Can Fake Rival Real? Five Tips For Making Your Artificial Plants And Flowers Look Like The Real Thing

Let’s face it. There are folks out there that will never believe that artificial plants, trees, and flowers can look just as good as the real thing.  A little part of me loves proving them wrong. There’s nothing better than when someone walks into my home or business and compliments me on the gorgeous plants that I have decorated with, unwittingly knowing that many of them are artificial.

I do have to admit, though, that sometimes it takes a little bit of work to make them look perfect right out of the box. Some plants, like this beautiful Orchid and Succulent arrangement already come in a beautiful planter, so they look great right with almost no effort.

This beautiful Orchid and Succulent arrangement would look beautiful in a <a href=

Please note: Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links. I get commissions for purchases made through those links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you buy something from those links.

This beautiful Orchid and Succulent arrangement would look beautiful in a living room or dining room.

Just a little “fluffing” of the flowers, and they look simply amazing. Others, like individual stems, give you the flexibility and freedom to dream up how you want to present them, but require a little work to add design elements like a beautiful vase, some soil, and maybe some complementary foliage.

How to make fake plants look real

To help you make your faux plants look their best, I’ve pulled together 5 of my favorite tips for making artificial flowers, shrubs, and plants look like the real thing!

Tip 1 – Start With An Amazing Container

When presenting your artificial plants, be aware that the container can say just as much about the arrangement as the plants or flowers themselves. Be sure to choose a high-quality, complementary vase, planter, urn or container that catches the eye. Sometimes, the planter itself will garner the attention and have people asking “Where did you get that beautiful piece?” That’s okay. If they’re focusing on the container, then they aren’t scrutinizing the flowers to see if they are real or not. Instead, they’re just taking in the beauty of the arrangement.

Tip 2 – Don’t Be Afraid To Use Soil Or Moss

Yep, you read that right. It’s okay to plant your artificial flowers or shrubs in soil. Just be aware that soil can go “sour” after a while and start to smell as the bacteria in the soil breaks down, so it’s a good idea to rotate the soil annually. If you really want no mess or fuss, you can purchase artificial soil and moss through your local hobby store. The soil is frequently used to build model train landscapes, so you might look in the model train section for a bag of the soil. You can also use sand as your base, but be aware that it can “weep” through any cracks or holes in your container.


Artificial moss can help create that realistic look for your artificial flowers or plant arrangements. 

If you plan to add a layer of artificial Moss to the top of your arrangement, you can also use rubberized mulch or garden rock from your local home store as your base. It will hold your plant in place and won’t go sour like natural soil.

If you don’t want to use real soil, consider using fake soil for artificial plants.

Tip 3 – Don’t Go For Cheap Plastic Plants

I know, it’s tempting to buy those little plastic plants, but don’t.

The local hobby store or big box store has artificial plants on sale, so why not pick up a few and see how they look. I’ll save you the trouble. They’ll look cheap. You want to make artificial plants look real, right? Well, in the world of artificial plants and flowers, you really do get what you’re paying for. Invest in fabric-based plants and flowers that are soft to the touch and don’t reflect light with the hideous shine of plastic plants. Think of it as an investment in your time. You might pay a little more for high-quality artificial plants, but you’ll save time on maintenance and won’t have to replace them as frequently as you might have to with live plants.

Tip 4 – Don’t Be Afraid To Water Your Artificial Flowers

Okay…don’t water them regularly like you would a live plant. But also don’t be afraid to put an artificial plant in a vase filled with water. Imagine some of these elegant stems in a simple, small vase with water. Or consider what this beautiful Peony arrangement would look like with a little water in the vase.

This elegant peony arrangement would look great on an end <a href=table or as a centerpiece for your holiday table.

This elegant peony arrangement would look great on an end table or as a centerpiece for your holiday table.

You’d never know they weren’t real. When looking at the arrangement, people will see vase, water, plant and their brains will think “live plant.” Remember to rotate your water and wash out the vase or container periodically to keep dust from building up.

Tip 5 – Blend Your Artificial Plants With Live Plants

When decorating your home or business, your approach toward artificial plants shouldn’t be all or nothing. If you’re trying to keep things low maintenance, complement your artificial decorations with easy-to-maintain live plants like succulents, snake plants, or aloe.

By mixing your fake foliage in with live plants, you can create a blend that is both beautiful AND easy to maintain.

There you have it. Five easy tips that can help make your artificial trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers look like the real thing. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at this bonus video, where the author makes re-planting a potted tree look easy.

Have a favorite tip that you use to make artificial plants look real? I would love to hear about it in a comment!

Barb Signature

Leave a Comment