3 Expert Tips To Choose Artificial Flowers & Plants

Artificial flowers and plants are a great way to spruce up your home! You'll never need to remember to take care of them, and some even look better than real flowers if they're well-made. However, it can be quite difficult to choose the best artificial flowers - from choosing the actual material and look, to matching the plants to your existing décor, there's a lot to consider.

Check out these expert tips that will hopefully provide you with enough information and guidance to let you confidently pick out some artificial flowers and plants for your home.

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1. What is the best material for artificial plants?

Choosing the perfect material should be your main priority. This will dictate how realistic your artificial flowers and plants will look and can sometimes even determine the type of flowers you can buy - some just simply can't be found in certain materials.

You'll need to consider exactly how much you're willing to pay for your flowers, and how long you will want them to last. More durable materials will last you longer and will be safe for outdoor use, but they will initially cost you a lot more money than the flimsier materials.

Want something super realistic? => Silk

  • Silk flowers are probably the closest you can get to the real thing. They'll usually have quite a lot of detail that distinguishes them from other types of artificial flowers and makes them look so realistic.

  • The fabric also often mimics the natural behavior of flower petals, which gives them an added realism.

  • This is a great option for bigger flowers with relatively large petals, where it would be otherwise very easy to tell that they're fake.

  • However, silk is usually only ever used as a flower material - stems and leaves are made from plastic or latex, so it's very unlikely to find a silk plant that's just foliage.

  • Also, silk flowers can get very expensive. Though there are similar fabric alternatives, like polyester or cotton, they all fall at a very similar price point, and buying them in bulk may put a bit of a strain on your wallet.

Silk Cream Artificial Flower in Vase
Silk Artificial Flower in Glass Vase
Silk Magnolia Artificial Flower in Planter
Silk Mixed Artificial Flower in Vase
Silk White Orchids Artificial Flower
Silk Hanging Wisteria Stem Artificial Flowers

Want real-touch flowers? => Latex

  • Latex plants and flowers are usually described as real-touch or fresh-touch as the feel of the material often mimics the feel of a fleshy stem or petal.

  • They are made using molds taken of real, living plants in an attempt to give them the details and imperfections you'd find in real plants.

  • Only a limited range of flowers is available in latex, as only lilies, orchids, and roses look convincing enough.

  • Keep in mind, these flowers are unsuitable for individuals with latex allergies - you don't want to have a nasty reaction just from holding a bouquet of flowers!

Only want something small? => Foam

  • Foam flowers are the perfect choice if you want flowers with quite small and dainty petals.

  • While they're not the most realistic looking, they can be easily integrated with other artificial or real flowers to make them look nicer.

  • They come with wired or taped stems, and usually don't have any leaves, so they're only really used for small details rather than as main flower composition pieces.

  • Foam flowers are usually quite cheap, though the cheaper you go, the worse they will look. Also, the color fades in some really cheap versions, so be wary of surprisingly low prices!

Foam Sunflowers Mix Artificial Flowers in Tin Pot
Artificial Flowers Foam Pompon Stem
Foam Orchids Floral Arrangements in Planter
Foam Real Touch Calla Lily Stem Artificial Flowers
Silk and Foam Orchids Artificial Flowers in Pot
Blue Sea Foam Hydrangea Artificial Flowers in Rustic Pot

Just need something cheap? => Plastic

  • Now, plastic flowers and plants are usually considered the worst quality out of every other material, but that isn't always the case.

  • If you're prepared to pay a little more than the absolute cheapest prices, you can actually find some relatively realistic and high-quality plants - even the more premium prices are usually much lower than silk or latex plants.

  • Plastic is a pretty popular choice for foliage without flowers, especially if the leaves have a naturally waxy appearance in real life.

  • These plants and flowers are usually better off as side or filler pieces, rather than the focal points of your decoration.

Plastic Artificial Lavender Floral Arrangement
Plastic Blooming Hydrangea Artificial Flower in Vase
Plastic White Artificial Flowers
Plastic Roses Artificial Flowers in White
Plastic Pink Artificial Flowers Orchids Stem

2. How should I style my artificial flowers and plants?

The way you arrange and style your artificial flowers and plants plays a huge role in the overall feel of the room, so make sure to know exactly what atmosphere you're trying to create. There are many ways you can go about this, with both individual stems and potted plants having huge potential for customization.

