Faux plants with a DIY gate on a mantel

Faux plants with a DIY gate on a mantel

During the Copy Me Challenge, I noticed one poster mentioned she liked my use of plants and had wondered if I had real or fake.

Allow me to answer… I’m fakin’ it with fake plants all the way. πŸ™‚

It’s been years since I’ve had real plants in my home.

I use to be quite the green thumb. I’d have a virtual jungle of those tree type plants, spider plants, succulents, you name it. I think the turn away from real came when I got cats. πŸ™‚

I recently redid my fireplace mantel and kinda jumped on a spring feel. With, you name it.. fake plants.

I’m wild about this ‘overgrown’ ivy. 

It has the illusion that it’s been growing here for a very long time.

 LOVE ivy, period.

 It’s tumbling effect always has nearby objects looking like a million bucks.


How fun is that  green gear? It’s my favorite. πŸ™‚

Other fakers…

Remember the snowdrop centerpiece? You guessed it. Fake. 

This one fools alot of people, even in real life.

I do use alot of plants in my decor. They just seem to warm up cool spaces, especially softening otherwise somewhat sparse surroundings.

How I clean fake plants

Now, these fellas do indeed get nice and dusty, especially when you reno as much as I do. My way of cleaning them is to haul them into the tub, swish the leaves in soapy water, then spray them down with the hand held shower. Easy! And they generally air dry right where I display them.

Where I find mine

I have a torrid tale to tell. It’s been years since I’ve purchased plants. You see, I had a sign customer long ago that stopped paying his bill. He had a futon/plant store. (don’t ask) So I went to pay a visit one day with two empty vehicles. I came home with $2000 worth of trees and plants of the best quality ever. πŸ™‚ (He closed his doors the following week)

Aside from that horror story gone kinda fun, I look at warehouse type stores that specialize in fake plants. Michael’s is also good however can be expensive. Homesense (HomeGoods for Americans) has some nice stuff too.

The trick to getting away with fake is to purchase the best quality you can find. If it can fool you, it can fool anyone.

Are you a real or faux plant person?
Any tips on caring for your own greens?

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Categories: Fireplace mantels, Reclaimed wood projects, Seasonal, Spring, Summer
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57 thoughts on “Faux plants with a DIY gate on a mantel

  1. Hi :). I am a real plant person, though after reading your post I may consider some fake ones to warm up the place. I try to always have one flowering plant around the house – usually an orchid since their blooms last for weeks.

  2. I really like the way you use your fake plants and I’m with you about choosing the best you can find. Some fake plants look ghastly, very cheap and nasty. Looking forward to more ideas and makeovers using rust and junk and greenery.
    Anne xx

  3. If I have them in my house they are fake. I have tried the real ones but they normally die because I either forget to water them or I water too much, and I don’t really like the mess of cleaning up the leaves that fall off of them as they are dying from a lack of my indoor green thumb. Now on the outside my thumb is a little greener.
    You have some beautiful fakes.


  4. I used to have real plants, but I always forget to water them so now they are all fake. I’ve had most of them for awhile, so the quality is better than the ones you find in the stores. Garage sales are a great place to find them, but as others have mentioned, you just have to be careful to look for good quality

  5. Honey you are preaching to the choir. a few good quality faux plants and floral arrangements can look very classy. You are right the key is to get good quality and not to over do it.I wrote my second blog post on this very subject.

  6. Thank you Donna for proudly admitting fake plants are okay. Designers are always saying NO fake plants but I can’t grow indoor plants. So recently I have been rethinking their use, I am sure my faux plants look better than dead or dying real plants.

    Now I will display my artificial greenery proudly.


  7. Your plants DO look real. I have to say though that I never noticed the plants in your pics because I’m drooling over all the rust and “chippy-ness” πŸ˜‰

    I just got a pretty group of wildflowers from JoAnn’s and I love how they add beauty to my laundry room. It helps my mood a LOT.

