Fake Plants 101 – How To Buy Artificial Plants That Don’t Look Fake

Fake Plants 101The first time you try anything new can be tricky. Think about the first time you rode a bike. You had to get your legs working and your balance right, and you probably crashed a few times before you figured it out.

Buying faux flowers isn’t as difficult as learning to ride a bike, but the first time you do it, you might make a few mistakes. You may have seen artificial flowers in a magazine or at a friend’s house and decided to go down to the local craft or big box store and purchase a few stems and a container off the clearance aisle, but when you got home, you realized your fake flower arrangement didn’t have the polished, realistic look you were going for.

Don’t worry. You can fix your faux flower faux pas with a little education, and we want to help. Many people might want to know how to make artificial plants look real. Well, the first step is buying a fake plant that is of good quality. Read on to learn the three things you must know to purchase artificial plants that will give you the polished, realistic look you want.

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.

Tip #1 – Materials matter

One of the best ways to determine the quality of faux flowers and plants is to look at the materials they are made out of. High-quality flowers will be made of silk, fabric or high-quality plastic.

Tips for finding artificial plants and flowers that don't look fake or cheap

They won’t be shiny, and their stems and leaves will have wires in them all the way down, not just at the top, which will allow you to arrange them to look more like live flowers.

However, if you’re looking at how to make fake plants shiny, I’d recommend using a topical shine spray on them to give them shine.

Tip #2 – Realism is required

The more realistic an artificial flower arrangement or plant looks, the less likely people will be to even wonder if it’s fake, which is why it’s important to know what the real thing looks like before you buy.

Before you start shopping for artificial plants and flowers for your home, office or event, spend some time looking at pictures of the types of flowers or plants you want to purchase. This slideshow from Country Living is a great place to start. Take note of how the colors blend into each other and how the flowers and leaves look on the stem. Take a photo or two with you if you’re going to the store so you can compare the flowers on display with the real thing.

Crafting with artificial plants can be great if your supplies don't look fake

While there are plenty of things that make an artificial flower look more realistic, some are easier to identify than others. The most obvious trait of a high-quality, realistic plant or flower is the coloring. Cheaper fake plants and flowers will be all one color, with little or no variation in the shading. Real flowers have subtle coloring shifts that you might not notice unless you look closely. This Hydrangea with Peony arrangement is a great example of this. Coloring detail adds to the look of realism in faux plants and flowers, so pay close attention to the coloring of both the flower and the greenery.

Avoid perfection in artificial flowers or plants. No plant in nature is perfect. Stems vary in length, and leaves don’t all grow to be the same size. You hardly ever see a perfectly symmetrical flower or plant in nature, so don’t purchase a “perfect” fake flower or plant.

Look for artificial flowers and plants that bend and droop. While you don’t want fake flowers and plants that look like they’re dying, you do want ones that don’t stand perfectly straight. Live flowers bend and droop, so you want your faux arrangement to do the same.


Check out this Cherry Blossom arrangement to see a great example of how variations and asymmetry provide realism. Small imperfections can make faux flowers and plants look startlingly real. This is a perfect example of a fake outdoor plant that looks real

Tip #3 – Look at it as an investment

The biggest hurdle to purchasing high-quality real looking artificial plants might be your own mind-set. The price tag on high-quality faux plants and flowers can cause some sticker shock, especially since it may seem like you can run down to the local craft store and purchase some for much less. However, craft-store quality flowers and plants are rarely made of high-quality materials and leave much to be desired in the way of realism.

Consider realistic faux flowers and plants to be the same kind of investment you would make in a piece of furniture or a painting. They will last for years without needing to be replaced. When compared with placing live flowers in a room once a week for a year, artificial flowers are much more economical and easy to care for.

If high-quality artificial flowers and plants are stretch for your budget, treat them like any larger purchase. Save up for one item at a time and grow your collection over time.

If after reading our tips for purchasing realistic faux flowers and plants that will last for years, you find yourself looking around your home and regretting your previous fake flower and plant purchases, don’t worry.

Buying artificial flowers and plants that look real is just like riding a bike. When you make a mistake, just hop back on. You’ll quickly get the hang of it, and your home will soon be a showcase for fabulous, realistic-looking faux flowers and plants.

What tips do you have for people looking to purchase realistic faux flowers and plants? Leave us your favorite tip in the comments.

As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

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