While this may seem unimportant, you need to remember that you'll probably be paying quite a lot more money than you would when buying fresh flowers, so you need to be sure that whatever you choose will actually match your home décor.

Want flexibility? => Individual stems

  • First of all, you'll need to decide whether you want the artificial plants to be a permanent feature, or if you want to have the flexibility to change them out whenever you want to.

  • If you want flexibility, choose individual stems that can be arranged in vases, rather than fake potted plants or trees.

  • This will give you the ability to add, replace, or take away flowers and foliage at any point, and opens up the possibility to build up a collection of various different plants that can work together.

  • Individual stems work best in vases, though they can also be arranged together in bouquets, or even taken apart to act as table decorations, i.e. individual flower heads or petals.

  • This is usually cheaper than buying ready-made decorations or bundles - most places have discounts that they offer to individuals buying in bulk, making it much more affordable to buy supplies individually, even if you have to make the flower arrangements and decorations yourself.

Want a more unique look? => Incorporate into other decorations

  • You'll also need to decide if you want the plants to be standalone items, or if you want to incorporate them into other decorations.

  • For example, you can get some cheap foam flowers that you can glue onto some candles to make them more unique. 

  • Incorporating your fake flowers into other decorations isn't for everyone - it does kind of take away from the all-natural feel of traditional flower vases and bouquets, so if your décor is quite 'cottage-like', stick to standalone plants.

  • Also, this stylistic choice is most popular around Christmas time, when everyone is hanging up wreaths and has table centerpieces with baubles, flowers, leaves, and candles, so you may want to stick to it as a seasonal thing only.

Like simplicity? => Potted foliage

  • If you're not really the flower type, or want to create a quite simple and modern feel in your home, consider choosing potted plants and trees.

  • These can be used both indoors and outdoors for practically any purpose, though you should definitely stick to plastic or latex if you want to use your plants outdoors - the materials are much more durable than silk and foam.

  • A great way to add some character to your home is to have artificial creeping foliage in plant pots, placed near the ceiling - the hanging leaves create a beautifully cozy atmosphere without taking away from your otherwise modern décor.

3. What colors of artificial flowers and plants should I go for?

Knowing the exact materials and how you're going to arrange your artificial plants is great, but you need to make sure that whatever you choose will work with your home's existing color scheme.

  • If you have a generally muted and monochromatic color scheme and want your artificial flowers to bring some life into the room, definitely go for bold flower colors. Try to choose colors that will work well together - for example, having different shades of pink and red together works way better than trying to combine purple and orange flowers. Above all, make sure the flowers are different enough to your general color scheme, avoiding whites and pale pinks in cream rooms, and blues and purples in darker rooms.
Artificial Cotton Stem in White
Cherry Blossom Artificial Flowers in Vase
Faux Potted Mini Hydrangea Yellow Artificial Flowers in Vase
Tri-colored Artificial Flowers in Mini Vase
White Magnolia Artificial Flowers in Planter
Artificial Mini Orchid Stem in Pink
  • If you'd rather stick to your muted color scheme, we recommend either white flowers or lots of green foliage with no flowers at all. Both of these colors are very natural and won't stand out too much from monochromatic color schemes, making them perfect for modern homes. This also makes them very universal, so if you ever change your décor, you won't have to get rid of your artificial plants.

  • A great way to make your artificial flower decorations more exciting is to allocate a specific flower color to each different room. For instance, have predominantly pink flowers in your living room, blue flowers in your bathroom, yellow flowers in your kitchen, and so on. Of course, you can choose different colors to the ones we suggested to fit in with your specific décor. This decorating style will give each room a different character and feel, which is great for individuals who prefer more eclectic décor styles.

  • Alternatively, if you want a more cohesive look throughout your home, stick to just one color or shade set in every single room in the house. This won't work too well if every room in your house is decorated differently though - the colors and styles may end up clashing.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.