The 8 Best Fake Plants of 2021

Give your home a green makeover—even if you have a brown thumb

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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
This fiddle leaf fig tree is 6 ft tall, so it's sure to make a bold statement and add some greenery, but without the maintenance.
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This little pothos plant rings in under $20 and has the look of a real plant, it's a great way to spruce up your home on a budget.
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This set comes with 16 different faux succulents and each one has a very realistic look. Create a succulent garden, hassle-free.
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This faux snake plant will add the look of real greenery to your space and it comes in a chic, cylindrical planter.
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This faux plant is sure to give your home a tropical vibe all year long and without requiring any care.
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Even in non-tropical climates, this palm tree adds a beachy vibe year-round with absolutely no maintenance.
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With two different sizes to chose from and an incredibly authentic look, this faux cactus will bring the desert right to you.
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This faux aloe plants comes in a rusted terracotta pot, it's the perfect decorative accent for any space.
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There’s no denying it: Plants make a lovely addition to any home—that is, unless they’re drying out, dropping leaves, or otherwise falling apart. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a dying plant, let us assure you that it’s an unfortunate sight. Thankfully, there are plenty of pretty and realistic-looking fake plants in this world. And they can grant you access to some of the joys of plant ownership—without cluttering your to-do list with reminders to “water the plants.”


“Currently, there seems to be a lot of love for the house plant,” Kate Shaw and Betsy Moyer, co-founders of the experiential design firm Retreat, say. “But I fully support mixing in a few faux.” Shaw and Moyer note that there are a few reasons you might want to add fake plants to your home. First, you know you simply can’t keep plants alive. Second, you plan to be away from your home for long stretches of time. And third, there are spots in your home that just aren’t conducive to the plants you want to grow there. 


“There is a corner of my light, bright, and airy living room that doesn't want to keep a plant alive, but desperately calls for a tree,” Shaw and Moyer add. “After finding the right 8-inch palm in faux, I haven't had a regret in the world about mixing it in with my other living and breathing plant friends.”


In other words? There are tons of reasons why you might want to add a few fake plants to your home. And we’ve rounded up 10 of the best, most realistic-looking options to get you started.

Best Overall: Pure Garden Artificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in Pot

Pure Garden Artificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in Pot

Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 72 inches | Weight: 17.72 pounds | Plant Type: Fiddle leaf | Container Included: Not included

What We Like
  • Adjustable branches

  • Lush leaves

  • Large (6 feet tall)

  • Comes in a black plastic pot

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Leaves may need to be fluffed

Fiddle leaf fig trees are among the most coveted plants around. The only problem? Big ones boast a considerable price point—one that’s tough to justify paying if you know you have a black thumb. Thankfully, there are tons of great faux fiddle leaf fig trees out there, and Wayfair’s Artificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is one of the most realistic-looking around. 

The tree boasts a series of narrow trunks and thin branches, both of which are dotted with lush leaves. These leaves are fluffable, and the branches are adjustable. So you don’t have to leave your tree as is. Instead, you can customize it until it looks exactly as imperfect and organic as you want it to—and until it suits your space just right.

Expert Buying Tip

“Don't skimp on style when it comes to the basket or planter. Skip the look that the plant came with, and nestle that faux plant right into a special pot with special consideration for the scale of the plant. Use some spanish moss to fill the planter, and consider placing it on a riser inside a large planter or basket to give your plant more presence.” —Kate Shaw and Betsy Moyer, co-founders of the experiential design firm Retreat

Best Budget: Pottery Barn Faux Potted Pothos Houseplant

Pottery Barn Faux Potted Pothos Houseplant

Dimensions: 8 x 9 inches | Weight: 0.5 pounds | Plant Type: Pothos | Container Included: Plastic pot included

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Shiny, vibrant leaves

  • Easy to decorate with (8-inch diameter, 9-inch height)

  • Comes in a black plastic pot

What We Don't Like
  • Small

  • Doesn’t drape or hang the way many pothos plants do

Looking to add some faux greenery to your space on a budget? Pottery Barn has you covered. The brand’s Faux Potted Pothos Houseplant is available at an incredibly reasonable price point. And since it’s a particularly striking faux plant, it’s sure to add a touch of warmth and style to your space. 

