Live vs. Artificial Plants: Which to Choose for Your Home?
Live vs. Artificial Plants: Which to Choose for Your Home?
Houseplants are one of the most popular home decor trends right now. In fact, pictures of gorgeous greenery seem to have completely taken over social media. If you love the aesthetic of a mini indoor garden but don’t quite have a green thumb, you may be thinking it could be good to have fake plants at home. But is using fake plants for inside decor really better than opting for real plants?
We’ll discuss the pros and cons of both real and artificial plants to demonstrate why faux silk plants may be better for you. Then we’ll help you make sure your fake plants aren’t tacky by going over the best fake plants for home decorating. Keep reading for information to help settle the battle between using faux plants vs. real for home decor.
Should I Buy Real or Fake Plants for My Home?
There are many pros and cons when it comes to real plants vs. fake plants. Some of the drawbacks and advantages of faux plants or live plants can make a big difference in your decision, while others may not matter as much. Understanding which plant qualities are most important to you before weighing the benefits of artificial plants vs. real plants can help make your choice clearer.
Before making the call between artificial or real indoor plants, ask yourself these questions:
- How often am I home? If you are frequently traveling and don’t have anyone at home to look after your plants, even the most low-maintenance live plants can be challenging to take care of. How busy your schedule is may determine what kind of houseplant is right for you.
- What level of maintenance am I looking for? Even if frequent travel is not a factor for you, you still have a choice between a plant that involves little to no maintenance and one that needs more attention. While some people enjoy caring for a high-maintenance plant and watching it grow over time, others prefer a pretty plant they can place on the table and forget about for a few days. Certain types of fake and real plants require more intense maintenance, so make sure you determine how much time you can invest in a plant before purchasing.
- Do I have nosey pets? Sometimes house pets such as dogs and cats find entertainment or comfort in chewing on real plants’ leaves or digging around in the pot’s soil. Keep in mind whether your pet tends to get overly playful when choosing your houseplant. Additionally, it is best to keep houseplants out of the reach of young children.
- How much room do I have? Think about how much space you have in your home for plants. A live plant may grow to become much larger than it was the day you bought it, so make sure you have enough room for it to expand if you choose a real plant. You will also need to think about whether the space you have for a real plant gets enough sunlight to keep the plant alive.
- Will I be moving soon? If you plan to stage your home for sale in the near future, you may want to opt for a faux plant. Fake plants are popular in the home staging industry because the plant display may be in the home for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how long it takes the house to sell. Real potted plants can still be used when staging a home as long as there is a weekly maintenance and watering service plan.
Artificial Plants vs. Live Plants
With an idea of what plant traits would fit best with your lifestyle, you can start evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of fake vs. real plants. Below are the main pros and cons of using real or fake plants in home decorating.
Pros of Real Plants
The most notable advantage of keeping a real plant in your home is the wide variety of health benefits that living plants offer. Research has shown that plants provide a range of benefits for physical and mental health. Here are the main ways houseplants can enhance your health:
- Reduce stress levels: Studies found that having plants in your house or office can make you feel more soothed, comfortable, and natural.
- Produce therapeutic effects: Working with plants can increase feelings of well-being among people with mental health conditions. Specifically, horticultural therapy may benefit those with anxiety, depression, and dementia.
- Help you recover from sickness: A research review found that hospital patients who regularly looked at plants needed less pain medication and recovered quicker than those with no interaction with greenery during their recovery period.
- Boost productivity: Research shows that people who work with plants in the room have a higher productivity level and take fewer sick days than those who work without plants. Another study found that students worked 12% faster and were significantly less stressed when a plant was nearby.
- Improve air quality: In the 1980s, NASA researchers concluded that the roots and soil of a houseplant do wonders to improve indoor air quality by reducing airborne volatile organic compounds. More recent research has confirmed that certain plants can produce exceptionally cleaner air by decreasing the amount of dust and mold in a room, which may even provide allergy relief for some plant owners.
Keep in mind that many emotional and mental health benefits can come from merely looking at plants, which means the advantages apply to artificial plants as well. However, real plants are the only ones that can clean the toxins from things like paint and soft furnishings out of the air and improve the humidity levels in the room. Those who work indoors for most of the day may especially benefit from fresher indoor air.
