be somewhat convincing!

  • I’ve been wanting to get a big potted plant for my room next semester but it didn’t seem reasonable while still in college, moving around. This is such a good alternative! Thank you so much for putting the idea in my head!

    P.S. On Hobby Lobby’s website, all artificial plants are on sale!

    http://rebeccaetc.blogspot.com/

  • I’ve been thinking of getting fake plants for a while! You can actually get some really nice looking ones 🙂
    I live in a top floor apartment, so I have no garden which means I kinda miss out of plants.

  • hahahaha, I laughed so much!
    I have (or had) succulents, and they DIE, A LOT on me. So ssssssssssssssad…
    The only plant I can keep alive is a cactus… That’s it… 🙁

  • I have been doing it for the past 2 years. Tired of killing plants, lol! I do love real plants more, but if I find an awesome faux plant, I will pay to never have the let down of throwing it out. One of the most realistic roses and pretty faux roses I have seen are at http://www.thefrenchbee.com/watergarden.html A little pricey, but so love the orange pink roses.

  • YES! It’s amazing how guilt-inducing this topic is… there’s a weird amount of shame around fake plants. I have the world’s blackest thumb, and after years of assuming I would never just have plants in my life because of my murderous tendencies I kept hearing about how no one can kill a succulent and dove in headfirst. I sunk literally hundreds of dollars on a house full of beautiful little babies which brought me great joy for approximately three weeks, followed by surging guilt. So bless you for the succulent comment… I thought I was the only one. I’ve since discovered fakes and the world is a better place.

    http://www.afloral.com has fantastic fake succulents and greenery which are the best quality I’ve found anywhere. I started out buying a combo of dried and fake greens for my DIY wedding flowers, and ended up coming back over and over for house plants. Highly recommended!

  • I’m glad I’m not the only one with the succulent struggles! My latest victim was pretty for about a week after I brought it home and then it slowly started turning black. I have no idea what I did… 🙁

  • I have no strong opinion of fake plants but guys! Why wuld you buy a fake sansevieria! (no. 7 and 12 on the photo). They require NO maintenance, very little light and are the perfect office / mall plant since they can grow beautifully in almost any enviroment. PLUS they are super healthy in the bedroom because they produce a ton of oxygen! With this one, go for the real thing, it’s very hard to mess it up.
    But I hear you on the succulents. I just recently got on the succulove train and I managed to screw up two of them already. Oh well.

  • Huh, who knew a fake plant could look so good. I’m convinced! And also an accidental succulent killer 😉

  • I absolutely love fake plants! I’ve got a few of the typical IKEA fake plants that I absolutely love, and I’ve even got a few flower bouquets from their flower section too! I love the succulent and cacti fake plants! I tried growing ivy down one of my high shelves in our hallway, and both times they died – I never even thought about looking for some fake ones!
    xo April | April Everyday

  • I need to get some faux plants for my super-dark house (I swear hubby is a vampire, he doesn’t want alot of sunshine coming in the windows, LOL). I can keep pothos and peace lily plants alive during the winter when they can’t be out on the porch but not much else survives.

  • I have been looking for a post like this all my life! I love plants, but they don’t like me and they always die. So fake plants are the way to go for me! I recently bought that aloe vera plant from Target, and it really is great quality! Thank you for sharing these sites!

  • I LOVE FAKE PLANTS!
    We move often as we are a defence family in Australia. Our moving companies won’t move live plants. So it makes sense to have fakes that can come with me so I’m not spending al ot of money replenishing plants every 2 years. Still waiting to find a good faux fiddle leaf though!

  • You must be doing something wrong, cuz I’ve had the same succelent plants living for years now…

  • If i’m honest i’m not a massive fan of faux plants… however my bedroom gets very very little to no light at all due to the massive trees in my front yard so fake plants really are my only option. although I have managed to keep a small agave alive as well as a bonsai right on my window sil which is quite an achievemnt! Love this post of course, by the way! xx

  • No fake plants in our house. But we do have fake flowers for decorating. Both up in are working area up in the attic to ad some color to the room, but is to dark to have real flowers en outside in our garden we have a wall constructions in wich we have al sorts of little vases and inthem some fake flowers. The rest of our garden is real plants inside also. But I would not mind some fake if they are convincing enough

  • But real plants have other advantages not just how they look, like they purify the air. Fake plants don’t do that. Also i think on some primal level it’s good for us to have growing, living things around us. Fake plants are completely static whereas real ones will gradually adjust to lighting conditions and grow, I think even if we can’t tell a real from a fake at first glance seeing plants grow over time is good for our psyche

  • I’m glad someone agrees it’s cool to use fakies sometimes! I replaced my windows last year, and never thought about the fact that my new windows ability to block a lot of UV rays (prevents fading of furniture and flooring) would also mean that suddenly my terrariums and succulents began to die. I tried to keep up for awhile with a sunlamp, but let’s face it: having to put your plants beneath a sunlamp for 12 hours a day means that for half the day, the plants aren’t part of the decor any more. I’ve always had a couple small fake ones in bathrooms to bring in a little green, but was debating using some elsewhere throughout the house.

  • I have some fake ones in my kitchen that gets no light, I found them at the pet shop! the aquarium section also has some options!

  • Succulents go through fazes of looking good and looking bad— just like everything else in the world.

  • Woo! Love fake plants. All of ours are from Ikea. We live in a basement apartment in San Francisco (converted from a garage back in the 60’s) and we only have ONE window with natural light (directly above the stove. so depressing). The rest of our windows just face other walls or into other rooms, so we don’t really have any options besides fakes. Glad to see some other recommendations!

