Real vs. Artificial Indoor Plants: What’s The Difference And What Should You Use In Your Home?

When it comes to styling your house, no matter your design choices or taste in décor, the addition of greenery is integral to make your home a space that’s welcoming, full of life and effortlessly stylish. From hanging a draping plant in a corner, to using lush greenery as a dining table centrepiece or placing a tall piece of flora beside the couch, there’s plenty of ways you can add a pop of green to your house to create a homey, fresh and happy atmosphere. 

That sounds easy enough, but when it comes to choosing foliage to include in your space, how do you know whether to opt for real or artificial plants? Long story short, they both have their advantages and disadvantages, and what you should choose is largely dependent on your personal circumstances, design preferences and living space, so keep reading to find out exactly what is best for you! 

Now, before I jump into the specifics let me address a burning question… are indoor plants really needed in your home or are they just trendy to have? Well, I’m here to tell you that while it may appear to be a trend, there’s actually many benefits to having indoor plants in your house, like their ability to fill space and add a touch of refreshing colour, but we’ll do another blog post specifically on this topic at a later date (if you have a desire for more, you can read this article we’ve already done). For now, let’s explore the pros and cons of both real and artificial plants. 

Assorted Indoor Plants

Pros and Cons


When I was thinking of pros and cons to include in this article, the look of real vs. artificial plants was a no-brainer – it’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind, right?! Well, it’s safe to say there’s a common misconception that fake plants look exactly as the name suggests – fake. In some instances this is most definitely true, but the great news is faux plants have come a long way and there are now plenty of options out there that look the same as the real deal. The quality of artificial greenery is on the rise, which subsequently results in more realistic looking faux foliage. In fact, in many instances you can’t tell the difference between real and fake plants unless you touch them. Isn’t that amazing?! Because of this, any worries associated with the fake and flimsy look of artificial plants can be pushed aside… mostly, but be sure to shop around and buy the best on the market. Of course, with anything, the higher quality and more realistic the faux foliage is, the higher the price point – but don’t let that deter you. I’ll delve deeper into costs further down. 

Take a look at how we’ve incorporated greenery at some of our installs. All of the plants in the images are artificial.

Level of Maintenance

When it comes to the amount of time and attention needed to care for them, real and artificial plants are like chalk and cheese! The level of maintenance required is the biggest constraint when it comes to real plants. It takes a great deal of time, effort and resources to keep them alive and thriving. From frequent watering, to the amount of sunlight, occasional repotting, a bit of fertiliser and keeping the bugs away, there’s plenty of things to think of and do to make sure they stay healthy, green and perfect for your space. And just to make it more confusing, the level of care required depends on the type of plant you have. While some people love the challenge and routine of caring for their plants, not everyone has a green thumb, so the idea of incorporating indoor plants into your house that require this much work may seem daunting, and, in some instances, simply impossible. But that’s where faux greenery comes in! With very little maintenance required, fake foliage is perfect for those who don’t have the time, means or ability to keep up with the maintenance of real plants. Unlike real foliage, artificial greenery is mess free (no soil or dropping leaves!), doesn’t require watering, sunlight, or the other forms of maintenance that real plants do. They are guaranteed to stay alive and green with almost zero attention. In fact, the only thing required to keep fake plants looking well cared for is the occasional dust or wipe down. How good is that?!


As I said earlier, to get a real-looking, high quality artificial plant, you may face a much higher price than if you were to buy a real plant. While the upfront costs of fake foliage may seem pricey, in the long run it’s set to be cheaper due to no maintenance costs. When it comes to real plants, not only do you have to buy the plant itself, but over its lifetime you’ll likely be required to purchase pots, potting mix, fertilisers and insecticides, among other things, to keep your plant flourishing. And then of course, there is the possibility of having to buy new plants if things… well… don’t go as planned (we’ve all been there, don’t worry!). Fake plants, on the other hand, are durable and guaranteed to survive after the initial purchase cost.


Indoor Plant Placement

Whether you opt for real or fake plants should also be determined by where in your house you intend on positioning your greenery. Real plants typically can’t survive in dark places with very little or no sunlight. Similarly, they don’t handle heat very well. Depending on the nature of your house, this could greatly limit your options when it comes to what type of real plants you can use and where you put them. Faux greenery, on the other hand, can be placed wherever your heart desires, as they don’t require sunlight or certain temperatures to survive. 

The Verdict

So, should you choose real or fake plants for your home? Well, that’s entirely up to you to decide based on your personal preferences and circumstances, but we hope that these tips and insights can help you make the right decision for your space. 

Here at Foxy, we always use fake plants when staging a home for a number of reasons – there’s no one to maintain the greenery onsite, we transport the plants regularly so need the mess free option, and they look just as good as real plants without the hassle, among other things. 

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram – we always love to hear from you! Also, don’t forget to check out our Foxy TV episodes. In this one you see to the right (or below if you’re on a mobile device) Jake and Phoebe answer some FAQ’s, one of which is in relation to greenery. 

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