Looking to add the beauty of artificial plants to a space? Afraid it’s going to look too fake? Read more to find out how to make faux foliage look great!

Fake bird of paradise plant against a pink and coral ikat wallpaper.

This beautiful six foot tall faux Bird of Paradise plant creates the illusion of height in our guest bedroom. The ceilings are only eight feet high and can easily feel weighed down due to the visual of the ceiling fan. The ceiling fan definitely had to stay (we live in Texas — it gets too hot to go without), so anything that I can do to add height to any of the rooms while maintaining fans in our home is worthwhile. Plus, a great boho bedroom needs some freshness through plants! I’ve never spent so much on a faux plant but, in my case, it made sense.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to decorating with artificial plants. Let’s explore  a few to see if they are a good fit for you!

In cased you missed it, check out my other One Room Challenge posts! week 1 | week 2 | week 3 | week 4 | week 5

The pros of artificial plants

First, artificial plants require zero watering. That’s awesome because that’s one less plant’s soil to check. Second, plants do not require sunlight. That means that it does not matter the direction in which the window in the room faces, I can still have the tall plant of my dreams.

bird of paradise

That’s especially vital in my home as I do not receive a lot of northern exposed windows, i.e. I don’t have a lot of sunlight. Truly, growing a bird of paradise plant at all, let alone 6 ft. tall, in my home requires a great deal of work.

Third, these full plants do not require any humidity. That is something I deal with a lot in my home. I have bamboo flooring and they have recommended humidity levels in our house to maintain a stable floor. Thus I can’t have a lot of added humidity.

a close up to fake bird of paradise plant

The cons of artificial plants

In contrast, there are some disadvantages to having a fake plant. First, it can get very dusty. You have to dust real plants but you have to dust fake plants too. Sometimes, it seems as if artificial plants get dustier faster! Secondly, they are pricey. You can often buy real plants for cheaper and let them grow big and full at a much lower initial cost.

Third, it is easy for them to look fake. There’s no way that this artificial plant is ever going to look perfectly real. And I’m okay with that. It’s up to me to customize the plant to make it give the illusion of a little bit of more realness.

How I customize my artificial plant

Here are my top 3 tips to creating a more realistic look to artificial plants and trees!

Bend into place

First, I looked up a picture of a real bird of paradise plant. I took notes of how it looked and used that to help guide how I treated my new faux plant. I made sure to fluff out the stems and then the leaves in a way that mimics a picture of a real bird of paradise plant.

A person cuts the leaves of an artificial bird of paradise plant.

Call me crazy, but I cut the leaves!

My leaves were looking a little too perfect, so I decided to cut additional slits and imperfections into my leaves. One telltale sign of a fake plant is perfection. As a result, I decided to add a little bit of imperfection to give a more realistic feel.

Brown and black acrylic paint with three paintbrushes on a plastic clear plate. A pair of orange heavy duty scissors lies above.

Paint your artificial plant

Lastly, I added a little bit of color to the roots of the stems of the plant. Real plants are not perfectly green throughout, especially at its base. Therefore, I decided to mix a little bit of brown and black paint to add a little bit of variation and depth to the stems at the base of the plant.

It might not seem like much, but it just adds to the illusion of realness to my eye.

A person paints the base of an artificial bird of paradise plant. with brown paint

To do this, I used a small paintbrush. I mixed brown and black paint onto a paper plate. With a little bit of patience, I got the look that I wanted. I propped up my fake plant in a basket I purchased from Dollar General for about $6. Currently, the artificial plant is sitting on a box to get it as high in the room as possible.

In conclusion, artificial plants can be worthwhile.

Overall, I really love my fake plant in this room. I love artificial foliage because they’re semi-precious. My dad can knock it over and I don’t have to worry about dirt spilling out, nor do I have to worry about him crushing the leaves by accident.

I know that some people feel that artificial plants are not sustainable enough nor does it give you the satisfaction of growing a plant. However, the pros outweighs the cons in order to achieve my ideal look.

An artificial plant bent into a realistic shape against a wallpapered wall.
The final look.

In a future blog post, I will go into a true deep dive of both faux foliage since it is indeed one of my passions. Until then, thanks for reading along!



P.S. Take a look at the other week 6 ORC projects!

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  1. Hey… you really did a good fake to real job on that bop! Heck..i never thought of cutting the leaves, let alone painting the stems. Very creative!