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Is It Tacky To Decorate with Fake Plants?

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Is It Tacky To Decorate with Fake Plants?

We've all seen it.  The neighbor has a fancy geranium on her coffee table.  The dusty ivy on a family member's piano.  Or a cactus in a doctor's waiting room.  Everyone has encountered fake plants, and some may have thought: "Wow! Those fake pansies look great in the mug. Nice job!" Conversely, some may have rolled their eyes and said to themselves: " Ugh. Tacky!"

I used to think this way, until I was in a hotel in California a few years ago.  I saw a lush evergreen plant next to the elevator.  Its leaves feel thin; the stems are smooth.  The variegated pattern is complex.  As a professional gardener, I couldn't believe the staff grew it so beautifully in zero sunlight.  Then I noticed the dull paint soil.  That healthy specimen was not healthy at all.  It's obvious at a glance that it's not real.

I find myself looking for high quality fake plants every time I shop at a home store.  I would examine the leaves to see how finely they were cut, evaluate the color, and test whether I could see the polyester pattern from a few feet away.  If it doesn't pass my test, I assume it's fake and skip it. Found more realistic artificial plants that I took home.


I felt embarrassed for months.  A contractor made light of the fern look-alike on my dining room table.  A friend giggled when she saw the fake philodendron on my bathroom shelf.  I don't care, I can't stop.  The corners, nooks and interior walls of my house that used to be dark and sad now make me feel happy.  Those little green plants soothe my soul in a way that a candle or vase cannot.

Eventually, I found out why: numerous studies show that looking at plants—even from the corner of your eye—can reduce stress.  Before I knew it, I was on a self-care mission.  Like anyone, I have a natural biological tendency to relax, so I put aside my embarrassment and fully embraced decorating with artificial plants.

As a result of my new concept of forged leaves, I realized that low maintenance plants in real life are not as worthy of display as those that require special conditions.  For example, snake plants or cacti grow slowly without care, so it would be more convenient to display an artificial version of a plant that grows quickly and requires heavy pruning.

When choosing a fake plant, it is important to consider its shape.  In a design, a vertical focal point serves the space well.  While bushy plants will soften and add texture to all panels, tall plants will create drama.  It contrasts with the low planes of the table and floor.


Sometimes fake plants can look tacky with their tall, bare branches.  For example, the trunk of a dracaena tree is often shinier than a waxed car.  The same goes for banyan trees, olive trees and eucalyptus trees.  However, there are many foolproof options.

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