18 fake plants that look just like the real thing
Pull one over on your plant-savvy friends
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Fake plants are a pretty obvious choice for those of us (me) who seem to kill every living plant we lay our hands on. However, they can also conjure up some less-than-pleasant mental imagery—personally, I have a specific memory of the dusty blue fabric flowers in my grandma’s house that smelled like potpourri and looked as real as bad taxidermy.
However, things have changed for the better in the world of fake plants. I’m sure you can still rustle up plenty of gaudy fake rhododendrons, but the craftsmanship of fake plants has improved a lot in recent years. With better synthetic materials to choose from, manufacturers have been creating some truly beautiful fake plants—like all of the following!
1. This sweet potted tree with lush raspberry undertones
This little tree is just the right size to fill out a bare corner in your office or living room. One of the major benefits of a tree like this (and, really, of fake plants in general) is that it’s sturdy enough to fuss with and rearrange without snapping a branch.
Reviewers echo this sentiment, appreciating that the leaves can be arranged to show glimmers of the rich red color. For a stable and versatile potted tree, this is a great option.
2. A bold cactus that will survive without the desert sun
Cacti are another great faux plant option. Cacti are surprisingly tricky to keep alive in cooler and less sunny climates, but they make great fake plants because their thick, smooth stems can be accurately imitated by synthetic materials.
Crate & Barrel has some of my favorite fake plants on the market, and they’ve won over even the most skeptical reviewers, who note the importance of finding the right location for this fake cactus, recommending placing it in a sunny corner so it seems more realistic.
3. This perfect alternative to a beautiful but toxic plant
I love snake plants. Incredibly, they’re one of the few plants I’ve actually managed to keep alive. Unfortunately, they’re also toxic to cats, making them a no-no for those of us with four-legged friends.
Like cacti, snake plants have a shape and texture that can be easily imitated with faux materials, so this artificial snake plant looks amazingly real. Like a lot of plants on this list, it can be quickly wiped down with dry cloth when it gets dusty, and it's just as beautiful as the real deal, but with less risk of a feline health emergency.
4. This waterfall of leaves that make a lovely wall decoration
IKEA was the first store to convince me that fake plants could be a nice addition to home decor. This lush hanging plant can transform a wall or window without breaking the bank, and it gets the seal of approval from reviewers, who write things like, "I've had multiple friends ask if it was a real plant, which is pretty amazing for a $10 fake one!” Personally, I love the idea of replacing hanging pictures with a few of these plants for a stunning wall display.
5. This breezy palm that will make your patio feel like the tropics
This is a fake plant that makes a serious statement, and it's bright and big enough to become a central piece of your interior (or exterior) decorator. Reviewers agree that the pot it comes in is way too small, so you might want to think about personalizing the palm with a pot that fits your personal style. That’s part of the fun of setting up any fake plant—making it your own!
6. This hanging plant that will blend in with real ones
Home Depot offers plenty of fake plants, but this hanging Hoya is one of my favorites. The color variations make it just imperfect enough to look realistic, and it’s full and lush, helping to perk up your porch and blend in with other plants.
Unlike a lot of fake plants, you probably won’t need to get a new pot for this one—the basket it comes in is beautiful and ready to be displayed. Reviewers call the plant “full and vibrant,” writing that it's "so lifelike, it blends in perfectly with live hanging plants."
7. A tree that's happy to be rearranged
Speaking of statement pieces, check out this big, bright faux tree. This ficus tree is tall (taller than me, at least), flexible, and according to the buyers, strikingly realistic.
Multiple reviewers mention that the plant has a chemical smell when you first take it out of the box, so if you get this one, be prepared to air it out.
8. A simple spray of grass to match a modern interior
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes less really is more. This minimal spray of faux grass from Urban Outfitters will fit in with any decor, and with its relatively simple shape and coloring, it’s really tough to peg as fake.
The fake grass is a fun pop of greenery that will liven up a home in winter, or it can be paired with other stems to create a more complex bouquet. As with many of the fake plants offered by Urban Outfitters, this Pampas Grass is clean, modern, and cool enough to win over fake-plant skeptics.
9. Fake succulents for those of us who kill “unkillable” plants
Fake succulents can be pretty hit or miss. Succulents already have a slightly surreal, alien look to them, which should lend them perfectly to replication, but the problem is that when a fake succulent looks fake, it looks really fake. Not so with these guys from West Elm, though, which will blend in perfectly with real plants.
