7 ways to make your fake plants look more real

Fake plants in home
Fake plants in home (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you love filling your home with beautiful plants but don’t have the time (or a green thumb) to care for them, fake plants offer a great alternative. And if you want to make them look authentic, there are ways to make your fake plants look more real. In fact, these tips and tricks are so good that you won't be able to tell the difference. 

Fake or faux plants have come a long way since the days of tacky, plastic-looking plants. Now, many fake plant options look almost identical to the real thing, thanks to their quality materials such as silk. It’s no surprise that fake greenery are rising in popularity, with their convenient appeal, and instant decor style. In addition, these are more suitable for those living in compact spaces or who suffer with pollen allergies. 

Best of all, you can place fake plants anywhere in the home all year round, without worrying about the conditions, and care guidance. So if you want to save money from replacing your wilted plants, try these 7 ways to make your fake plants look more real. 

Be sure to also check out 7 surprising household items to help your plants grow. Plus, here are 7 ways to make your living room look more expensive.

1. Spray light mist on the leaves 

Misting leaves on fake plant

Misting leaves on fake plant (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to create realistic beads of moisture that you’ll see on leaves, it’s easy to do. Simply fill up an empty spray bottle with water, and lightly mist your fake plant. The idea is to form individual water beads or droplets on the leaves without oversaturating the plant with water. A top tip is to rub a small amount of coconut oil onto the leaves before lightly spraying with water. Since water and oil won’t mix, this will essentially create the moisture beads that you’re after, making it look like the real thing. 

2. Let it shine 

Spraying leaves of fake plant

Spraying leaves of fake plant (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, real plants have that dewy shine or glisten to their leaves. There are a couple of ways you can achieve this sheen. You can purchase a faux plant cleaner like this Sparkle Plenty Silk Sensation Artificial Plant Cleaner ($19, Amazon), to give it a slight sheen when sprayed onto the leaves. Or you can spray the leaves with a hairspray mist that will do a good job. 

3. Mix and match with real plants 

Plants grouped on wall shelves

Plants grouped on wall shelves (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you already have favorite real plants, there’s nothing wrong with grouping them with your fake ones. Once blended together, these won’t look quite so artificial, as they’re camouflaged with the real foliage. A good trick is to arrange plants on a shelf that’s higher than your eye line. This gives the illusion that your fake plants are genuine from afar, and no one will be able to tell the difference at first glance.

4. Add real soil to the base 

Repotting houseplant

Adding soil to plant pot (Image credit: Shutterstock)

One big giveaway of having real plants is of course, the soil. There’s no harm in adding real soil to a fake plant pot to make it look authentic. And while many plants can look incredibly real, the base often lets it down. Simply cover the base of the plant with a layer of top soil or better still, sphagnum moss to make your plant look even more convincing. 

5. Hang in baskets 

Hanging plants in basket

Hanging plants in basket (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to create nature-inspired decor, try hanging fake plants in pots or baskets. Typically, fake plants look more realistic from looking at the top of the leaf, so the basket will conceal the undersides. A good tip is to have decorative home accents or even light accessories around your plants. This styled arrangement can make your fake greenery more pleasing to the eye.  

6. Store them in stylish planters 

Fake plant in black planter

Fake plant in black planter (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A good way to upgrade your fake plants is to place them in stylish pots, planters or even woven baskets. There are many different shapes and designs to suit your plant, but materials such as ceramic or concrete will make it more realistic. If you have smaller varieties, you can use tabletop vases, pots or wooden planter boxes. What’s more, these will also make an eye-catching, decor feature.

7. Keep them clean 

Dusting leaves on fake plant

Dusting leaves on fake plant (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Depending on the material, dust often clings to the leaves and stems of fake plants. Not only does this ruin the aesthetic, but brings attention to the fact they are not real. Keep your fake plants clean by dusting and using a microfiber cloth to wipe down the leaves on a regular basis.  

If you do want to create an indoor garden, check out our guides on how to care for succulents and how to repot succulents. Or if you want to revive your real plants, be sure to read 5 tips on how to save a dying plant.  

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!