Where to Buy the Best Fake Plants — Plus, Our Fave Places to Shop

updated Oct 31, 2023
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window sil full of fake plants
Credit: Sarah Crowley

If you’re like me and love plants, but are busy with life or traveling, or have an apartment patio with little or no direct sunlight, or you live somewhere without much rain or that has temperatures that run too hot or too cold, or you have pets that like to snack on petals and leaves, I have two words for you: fake plants

I once went on back-to-back work trips for 30 days and forgot to ask my pet sitter to also water my plants. I had four out on my balcony, including a bright purple orchid and succulents in a planter that was sculpted to look like a face with tendrils that cascaded down its side and looked like locks of hair. I was so proud of the way I had kept them alive because my thumb hasn’t been historically green.

They were all dead or dying by the time I returned home.

In an effort to learn from my mistakes, I researched the best faux plants that don’t need to be watered and where to find them, and drilled down the best ways to make them look legit and keep them clean, too.

How to Shop for Fake Plants That Look Real

Today’s artificial plants are much more realistic in color, shape, and texture than what you might have seen in years or decades past. These are really the key things you want to look for when shopping for fake plants that look like the real thing. 

  • Check for slight color and shape variations in the leaves and stems.
  • Make sure that the stems are flexible so they can be manipulated into the shape you want. 
  • Decorative pots go a long way, but you can just as easily drop a faux plastic grower’s pot into a vessel you already own.

How to Make Fake Plants Look Real

There are also ways you can make your faux plant look even more true-to-life. Here are some easy ways.

  • Take your fake fiddle leaf fig tree and place it in a basket. 
  • “Pot” your birds of paradise plant in a decorative ceramic container. 
  • Rest a bunch of bougainvillea in a hanging planter. 
  • Drape your greenery over a stack of books on a coffee table or bookshelf. 

Styling fake plants with intention will help them seem like the real thing, and positioning them away from direct sunlight will keep their color from fading so they stay vibrant and appear as though they’re full of chlorophyll. Any time you can add a natural element to them (think: equally low-maintenance river rocks or freshly misted water) your faux plants will feel all the more organic.

How to Clean Fake Plants

Artificial plants may require way less care than live plants, but like any other object in your home, they’ll still collect dust. Regular dusting and a deep clean a couple times a year will keep your artificial plants looking anything but fake. To clean fake plants, do the following:

  • Use a soft, dry cloth, or microfiber duster to wipe the tops and undersides of the leaves of your faux houseplant.
  • For a deeper clean, you can use a damp cloth, make your own natural, nontoxic cleaning solution using water and vinegar, or even run them under the shower.

Where to Buy Fake Plants

1 / 10

For that real look, but with an extremely low maintenance vibe, try Afloral's Real Touch Hydrangea. The 18-inch flower has a nearly seven inch bloom and the wire stem can easily be bent or cut. Add one of these to an existing floral arrangement or purchase a few for a bouquet centerpiece on your dining room table or bedroom. Afloral is a female-owned business that prides itself on helping you create a year-round botanical home, providing sustainability through reusable products, faux plants that are forever in bloom, and a largely plastic-free shipping process.

2 / 10
Nearly Natural

Nearly Natural is a multi-generational plant-loving brand whose family tree has roots dating back 75 years to Grandpa Henry Friedmen, a horticulturist himself. Today, Robbie Singer leads a team of designers who travel the globe in search of “nearly natural” artificial trees, plants, and flowers that come as close in color and texture as possible to the real thing. Just look at this 6-foot-tall Bird of Paradise plant. It’s tropical, colored with rich green leaves and bright yellow-and-purple blooms, and sits in its black planter as if it was freshly plucked from a nursery.

3 / 10
The Sill

The Sill believes that plants make people happier. And so Eliza Blank, its founder and CEO, built an entire brand based on them — informed by her memories of growing up around houseplants and the benefits taking care of plants can have on our mood and health. While The Sill offers an array of living plants, including a monthly subscription box, it also has a hefty selection of faux and preserved plants that don’t need sunlight or the same level of maintenance as real plants. A braided money tree is said to bring good luck, and this 4.75-foot-tall faux one from The Sill bestows all the abundance with none of the hassle.

4 / 10
West Elm

For plant-lovers who lack time or the right weather conditions, this faux cacti is even more low-maintenance than the real thing. West Elm has been expanding beyond furniture, rugs, and linens with great outdoor and gardening pieces, including faux plants. This one is offered in two heights, and both look great styled solo or together. Best of all, they won’t hurt if you accidentally brush up against them!

5 / 10
was $166.99

It should come as no surprise that Amazon has a huge selection of faux plants and even single branches, many of which look much more expensive than their cheap price tags. If you’re looking to bring a little piece of the Mediterranean into your home, look no further than this faux olive tree from Nearly Natural, towering at more than 6 feet tall with silvery leaves that transport you to the Italian countryside. This one comes in a grower pot that you can drop into your favorite planter for a more realistic and custom look.

6 / 10

There aren’t many scenarios I can think of where a eucalyptus plant isn’t the right look. And the way this one cascades over its ceramic pot makes it the perfect styling object. It joins CB2’s selection of live, faux, dried, and preserved plants, trees, and grassy stems.

7 / 10

Target’s Threshold collab with Studio McGee has tons of affordable faux greenery, like this lush fern in a decorative cement pot. Happy customers love the hefty pot and wayward stems that look much more realistic than they’d expected.

8 / 10

Terrain is a nature-minded, impact-driven brand that celebrates fresh plants, flowers, fruiting trees, and even seeds, soil, and planting kits so you can grow your own gardens. But don't worry — they also offer faux flowers and houseplants if you don’t have a green thumb. Meant for indoor use only, the faux fiddle leaf fig tree is a modest 2.5 feet tall if you’re looking to cheer up a drab corner of your home.

9 / 10
was $242.00

This 5.5-foot-tall tropical monstera plant looks real enough to let you live that plant life. But it’s ArtiPlanto’s commitment with each purchase to One Tree Planted — a nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation — that really seals the deal. Based in New York City and Montreal, ArtiPlanto’s team uses ethically sourced materials to design realistic and artistic artificial plants suitable for indoors and the outdoors, accompanied by a collection of planters, rugs, and accessories intended for the modern minimalist home. (Oh, and the monstera plant is also available in 6.5- and 8-foot-tall heights.)

10 / 10
LDF Silk

With a showroom in the Dallas Design District, LDF Silk has elevated the art of permanent florals and plants with designer-worthy foliage and blooms that never die. Established in 1983 under the name L’Amour Des Fleurs, meaning Love of Flowers, LDF Silk still has a team of artisans handcrafting its life-like arrangements, trees, and sculpture that can stay indoors worry-free. But if you want your low-maintenance faux plants to extend outside, too, the showroom also carries a selection of UV-protected options, like this polyblend agave plant complete with a grower’s pot. That means it will “survive” weather conditions and not fade in the sunlight. So you can have virtually any landscape you want regardless of the climate you live in.