  8. My mom bought this beautiful orchid once and had it for several months. She has an amazing green thumb so she watered it diligently. After awhile, though, it occurred to her that these flowers lasted a really long time. She couldn’t figure out why the flowers were not even wilting. She finally realized she’d spent the last few months watering a fake plant! I love my Mom. She cracks me up. Now that’s a quality fake plant.

    I have very limited lighting in my house so my sun room has real plants and it’s fake in the rest. I love real whenever I can get away with it.

  9. Fake for me for sure! I too had a proverbial jungle but then moved to New Mexico and all my plants got scale! That did it! All plants left and have not returned. Not I use fake ones and love it. I just use my Swiffer to dust the plants. Haven’t consider giving them a shower as most of mine are large!! So dusting is all that I do!

  10. Faux (fancier than fake) all the way! πŸ˜‰

    Our old house has many interesting nooks and crannies that are also darkish. I barely enjoy caring for pets – plants are out of the question. I also can’t stand having to place a live plant where IT wants to be – somewhere near some semblance of light. I want to put it where I want it to be, regardless of ability to thrive.

    I appreciate this post so much because lately more than one blogger has mentioned “fake plants” with the same tone you’d used to imply that someone had a pet turd on her mantle.

    Love your ivy and I wash mine the same way. Thanks for sharing so that fellow faux plant enthusiasts can hold our heads up high.

  11. I am a florist and in my home I do mostly faux flowers, mostly plants. I have one real one hanging in my kitchen window that is a Hoya or wax flower. Very easy to take care of. The rest are faux (I like using that word instead of fake, sounds much more elegant!!). I always buy the ones that look real, that is the key to making them work. When I had a shop, people would come in and think my real plants were faux and the faux ones were real. I even fooled them with my silk flower arrangements. It is worth the extra money to get the best. Just a few in your home can make a big difference. ~~Sherry~~

  12. Luv the post.
    I’ve done both.
    Right now….there R fresh tulips I picked up at the grocery store.
    Otherwise, all plants R outside.
    Have a great day.

  13. I can grow anything outside … but for some reason when they come in, I forget ALL about them! (doesn’t make much sense!) Maybe I should go to the fake ones too! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your secret! πŸ™‚


  14. I have very few real plants and of those, only the kind that I can keep outside in the summer. During the winter I plead with them to keep strong… spring is coming!

    I need to start picking up more fakes when I’m out shopping. Definitely want the look in my house.

  15. I am so glad you posted this because I have
    been on the hunt for some good greenery
    lately !! I saw fake herbs at Pottery Barn
    so that is what I have been on the hunt for
    as well as a good hydrangea ~
    Thank you for your tips !!


  16. i am a big plant person, i say the trick to fake ones is to mix them in with real ones, then noone will know the difference..(but NO dried ones…never, never, never…why would you want something dead in your house??? it’s a decorating trend i just dont get ??!!)

  17. I do love that green gear!

    I just got rid of a bunch of my fake plants. I was tiring of them and in one of my purging modes they went to GW! I agree that there is a huge difference in fake plants and quality is the key. I still have a couple left, just no ivy.

  18. Real. though i have always flirted with the idea of fake….so much easier. And there are some plants that just won’t grow for me like that wonderful ivy. I LOVE succulents and spider plants and pothos ivy all do good. But the small leaf ivies not so much…. sometimes they can fool me at the store but i just think i’m a ninny and other people will KNOW its fake so i dont do it. But you have me thinking again! πŸ™‚

  19. I’m was a real gal for a LONG time. Then after a car accident, change in priorities, etc. I ended up with a robust selection of brown dried grasses – read: everything died. Dead.

    It was pretty sad – some of those plants I had for 20 years. Yep, you read that right. I would regularly give them “haircuts” and keep them neat and tidy.

    Now, I have NO plants.
    I would really like to get more once I get my new place a bit more settled. I miss them. And, hopefully I still have a green thumb.

