Friends often come to me with their houseplant problems—issues like falling leaves, sad wilting, and no new growth. They’re usually surprised to hear my diagnosis: that it shouldn’t be a houseplant at all. Instead, I encourage friends with a craving for greens in their living spaces to take faux houseplants for a test drive.
Think about the conditions in which plants thrive outdoors—there’s humidity in the air, natural sunlight, and pollinators buzzing around. While some plants perform better than others in indoor settings, it’s not uncommon for most to ultimately die due to dry air quality, inadequate lighting, and poor soil. For these reasons, I’m all about the fake houseplant trend.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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The Most Real Looking Fake Plants On the Internet
Most of our favorite shops now sell incredible artificial indoor plants, making it easy to add a realistic botanical splash to your home. Best of all: the only maintenance these beauties require is a dusting every now and again. Gone are the days of tacky, waxy-looking fake houseplants—it’s practically impossible to recognize fake indoor plants these days. From budding bulbs to full-on fiddle leaf figs, there’s an artificial house plant version of nearly every plant out there.
The Best Faux Hanging and Trailing Plants
Crate & Barrel Faux Trailing Ficus Hanging Plant in Pot
Hanging artificial indoor plants are ideal because they’re rarely in close contact with curious eyes. Not that you need to worry about anyone getting a close look at this beauty! The vibrant green hues are extremely lifelike and add the perfect pop of color.
Pottery Barn Faux Trailing Variegated String of Hearts Houseplant
Transform your space with this cascading trail of vines. The variegation adds texture and color, heightening the realism of this gorgeous faux houseplant. Let the vines hang off a shelf or artfully sprawl them across a bookcase or shelf. It’s practically whimsical!
Afloral Artificial Plants Hanging Tradescantia Houseplant
With a lush and wandering trail of verdant leaves, the tradescantia epitomizes natural beauty. This faux version balances the oxymoron of being dramatically minimalist to perfection. Whether you place it in a basket or a planter, it’ll be gorgeous in any corner of any room.
The Sill Faux Tradescantia Zebrina
Despite being known for their beautiful living plants, The Sill’s line of fake indoor plants is fabulous. This faux Tradescantia Zebrina adds a fresh pop of color to any space with its vibrant and dramatic appearance. The Sill’s lovely ceramic pot gives it a super-realistic look.
The Best Faux Trees
Threshold™ x Studio McGee Olive Tree in Ceramic Pot
Bring the outdoors in with this incredibly realistic olive tree—it’ll look gorgeous in any room in your home. That said, there’s something so romantic about the delicate, fluttering leaves that it just might lend itself to being a beautiful bedroom plant. The sleek white ceramic pot has a polished, timeless aesthetic that won’t pull focus from this lovely tree.
Pottery Barn Faux Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees
Add this fiddle leaf to the list of notoriously tricky indoor plants to keep alive—making it the perfect option for a faux houseplant. Pick from two glorious sizes depending on how much space you have and watch how it lights up the space. It’s a beautiful, eye-catching tree.
West Elm Faux Potted Rubber Tree
There’s a reason rubber trees are a longtime classic staple—they’re moody, gorgeous, and timeless. Adding a faux version to your living room, dining area, or workspace will brighten up your days. It’s not easy to make a shiny-leaf plant look realistic, but West Elm pulled it off with this one.
The Best Faux Sprays, Flowers, and Branches
Pottery Barn Faux Peony Bouquets
When I first caught a glance of these stunning bouquets, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Peonies are universally loved, but their short growing season makes them difficult to keep indoors as long as we’d like. Thankfully, these affordable faux picks make it possible. I purchased the white bouquet for my bathroom and plan to keep the light pink option on my bedside table. Effortless glamor at its finest.
Crate & Barrel Artificial White Cherry Blossom Flower Branch
Even though it’s made of polyester, plastic, and wire, you’d never know this artificial branch wasn’t straight from the garden. Who doesn’t want an eternal harbinger of spring hanging out in their home? It’s a lovely addition to any living space, whether it’s popped into a fuller arrangement or left to its own devices in a decorative statement vase.
Terrain Faux Dahlia Stem
When dahlias are in season, there’s nothing I’d rather spend my money on. You’ll find a rainbow of hues at almost any farmer’s market and their multi-dimensional colors fit well with every aesthetic. This stem lets you keep the magic going year-round, adding a peachy pop of warmth to your home.
Vickerman Artificial White Magnolia Spray
If you’ve had a hankering for some spring blooms look no further than this sweet faux magnolia branch. It features magnolia blooms on a wired twig stem and reaches up to 42 inches in height. Tuck it in a larger arrangement or place it in a statement vase on your mantelpiece. Either way, it’s a showstopper.
The Best Faux Succulents, Cacti, and
Crate & Barrel Faux Pencil Succulent
Succulents make great faux houseplants because the funky texture lends itself to easily being realistically reproduced. Spice up a coffee table, kitchen counter, or end table with this regal, asymmetrical option. It’s handmade by artisans (so each one is unique) and lives in a round cement pot with a textured white finish.
Crate & Barrel Faux Cactus
I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to keep a cactus alive for more than a few months (insert sad face emoji). Maybe it’s because I’m fighting against the Pacific Northwest humidity, but whatever the case, this faux option is definitely the answer I’ve been looking for. I’ll welcome any simple solution that invigorates my space with a little warmth of the Southwest.
West Elm Faux Potted Donkey Tail Plant
I love the structural drama of easy-to-care-for succulents. And when you don’t have to care for them at all—that’s a huge bonus in my book. Stacking a ceramic pot filled with one of these faux beauties atop a bundle of my favorite design books? Now that’s an aesthetic.
The Best Faux Houseplants
Pottery Barn Faux Potted Maidenhair Fern
When I want to infuse a room with a little romance (always), maidenhair ferns are the answer. While the real version can be notoriously challenging to keep alive—sun damage can do a number on its lush and verdant stems—this faux option gives a welcome spring vibe minus the “when was the last time I watered it?” headache.
Crate & Barrel Faux Potted Monstera
Everyone loves the Swiss cheese-look of the popular monstera plant, but they’re not the easiest to tend to. This faux version gives you all the natural, lush beauty of a highly coveted plant without any of the stress. No one will ever be the wiser—even the soil looks realistic!
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This post was originally published on March 18, 2019, and has since been updated.
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