Quality faux plants can be worth the investment, Davis says, to get the most realistic version - though a discerning eye could even find one at less-expensive big-box stores. Wherever you shop, look for variation in leaf color and shape. (Carter points out that his faux plants had some emerging blooms or leaves.)
Often, fake houseplants come in “pretty sad” pots, Davis says, so look for ones with character. Check the height of the plant inside its new pot, and prop it up if needed. Put preserved moss around the plant’s base, says Erin Marino, editorial lead at the Sill, to give it added life, and replace the moss once it becomes too dusty.
If there are wire stems, Davis suggests bending them to make the branches look as though they are aiming for light.
Decorate with a mix
If you can, use both real and fake plants in your home. In areas that can support live plants, go for it, but in dark areas, don’t be afraid to go faux.
Also vary the type of faux plants you choose. “It’s always important to have a mix of sizes, colors, shapes, varieties, just to create that sort-of outdoor look,” Carter says. “You don’t look outside and see the same type of plant, tree, shrub. . . . Mixing it up can make it feel more tropical or more desert. . . . Lushness is what I go for.”
Caring for faux houseplants
Though they are easy to care for, fake plants aren’t necessarily no-maintenance. Marino recommends dusting the leaves occasionally to keep them looking real. “You can use a paper towel, feather duster, even a hair dryer on low,” she says.
Try to keep them out of bright direct light and avoid spaces with high moisture, both of which could discolor the plants faster, Marino advises. If they do get stains, try spot-cleaning them with a cloth and warm, soapy water.
Forget worrying about overwatering, under-watering, seeking out sun, and pesky bugs. “Faux plants make life a little simpler,” Ward says.
“It’s OK to have a faux plant in your home,” Carter reassures. “Don’t feel pressured to always shove these living plants into the corners of your home and then have them die on you.”