    Your snowdrop fooled me!
    I had NO idea it was fake. The ivy is very nice, too.

  20. I used to have tons of fake ones, but got tired of keeping them clean. You are inspiring me to get them out of the storages boxes and give them another try. Now I wonder why a futon/plant store wouldn’t make it? Maybe he should have added snowcones or something equally as weird of a match.

  21. I WAS a real plant person, then my pulmonologist said “NO PLANTS” because of my asthma. Evidently mold grows on the potting soil, in the water dishes, and on the plants. Any plants in my house now are make believe…no mold, easy to clean, no disease, no feeding and watering…same effect…no worries!

  22. Yes! Real plants and cats do not mix well….that is why fake is my choice of plant. Can’t really tell…..and I can put them anywhere!

  23. I love the way plants look in my home, but because I don’t always have the proper light source for them…settle for good quality silks as much as possible. I do have a smattering of live plants in my screen-in porch and Sun-Room however, but use only the low maintainence types. I’m looking for a source for more quality silks, but boy are they expensive!!!

  24. OMgoodness…I thought you had real ivy…in fact I was figuring on pulling up some ivy in my front yard before I took pics of my western shelf…just forgot. Ivy is easy to grow in FL….but I over water the ones indoors…

  25. I LOVE FAKE PLANTS. A few years ago, on RATE MY SPACE, everyone was saying, “fake is tacky…throw them away”…not me, sister. I buy the best I can afford and by golly, I LOVE using them. Plants and good flowers, too.
    hugs, bj

  26. Fake here too…

    How I clean them; that big ole cement pond in the back yard (pool) swish..swish..shake..shake! Air dry on the special fake plant drying rack; otherwise known as the patio table.

    Any guesses as to what my husband said one day when he rounded the corner and caught me red handed…just swish’n away?

    Here’s a hint: he owns a pool cleaning service ((blush))
    Let’s just say he didn’t appreciate my use of our pool.

    Oh well, he needs something to do around the house when he’s not working…right? πŸ™‚

  27. Same here…..I can’t keep any plants alive! (Oh, I do have ONE peace plant by my sink—amazing, it’s been almost 6 months now.)
    Love your blog!

  28. Ok first, I’m crushin’ on your mantle! It’s so awesome!
    As for the plants, I have a bit of both. I’ve been trying to incorporate more real recently though (just bought one yesterday) because of the benefits they offer to home air quality.

  29. Thanks for answering my question Donna! I was kinda guessing they were fake, but they look great. I think greenery really does help bring a space to life. Mother Nature really is the best decorator after all! And I really love that green gear too!

  30. I’ve got the junk, now I need the creative spark.
    By the way, faux bushes look great on a patio, too. Some of us cannot even keep native shrubs alive–me, for one..

  31. Great article! Here’s an interesting new product you all might be interested in.

    We just added several products made by Forever Green Art to our website. I’m not sure whether they should be considered real plants or not – but they started out as real plants. Forever Green Art uses a kid/pet safe preservation method to preserve REAL plants in such a way as they need no sun, soil or water and are completely maintenance free. They look and feel like real plants, because they germinated and grew as real plants, but they offer all of the convenience of fake plants because they have been preserved and will stay beautiful for years. You can find more information and buy these amazing plants at http://www.interiorsbydms.com/category/forever-green-art.html

    Such a fascinating idea and great products!

  32. I always prefer fake plants for inside decoration as it gives the feeling of peace but it doesn’t mean I am not fond of natural ones as I can’t express in words how they makes me feel.

  33. The easiest and quickest way to clean artificial plants is to use plain water. The ideal way is to take the plants outside and spray with a hose. Make sure the water pressure isn’t too high. You aren’t trying to blast the plants, just clean them. Remove the plants from their container if they remove easily. If not, just spray away from the container. It takes less than a minute to clean most artificial plants. After spraying, shake the plant and allow drying in the sunshine. If you are unable to use a hose outside, the bathtub or shower is the next best place.

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