The plant’s polyester leaves are thick and large, and they offer the subtle shine you’d expect to find on a real pothos plant. These polyester leaves are connected by a series of matching polyester stems. And both feed into a sleek wire center, which you can leave in the styrofoam-filled pot the plant ships with or which you can use to conveniently slide the plant into another pot of your choosing.

Best Succulents: Augshy 16-Pack Artificial Unpotted Succulents

Augshy 16-Pack Artificial Unpotted Succulents

Dimensions: Varies per succulent, 1.5-3.5 inches x 1.6-3.5 inches | Weight: 0.725 pounds | Plant Type: Succulent | Container Included: Not included

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Variety pack with 16 options

  • Easy to decorate with (individually pot them or group them in a garden)

  • Come in a range of small sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Unpotted

  • More pastel than other comparable options

Succulents are supposed to be easy to take care of. But if you have a serious black thumb, you know that even they can present a challenge. Thankfully, faux succulents abound. And you can often score a bunch of realistic-looking options in a budget-friendly variety pack—like Augshy Store’s 16-Pack of Artificial Unpotted Succulents.

The set comes with 16 different fake succulents, which mimic favorites like hawthoria and echeveria plants. But unlike many other fake plants, these faux succulents come completely unpotted. This would normally be a downside, because it means more work for you. But since we’re dealing with tiny succulents, it’s actually a plus: You can choose whether to pot your succulents individually, or whether to compile them into a low-profile garden. And since each faux succulent boasts a sleek, built-in stem, you can easily rearrange them whenever you want to.

Best Snake Plant: Urban Outfitters Sansevieria Faux Plant

Urban Outfitters Sansevieria Faux Plant

Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.25 x 5.25 inches | Weight: 1.48 pounds | Plant Type: Sansevieria | Container Included: Pot included

What We Like
  • Clustered, realistic-looking shape

  • Imperfect, realistic-looking leaves

  • Tall for a snake plant (6 feet tall)

  • Comes in a black pot

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves may not be as shiny as the real thing

  • Cement base may make the plant tough to repot

Snake plants make a classic addition to any home. And with Urban Outfitters’ Sansevieria Faux Plant, you can score the stylish look of a snake plant—without having to add “water your plants” to your to-do list. 

The faux plant is crafted from sleek plastic. And its leaves have been shaped to mimic the imperfect curves and points you’d expect to find on a live snake plant. Even better: These leaves are organized in clusters, rather than in orderly lines—making this faux pick look all the more realistic. The plant boasts the pale yellow edges and discolored green leaves you’d expected to find on a snake plant. And since it comes inside a black pot, you can rest assured knowing it’ll arrive on your doorstep ready to display.

Best Monstera: IKEA Fejka Artificial Potted Plant

IKEA Fejka Artificial Potted Plant

Dimensions: 7.5 x 35.5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Plant Type: Monstera | Container Included: Pot included

What We Like
  • Realistic-looking leaves with splits

  • Available in 4 different sizes (between 3.5–7.5 inches)

  • Comes in a black plastic pot

  • Available in 2 different colorways (some solid, some variegated)

What We Don't Like
  • You can’t customize size and colorway (2 of the sizes come solid, 2 come variegated)

  • Leaves may need to be fluffed

  • May look more realistic if you cover the faux dirt in the pot

Monstera plants make a beautiful addition to any corner. And thanks to IKEA, you can score a massive faux monstera plant without spending a small fortune. The faux plant is crafted from a blend of polyethylene and PEVA, both of which are plastic polymers. The two materials work together to form leaves that feel thin, sturdy, and just a little bit shiny—mimicking the look of a live monstera. And since the plant is faux, you won’t have to wait to see “splits” (the holes that make monstera leaves so iconic)—they’ll be there from the start.

