Getting real with faux flowers and plants

Faux plants and flowers have a come a long way just in the last decade. The colors are more realistic, the forms are more like what nature made, and even the details like seeds and leaves are more life-like than ever before. 

Floral Home and Holiday keeps a keen eye out for what passes for real plants. Most of our customers want something in their homes that look realistic at a glance. But not all of our customers. Some of you like bright pink succulents or purple roses; two plant features you won’t find in nature. So we supply those, too. 

Since faux plants and flowers ship flat, to get a real look, you’ll want to wear your designer hat. Stems will need to by fluffed-out and shaped, flowers will need to be trimmed and arranged in appropriate vases and containers, and succulents look best “planted” with gravel toppers, for example. 

Pairing faux plants with the appropriate container or vase is half the fun of the creative process. But sometimes that is difficult to judge from photos. We help with that by combining them for your virtually. Look for “pairs with” in our product listings.

Our quick start guide:

Working with faux plants

Don’t be intimidated by artificial plants and flowers. The inside secret is that most of them have wire bases covered with plastic if they’re plants, or polyester if they’re flowers. And sometimes a combination of both. 

Simple wire cutters will wrangle your plants and flowers to size. Feel free to trim stems, remove unwanted leaves, and cut them apart into smaller pieces to work with your ideas. Make a mistake? Floral tape in various shades of green put them back together. 

Working with faux flowers

We still call them silk flowers even though they are not. All artificial flowers are made of polyester in the modern age. And all of them are crafted with way more stem than you’ll need. The solution? Trim the stem with wire cutters. 

Think of the 1.5 to 1 ratio when designing flowers to fit containers. The flowers should stand 1.5 times taller than the height of the vase. For example, a 5-inch tall container should be filled with artificial flowers that stand 7.5-inches above the container. 

And use the designer’s rule of three. Use at least three stems of any single flower type. Five and seven work well too especially if you’re using them in tall clear vases.

If you want your floral arrangements to look like the real deal, don’t use them straight out of the package. Most of the forms are wired and ready for you to bend in straight-from-the-garden designs. Bend and twist your faux plants and flowers to give them the most natural forms.

Working with artificial succulents

Succulents are fun to work because almost anything works color-wise. Mix and match to your heart’s content. 

For a well-designed succulent arrangement, choose one tall, many small, and accent your succulent design with one spiller – a succulent that drapes over the side.

You might think of a color scheme since faux succulents are found in just about every color. Think of greens and grays with purple. Or reds with silver. Pinks with celery green are a favorite combination.

Working with large artificial plants

Large plants such as artificial trees, cactus and tropical shrubs are the easiest to implement of all. Most are bottom-weighted. They are called drop-ins. What that means is the bottom container generally is not decorative and weighs enough so you won’t having tipping problems with the tops side of your plants.

You will want to choose a large enough decorative container to hide the drop-in base of your plants. Almost anything will do since your plant will not be watered. Try a basket. Look for ceramic containers. Even galvanized tubs and large pots will do.

Cleaning your artificial plants and flowers

One aspect of owning artificial plants and flowers in your home is they “live” there for a long time. You’ll want to clean them every so often. 

Dust them off with a feather duster from time to time. When your plants and flowers need a deep cleaning you’ll want to take them to the sink. 

All you need to do is take apart your arrangement and hold just the tops of individual plants– the succulent top, or flower portion of your stem under running water for a quick rinse. Don’t run the water down on top of the stem. Instead hold just the tops under running water.

Rub them with your fingers if they’re extra dirty. Pat them dry with a towel, wave them around for an air dry and they’re ready to pop back into your floral arrangements.

Have fun with your plants and flowers

Using artificial plants and flowers is an easy way to get started in creative pursuits. Not only are they fun and super-easy to work with, you have something gorgeous for your home. Even a quick succulent in a small pot makes a thoughtful gift for friends and neighbors.

Look to Floral Home and Holiday for in-depth articles that help you be a designer in no time. We have a how-to videos for designing with succulents, and a how-to videos here for arranging artificial flowers. 

Check out our quick guide to using floral foam.

Check our website often as we build our selection of artificial plants, flowers and succulents. We are expanding our home décor and filling up with holiday goodies. 

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