Everyone Thinks My Faux Plants from Amazon Are Real

published Aug 9, 2020
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When I moved to California with my boyfriend almost a year ago, I was dead set on filling our apartment with plants as far as the eye can see. (I was clearly inspired by Hilton Carter, aka the Plant Doctor.) My old studio in New York City had almost zero natural sunlight, so the mere thought of big, sun-drenched windows convinced me that I could have my very own indoor jungle.

Here’s the thing, though: It’s possible to have too much sunlight in your home. Whenever I would place a plant by the large windows in our new living room, they would shrivel up in days. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I watered them and tried to rotate them like a good plant parent. When I’d move my plants to the opposite side of the room, they would magically perk up. So the problem wasn’t me or my plants; it was the windows, which you can see below (albeit on a cloudy California day).

Credit: Kelsey Mulvey

Still determined to fill the spot with some leafy greens, I purchased two faux plants: Silk Tree Warehouse’s Birds of Paradise Tree and Nearly Natural’s Golden Cane Palm Silk Tree. Despite my initial skepticisms about faux plants in general, I firmly believe they’re two of the smartest investments I’ve made for our apartment so far.

In an age where foliage feels like a crucial part of home decor, filling a space with faux greens can feel like a serious blow to any aspiring plant parent’s self-esteem. Since my mom is a gardening enthusiast, I’ve only ever seen faux plants at immaculate hotels and the occasional trip to the Rainforest Cafe. (No shade, Rainforest Cafe).

I was nervous these “trees” would give our living room a painfully artificial feel, so I started off slow with a bird of paradise tree.

Credit: Kelsey Mulvey

At $100, Silk Tree Warehouse’s Bird of Paradise is a lot more than I’d be willing to spend on a normal plant; however, its longevity and versatility makes the sticker shock more bearable. Made with a surprisingly sturdy silk, this tree has retained its shape without making my living room feel cold or sterile. Not only does each leaf boast an imperfect shape (making the plant appear more life-like), but the subtle ribbed detailing offers some extra texture without feeling phony. From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, I also love how this tree looks with my globe lamp. Best of all? I don’t have to worry about it shriveling up and dying in the middle of the work day. It wasn’t cheap, but I was happy to fork over some extra money to avoid watering, repotting, and rotating.

Needless to say, I was hooked. Since buying only one faux plant was apparently out of the question—it’s a big window, after all—I quickly sprung for Nearly Natural’s Golden Cane Palm Silk Tree. Isn’t it mandatory to own a palm tree when you live in California? As a faux plant parent, I know I should love my greens equally. If I’m being honest though, the gold cane palm tree is my favorite. Similar to the bird of paradise tree, this one is made with a super tactile, silk material that’s pretty true to life. The difference is this tree has flexible branches, so I can bend each leaf to appear even more “real.”

Credit: Kelsey Mulvey

If you’re still on the fence about adding faux plants to your space, I recommend mixing them with some real greenery. The opposite side of my living room boasts a stand with real aloe, alocasia polly, and anthurium plants. I think it’s this blend of real and fake that has our guests convinced our apartment is a fresh, full blooming jungalow. Even our friends who did know about my faux plant purchases were surprised to see how life-like these plants look in person.

Of course, these plants didn’t only fool our dinner party guests, back when we were having people over. When I recently posted a picture of the bird of paradise tree on my Instagram Stories, I was shocked by how many people inquired about my plant maintenance routine. Naturally, most of those people were equally shocked to hear it wasn’t even real. If these plants can fool even the most discerning eyes on Instagram, what can’t they do?