What’s more? The faux plant is available in four different sizes, ranging from 3.5–7.5 inches. This flexibility means you can find a faux monstera that perfectly suits your space. And since some of the different sizes boast different colorways, you can choose whether you want a solid faux monstera plant—or a variegated one.

Best Palm: Nearly Natural 6.5 Ft Golden Cane Palm Silk Tree

Nearly Natural 6.5 Ft Golden Cane Palm Silk Tree
4.7

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Feel
    4/5
  • Value
    5/5

Dimensions: 45 x 40 x 78 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Plant Type: Palms | Container Included: Yes

What We Like
  • Tall (6’5”)

  • Crafted from quality silk

  • 333 lush palm leaves

  • Realistic-looking silhouette and leaves

  • Comes in a balck pot

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Ships in 2 pieces, which you have to assemble

Looking to transform your space with the addition of just one faux plant? Nearly Natural’s Golden Cane Palm Silk Tree is up to the task. The plant is a whopping 6’6” tall, so it should make an eye-catching addition to just about any room. And since its leaves are crafted from delicate silk, they promise to look incredibly realistic.

The faux tree boasts three narrow trunks, which feed into a series of 333 palm leaves. That’s a significant amount of faux greenery—and one that promises to leave the tree looking incredibly lush. Despite its size, the tree weighs a mere 11 pounds, so it shouldn’t be tough to move around a room. And since it comes in a black pot, you can display it the moment you receive (and assemble) it.

What Our Testers Say

"The trunk manages to capture the rubbery feel that some palm leaves can have. It also stays lifelike by impersonating imperfections, like the brown and yellow that can appear on trunks and branches, so that the tree looks like a natural, healthy plant."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester

Best Cactus: Pottery Barn Faux Potted Saguaro Cactus

Pottery Barn Faux Potted Saguaro Cactus

Dimensions: 9 x 25 inches (medium), 9.5 x 55 inches (extra large) | Weight: 3.5 lbs (medium), 14.5 lbs (extra large) | Plant Type: Cactus | Container Included: Pot included

What We Like
  • Realistic-looking silhouette

  • Available in 2 different sizes (25–55 inches)

  • Available in 2 different shapes (shape varies based on size)

  • Comes in either a terracotta pot or a burlap-wrapped plastic one (again, varies based on size)

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • You can’t customize size, shape, and pot (the shorter cactus comes in one shape and pot, and the taller one comes in another shape and pot)

Finding a faux cactus that looks realistic can be a surprisingly challenging task. Thankfully, Pottery Barn sells a Faux Potted Saguaro Cactus that’s just imperfect enough to look real. The cactus is hand-crafted from a blend of plastic and cement. And these materials have been molded to mimic the shape of a true saguaro cactus, with its imperfectly tapered arms and spiky thorns. 

The cactus is available in two different sizes, which vary in shape accordingly. If you’re looking for a statement-maker, you can choose the 55-inch option in its burlap-wrapped plastic pot. Or you can keep things low-profile by choosing the 25-inch cactus that comes in a terracotta pot. Either way, you’re in for a delightful faux plant. And since the cacti look so different, you could just as easily buy both and put both on display in your home.

Best Aloe: World Market Faux Aloe in Terracotta Pot

World Market Faux Aloe in Terracotta Pot

Dimensions: 5.5 x 18 inches | Weight: Not listed | Plant Type: Aloe | Container Included: Pot included

What We Like
  • Great value

  • Dense leaf clusters

  • Imperfect, thorn-lined, realistic-looking leaves

  • Comes in a striking terracotta pot

What We Don't Like
  • Real aloe plants may not be this densely arranged

  • Plant color may be darker in-person

Many faux aloe plants are small and relatively sparse. And compared to these low-profile options, World Market’s Faux Aloe Plant looks veritably majestic. At 5.5 inches wide and 18 inches tall, the plant isn’t particularly massive. But its leaves are arranged so densely that it immediately draws the eye. Even better: These leaves vary in size and shape—the way you’d expect them to on a live plant. And they also boast the tooth-like thorns that make aloe plants so distinct.

