Artificial Plants and Flowers: Will They Work For You?

Artificial plants and flowers are all the rage in home decorating right now and I can see why.

On my recent shopping trip to Target, I ran across this succulent that looked so real…

I had to touch it just to make sure that it wasn’t.

It would have been great replacement for my fern which had died while I was away on vacation…

dried up dead fern from neglect
What happens when you don’t water ferns for a week…


But before I took THE plunge, I stopped myself long enough to consider:

“Will these artificial plants and flowers work for me (or not)?”

Are Artificial Plants and Flowers Worth It?

Just as in fashion, home decorating is rife with trends that come and go.

Currently, artificial plants and flowers are THE “in” decor trend for 2019.

So lots of retailers, like Pottery Barn are getting in on the action….

fake succulents arrangements in clay pots
Nice arrangement of faux succulents from Pottery Barn


And lots of home decorating bloggers are promoting them, too.

Take a look at how great this faux potted fiddle leaf tree looks in this blogger’s living room:

Image from Driven by Decor


Looks great in her living room, right?

But will this work for me in my home?

That’s the question I needed to answer and why I decided to write this post.

I know that in fashion and in home decorating, my hindsight is always better than my foresight.

So before I try any new trend, I always like to put them through what I call my “3 Musts” before taking the plunge.

These are:

Need: What are the pros and cons of this purchase and do I really need this item?

Function:  Can I use this item in multiple ways, or is it a  timeless purchase worth holding on to years from now?


Love:  Do I absolutely love this item and will I feel the same way later? Or will this “love” fade with time?


The first two musts help me address the practicality of the purchase, and lets me avoid the trap of emotional buying.

The last criteria, allows me to feel out the purchase–to see if my heart still feels the same way as my head.

Evaluating any purchase, by these 3 criteria saves me time, money, and angst, so I feel it worthwhile to go through them each time, no matter how big or small the purchase may be.

Let me consider these 3 criteria in detail below so that you can decide for yourself if these artificial plants and flowers will work for you.

Do You Need Artificial Plants and Flowers?

Now of course, some of you may be saying that artificial plants are not a need but a want.

But when it comes to home decorating, oftentimes our wants can become what feels like a need and vice a versa. There’s an emotional aspect to home decorating and our buying process, therefore, is more complicated than we think.

So whenever I assess a “need” like this, I like to qualify it by thinking about all  the pros and cons.

The pros are pretty obvious. Tell me if you agree…

Pros for artificial plants and flowers:

Low or no maintenance:

Artificial plants look great regardless of light and temperature variations. Some of them even come with bendable branches so that you can make them “look” more natural.

Cost effective:

Artificial plants and flowers won’t die. Enough said.

Easy availability:

Fake plants are available for every season of the year. This makes it easy for home decorators who like to swap out their decor seasonally. No need to wait for your Forsythias to bloom or your hydrangeas to flower. Also, they make less mess and therefore less clean up.

The cons are not so obvious, but they’re there nonetheless.

Cons for artificial plants and flowers:


whatever ones you’re not using, you’ll have to store them somewhere.


Looking at the same plants day after day and year after year can get tiresome. Especially if they make you feel like you’re living in a wax museum.

No health benefits:

Live plants purify the air and increase oxygen–a huge benefit during the winter time when most homes lack air circulation. Artificial plants also lack an emotional quotient –it stays immutable and fixed like a Pet Rock. Can you really feel affection for a rock let alone plastic?

Are Artificial Plants and Flowers Useful?

This second criteria is not so easy to figure out.

Especially since, some of these faux decorative items look so much better now than they used to even 5 years ago.

Take a look at these beauties I found at Target–my all purpose home decor destination.



Even Amazon has some great options for reasonable prices, too.



Ikea is another source for terrific looking faux plants at very reasonable prices.

This particular artificial potted monstera plant looked so real, I noticed many shoppers doing a double take as they passed by it, the last time I was there.



Given all that, though, artificial plants still may not work out all that well in your home if they don’t “fit-in” with the existing decor.

