The Best Fake Plants Will Have You Do a Double Take
Make a *real* impression with these green investments.
Updated Jun 8, 2023 3:50 PM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
Whether you are notorious for lacking a green thumb or simply don’t want the responsibility of watering, fertilizing, and repotting, artificial plants make a wonderful addition to any home. Not only are these playful decor details pretty (and realistic-looking), they conjure a feeling of peace and comfort by bringing a sense of nature indoors.
But for every realistic fake plant on the market, there’s another that looks like it came from a dollar store sales bin, with cheap materials and uninspired design. So we consulted interior designer Linda Hayslett of LH Designs for her expert take on how to incorporate faux plants in a way that isn’t tacky or reminiscent of the ’80s. Then we scoured the Internet to find the best ones for creating a leafy oasis—sans the upkeep or chance of becoming a plant murderer. Check out our top picks, below.
- Best overall: Artiplanto Moka Artificial Spathiphyllum Leaf Potted Plant
- Best tree: Pottery Barn Faux Potted Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree
- Best succulents: Crate & Barrel Faux Succulents in Low Round Pot
- Best flowers: Afloral Artificial Dancing Orchid Flowers
- Best mix: Bloomist EcoFaux + Dried Mix
Pot: Yes | Dimensions: Varies | Weight: Varies | Material: Synthetic fiber blend | Return policy: Final sale in the U.S.
What we like:
- Dramatic leaves that match any decor
- Most products are frequently on sale
- Available in multiple sizes
- No returns for U.S. buyers
Why we chose it: Boasting lush, oversize leaves that bring character to any living space, this potted variety is a wise investment for the fake plant first-timer.
Altiplano has emerged as one of the leading faux plant companies in the industry, and rightfully so. Its line of synthetically manufactured potted and tabletop plants, succulents, and even Christmas trees is one of the most widely used among interior designers across the country. The products are also affordably priced so that you can bring some green into your living room or bedroom without spending too much of your own green. This particular moka plant is one of the company’s bestsellers, with realistic-seeming leaves and intricately designed branches that look identical to the real thing. And unlike a living spathiphyllum, which is prone to browning and rotting if not properly cared for, this will last forever.
Pot: No (plastic with burlap) | Dimensions: Varies | Weight: Varies | Material: Polyester, plastic, and wire | Return policy: 30 days
What we like:
- Soft leaf texture
- Easy to clean
- Great return policy
- Quite pricey
Why we chose it: Pottery Barn impresses with a statement-making faux tree that will add character and pizzazz to any room.
As large fake plants go, this fiddle-leaf fig may be a splurge, but it’s worth it. The tree adds a dose of glamour to a space, and the jungle-esque look of the leaves is only enhanced when the sunlight hits them, casting uniquely shaped shadows onto the floor and nearby furniture. Though it doesn’t arrive with a pot, the base is small and sturdy enough to fit into any container that fits your aesthetic (and Pottery Barn has plenty to choose from, in materials like wicker, stone, and clay). The tree is easy to clean, with polyester leaves that can be wiped with a soft, dry cloth. If you’ve got the budget, don’t think twice about this one.
Best Succulents: Crate & Barrel Faux Succulents in Low Round Pot
Pot: Yes | Dimensions: 8-by-4.25 inches | Weight: A few pounds | Material: Plastic, wire, cement | Return policy: 90 days
What we like:
- Extremely realistic
- Offers a hint of color
- The best return policy on our list
- No room to customize
- A little small
Why we chose it: This no-frills bundle in a low pot will bring a touch of modernity to any desk, dresser, or nightstand.
Trendy succulents may be some of the easiest plants to take care of, but not if you reside in an apartment that lacks natural lighting. This Crate & Barrel assortment with faux rosettes and burro’s tail brings the plants’ playful spiked edges and pop of coral into any living space, all without the need for adequate sunlight. It’s also prepotted (with fake dirt!), so your only responsibility is to find a place for it. But if you change your mind or aren’t feeling its vibe, don’t sweat it—you can easily return the piece within 90 days for a full refund.
Best Flowers: Afloral Artificial Dancing Orchid Flowers
Pot: No | Dimensions: 40-by-1-by-1.5 inches | Weight: Varies | Material: Silk | Return policy: 30 days
What we like:
- You get 77 blooms in one order
- Very inexpensive
- Vibrant yellow color
- You may want to buy other varieties to create a bouquet
- Vase not included
Why we chose it: These dancing orchids are beautiful on their own and make a wonderful foundation for bigger bouquets.