On its own, the fan-favorite faux plant is worth the investment. But the planter it comes in makes the deal even sweeter. The faux aloe plant ships inside an earthy terracotta pot, which is just as statement-making as the plant itself.

Final Verdict

Fiddle leaf figs are some of the prettiest—and trendiest—house plants around right now. Unfortunately, they can be pretty tough to grow. And that’s one reason Wayfair’s Artificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is at the top of our favorite fake plants list. The tree is also large, striking, and fairly budget-friendly for its size. And since its leaves are fluffable and its branches are adjustable, it promises to look more realistic than some stiffer options.


Pottery Barn’s Faux Potted Pothos Houseplant is another great option. The classic fake plant boasts a small silhouette that should make it easy to decorate with. And since it’s available at a ridiculously reasonable price point, you could buy a few without breaking the bank.

What to Look for in an Fake Plant

Type

If your top priority is scoring a realistic-looking fake plant, favor ferns, succulents, and other plants that look a little fake—even when they’re not. Be sure to consider plant placement, too. Some fake plants are designed to be hung, and others are designed to sprawl in a corner. Consider what kind of accent you’re looking for, and narrow your selection from there.

Size

Just like live plants, fake plants come in a range of different sizes. So consider how much space you have to dedicate to your faux finds. If you want an accent piece that can dominate a corner, consider a fake tree—like a faux palm or faux fiddle leaf fig. If you’re looking for something a little smaller, you may be better suited by a small faux cactus—or even a collection of teeny-tiny faux succulents.

Pot

Many fake plants come in pots, but some do not. So if you’re expecting a planter, double-check that the plant you’re eyeing comes in one. And if it does come in a planter, pay attention to what material that planter is made out of. (A classic terracotta planter is a stellar find. But a flimsy plastic one? Not so much.)

Imperfection

Very few people buy fake plants wanting something that looks fake. More often than not, they want something realistic—and this means finding a faux plant that doesn’t look unreasonably perfect. So look for fake plants with brown spots, imperfectly shaped leaves, or scraggly branches. And if you can find an option with adjustable leaves and branches—which you can mold into any shape you want—even better. “[Be sure to] take some time to prune and bend the leaves into a more natural presentation after unpackaging,” Shaw and Moyer say.

FAQs

How do you clean fake plants?

Good news: Fake plants are incredibly easy to clean. All you really need to do is dust them. And if your duster doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, you can wipe down your fake plant’s leaves using a slightly damp cloth.

How do you decorate with fake plants?

Not sure how to decorate with fake plants? Shaw and Moyer recommend investing in a few high-quality, realistic-looking options—rather than stocking up on every fake plant you can find. “As one of my design clients said (so sweetly and with good reason), ‘My Granny says never put more than one fake plant per room,’” the designers say. “I can abide by granny's words—or I can push it just a little—but I do think she’s right about selecting your opportunities for faux with care and an eye for quality.” 

To recap, you don’t have to stick to the one fake plant per room rule. But it probably is a good idea to keep your faux plant selection pared-down and focused on quality. And remember, you can always fill your home with a combination of fake plants and live ones.

Can you put fake plants outside?

Some fake plants are suitable for outdoor use, while others are not. (Some artificial plants may fade when put outdoors, which is why they’re marked indoor-only.) Be sure to double-check the care instructions for your favorite faux find—they should tell you whether or not you can put the plant outdoors.

Why Trust The Spruce?

The Spruce contributor Lindsey Lanquist knows what it feels like to have a black thumb. She has lived in many low-lit apartments, and in the process, she’s discovered that many supposedly hardy succulents are not as hard to kill as people claim. Needless to say, she appreciates the value of a good fake plant. For this piece, she prioritized options that looked realistic. She sought out fake plants with slight imperfections (brown spots, scraggly branches, etc.) and great reviews. And she also favored adjustable options wherever she could.

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