While we’re on the subject, can we talk about how ridiculous it is when people claim that succulents are somehow impossible to kill? As someone who has killed just about every succulent I have ever possessed, I assure you it's very possible.
10. A little oregano plant for your kitchen
I have a lot of love for this little fake oregano plant, which currently lives on a shelf above my bathroom mirror. The only living thing that wants to grow my bathroom is mold, but this fake plant manages to brighten things up. It would also look adorable on your kitchen counter (just don't try to cook with it), and many buyers talk about getting three or four of IKEA’s faux potted plants at a time. I can confirm that they do look best with company.
11. This eucalyptus spray that will never go out of style
This is another great example of the power of minimalism. Eucalyptus is an elegant, timeless choice for bouquets, and this faux sprig imitates a real branch of dried eucalyptus almost perfectly. Importantly, it’s also sturdy enough to survive being crushed, moved, and dropped on the floor. Reviewers are really happy with this item across the board, loving how it looks by itself in an interesting vase or paired with other stems.
12. A gorgeous recreation of one of nature’s coolest plants
This fake aloe plant is one of my favorites on the list. Like many succulents, aloe has thick, fleshy stems that come across great in faux plant form. I love the way aloe plants look in general, and this one really makes the most of it, layering spiny overlapping stems of different sizes to create a really cool texture.
13. This trendy plant that's all over Instagram
Monstera plants are super popular in graphic design right now. From clothing to notebooks to phone cases, their unique leaves are everywhere! Unsurprisingly, there are quite a few manufacturers churning out fakes versions of the trendy Monstera plant.
This one from CB2 is definitely one of the best. It nails the plant’s funky asymmetry, bright colors, and glossy sheen. Reviewers write that this faux plant is "very realistic looking, with a natural asymmetry that makes it look very authentic.” It's the perfect opportunity to ride the trend—without shelling out big bucks for a real plant.
14. A beautiful piece of greenery that fits into any living space
Pottery Barn offers some of the most gorgeous fake potted plants I’ve ever seen. This houseplant is no exception, with its perfectly varied leaf coloring and overflow of wavy stems.
I’m a big fan of cascading leaves, but this plant doesn’t dangle in the same manner as some of the hanging plants on this list. It would definitely look great mounted on the wall, but it’s also perfect to perch on a bookshelf or coffee table. Basically, it’s as versatile as it gets.
15. This proud mama and her babies
Spider plants are another all-time favorite of mine. These long-leafed plants actually like to be a little bit tight in their pots, and they show off by sprouting babies—those fun mini plants that hang off the end of larger leaves.
The inclusion of realistic babies on this plant is what makes me really love it. I’ve seen a lot of fake spider plants that looked okay, but phoned it in with the babies. This one manages to strew the babies artfully around the plant, making them cling to the mother the way they should.
16. A nifty air plant that will survive feline playtime
I think the idea of fake air plants is pure genius. Like cacti, these plants are already so bizarre looking that their “fakeness” isn’t necessarily a giveaway. Also like cacti, I've never actually managed to keep one alive, as my cats typically claim the poor plants as a new favorite toy.
Of all the fake air plants I’ve seen, this one is my favorite. I think the bone-dry, slightly fuzzy texture hits the mark perfectly, and I don’t have to remember to soak it!
17. A "String of Hearts" to inspire love
This stylish String of Hearts is a perfect example of a fake plant that will make you feel grown up. It’s unique enough to lend elegance to your space, but not so attention-demanding that it takes over the room.
The abundant vines would look equally cool hanging over a bookshelf or from a macrame planter, and there’s an almost gray sheen to the leaves that I think would look especially great with a stone planter—or you could brighten it up further with a white porcelain one!
18. This collection of budding branches and matching vase
And now for something completely different! The phrase “fake plants” doesn’t necessarily conjure the image of semi-bare branches, but fake plants come in so many different forms these days.
I love these branches for their unique, whimsical design, which conjures up images of springtime—just looking at the buds makes me feel a little lighter and more cheerful. These sprigs can remind you that no matter what time of year it is, spring is always coming, and you can also purchase the cool blue vase to complete the look.
Want even more? We’ve rounded up our ten favorite places to shop for faux plants online, so you can browse to your heart’s content, and if you want to balance out your fake plants with real ones, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best places to buy plants online. Whether you go all fake, all real, or some combination of the two, have fun finding the plants that are right for you!
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