Because sometimes you just don't have light—or time.

By Megan Cahn
September 05, 2018
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faux plants home NDI
Credit: Courtesy of NDI

The idea of fake plants can feel a little bit icky, we know, conjuring up images of dentist office waiting rooms or dusty diners dotted along highways with dismal food options. But it's time to let that stigma go.The newest crop of faux flora and fauna to hit the market look so real they've become a go-to for interior designers looking to add texture to dimly lit spaces, and for those craving a pop of refreshing green without the plant-care commitment.

"There's no substitute for the increase in air quality that real plants provide," says Caitlin Campbell, the principal interior designer of Symmetry Designs. "But, if you don't have a lot of sunlight, pets or kids that will wreak havoc on real plants or allergies, faux is the way to go."

Ahead, 10 faux plants that are sure to fool even your most green-thumbed guests.

BENEFITS: The Best Plants to Purify the Air in Your Home
faux magnolia
Credit: Courtesy of NDI

NDI Magnolia Branch

When purchasing a faux plant, you should be willing to splurge. "If you want to have something that looks and feels real, spend a little extra," says Campbell. Just think of all the time you'll save not taking care of it-you know what they say about time being money. Plus, you'll never have to fork out cash to replace it when it stops getting light in the winter or you forget to water it before vacation. Campbell says NDI makes the best faux plants on the market, and this magnolia branch is one of their most popular. It even has faux water with little air bubbles in the vase!

faux lcg palm
Credit: Courtesy of Target

LCG Florals Artificial Palm

This is not to say you can't find any worthy faux plants at big box stores. Target has some great options, like this palm tree. "Just try and stay away from faux plants with shiny leaves," says Campbell. "They tend to look more plastic-y and fake."

faux snake plant
Credit: Courtesy of Nearly Natural

Nearly Natural Sansevieria Artificial Plant

"Faux plants give you the look of real plants with virtually no maintenance," says Campbell.

The most work you'll ever have to put in is going over them with a dry rag or feather duster every once in a while. If the dust has really built up, Campbell suggests turning the plant upside and spraying it with a garden or kitchen hose on a low setting. Just be sure to put plastic around any soft fillers in the container, like the faux moss surrounding this snake plant, to keep them from getting wet.

CARE: Learn How to Be a Better Plant Parent
faux succulent
Credit: Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel Faux Succulents in Low Round Pot

"I love using faux succulents for their modern look and low profile," says Campbell. "They work great layered on top of a stack of books on a bookcase, on an end table or kitchen counter."

faux hydrangea and rose
Credit: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn Faux Mixed Fall Hydrangea and Rose in Square Vase

Faux flowers can be a little trickier to pull off than potted plants or succulents, but Campbell says Pottery Barn or Bed Bath & Beyond have some great options. "This hydrangea and rose arrangement will have your guests thinking you buy fresh flowers daily," she says. Just be sure to not have it out all the time or it may become a little suspect...

faux orchid
Credit: Courtesy of Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Faux Oversized Orchid Arrangement

"This orchid is one of my favorites that I use on a lot of dining or coffee tables," says Campbell. "It's a great size that fills up the space, plus the soft neutral colors work with any color scheme."

faux roses
Credit: Courtesy of NDI

NDI Pastel Passion Faux Floral

"Orchids seem to have the most realistic options out there when it comes to flowers, but I've found some beautiful faux roses that are hard to tell from the real thing," says Campbell. Sometimes she'll even spritz them with a floral room spray to make them smell like fresh flowers.

faux birds of paradise
Credit: Courtesy of Terrain

Terrain Faux Birds of Paradise

This faux plant would look great set in a basket in the corner of a bedroom or living room. It's eye-catching, yet will blend into any kind of environment. And, FYI: If you can't find the exact faux plant or floral arrangement you're looking for in stores or online, Campbell says to research florists in your area to see if they can make something for you. "I have a local silk greenery store where I get custom arrangements and trees for my clients," she says. "A lot of places will create silk or fabric faux plants in the exact size you need."

faux fiddle leaf
Credit: Courtesy of NDI

NDI Fiddle Leaf

Fiddle leaf fig trees are some of the most popular plants out there-if Instagram has anything to say about it, that is. But these highly "likeable" beauties require a lot of sun and maintenance, which makes this extremely realistic faux option even more enticing.

faux agave
Credit: Courtesy of World Market

World Market Faux Potted Agave Plant

If the idea of a faux plant still makes you a little nervous, start small with something like this agave plant. Place it on your desk or on a window sill-letting it live somewhere there is actually light shining on it will add to the illusion.

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