With its vivid colors and textural stems, Afloral’s line of silk flowers embodies happiness. These dancing orchids are an ideal introduction to the world of silk plants, and the yellow flowers instantly brighten a room. While they can stand alone in a glass vase with their bold color and elongated shape, they also happen to pair well with the more subdued blooms available on Afloral’s website. In fact, the company encourages you to order a few stems and create a bouquet tailored to your unique taste.
Best Mix: Bloomist EcoFaux + Dried Mix
Pot: No | Dimensions: Varies | Weight: Varies | Material: Upcycled fabrics and rPE (recycled polyethylene), dried botanicals, and all-natural dried stems | Return policy: Nonreturnable
What we like:
- Created with trademarked EcoFaux, which makes these über-realistic
- Cut, shape, mold, and arrange like a live plant
- Company commitment to sustainability
- Very expensive and nonreturnable
Why we chose it: Bloomist has mastered the mix of faux plants and dried flowers with an upcycled, sustainable fabric blend that it has trademarked as EcoFaux.
Dried flowers are hauntingly beautiful, and mixing them with fake ones can make a bouquet all the more realistic, a vibe Bloomist embraces with a mix of real stems and petals made from the company’s patented fabric, EcoFaux. This pale blue bundle in particular is soft, delicate, and sure to bring a sense of peace and serenity to any room that may feel sterile or one-note. As with Afloral, you can also buy items separately to customize a look that works for a particular space or color scheme, but we’re huge fans of Bloomist-designed arrangements: They’re inspired, intentional, and showcase a diversity of plants—five alone in this bouquet—to bring in different hues, shapes, and textures.
More Affordable Fake Plants
How We Chose These Products
We compiled a list of fake plant retailers, both big and small, and relied on Domino editors and our expert designer, Linda Hayslett, to narrow our focus in categories based on plant type. We also wanted to showcase the diversity of species, textures, and colors available, as the possibilities are now endless when it comes to fake plant manufacturing.
Hayslett has purchased some of the items on this list and compared them to real plants. “I like to assess what the real plant actually looks like first and then compare it to the faux look-alike,” she says. “It’s a good rule of thumb to size up how a fake plant appears.”
Our Shopping Checklist
Material and Texture
Polyester, silk, and plastic have been and continue to be the three most popular materials when it comes to fake plants, but many companies have stepped up their game by introducing other options like paper and cotton to capture the intricacies of a plant’s physical characteristics (especially when it comes to stems, branches, stalks, and trunks). These materials are not only soft to touch (important for flowy, malleable leaves), they can easily be dyed any color so that the fakes are carbon copies of the O.G.’s.
Containers and Sizes
Most fake plants (other than flowers) will arrive in some type of vase, pot, or container. Be sure to double-check whether or not the fake plant is glued into this vessel. If it is, it’s wise to get a neutral container to match any design aesthetic.
Retailers often also offer a tree or plant in varying sizes to fit different spaces. The bigger the plant, the more expensive it will be. Take width into consideration when ordering trees, as branches and leaves can extend outward beyond what you have envisioned.
Shipping and Return Policies
Free shipping and returns within 30 days is the U.S. standard when it comes to most e-retailers, but always read the fine print.
Designing with fake plants comes with many benefits, the first being that you don’t have to worry about the care and upkeep that comes with keeping something alive. That said, if you don’t have a designer’s eye for decorating, it’s wise to consult a professional who can walk you through the process and offer tips and guidance along the way. Here are Hayslett’s responses to your most pressing fake plant design questions.
Q: I don’t have a green thumb. Are fake plants tacky?
Not with a few tricks. Bending and spreading the leaves to create a more organic arrangement is one way to make sure they don’t look tacky. I also like to get my own pots and use them instead of what the plants may come in. This gives them a more curated, customized appearance.
Q: I never see dead leaves in home-tour photos. Do designers use fake plants?
Lots of designers take photos with fake plants and floral arrangements. It’s easier to sculpt the look you want, and it’s more cost-effective, because you can use them again and again.
Q: What’s the best way to clean fake plants?
The best way to clean fake plants is with a lightly damp cloth or towel. Dusting here or there helps in keeping the plant looking fresh as well.
The Last Word
Thanks to modern technology, practically any species of plant can be manufactured with the right materials, equipment, and dyes. But not all products are of the same quality. If you’re looking to simply start a collection, you can’t go wrong with an option like our best overall pick, the Moka Artificial Spathiphyllum Leaf Potted Plant from Altiplano. Display it in your living room, your bedroom, or even your bathroom, and your guests will undoubtedly be green with envy.