To Buy Real Plants or Faux? All Your Questions Answered

Using plants to decorate your home or work place is a beautiful way to bring color, shape and liveliness into a space. But maybe you’re worried because you don’t have a green thumb or you don’t know if your space gets enough sunlight or you don’t know what plant to buy. There are so many choices! And then we have fake plants… are they tacky? Are they a home decor faux-pas? Are they worth the money? I’m here to answer ALL of those questions and give you some of my favorite tips on how to decorate with plants like a pro!

Alongside my work as an interior decorator, I work as a visual merchandiser specifically for plants. Usually this also involves chatting with customers along the way and making suggestions of which plants to buy based off their needs. However, the number one thing I always hear is “But I kill all of my houseplants” or “I can’t keep those alive”. I promise, even if you are one of these self professed plant murderers, there is hope! Or maybe you have a luscious jungle in your house and a magical green thumb, either way, let’s get to it, get your questions answered and get you inspired!

Is Fake Lame?

Fake plants and greenery have come a long ways since the eighties dollar tree flowers (am I the only one who remembers those tacky, bright hues and neon flowers?) There is 100% a time and place for the use of fake plants over live ones. These are the areas I always opt for faux over live :

  • Kids rooms. I have hanging greenery in all of my kids rooms. I love the way it looks in the space and I love that I don’t have to worry about my kiddos picking the plants apart or spilling dirt everywhere. Hanging plants or plants on high shelves are great options for little ones rooms.
  • Bathrooms with no windows or other very low lit areas of the home. Often times, bathrooms are in the interior of the home and don’t have windows so your private business stays your private business. I love the look of luscious plant in the bathroom but if your bathroom doesn’t have a window or get natural light, opt for a fake plant.
  • Rooms in your house that you don’t frequent often. If you have a guest bedroom that stays empty 360 days out of the year but holds your relatives during the holidays, cozy up the space with some faux greenery. If you don’t enter a room frequently, chances are your plant is going to be neglected.
  • Other areas worth mentioning where a faux plant is ideal, Cubicles at work with no window, basements without windows, and low places (like on the floor or a coffee table) where pets would be tempted to nibble.

As far as where to find incredible faux greenery, check your local craft store (Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc.) as well as Homegoods, Target, Marshals, and IKEA. All of these places have affordable fake plants that look luscious and lively. It might be a bit of an investment, but it will last for years to come. Just be sure to occasionally dust and wipe down the leaves so it stays fresh looking. Nothing says “dated and fake” like a dusty plant.

P.S. You can also check your local thrift store! I’ve found some great faux plants on my thrifting adventures.

When to opt for live plants…

Always and any time a room has any amount of natural light! It’s no secret that I love plants. My house is full of them and they have become so woven into the backdrop of our every day that my kids hardly even mess with them anymore and occasionally will even help water the plant babies. We have plants everywhere! Obviously, you don’t have to turn into a full blown crazy plant lady with 95 different plants and even a super cute planter pot that says “ooops I wet my plants” (don’t judge me) but you can start small. Maybe you just have one or two house plants on your living room built ins or one on the kitchen counter. Either way, this is my advice for those new to house plant babies:

  • Start with just one or two. Get used to taking care of that one plant before adding on more.
  • Get on a watering schedule. Most plants do not need water more than once per week, some even less than that. Pick a day to be your watering day and stick to it! Mark it on your calendar so you don’t forget.
  • If you tend to neglect your plants, start off with a succulent or cactus because those thrive off of neglect! If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and tend to “over-nurture” your plants, Philodendron is a great plant for beginners. She loves lots of water and is super adaptable when it comes to lighting needs.
  • Get creative with your plants! If you don’t have much spare table space, consider hanging plants or get a cute plant stand. Plants are also great to work as sculptural pieces in your décor. Choose fun pots or baskets for your plants for added personality.
  • When first starting out, if you feel overwhelmed, pick where you want to put your plant before heading off to make a purchase. It’s important to consider where your plant is going to live so you can know what type of plant to buy. If you are looking for something to brighten up your sunroom, you’ll have a lot more freedom and can choose plants that like lots of light. If you’re adding a plant to your bedside table that doesn’t get much natural light, make sure you pick up a plant that doesn’t need much light. As you get more comfortable with plants, you can buy whatever suits your fancy and then once you get home find the perfect spot.

These are just a few of the houseplants in our home. I rotate them around and re-arrange them every once in awhile. I hope this gives you some fun ideas for how to style! I love how each plant has it’s own unique shape and personality.

Thanks so much for reading along and I hope this post inspires you to go pick up a plant baby this weekend.

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