Houseplant Girl

When are Fake Plants a Good Idea?

If you travel too much, live in an apartment with no windows, have a black thumb, or just don’t want the responsibility of owning living plants, maybe you should consider the fake kind.

I know what you may be thinking. They’re tacky! They look awful and plastic. Who owns fake plants these days?

If you are questioning owning fake plants, don’t worry. The fake plant technology has gotten increasingly better these days, with some imitations looking more realistic than the real thing.

Can you guess which one of these Pothos plants is fake?

real pothos

Who should own fake plants?

Anyone! I even own fake house plants… and I’m the house plant girl!

My bathroom has no windows and is generally an unwelcoming pit. I wanted to add some flare and spruce it up with some plants, but they all kept dying. Absolutely no light enters the bathroom, and its size prevents the plants from having any decent room to spread out and relax. So, I got myself some fake bathroom plants. And you know what? People love them! I love them! They look real and they provide the same happy feelings as the real plants provide me in the other spaces of my house.

If you travel a lot, can’t get your cats to stop eating your plants no matter what you do (read my post here), you hate taking care of living things, or you just don’t want to deal with it all, fake plants are a great alternative.

Admittedly, at first I was skeptical. Who really gets the fake stuff these days? Apparently a lot of people. If Ikea sells them, you know they’re making their way into tons of people’s small Euro homes.

And you don’t have to tell anyone they aren’t real. If they look real enough, let people know that they’re authentic and you put a lot of effort into their care and love. What’s there to lose? Nothing. You’ll only gain jealous glances from those who wish they could be as good at gardening as you.

Why Are They So Expensive?

Actually, fake plants aren’t expensive at all. Think about it. You are buying something that needs absolutely NO maintenance. You won’t have to buy soil, new pots, fertilizer, etc. And you don’t have to worry about losing money if you kill them. These things live forever—so don’t think about the cost. Think about how little you have to do for them.

Generally, what are the best looking fake plants?

Personally, I think ferns, palms, and trees in general, are the best looking fake plants.

Take, for example, the Nearly Naturals Fake Ficus Tree. It looks amazing, in part because it has a REAL trunk. In reality, this tree is half real and half fake, but it needs 0.000000000 maintenance.

I can't believe it's not real! The Fig Tree Edition

I can’t believe it’s not real! The Fig Tree Edition

The company puts in 1008 individual leaves, and the whole plant measures 6 feet in length. It’s truly hard to tell this thing is fake, with a lot of fluff and great foliage, even the color looks real.

In real life, the ficus is a finicky plant that needs to be fertilized, have lots of sunlight and the right amount of watering and pruning. You can’t be passive with one of these, which is a great reason to buy the artificial version.


The Japanese Fruticosa is another great example of fake plant gone right.

Japanese fruticosa

Again, this plant has real bark, making it look distinct and real and NOT tacky. I mean, look at it! It looks like it belongs in a Martha Stewart catalog, but these people are smart because there is absolutely NOTHING they need to do in order to care for this Japanese gem that’s probably impossible to care for.

What About Fake Outdoor Plants?

Yes, these exist too. Less people admit to having fake outdoor plants, but again, they exist and many people love them. If you can’t afford to have someone landscape your lawn, or just don’t want to hassle with the care and attention needed to outdoor trees, plants, etc, then outdoor plants would be a great option.

Take, for example, the artificial Birch tree. It’s something that would normally take a lot of upkeep, someone would have to prune and shape it, etc.

But with a fake version, all you have to do is unwrap it and enjoy. It’s stupid easy.

artificial birch treee

The amount of topiary’s you can get is endless, with literally any type of shape and animal size you want.



Honestly, the options are endless and you don’t need an excuse anymore in order to get a fake plant. No longer tacky, artificial greenery can be just as nice and inviting as the real thing. Don’t feel be bad if you don’t want to bring home dirt, soil, and attract your cats to a buffet of shrubbery.

Sometimes fake plants are just the better option.

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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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    • designerplants March 25, 2016, 1:20 am

      “Hi Admin,

      Fake plants have their place and look ‘real’ so I have no problem placing them in areas that a real plant would find it hard to survive.


      Designer Plants”

    • Flynn September 26, 2017, 10:51 pm

      Thanks for your sharing.This is quite helpful.

    • Brayden Brade September 27, 2017, 8:31 am

      Your opening survey displaying the two Pothos plants is pretty convincing. I travel a lot so this all resonates with me. I’m convinced!