The Best Editor-Tested Fake Plants That Look Like the Real Deal

published Mar 16, 2023
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Shelf full of many kinds of fake plants in terra cotta and white pots. Seal in upper left says "Apartment Therapy the Best List 2023 Fake Plants"
Credit: Aimée Mazzenga

Imagine walking into your home and seeing an endless array of live greenery, with plants of all kinds artfully displayed among your other carefully curated decor. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, not exactly. The truth is, there are loads of reasons why filling your home with live plants might not be the best move. Maybe your apartment doesn’t get much light, or perhaps you travel too much to keep anything alive for long. You may not have a green thumb or may be unwilling to devote the time and energy it takes to make plants thrive. No matter your reasons, the solution is simple: fake plants.

Fake plants come with very real benefits. They’re easy to care for, don’t make a mess or attract bugs, look great no matter where you put them, and won’t harm pets who are prone to chewing. You can find tons of choices that look and feel like the real thing, and since they don’t die, you’ll never have to shell out money for a replacement.

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the stylish statement that greenery can make in your home just because a live plant doesn’t work for you. That’s why now’s the time to give faux a go. We spent the last few months testing fake flora of all kinds so that we can bring you the best of the best recommendations. Read on to see our favorites and learn tips for shopping for a fake plant of your own.

The Best Fake Plants

What to Consider When Shopping for Fake Plants

When you’re ready for a fake plant, think about what works best for your space, needs, and lifestyle. Are you looking to add lots of color to your home, or do you prefer something simple? Do you have a specific planter you want to use or do you need to buy one? Do you have a pet that might be prone to chewing on small leaves? These details are important to have in mind as you begin your search.

You should also be aware of the criteria that distinguish one fake plant from another. Look at the materials it’s made from, what it comes with, size options, and style.


Consider the amount of space you have to work with. Living in a small space doesn’t necessarily mean that a large plant won’t work for you, but it could cut down on the variety of plants you’re able to fit inside your home. One sizable plant could be enough to accomplish the look you’re going for, medium plants can easily dress up a counter or coffee table, and small faux plants — such as succulents — could be placed on floating shelves and in tight spaces that need some light zhuzhing. Think about the size of artificial plant you’d like, then narrow it down from there.

Plant Type

The selection of fake plants you can acquire for your home is virtually endless. Do you want one that’s bushy or sleek? A fern or a flower? A local species or an exotic variety? Going into your search with parameters like these will help make the process more manageable.


Your purchase decision should also be informed by your needs. What room is it for? How large is the space you’re aiming to fill? Do you want to hang it from the ceiling or place it on a flat surface? You’ll be able to narrow down your choices much faster if you know the answers to these questions.


Though some fake plants come with decorative pots, many don’t. They’ll come in a planter that functions well enough, but will it match your decor or preferred quality? It’s unlikely. Fortunately, you have some options. You could look for faux plants that come in nice planters (just keep in mind that they might be more expensive). If you have an empty basket or plant pot on hand, you can select a plant that’s the right size to fit inside of it. At times, brands offer stylish planters as an add-on with your faux plant purchase. Lastly, picking up a pot after purchasing a fake plant is always an option, and might be the easiest.

What We Look For in a Fake Plant

We tested a wide range of fake plants and judged them on the following criteria:

  • Realism: How well does it resemble an actual, living plant? How does it look close up and far away? Does it feel real to the touch?
  • Durability: What materials is it made from? Is it easy to clean?
  • Value: Is it in your price range? Is it trendy or timeless? Does it come with a planter or do you have to buy one?

The Best Fake Plants

“I love the aesthetic a plant adds to a room,” says AT executive lifestyle director Charli. “But while half of my space gets a lot of light, there are corners of the living room that are so dark that a real plant just couldn’t survive.” Enter: Mainstays’ artificial potted snake plant. At 21″ tall, it’s a versatile option that can work on a floor or a tabletop. It’s large enough to make an impact yet not too big that it overpowers your space. Even better? The affordable price tag means that you can confidently stock up on fake foliage without spending a ton.

Credit: Charli Penn.

Also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” the evergreen snake plant on which this realistic-looking piece is modeled features tall, shiny, sword-like leaves. Mainstays’ faux version mimics its inspiration, with marbled green leaves that exude depth and dimension. It comes in its own textured white ceramic pot, with a smattering of pebbles across the top that finish the look with an elegant touch.


  • 21″ tall
  • Made from EVA foam, iron wire, styrofoam, ceramic, and pebbles
  • Spot-clean as needed
  • White ceramic pot included

Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to spend a lot; those looking for an easy solution that can work in multiple spaces and settings.

Good to Know: If you are looking for something ASAP, this find might be available for same-day, in-person pickup at your local Walmart.

Best Medium: The Sill Faux Cactus

Commerce managing editor Tamara went looking for a fake plant for two reasons: Her home doesn’t get enough light for real plants, and lots of common houseplants are potentially poisonous to her two cats. With the Faux Cactus from The Sill, she — and her space — couldn’t feel happier. This 25″ tall fake succulent sits on her windowsill, delivering the calming visual benefits of a plant without any unwanted consequences for her kitties. And while the “skin” looks and feels smooth like a real cactus, there’s no threat of getting inadvertently pricked with needles.