Live plants also offer the natural, beautiful scent of fresh flowers that you can’t recreate with an air freshener. Fresh flowers are easy and accessible to pick up whenever you’re out running errands. You can pick up a bundle of flowers that’s budget-friendly while you’re grocery shopping.
Cons of Real Plants
Although a bundle of flowers is easy to pick up on a whim, those flowers typically die within a week or two. Unless you take extremely good care of them, live flowers are liable to wither and die quickly. While other types of live plants might not be as fragile as flowers, they still begin to wilt if not given the proper amount of attention.
The popular term “plant mom” has some merit to it — a real plant is a living being that you will be responsible for taking care of. Any time you take an extended trip out of town, you will likely need to ask someone to check on and water your live houseplants much like you would with a pet. If you lead a busy lifestyle, watering live plants regularly can easily slide to the bottom of your to-do list. Whether you’re swamped at work or simply forgetful, you might not be the best match for a real plant if you can’t commit to regularly watering it and providing it the proper fertilizer.
Part of keeping your real houseplant alive includes having a suitable spot to put it. You will need to clear a space in your home where the plant can receive plenty of sunlight but not too much direct light. You should also try to place your live plant somewhere far away from items you do not want to spill water or soil on.
Perhaps the biggest con of owning a real houseplant is the risk of pests getting into your home. A live plant can attract creatures that like to feed off the plant’s leaves or burrow in its soil. The most common types of pests that real plants bring into your home are aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, whitefly, and fungus gnats. If you are considering getting a live houseplant, look for types of plants that resist pests.
Pros of Artificial Plants
The numerous benefits of faux plants solve many of the problems real plants pose. Most notably, you can’t kill a fake plant. Unless you throw your faux plant away, it can essentially last forever. The durability of fake plants means you can save money by not having to replace them often.
Along with being long-lasting, artificial plants are incredibly low-maintenance, so you can enjoy your beautiful houseplant for the least amount of stress and work possible. Here are the top five issues you won’t have to worry about when you buy a fake plant:
- Watering: No more forgetting to water your plants on a daily basis or playing the guessing game of how much to water them. With a faux plant, you don’t need to worry about under- or over-watering at all.
- Pests: Faux plants aren’t attractive to bugs, so you can rest easy knowing your home is pest-free.
- Soil quality: Aside from a bit of occasional dusting, your artificial plant won’t require any maintenance. You won’t have to think about checking the soil, fertilization, or spraying chemicals. Being able to skip these steps can save you time and money.
- Toxicity: While some live indoor plants, such as peace lily plants, can be toxic to pets and small children, faux plants do not come with any risks of toxicity. Fake plants also eliminate the worry of furry friends or little ones knocking the pot over and causing a mess.
- Placement: Your artificial plant doesn’t need to be in a prime location to thrive. No matter the lighting or temperature, a fake plant will not wilt or shrivel up. Whether you place your faux plant front and center on your windowsill or in the coldest, darkest corner of your house, it will continue to look as spry as the day you bought it.
Although it doesn’t matter where you station your fake plant, you may want to place it near a source of natural lighting if you want to maintain a live plant aesthetic. A fake houseplant sitting near a window may look more believable. Ultimately, you can and should place your faux plant wherever makes you happiest.
Regardless of where you put your faux plant, you won’t have to worry about whether it will outgrow the space you purchased it to fill. You also won’t have to remember to buy a bigger pot as the plant grows because its size will never change. The only time you’ll have to switch out your fake plant’s pot or location is if you want to change things up. You can easily transport a faux plant from room to room without worrying about spilling dirt or leaking water.
In addition to being easier to care for, quality artificial plants look just as good as real plants. Thanks to the evolving technology of silk and other materials over the years, faux plants have rapidly improved to look more realistic. Instead of appearing cheap, plastic, or strangely perfect, today’s fake plants are expertly crafted to look perfectly imperfect, giving them a more natural look.
Texture and style are key to achieving a natural-looking fake plant. Today’s top faux plant manufacturers have mastered the art of matte and glossy finishes to create greenery that looks remarkably live. Along with making progress in quality, the overall selection of fake plants has become more diverse to include more architectural, sculptural species as well as the more traditional flower arrangements.
