Artificial plants have been around for a long time. In fact, in ancient China, artificial flowers were made from luxurious silk and arranged into intricate and even over-the-top flower arrangements. Ladies of the Imperial Palace also adorned their hair with tiny flowers made of silk.
Many centuries later, the artificial flower-making business would take off. Fast forward to 1775, and we find Marie Antoinette being presented with a silk rosebud that was, apparently, too perfect. Legend has it that she fainted in response to its beauty and harbored it as her royal emblem.
In 19th century America and England, the language of flowers became a popular way to send messages within decor elements. In this time, the decoration was overdone with artificial flowers.
As silk flowers modernized, silk dropped away as a primary material, and plastic took its place. Now, faux flowers are made of plastics and polyesters to capture Mother Nature’s beauty. The fact that so much plastic is used has caused some folks to wonder whether fake plants are tacky.
Now the question becomes with such a long and exciting history, are artificial flowers still in style?
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Do Artificial Plants Really Look Real?
First, let’s consider their appearance. Contemporary fake plants are crafted to look incredibly close to the real thing.
Since the early days of silk plants, technology has grown leaps and bounds in plant production. Often, molds made from natural plants are the starting point for creating today’s realistic-looking plants.
Another reason fake plants tend to look so real is that today’s most popular plants seem to actually look fake. Take succulents, for example. The real ones even look like they are made of plastic.
Therefore, to find the best artificial plants, look for ones inspired by plants that actually look fake themselves.
Some of our favorite plants to emulate are aloe, fiddle leaf figs, air plants, snake plants, banana trees and birds of paradise. To help you choose the best options, pull up photos of the real plant to compare the look.
Is it okay to decorate with artificial flowers? Well, only if you give them the proper care they deserve. It won’t be much, but there will be some.
After you choose your perfect fake plant, you’ll want to give it a little attention. For example, a fig leaf plant will be a dead giveaway if the leaf color looks bleached from the sun.
Consider using a UV spray and rotating the plant if it is in a high sun area. This will help preserve the plant’s integrity.
Do Artificial Plants Really Feel Real?
We know that artificial plants can look incredibly real, but what about how they feel? Honestly, that all depends on what the actual plant feels like.
You’ll find, for example, that the really trendy snake plant has leaves that feel smooth and waxy. Since these leaves feel artificial, fake ones will probably feel very close to the real ones.
In fact, the snake plant is an excellent example of an artificial plant that you definitely don’t need to spend a lot of extra money on. The inexpensive one will still look great.
Flowers, though, can be much more finicky. After all, a sunflower has long petals that are soft to the touch, which may be difficult to replicate. You can, however, create a sunflower that looks real.
So, while looks are an easy thing to replicate, the feel of a plant tends to be a little more complicated.
The Key to Decorating with Artificial Flowers Is in the Mix
If you really want to fool the eye, consider mixing real flowers with your artificial ones. Then, the eye will be completely fooled into believing that the whole arrangement is fresh and natural.
For example, if you have a floral arrangement on your kitchen table, consider adding some natural greenery and roses to the mix. Since roses keep pretty well, you’ll find that they don’t need to be replaced often and can hang pretty well with your artificial flowers.
Are Decorators Using Fake Flowers in Their Designs?
Interior designers love artificial flowers for staging and decorating a home.
Since they last for a long time and don’t require as much attention as real plants, designers love that they can focus their attention on other aspects of the design rather than tending to a live plant.
Should You Decorate with Fake Plants?
Only you can answer this one, but we can give you some ideas to think about.
Do you struggle to take care of plants? If you answered yes, artificial plants might be the best for you.
Do you love the practice of caring for a live plant? If the answer is yes, live out your gardening dreams with natural plants.
If you can’t commit to caring for a plant, an artificial one would be the perfect choice for you. Know that you are stepping into an arena that is popular and well-threaded.
Artificial plants are not tacky. They are a solid alternative for those who don’t have the time or money or might even have a brown thumb.
We love artificial plants, and they are very much in style. Royals have been using them for thousands of years, and we love how they look in our homes.
Though you may have been told otherwise, rest easy knowing that high-quality arrangements are not tacky to use.
We’d love to hear about some of your favorite artificial flower and plant decorating tips. Drop a comment below to share your ideas!