Today, indoor plants are celebrated as much for their transference of living, growing energy to our inner sanctums as they are for their sculptural beauty. A houseplant is often that one thing you need to complete your "look," or the perfect foil for a boring, all-white interior. Heck, to a millennial, indoor plants may even be substitutes for the babies they're not having (well, right now, anyway).
Indoor plants are now considered must-haves in any stylish room worth its salt, and they're now considered design objects in and of themselves. But not all of us are blessed with proven green thumbs. And that's okay: We've discovered a bounty of artificial plants that look insanely real—and they're far cries from those ugly plastic ones your grandma never dusted.
When we had to repeatedly feel the leaves of one of West Elm's artificial bird of paradise plants (which are, unsurprisingly, no longer available), and then ask an employee to confirm its fakery, we knew we had found the Holy Grail of affordable, artificial indoor plants. Before long, we were running amok, caressing fake plant leaves, squeezing artificial blooms, and bending flexible branches.
Their ability to fool even the most eagle-eyed plant lover is due to the fact that many of the brand's faux plants and flowers are hand-painted and silk-screened, and most are even assembled by hand. Trust us, this faux foliage will trigger some serious double- and triple-takes.
Fiddle Leaf Fig, Figured Out
Its silk-screened, waxy leaves are just that: Waxed polyester, and connected to bendable plastic-coated branches. A white midcentury-style plastic pot with styrofoam "soil" makes it all the more convincing.
This hand-painted faux artichoke thistle, or cardoon, is just as gorgeous as the real thing—perhaps more so without the thorns.
A Fantastic Fern
Asplenium, or Bird's-Nest Fern, grows on trees and is characterized by delicate, jagged leaves that grow in tight clumps. With its ultra-realistic variegation and pink tinge, its authenticity would fool anyone when sunken into a vase, or even potted soil.
Okay, so this artificial snake plant doesn't come with a pot. (But West Elm has many cool pots and planters.) Live snake plants are extolled for being nearly indestructible. (So why, then, can't we get one to live?) This pretty, faux version is just as sculptural and definitely impossible to kill.
Enjoy a taste of the tropics all year round with an artificial majesty palm frond. One branch is convincing enough to bolster a fresh-cut flower arrangement; double-up for a more abundant look.
Monstera, aka the Swiss cheese plant, is so named for the pretty holes that form within its waxy, wide leaves. But it's known to be temperamental and you also need to wash its leaves regularly (while wearing gloves). Luckily, this artificial monstera sends off tropical vibes and isn't finicky about its adjacency to the sun in a too-dark apartment.
The flowering Protea plant, or Sugarbush as it's commonly known in its native South Africa, represents change and hope and is the country's national flower. Bring some of those positive vibes into your space with this pretty, white King Protea that's fully in bloom.
The Rabbit's Foot fern is native to Fiji and is so named for the furry, creeping rhizomes that grow out of its base. Unlike the real thing, this faux version doesn't require daily misting—and is so lightweight that you can hang it from the ceiling by a thin cord.
Wild and Delicate
Queen Anne's Lace, or wild carrot, has a small, dark-purple center, and is a biennial wildflower herb that originally came from Europe. So named for avid tatter, Queen Anne of England (1665–1714), this artificial rendition will keep forever with its ultra-realistic extra-long stems, dill-like fronds, and delicate, white flowers.
Sometimes a simple vase full of greens is just what a space needs to make it feel polished and "done." These calla-lily stems come inside a tall vase and look at once, understated and sophisticated. Plus, you'll never have to freshen their "water."