Fake plants have kind of a bad reputation. Maybe fake plants get a bad rap because the word fake is in their name: “Hi, my name is Fake Kira.” No one would be my friend, right?
Have you ever encountered this scenario before:
You walk into your friend’s new house and she’s showing you around and you see a glorious looking plant.
You: “Oh wow, that plant is so pretty! What kind is it?”
Friend: “It’s fake.”
Look, I’m about to convince you that fake plants are the bomb.com (or die trying), but let’s be honest: there’s something a little disappointing when you see a killer-looking plant only to discover that it’s not real. I mean, the reason it looks so good is probably the fact that it’s fake. In my opinion, that slight disappointment of not having raised a house plant from a baby seedling to an independent, self-sufficient, sassy AF adult is outweighed by all their great qualities. Think of it like adoption. 😬
Let’s run through some benefits.
I’m calling this “low maintenance” and not “no maintenance” for a reason. If you’ve ever seen a fake plant that hasn’t been dusted since it was acquired in the 90’s then you know what I’m talking about. I have this very specific memory of a fake plant in a friend’s house growing up that also had fake water in the vase. No one had ever cleaned this particular fake plant and so the “water” had turned into a color that can really only be described by one word: urine.
But look. It doesn’t have to get to that point. A quick rinse with a wet rag a few times per year is probably all it takes.
No surprises here, but by low maintenance I am also referring to the fact that a fake plant cannot be killed. As I’ve said many times on this blog, I do not have the ability to keep a live plant alive. It’s hard enough managing my own food and water intake – I certainly can’t be bothered to drop a few ice cubes in a house plant once a week. No, sir.
The fact that fake plants don’t die also means they’re easily transportable. Tom and I moved around a lot in our 20’s. Some of our real plants didn’t survive those moves, but our fake plants always did.
YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING FROM DAY 1
When you buy a real plant you never know what it’ll look like fully grown – if it survives that long. With a fake plant, you can find one that fits the exact dimensions you’re looking for. If you can’t find the perfect fake plant at the first store you go to, keep shopping around. Unlike real plants where I tend to see the same types at all the various plant shops around Chicago, every fake plant is different (when it’s being made from plastic, imagination is really the only limitation). I have been surprised at some of the places I have found some really cool fake plants, like Target, Wayfair, Home Goods. And like clothing, fake plants go through trend cycles. So if you don’t find The One this season, fret not. There will be a whole new crop next year 😉
A nice fake plant isn’t going to break the bank. A real house plant won’t either if you’re buying it young – but if you want one fully grown like we did, it’s going to cost you. Tom and I wanted a fiddle leaf fig when we moved a few years ago. We were even willing to put up what we thought was some serious cash for one. We started looking and found the perfect one at Jayson Home and Garden, which is just around the corner from us. I took a look at the price tag: $80. Wow, I thought – that’s not a bad price. I asked the clerk if the price was correct. “Oops,” she said, “that sticker is missing a zero.”
Yep. $800. You can’t make this stuff up. We took a pass.
In the end Tom’s mom found a baby fiddle leaf that as I recall was dying and thus cost $13, and Tom has been slowly nursing it back to life. It’s actually not doing too bad. But it’s also not shooting into the sky like a magic beanstalk. I’ll probably have a full head of grey hair by the time it grows to the size I want it to be, but hey, maybe we can bequeath it to our grandchildren some day.
PLANTS IN GENERAL
If I haven’t convinced you to buy a fake plant, I hope I can at least convince to buy a plant. I talked about how easily house plants can elevate your space in this post, and I swear it’s true. Yes, one of the best benefits of house plants is their ability to purify your home’s air, but fake plants can still pack a pretty hefty design punch. Our brains see greenery and equate it to “life,” so your space is guaranteed to feel a certain level of approachability. Balancing man-made furniture with organic forms like plants brings balance and harmony to any space.
Ok so I hope I’ve convinced you to give the fake-plant-fad a try. Spotted any good fakers lately? Let me know in the comments below!