Last Updated on November 9, 2023
If you’re looking to decorate with artificial plants but you want a more realistic look, this is the post for you! I love a good faux olive tree, but it takes some styling know-how. Here are my top-secret tips on how I make my faux plants look real.
Table of Contents
How To Decorate With Artificial Plants — 7 Design Tips
1. Invest In Quality
When it comes to decorating with artificial plants, you want to invest in quality. Now, quality doesn’t always have to mean expensive, but remember that cheap, plastic leaves and berries with thick seams turn your fake plants into a faux pas.
Scroll and click on the thumbnails below to shop my favorite artificial maiden hair fern plants.
2. Pop That Sucka In a Planter or Basket
Most artificial plants come in the tiniest black plastic pot filled with cement. This is no bueno when it comes to decorating, and it’s a dead giveaway that screams, “I’m so fake!” Almost every faux plant and tree should be restyled in a larger planter or basket. If the planter feels empty, zhush it up with some filler, like fake moss. You can even go a step further and use real dirt. Ticky and clever, right?
You can also shop them by scrolling through the thumbnails below.
3. Reshape With The Bend And Fluff
Like, the bend and snap, this move works every time. Think about when you pull an artificial plant out of the box; it’s gonna be jammed in there, right? The branches will be smooshed and straight up and down, so you must bend and fluff them. Take a look at a real tree outside. The leaves aren’t perfect. The branches have curves. This is what you want to mimic.
The above photo shows how this birds of paradise artificial plant looks straight out of the box. The leaves look too straight and perfect. Below is the same fake plant, but the stems have been bent and fluffed for a more realistic look.
This artificial birds of paradise plant is currently on sale for under $50.
4. Dust Your Artificial Plants When Dusting Your Decor
Every time I post a fake plant, there’s always that one person who comments, “Ewe! That’s a dust collector!” And I know one person, in particular, reading this sentence that will be texting me in 3, 2, 1… LOL. Gotcha! Anyhoo, yes, like any decor in your home, you must dust it. The same goes for folks with real plants in their home. You must give the leaves a dustaroo. Now, if you do it a couple of times a month, a Swiffer or feather duster will do the job, but if you’ve left it sit for 6 months, well, now you’ve got your work cut out for you.
RELATED: If you like this faux fiddle leaf fig tree, click on the link for a full round up you can shop!
How To Clean Your Artificial Plants
If you have a thick layer of dust on your artificial plants, don’t despair. Grab yourself a microfiber towel (damen it for extra dusting superpowers), and wipe each leaf individually. If there’s a stain or grime on a leaf, mix up some water and vinegar in a spray bottle and lightly mist the stain. Wipe clean with a microfiber towel.
But Kyla, the dust is like an inch thick! It’s okay. I’m not judging. There is another solution, and it’s incredibly easy, but it requires an outdoor space and this aerosol can of magic chemicals. I don’t know what is in this unicorn juice, but you spray the crap outta your faux plant, and the dust drips off of it. I used it on an artificial monstera from the thrift store, and it worked miracles.
RELATED: There’s a post hidden on the blog about all my favorite cleaning products, and yes, I’m spilling some secrets from my cleaning lady too!
5. Mix Your Fake Plants With Real Ones
Instead of having one singular plant or tree, decorate with multiple fake plants of different colors, textures, and shapes. For example, I have a few faux olive trees, but I did not buy the exact same tree. Each one has a different shape and size. Also included in my fake plant decor are maiden hair ferns, birds of paradise, and a variety of palm trees. This distracts from anything screaming, “I’m fake!”
To keep them guessing, you can also mix real flowers into your fake greenery, or if you have no issues keeping a snake plant alive, but a fiddle leaf fig silently screams in your presence. Real snake. Fake fiddle. Mix it up!
RELATED: Don’t miss the real guide to the best faux plants.
6. Add Water To Artificial Plants?
You betcha! Before you pop those faux olive branches into a clear glass vase, try this hack. Grab a jug of distilled water and pour an inch or two into the vase before adding the branches. The water adds that perfect touch of reality, and no one’s the wiser. Just be sure to use distilled water. Water from the tap contains minerals that will leave a ring inside your vase as it evaporates, making it difficult to clean. You can shop for these artificial hydrangeas here.
RELATED: Did you know I created a DIY artificial flower arrangement tutorial? That’s how I made the bouquet of hydrangeas above. If you’ve ever wanted to play with resin, click over to learn how!
7. Use Different Heights To Add Interest And Depth
To create added interest and depth, decorate your home with artificial plants in a range of sizes and styles. Different heights will keep the eye moving around the room. This is similar to tip number five, but you know, lucky number 7, right?
Hopefully, you learned a few new helpful tips that will help make your fake plants look a bit more realistic. If you have a secret styling tip you’re dying to share, pop it in the comments below!
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