For years I’ve fantasized about living in a home so filled with plants that every day feels like eternal summer. The problem with this plan? I already have enough stress in my life.
You know how plants are. Pretty as they look, they’re also incredibly needy little things. They demand watering (just the right amount!), and pruning, and fertilizing — with each and every one on a different schedule. Might as well have octuplets.
And since my thumb’s not a very deep shade of green, within a month the bright leaves that hoodwinked me into bringing my new plant home in the first place will have faded to a brown-tinged yellow.
The great news, though is that there’s a workaround. And it’s a good one. If you haven’t seen how faux plants have evolved over the past few years, it’s time to investigate. This new breed of hyper-realistic fakers look almost identical to living ficuses, ferns, and palms — but, of course, with zero work on your part other than clicking "add-to-cart." All you have to do then: Wait for your pretty faux plant to arrive to arrive. Unwrap it. Never think about it again. Except, of course, to admire its beauty.
Ahead, 10 gorgeous options that no one will believe aren't real — including you.
There’s good reason the philodendron also goes by the name monstera deliciosa — there’s no plant whose gargantuan sprawl is more deliciously delightful. This faux philodendron ticks all the boxes. It’s gigantic. Its leaves are a perfect veined emerald. It’s even dotted with the random holes that gave philodendrons the nickname "Swiss Cheese Plant."
The Olive Tree
We're just going to call it now: 2019 is the year of the olive tree. That's right, 2018 was ALL ABOUT the fiddle leaf, but this year, we're turning a daintier, more rustic corner. To buy a real one, though? Wow, that's ambitious. Instead, opt for this truly life-like faux version. Not only are its branches heavy with olive fruit in various stages of ripeness, its burled trunk looks like it spent its first 50 years growing in some Mediterranean grove before you dug it up, smuggled it home, and placed it in the corner of your living room.
Palms make even the sparsest of spaces feel warm and tropical. And this faux version accomplishes exactly that, but with none of the natural plant’s minuses — you know, like the infestations of mealy bugs that palms are notorious for, which you will never, ever be able to exterminate. (I know. I’ve been there. More than once.) This lovely imposter’s lush fronds shoot up six feet from a base of faux soil, turning your living room, or bedroom, or bathroom — or wherever — into a super-calming oasis.
The Fiddle Leaf Ficus
OK, OK, we admit it, even if the fiddle leaf ficus was so last year... um, we still really love it. The trend has been on the ascent for a couple seasons now, and it’s easy to see why. This pretender is the best on the market because, it's an identical replica of the tree’s broad leaves and gnarled trunk. One way it differs: Unlike a real ficus, it isn’t toxic to dogs and cats. Another plus: Its no-windows-no-problem attitude. Place it in your bathroom without worrying the space’s low light will sap the green from its giant leaves.
If it’s possible to have a "spirit plant," I’d choose ferns without hesitation. There’s just something so romantic about their wild fronds. But like most romantics, they’re a lot of work. They need constant attention. So much reassurance. Ignore them for a few days and they’ll shed their leaves in protest all over your carpet. Not this one, though. The faux bracken fern gets top ratings from customers precisely because it looks so perfectly lush — and stays that way. We love its French pot and the fact that its silk leaves look so real you might even forget she's a fake.
The Sea Grass
Standing three-and-a-half feet tall, this faux seagrass statement piece looks like it was made to lend a seaside feel to your landlocked home. My tip: Purchase a pair and place them on either side of the bulkiest piece of furniture you own — whether that’s a buffet or a bookshelf or a upright piano. Their lightness will lend contrast that makes the entire room feel airier. And obviously, no worries about its tips turning brown if you head out for a real-life seaside escape.
The Succulent Terrarium
At first glance, you might think, huh, a faux succulent garden? Aren’t they known for needing next to no care? And you’d be correct. When it comes to fussy plants, succulents are near the bottom of the list, mostly because they don’t need a lot of water. The problem: Give them too much H20 (which is surprisingly easy to do) and they drown, leaving behind gelatinous little ghosts in their place. No worry with this terrarium, though. It’ll look as fresh in a year’s time as it did on day one.
The Succulent Planter
Options, options. Place this fake take on the succulent in your office to make sitting down at your desk feel just a little bit less depressing. A trio of succulent varieties huddle together in a handcrafted ceramic planter that gives a nod to the retro-glamour designs of Jonathan Adler. Even better, make a bigger statement by teaming it with complementary cousins like this piece and this. Incredibly realistic, no one will ever know it's not the real thing!
Also known as Mother-in-Law's Tongue, a faux Sansevieria is one of those plants that lends a retro-modern feel to a space — and is it ever a fan favorite! Nearly 700 four-star reviews rave about the trickster's ability to look exactly like the real thing. One way it differs: The mottled leaves can be shaped and spread to fit your design scheme — whether that means standing tall to fit in a tight spot between two side chairs or furling out to fill in a humdrum corner.
Greyleigh Ball Moss Topiary Faux Plant
She may be small, but she is mighty. And your mantle is just begging for this sweet little urn to take up shop. A bright green hue with sprays of yellow, this moss looks just like the real thing... except it won't brown out when you under or over-water it! Gratis urns get a bad rap (and rightly so) because they're often unsightly or cheesy or worse. This one, however, redefines the gratis game because it's simple and striking and perfectly suited to accent the pretty faux moss up above.
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