Fake Plants: Yea or Nay?

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She's So Bright - Fake Plants: Yea or Nay?
A Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree from Terrain

There is one fake plant living, or rather, not living in my apartment. It sits on my bedside table and adds a little bit of color to a part of my bedroom where it would be difficult for a real plant to survive. It’s a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, I appreciate its low maintenance. (Though I’ll be honest, in all the years I’ve had it, I never dusted it – probably should get on that). And on the other: I hate that it’s fake. It’s pretending to be something that it’s not, it’s plastic, and I love real plants so why would I want a fake one?

And have you noticed that many plants in doctor’s offices, restaurants, and beauty salons are fake? It’s something that I’ve been investigating for years in my own, strange little way. If I couldn’t tell if a plant was real or fake, I would pierce a leaf with the tip of my nail. If it were real, a line of fluid would ooze out; if not, all I had to do was touch it. I did it at my therapist’s office, in bathrooms of restaurants, and all kinds of locations where fakery was suspected. Fake plants always felt like a test in some way. Am I real or not? Can you be fooled?

Almost always a plant I thought was fake, was actually real, and vise versa. It was disappointing and made me even more suspicious of a fern too perfect, or a succulent to plump. You will, of course, be happy to know that I don’t do this anymore because it’s kind of a mean thing to do to someone’s plants, and well, weird. But I did stop to consider a suspicious looking ivy decoration today while having a walk in the park. I didn’t get close enough, but I’m pretty sure it was fake.

I recently received an email from the Urban Outfitter owned, rustic-garden-supplier Terrain, touting their newest fake plants. I’ll admit, I was drawn in, my eyes sliding over the rows of faux plant images, attempting to find the seams in the stems, the dullness to the fabric, or the obvious cheapness of the plastic. I didn’t see those things. All I saw were beautiful, realistic plants, which needed no maintenance and wouldn’t attract little crawling things near my bed. Aside from the steep price, it has made me rethink my fake plant bias a bit.

Last week while out at my favorite Thai place a familiar leaf shape caught my eye. It was my bedside table plant, sitting on a shelf above the cutlery, silently reminding me that he wasn’t going anywhere soon.

How do you feel about fake plants? Does it bother you when you can’t tell if they’re real or faux? Share with me in the comments. And to see some of the wonders of how good fake plants have gotten, check out some of my picks below.

Image courtesy of Terrain.

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