I love plants with a passion and will happily spend all my spare cash and free time on the weekends perusing our local nursery.
I also know that some of you are triggered at the idea of fake plants. In fact, I see your fingers heating up getting ready to leave me a mean comment.
I’ve written about my love/hate relationship with fake plants before. SURE, real plants are better, but hear me out!
After killing some expensive potted trees on my porch last summer, I replaced them with fake outdoor plants. They look exactly like the real trees I replaced, they are fade-proof, and they have looked great on my porch all winter.
This photo was taken in February in Tennessee when no potted porch plant has any business being alive outdoors.
A little backstory …
When we moved to this house with a large covered porch, I had a gardening expert over to my house to give me advice for how to landscape, what plants to replace, and things like that.
I told him that I wanted our covered porch to feel full of plants and lush with a lot of potted trees. I asked him what type of trees or large plants I should buy. He told me that since the porch was covered and the plants wouldn’t benefit from rainfall (our state is very rainy) that he did not recommend trees under the porch.
He told me that even if I was committed to watering them that it might not be enough and they would likely die.
I didn’t listen and I bought a bunch of real trees for my covered porch. You can see photos of them here. I watered them religiously, but it only took a few months for me to start noticing signs of dryness and then I spent the rest of the summer watching all my trees die a slow death.
VERY sad. After that, I believed him, so I decided to replace my trees with faux trees and plants.
The price was similar to the price of buying real plants, but now that winter is almost over and they all still look perfect I am very happy I made that choice instead of digging in further.
When is a faux plant better than a real plant?
-Choose faux trees for outdoor spaces that don’t get rain (like a covered porch).
-Faux plants are a good choice for spots where you have a very specific plant in mind, but that plant was not happy there. I use this rule inside and outside.
-If the price of the faux plant and the real plant are similar and you aren’t sure you can keep the real plant alive, choose the faux plant to be safe.
-Faux plants are a good choice for people who travel a lot, vacation, and own rental properties.
-If you live in a climate that can’t support the plants you want.
How to make faux plants look more real
I have two important tips that make my faux plants look real. The number one MOST important tip is to mix real and faux plants. When you have some real plants and some faux plants in your space people will assume they are all real!
I do this indoors and outdoors! For example, all the trees on my patio are fake now, but I will still have some fresh herbs and real snake plants and other succulents out there that do great all season.
Use real dirt on your faux plants. I know this may seem a little strange, but planting your faux plants in real dirt makes them look more real and it also helps to hold them upright (outdoor plants that are unsupported can get blown over by the wind a lot).
You can also cover the top of the soil in small rocks if you like the look of that more.
Here are some of my favorite potted trees.
Links: Cedar Pine Tree / Cypress Tree with Lights / Double Ball Boxwood Tree / Fiddle Leaf Tree / Tall Boxwood Tree / Olive Tree with Planter / Cedar Shrub / Mini Cedar Pine Tree / Traveler’s Palm Tree
I hope this post has been helpful! I didn’t even know you could find so many outdoor trees that look this real and don’t fade.
They were so worth it to me because I know we will enjoy them for years to come and I can’t kill them. So after reading that, what are your thoughts on faux plants outdoors?
P.S. If you’re getting your patio ready for warmer weather, check out our outdoor furniture shopping guide!