I’m a Total Houseplant Purist, but These $59 Faux Olive Stems from Pottery Barn Have Everyone Fooled (Including Me!)

published Mar 29, 2023
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Credit: Cori Sears

Not too long ago, I wouldn’t have dared to incorporate faux greenery into my home’s design. Step inside my bungalow and you’ll find shelves filled with pothos and hoya plants, a tall Dieffenbachia, a fiddle leaf fig, more propagations than I can count, and a Monstera deliciosa trying to take the whole place over — among lots of other smaller plant babies. I’ve embraced the indoor jungle trend, in all its realness, and I love it. 

However, as of a couple of weeks ago, I can now say that my mind has officially changed about fake plants. Thanks to these stylish olive branches from Pottery Barn, I’m now a believer in the power of faux.

This shift began when I set out to redecorate my dining room. I did a DIY makeover of a sideboard I snagged for free from my local Buy Nothing Group, and needed accessories for the tabletop. Normally, a houseplant is one of my go-to tricks for decorating surfaces, but my dining room is seriously lacking in the natural light department. So that option was out. 

After browsing Pinterest for a while, I determined that styling some stems in a large vase was definitely the way to go. Initially, my plan was to use real ones and change them out regularly. But on a whim, I looked online at some faux greenery to weigh my options. 

If I’m being honest, I’m terrible about replenishing fresh bouquets on time, so I knew the same would be true for fresh stems and branches. Once I stumbled upon — and ordered and received — these best-selling Pottery Barn faux olive branches, I can now say with certainty that faux greenery has come a long way in the past several years.

When I previously heard the terms faux greenery or faux plants, I immediately envisioned the unmistakable plastic stems you’ve probably seen before, too: They’re badly put together with pieces of foam, and fabric is literally falling off of them. Well, evidently, you get what you pay for when it comes to faux greenery, because the Pottery Barn olive branches are sturdy and realistic. They may be an investment at $59, but barring any major disasters, they’re likely to outlast any trend on the horizon.

Credit: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

I purchased two branches, which each have seven stems, to make my vase look full. The leaves have a true-to-life, silvery green color and oblong shape, and the olives are convincing, too — you can only tell they aren’t real when you look at them really closely! I love that they add a touch of on-trend, low-maintenance greenery to a room that’s too dark for real plants without the added hassle and cost of installing grow lights

Don’t get me wrong — I’m definitely not going to replace all of my houseplants, but I now believe faux greenery fits in my home. These olive branches will make my dining room look stylish for many years to come, and there’s no faking that.