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Learn how to pot a faux plant with this easy tutorial – no green thumb needed and easy on your wallet.

faux fern in a terracotta pot

What if you could have that perfect little perky plant to liven up every super-duper high bookshelf and dark corner of your home?

What if it was also maintenance-free?

And it didn’t cost a fortune?

Today, I’m talking about potting faux plants in such a way that they look totally real. Even your judgy and skeptical Aunt Hilda won’t know these are fakes.

Yep, you can totally make those pretty faux planted pots you see in stores. And for much less money than you can buy them for, too.  

And with a few tips, which I’m about to share, you can make them look insanely real.

The rest is up to you.  Make them big or small. Bushy or drapey.  It doesn’t matter if you have low light or no light – these are faux-riffic plants and they will breathe some life into your spaces. 

Forever and ever and ever. Until Aunt Hilda decides to take one home for herself. Sorry, Aunt Hilda. Make your own!

terra cotta pots 

How to make faux plants look as real as possible

Here’s your first tip. Use very realistic faux plants. 

I know what you might be thinking …

Ummm, yeah, okaaaay. Genius tip there, Karen.

But hear me out. There are loads and loads of faux florals and greenery out there. It’s overwhelming. And the plants you pick are going to make or break your whole realistic potted look. I want you to get this project right, so I’m going to give you a little lesson in picking out the best faux plants.

The best faux plants:

  • Feel kind of rubbery (not too plastic and not too shiny looking)
  • Are a little bendy (you want to be able to manipulate them into shape for that perfect look)
  • “Real Feel” (if it says that on the label or in the description, usually, it’s a winner)
  • Not a fake green color. Use your own judgment here. (Have you ever seen a bright aqua green fern?)

Full disclosure: I am pickier than 99.99999% of people when it comes to faux greens and florals.  They better be so friggin’ real looking otherwise I’m not taking them home.

Where to begin?

My first suggestion would be to look at the higher end shops to see the faux potted plants they sell. Then copy it.

Where to find these faux plant beauties? 

Take a look at Michaels and Afloral.  These stores tend to be less expensive than others. As stated above, the faux florals that denote “real feel” not only look more real but feel more real too.  And that’s usually a good sign that you’re on the right track.

If you have a little more in your budget, definitely check out West Elm’s collection of faux plants and flowers. They have some really really ridiculously good looking ones. (name that movie …)

I tend to stay away from anything that is going to look too plasticky and shiny.  Some ivy, boxwood and other larger leafed varieties just aren’t up to par yet, in my honest opinion.  (Faux boxwoods seem to be the biggest offender. Why so stiff and shiny!?)

faux florals and greenery

However, ferns, faux herbs like rosemary, succulents, and eucalyptus can be little gems!  I’ve also seen some very realistic lavender plants.  

How to Pot a Faux Plant [That looks Incredibly real] - Learn how to pot a faux plant with this easy tutorial - no green thumb needed and easy on your wallet.

I found the ferns and flowers I used for this project at Michaels.  You do have to dig around a bit in there because they have so much (and a lot of it is just bad.)  

Amazon tends to have a good selection of faux succulents.  I picked up these drapey banana pearls a while back and still really love the look of them.  They look so real it’s crazy!

Another tip for getting them to look more real has to do with how you “plant” them. I’ll give you those tips below.

So on that note – let’s get started! 

Materials needed 

materials needed to pot a faux plant
  • Faux plants or florals (see above for some good picks!)
  • Pots – I used my favorite terra cotta which you can find anywhere. HomeGoods is a great source for little vases and pots. Remember these are fake so the sky is the limit with your vessels (you don’t need a drainage hole!)
  • Scissors or Wire Cutters
  • Knife 
  • Floral foam 
  • Faux moss 
  • Glue or hot glue 

Hint: Dollar Stores can be a great source for most of these products – (exception being the faux plants) – which makes this project even more economical.

How to Pot a Faux Plant

floral foam in flower pot
Cutting stems to fit into pot
  1. The first thing you want to do is prepare your pots by sticking in a block of floral foam.  Use your knife to cut off the excess foam from the top of the pot. You can use your pot as a guide.  You want the foam to cover as much of the pot as possible so you will most likely need to cut little pieces to fill in the gaps and holes.  
  2. Now we are going to stick our faux plant directly into the floral foam.  You can stick in the middle or a little off to the side, wherever you think it looks best and most natural.  You might have to cut off some of the stem length from the bottom. You want your plant to be flush against the top of the foam so no stem is visible.  This is also what helps achieve that realistic look. The stems on faux plants can be a giveaway – so cover them up completely and no one will know! (See note below.) 
  3. Now we just need to cover up the foam with moss.  You can use a bit of glue to get it to stick and stay in place.  You could also use rocks to cover up the foam. But if you really want that real look, the moss will help so much!  

Note:  if you find that your plants or flowers aren’t looking right, cut each one off the main stem into individual flowers and separate them.  Then you can insert them one by one into the foam. This gives you a little more control over the end result.  

And that’s it! You now have this gorgeous little faux potted plant.  You will look like you have one heck of a green thumb. That was so easy! 

Aunt Hilda never has to know.

faux fern on a table with books and clock
faux fern potted in a terra cotta pot

These potted plants are great to stick on bookshelves and open shelving where it might otherwise be a pain to take down and water.  And again, if you have low light or no light situation going on – these are a perfect solution to brighten up a room.  

You don’t have to spend $97 dollars for good looking faux potted plants.

how to pot a faux plant - faux potted greenery and florals. Discover the secret to a real look!
close up of a faux potted flower

I hope you guys give this one a try! Thanks so much for visiting the blog today.  

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Xo Karen 

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