  • Yes! I was just about to go on a search for good fakes. I have 1 real (that was gifted to me when his long-time owner moved)and 3 fake, mainly because every single real plant I’ve tried to buy has come with nasty little gnats! Ugh!! I know there are ways to fix that, but it’s so not worth it to me. I’ll just stick with the fakes! I think they look alright, so I hope other people do to, but I am always a little self-concious about them…lol.

  • Ah wait, I have a question, too! Does anyone have any tips on a actually displaying fakes? The ones I’ve gotten at hobby lobby have the awkward bouquet “stem” and don’t sit well in any planter…

  • “Don’t think of succulents as plants. Think of them as flowers that die slower”

    I am nowhere near a plant-goddess, but if succulents die on you, you don’t treat them well. It is literally that simple. Read up on how to treat them, and they will last you a decade. By telling people this, I personally think you are telling people that it is impossible to keep a succulent alive, which is not the case at all. Although it might be true for your household (maybe because they are in a dark spot or are not getting the right treatments etc), it could also be easily fixed. Real plants are so healthy for you (fresh air for free!) and plastic is so bad for the world… It’s a shame to let it sound like they can’t survive at all.

    I’m sorry for my negative comment on this – I’m not usually like this. I just feel very passionate about this particular topic.

  • my succulents are always dying!! My grandma said “you cannot kill jade!” I have killed at least 3. I love a good fake plant.

  • I used to think fake plants were tacky, but I also can’t keep a real plant alive to save my life. So now I’m a convert and want them all! They were do perk up a space 🙂

    Amber
    amberbutbetter.blogspot.com

  • I think a lot of it depends on the climate and the light source (I’m talking about indoors, I know they can thrive outdoors in a good climate). I’m not saying it’s bad to buy real succulents, I have a bunch of them. I am just giving an alternative option for people with dimly lit rooms. I never said to get all fake plants, I obviously LOVE plants and take good care of them. 🙂

    Thanks!
    Elsie

  • Haha, a while back my family and I bought Ikea fake plants too. Their succulents look really convincing. Awesome post!

  • I like this idea of mixing fake with real- it’s hard to tell the difference. My only problem with fake plants is the way they collect dust. Is there any particular way you like to deal with the dust, if at all?

  • Oh my goodness, tell me the secrets for DUSTING those suckers!? I have fake ones from Ikea and Target that would look way more real…if I could keep them well dusted. Anyone have a magic trick?

  • I love this post! I have such a hard time with plants. I have an ivy right now that’s been great for 6+ months and suddenly seems to be dying. 🙁 These links are much appreciated!

  • I agree. For me, the joy of house plants is watching them grow, sprout, flower, etc. I suppose if one doesn’t not find joy in the life of plants and only the look, then fakes are a-ok.

    Elsie, the biggest mistake people make with succulents is putting them in pots without drainage. Drainage is ESSENTIAL to succulents. I don’t even trust a layer or pebbles, the pot HAS to have a hole in the bottom. (This is why I don’t get pots at IKEA – they almost never have holes) I get frustrated when bloggers make terrariums and stick succulents in them and expect them to live. Succulents do not do well in humid environments with standing water. Also, succulents have seasons when they should be watered more or less. Overwatering is another big problem. It helps to keep them on a very regular watering schedule. For example, I water my plants every Monday in the summer and every other Monday in the winter. I actually write it in my planner. Anyone can care for succulents, it just takes a little research! You can do it!

  • Hello Elsie,
    All of the staff here at Greens Galore in London, Ontario, Canada are a big fan of your blog and have been for years. We have excellent quality faux plants. Not only do we have plants in our store, but we also make house calls and going to commercial properties to help our clients find the perfect plant for their space.
    We are so happy that you posted an article about artificial plants… we feel that artificial plants have a bad rep. We would love for you to check us out (greensgalore.ca)… we are still working on our website and updating our social media. We are planning to use our social media to help clients become inspired.
    Thank you for inspiring us and addressing the weird subject.
    Greens Galore

  • I remember once watering fake plants when I was at primary school, maybe they looked really realistic or I was just too young to notice either way! There are some really good ones now that easily fool people and they’re easy to look after, we even have services to allow us to do that for you. They are very popular as they don’t take as much care as actual plants and are always looking great! They can add a bit of ambiance to your office or home.

  • I have the laser lights of dawn for about an hour each day and then it’s dark as night. I have macular degeneration, so the uv screens are a must. Pothos and sanseveria are poisonous to my cats. Shoot, I have to get creative with the fakes cause the tabby will eat those, too. I’ve got a couple of succulents, some air plants, and one pothos hanging well out of cat range. Everything else is fake. And that’s fine with me.

  • I ALWAYS kill succulents. I’ve had three of that long bobble-y one. My husband won’t let me buy more lol.
    Amazing idea, I’m totally checking out Ikea!!! Thanks for this.

  • Oh, goody! This is super cute. Even though I work at a florist, I can attest to the beauty and wonder of faux plants. Because, let’s be honest — not everyone is responsible enough to keep a plant alive, right?!

  • My backyard is my garden paradise and I have automatic sprinklers that water them. I do spend lots of time caring for them….weeding, pruning, etc. But I don’t want to spend any more time inside the house doing chores than I have to. I’d rather be outside! So, fake plants are perfect for me. When I clean, I usually just shake the fake plants to knock the dust off of them but our house doesn’t get very dusty. I really don’t care what other people think. If they don’t like my fake plants, they don’t have to come over. But I don’t think any of the people I associate with really care one way or another.