How to Make Fake Plants Look Real

Tips and tricks to make your faux plants look like the real thing

fake plants

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While there’s nothing quite like filling your home with beautiful, real houseplants, if you don’t have a green thumb or the right lighting conditions, fake plants are a great alternative. And the great thing about faux plants is that there are so many options to choose from. In fact, a lot of the fake plants available to purchase actually look pretty real.

If you do find yourself with some fake plants that look too much like plastic, here are a few things that you can do to make them look real. 

Steam the Leaves

Fake plant

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When you purchase a fake plant and stick it in a shopping bag, odds are when you take it out when you get home, it’s going to be a bit wonky. If the leaves have folded over on themselves in transit, the best thing to do is use a steamer to smooth them out. It will make the leaves more realistic as real houseplants don’t usually have wrinkled leaves. Be careful while doing this that you don’t burn yourself (or the leaves).

Trim the Edges

Another great way to make fake plants look real is to give them a trim. It’s very rare that a real plant will have leaves that all look exactly alike, so your fake one shouldn’t look that way either. Trim some of the leaves to make them smaller or to give them a slightly different shape. You can take a cue from The Sorry Girls on TikTok and use the leftover pieces to create new, tiny leaves that you can glue on the end of vines. 

Hang Vines on the Wall

Hanging fake vines on your wall is a great piece of nature-inspired decor. If you’re going to try it out, you should try to make the leaves look flat. Fake plants usually look realistic enough when looking at the top of the leaf, but when you see the undersides it kind of takes the illusion away. Avoid that by using sticky tack adhesive to attach the leaf to the wall. And if you’re going to hang vines on your walls, make sure you either hide one of the ends or place them into a pot so it doesn’t look like they’re just floating.

Add Real Soil to the Base

fake potted plants

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If you’ve found a really cool fake plant in a pot, adding soil to the top of it can make it look real. There are so many fake plants that come in beautiful pots, but the top can look a bit like like the surface of a playground. Cover the base of the plant with some top soil or sphagnum moss to trick people into believing it’s a real plant that you’ve just repotted

Group Fake With Real

Fake plants don’t look quite so fake when you group them together, and even less so when you group them with real plants. If you already have a few real plants that you love and you want to buy some more plants but would prefer to go with fake ones, intersperse them among your real ones. It will camouflage the fakes and no one will be able to tell the difference without getting super close to them.

Create a Plant Shelfie

plant shelf

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Add a feature wall with a shelf filled with plants. By arranging plants on a shelf that’s higher than your eye line, you can totally make fake plants look real. Try finding plants with different shades of foliage, varying heights, and unique shapes. A styled arrangement will look beautiful in any room.

Dust Frequently

Perhaps one of the most important things to do with fake plants (and real plants, for that matter) is dust them regularly. Dust often clings to the fake leaves because of the material they’re made out of. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the leaves and no one will ever be able to tell that they’re fake.

Spend a Little Extra for the Quality

Because you’re purchasing fake plants that will last a very long time, it’s okay to invest in well made ones. Shop around before settling on one. Make sure you’re happy with the materials they’re made with. You can find fake plants made out of plastic as well as silk. The silk ones are usually more realistic but can cost a bit more.