Credit: Tamara Kraus

This piece comes in a black plastic pot that’s not meant to be displayed, but The Sill makes it easy to add a stylish upcycled pot to your order with one click. Alternatively, you can use your own 4-5″ vessel to house your faux cactus. “I ended up using a pot I already had, so the only thing I’d flag is that you’d need to buy one to make it decorative and match your decor,” Tamara shares.


  • 25″ tall
  • Made from fabric, plastic, wire, and foam
  • Spot-clean with a soft, dry cloth
  • Decorative pot available as an add-on

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to incorporate faux succulents and/or mid-sized plants into their decor scheme.

Good to Know: If you ever want to dispose of this item, The Sill can help you find a local nursing home, hospital, school, or similar organization that will accept it as a donation.

If you’ve ever had a rubber plant in your house, then you know that the great-looking flora expels a messy, milky sap. This fake version from The Sill delivers the best of both worlds, offering a decor element that looks incredibly lifelike but without any of the headaches of keeping your space (and your plant) looking fantastic.

Credit: Sofia Rivera

“I didn’t realize how much my living room needed a big plant until I got this one,” says associate lifestyle editor Sofia. “It’s so natural-looking it fooled my incredibly green-thumbed sister!” Like Tamara, Sofia upgraded from the plain plastic pot that comes with the Faux Rubber Tree, opting to display it in a ceramic planter in a light-deprived nook of her living room where a real rubber tree plant would have trouble surviving. In fact, The Sill actually recommends placing their version out of direct sunlight to keep it looking its best.


  • 41″ tall
  • Made from fabric, plastic, wire, and foam
  • Spot-clean with a soft, dry cloth
  • Decorative pot not included

Who It’s Best For: Those who have a large space to fill with a fake plant.

Good to Know: The Sill recommends pairing this item with one of their Burbank fiberglass planters, though Sofia went with a ceramic piece to match her decor.

“Much to the chagrin of my father, I’ve never had a green thumb, so I’m always looking for fake plants that look anything but,” says commerce SEO editor Sarah, who loved the look of this faux watermelon peperomia plant from the moment she set eyes on it. Similar to its namesake tropical flora, this CB2 exclusive features broad, realistic-looking striped leaves that resemble a watermelon rind. “It adds the perfect amount of much-needed greenery to my bathroom,” she says.

Credit: Sarah Vazquez.

This winning item is a head-to-toe (er, leaf-to-root?) find that arrives in a sleek ceramic white vessel that’s ready to display as soon as you take it out of the box. Sarah reports that the gorgeous planter offers credibility and makes the whole piece feel more “legit.” And if it starts to get dusty, don’t fret! It’s super easy to clean and keep looking like new.


  • 24″ tall
  • Made from plastic and iron wire
  • Wipe clean with a soft cloth
  • White ceramic pot included

Who It’s Best For: Anyone who’s looking for something eye catching and pre-potted.

Good to Know: It takes a few days and some finagling to get the plant to properly open up, so be patient with it.

If you love the visual appeal of a pothos but can’t seem to keep one healthy, then take a look at this artificial version. “Thanks to Afloral, it looks like I’m capable of keeping a plant alive and thriving,” says senior commerce editor Alicia. “If my fake plant sat next to a real one, I would honestly not be able to tell the difference. It looks like it was plucked out of a garden.” As its name implies, this option not only resembles an actual plant in appearance, but it also feels real to the touch, too.

Credit: Alicia Kort.

Rather than leaves and stems that “grow” upwards, this beauty features a mix of leaves that hang down from the top. Alicia showcases it on a bookshelf, cascading it over the side for a dramatic, brightening effect. It doesn’t come with its own planter, though Afloral does have recommendations you can tack onto your order. Choose from options that sit on a surface or hang from the wall or ceiling. “I could definitely see putting it in the living room, dining room, bedroom, foyer, and even the patio,” adds Alicia.


  • 48″ long
  • Made from plastic and wire
  • Clean with compressed air or a hairdryer on low setting
  • Decorative pot not included

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to use a hanging pot and/or add a dramatic “natural” element to their space.

Good to Know: Your order is guaranteed to ship within 24 hours of when you place it.

After displaying this stunning Nearly Natural faux olive tree in the corner of her living room for just a few months, home assistant editor Savannah was ready to turn her space into a Mediterranean-inspired sanctuary. “I want one of these for every room in my house,” she half-jokes. This towering fake tree features thin branches adorned with green leaves that look and feel like the real thing. It can easily make a statement on its own or provide a beautiful backdrop for more live or fake plants and flowers.

Credit: Savannah West

Founded and staffed by horticulturists, Nearly Natural specializes in recreating every subtle detail of a plant in an artificial form. “It looks extremely realistic — and it’s almost 7 feet tall!” Savannah says of her olive tree. As with many other options on this list, this one doesn’t come with a planter, so make sure you have something in which to display it. Says Savannah, “I immediately placed it in a basket, and it’s perfect.”


  • 82″ tall
  • Made from wood, plastic, fabric, and stone
  • Wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth
  • Decorative pot not included

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to display a full-fledged tree inside their home.

Good to Know: After you remove the tree from its box, reshape the branches as needed.