This is why unless you can figure out where and how you’ll be using these plants in your home, you may as well leave them at the store.

What Use Do You Have For Artificial Plants and Flowers?

Take a look at this very real looking fiddle leaf fig tree from World Market.

According to reviews from Apartment Therapy and other design bloggers, a faux fiddle leaf fig plant, like the one below can look great just about anywhere–especially those placed in a nice woven basket like the one shown here.

Fiddle leaf plants can look great in baskets
Faux fiddle leaf Fig Plant from World Market

As good as this looks, however, I don’t know if that “look” is worth the $179 price tag.  I really don’t have a lot of areas in my home where that “look” would fit in even if I were to swap out the container for a more streamlined look. So given that anything I buy must pass the multi use criteria, I’d pass on this.

If you, on the other hand, have several places in your home where this could work, then this faux tree may be worth the $179. I personally haven’t been able to keep a real one alive for more than 3 months, tops. So this faux fiddle leaf plant would be a good investment if you consider each live one costs anywhere from $50-$200 each.

Yet, I found these faux succulents that I could use in multiple areas of my home. They’d look great on my book shelves or on top of books like this to give them some dimension.

Succulents look great gathered together
Clusters of very real looking succulents from Amazon

They could also work well inside cloches if you’re in to them like I am.

plants in cloches brighten up any room
Image from Maison de Pax

Or, as one blogger did here, you can use some faux long stemmed flowers with live branches, until the real ones bloom.

Spring like faux flowers look great mixed in with live branches
Image from The Wicker House

This article from Apartment Therapy can provide you with more ideas on how to incorporate artificial plants and flowers in your home.

Are Artificial Plants and Flowers Lovable?

I’d have to say, given that these fake plants and flowers look amazing and are pretty cost effective to buy,  getting one for my home seems like an easy decision.

But in the end, I didn’t bring any home from my trip to Target.

I was tempted. (Boy was I tempted…). But I resisted only because I knew that my heart would never forgive me if I did.

I’m still a sucker for real live plants. Not because I’m so good at taking care of them mind you (Don’t you remember that sorry picture I showed you earlier of my dried up fern?).

Despite my penchant for killing off more live plants than I care to remember, I still feel like there’s something vibrant and beautiful about keeping live plants in your home.


Christmas cactus can liven up any room
My Christmas cactus that’s survived 4 years in my house!

Succulents like my Christmas cactus above bloom year after year, making me feel like I’m part of something magical in my own pretty mundane home.

Or these succulents from my garden that I transplanted this Fall inside into this milk glass container, make even the “faux” decor in my home come alive, as well.


My re-potted succulents next to my artificial green moss balls.

This is why, even though artificial plants and flowers are so popular in the home decorating space, I decided that they’re not for me in this season of my life. Rather than simplify, I think they’d complicate my life even more.

The only place I’d seriously consider getting one for is my dark basement since no light or air comes through in there.

It would be great to have something that “looks” alive down there when I’m working in my newly designed craft area (post coming soon…).

So what are your thoughts about artificial plants and flowers? Will you get one this season for your home, or not?

If you do, I’d love to see it.  Post your photos and post them to Instagram or Pinterest with the tag #oursimplifiedhomefauxplants.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to share!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy:

5 Ways to Create Timeless Design In Your Home

3 Rules of Home Decorating That Everyone Should Follow

A Practical Guide to Natural Fiber Rugs

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  1. Kathy, your Christmas cactus is doing very well! I have a black thumb so most of our indoor “plants” are artificial. Have you seen the succulent selection at Ikea? I almost filled up my cart last time I was there. They look so real! Except for a little dusting, my fake potted tree we have in the living room from Hobby Lobby is still going strong despite some abuse over the years from small children and dogs. I use the vacuum head with the brush attachment to “dust” it and it seems to work pretty well.

    1. I know the succulent section at Ikea is amazing. I almost did the same thing myself–fill my cart full with them, LOL. That’s so smart, Sarah, to use the brush attachment. Never thought of that… Now it gives me incentive to get one for my basement for sure! Thanks for the tip!

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