Cons of Artificial Plants
The biggest downfall of buying an artificial plant is not buying from a reputable retailer. Although faux plants have come a long way in recent years, there are still a lot of cheap and flimsy fake plants on the market. If you skip the research before deciding which brand to buy from, you may end up with a substandard faux plant.
Picking a well-made artificial plant involves more than avoiding tacky home decor. Faux plants made with low-quality materials are also more difficult to clean because their fabric petals can be hard to dust. Buying a fake plant that is difficult to take care of negates the low-maintenance benefits of decorating with artificial plants.
To avoid getting stuck with a cheap fake plant, make sure you investigate a faux plant retailer’s reviews before buying online. As long as you make your purchase from a reputable outlet, you can get a gorgeous and genuine-looking faux plant. Even if a high-quality fake plant is a bit pricier than others, you will save money in the long run by not having to replace it as often as a live plant or paying for soil, fertilizer, pesticides, and other indoor gardening supplies.
What Types of Artificial Plants Are Best?
Once you’ve decided on artificial plants, you’ll need to think about which type of faux plant would be best for your home. Each fake plant has something different to offer, so it’s important to know what to look for when buying artificial plants. To avoid a fake plant that looks gimmicky, look for a plant with these characteristics:
- A realistic-looking stem or trunk
- Imperfect leaves or petals
- An eye-catching pot — although you can always switch up the pot later
- Something that resembles dirt or soil in the pot
When looking for these faux plant characteristics, you may want to steer clear of any gaudy or garish features, like fake raindrops or an extremely glossy finish. Instead, focus on finding a fake plant with more organic elements, like delicate root sheaths at its base. Have pictures of the real plant with you when shopping for a fake plant so you can compare the real thing with the replica.
In general, it is safest to choose a fake version of a plant that has a naturally waxy look, such as aloe vera, because they make the most believable faux plants. More specifically, these are the top houseplants to purchase as faux plants:
- Succulents: An artificial succulent might be the ultimate fake plant. Whether you prefer a tall, spiky cactus plant or a charming miniature succulent mix, you can choose from a range of faux succulents that flawlessly mimic the waxy look of natural succulents.
- Tropicals: Faux tropicals allow you to feel like you’re in paradise every day. From sweeping palm trees to hibiscuses in full bloom, you can create your own personal sanctuary out of artificial tropicals.
- Fiddle-leaf fig trees: A fake fiddle-leaf fig tree is the ideal alternative to the real version, which is mildly toxic to our furry friends. Faux fiddle-leaf fig trees allow you to leave the house without worrying about whether your pet will nibble on its leaves.
- Monstera plants: Fake monstera plants make the perfect addition to a faux indoor garden because their gorgeous green leaves are incredibly aesthetic. Purchase an artificial monstera plant in a lovely ceramic pot to make your faux plant collection even more visually appealing.
- Snake plants: If you want an artificial plant with a unique coloring, a faux snake plant is the flora for you. You’ll love looking at the snake plant’s striped leaves each day without having to water it or change its soil.
- Hydrangeas: One of the best parts about hydrangeas is all the vibrant colors the flower comes in. When you purchase faux silk hydrangeas, you’ll never have to worry about their beautiful colors fading.
- Agave plants: While a real agave plant needs full sunlight, a faux agave plant can thrive anywhere. A fake agave plant is also an excellent alternative to the real deal, which is extremely toxic to pets.
- Bamboo: Anyone who’s ever tried growing real bamboo knows how quickly it can take over your yard. With faux bamboo, you can enjoy the beauty of this hardy plant without worrying about it outgrowing its pot or stealing nutrients from your other plants.
- Peonies: Peonies are a stunning variety of flower with full, robust petals. Purchasing faux silk peonies will allow you to admire their delightful petals each day without ever seeing them droop.
- Orchids: Real orchids need lots of direct sunlight to produce their elegant and colorful flowers. If you don’t have a sunny spot available, a beautiful faux silk orchid can brighten up any corner of your home.
Find a Realistic Faux Plant at Jamali Garden
If you’re looking for an artificial plant that will look trendy and tasteful in your home, Jamali Garden has the beautiful faux plants you need. Our faux greenery and silk flowers are made to look as realistic as possible so you can create a low-maintenance indoor garden that looks marvelous. Get inspired by the wide variety of artificial plants available from Jamali Garden and create a houseplant display you’ll love seeing every day.