20 Brilliant…Faux Plants

We’ve made it to Thursday which means the weekend is in sight and, even more excitingly(!), it’s time for the second in my series of shopping posts, 20 Brilliant….

This week I’m focusing on faux plants.  If you spend a lot of time hanging around on Instagram like me, it’s pretty unusual these days to find interiors that don’t feature a plethora of plants.  In fact most instagrammers find that their best performing posts are heavy on the green stuff.

Image: Faux Potted Wide Leaf Agave, Cox and Cox

It wasn’t always thus.  Just a few short years ago houseplants were not such a mainstay in our homes, then cacti began to appear, followed by a whole host of other easily maintainable succulents and then the impactful large leaved plants such as the fiddle leaf fig became the order of the day.  Some say the comeback of the houseplant has been driven by us seeking the therapeutic effects of nuturing, I could be more cynical and attribute it to their ability to make any photograph look prettier, but whatever the reason, indoor greenery is here to stay.

There’s no doubt in my mind that in this case, the real deal is the best deal.  Not only do they make our interiors more photograph-ready but there are serious health benefits to surrounding yourself with plants which absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants making for healthier environments.

Image: Potted Maidenhair Fern, Cox and Cox

That said, keeping them alive is another matter.  As hard as I try (ok, sometimes not that hard), I’m not really the green fingered type and I lose many a plant to pure ignorance.  I haven’t entirely given up the ghost but these days I do like to mix the real thing in with some good looking faux to minimise the casualty count.

When it comes to faux, it is definitely true that you get what you pay for.  It’s possible to get artificial greenery at amazing prices these days but the low price tends to come at the cost of the quality and it’s possible to spot the cheap versions a mile off.  In terms of the real quality versions the reigning queen has to be Abigail Ahern.  Yes, they don’t come cheap but they are real works of art that will last you a lifetime.

Clockwise from Top Left: Tricolour Cactus, £42.50; Aztec Medium, £115.00; String of Pearls Succulent, £50.00; Hanging Succulent £46.00.  All Abigail Ahern

I’m also in love with the selection at Rose and Grey which does include Abigail Ahern but also a whole host of other beauties including this beautiful faux hanging Encil plant.  See also Cox and Cox for similarly priced, quality examples.

Clockwise from Top Left: Faux Hanging Encil Plant, £45.00; Faux Banana Tree, £125.00; Faux Trailing Patterned Ivy, £45.00; Faux Begonia Tree, £295.00.  All Rose & Grey

Unsurprisingly the High Street are now very much getting in on the act and offering some decent examples at prices that won’t break the bank.  I love the latest selection from Marks & Spencer but you can also find some decent examples at Matalan, Dunelm and TK Maxx.  Of course Ikea also do a decent sized range although I do find them slightly too faux looking for my taste without being quite cheap enough to make them worthwhile.


Clockwise from Top Left: Foxtail Grass £25.00; Large Fern in Terracotta Pot, £59.00; Medium Cactus, £29.50; Bonsai Tree, £15.00.  All Marks & Spencer

For something a bit different, and from a whole range of brands, Trouva have some fantastic options such as this living wall mat and this air plant – a plant which most of its nutrients from the air rather than from the soil (when it’s the real deal obviously).

Clockwise from Top Left: Pad Lifestyle Living Wall Mat, £149.00; Wyld Home Large Air Plant, £7.50; Sue Parkinson Home Collection Ornamental Potted Cactus, £134.50; Madam Stoltz Staghorn Plant, £40.00  All Trouva

And finally I wanted to give a nod to the more budget end of the spectrum and the online providers, such as Blooming Artificial who are emerging to satisfy our growing need to greenify our homes.  My tip here would be to focus on the reviews, there are a variety of products on Blooming Artificial’s site which come at a good price and which have great reviews vouching for the relative authenticity of the product.

Clockwise from Top Left: Artificial Jasmin Hanging Bush, £12.99; Artificial Boston Fern, £19.99; Artificial Rubber Tree, £51.99; Artificial San Pedro Cactus, £53.99.  All Blooming Artificial

Finally, if the price sounds too good to be true it probably is.  Spend too little and you will end up with cheap plastic rather than the rubber plant you were looking for.