Indoor plants are celebrated not only for the life they bring to our inner sanctums, but also 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.
Indoor plants are 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, 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.
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.
Monstera, a.k.a. 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.
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 both understated and sophisticated. Plus, you'll never have to freshen their water.
Dracaena Trifasciata. North Carolina State University Extension.
Split-Leaf Philodendron, Monstera Deliciosa. University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.
Toxic Plants (By Scientific Name). University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Amazing Flowers. University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.
Daucus Carota. North Carolina State University Extension.
Queen Anne's Lace Thrives in Landscapes. Mississippi State University Extension. May 19, 2014