Commercial Silk Int'l

Mobile Shrubs and Concourse Bird Nests


This edition of Silk Plants and Trees In The News brings us a few oddball stories from around the country and confirms that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Moving Artificial Shrub Plant A reminder that you probably haven’t seen it all comes courtesy of artist Justin Shull. Something in his artist brain told him to construct a mobile shrub rover made of silk plants. The rover, which appears from the video to be able to handle both normal streets and off-road conditions, has a side hatch door revealing a box shaped compartment with enough room to fit a lone driver. No windows, no problem. The roving shrub is also outfitted with cameras and small LCD screens inside for navigation.

[more]Sparrows in Silk Airport TreesSeveral sparrows have made themselves at home in the McNamara terminal of the Detroit airport. Though the airport authorities have tried to banish the sparrows with "scary" automated bird calls, the sparrows have found the terminal artificial trees too comfortable to leave. Many other techniques like traps, nets, and even birth control have failed to control or disperse the birds, leaving authorities playing the role of Wile E. Coyote. For their next effort, perhaps airport authorities should employ a mobile shrub rover to capture their winged nemeses.

Innovative Silk Boxwood Mats Allow Design Imagination to Flourish


Leading designers and architects are using boxwood for silk topiaries, privacy screens, and even animals to create memorable environments and solve design challenges. Silk Boxwood works well both indoors and outdoors and is available with fire retardant or UV resistant foliage.

[more]An innovative product, silk boxwood is packaged as a modular 12" x 12" tile, Boxwood mat tiles are flexible enough for curved surfaces and can be cut to fit custom shapes and can be stylized into traditional and unique topiary shapes.

By tiling Boxwood mats together, designers can create intimate lounge areas for sophisticated clientele, as shown with these poolside boxwood cabanas at the distinguished Prime Hotel in South Beach. Boxwood animals and props have proven to be more imaginative uses for silk Boxwood, such as with our unique Boxwood Elephant Topiary.

Silk Boxwood is also excellent for creating hedging along walls and fences, to hide unsightly building features such as HVAC units, plumbing or electrical units. It can be attached to any surface both indoors or outdoor and easily assembled into seamless panels to be tiled together on site upon delivery.

How to Build an Outdoor Artificial Topiary Plant

Outdoor artificial topiary plants look vibrant and healthy without the ongoing maintenance that indoor live plants require. They are beneficial in hard-to-reach areas and in locations where live plants cannot grow. Be sure to use UV rated artificial plant material for all of your outdoor plant and topiary applications, as in this video demonstrating how to build an outdoor azalea topiary.

[more]Products Used:

  • Artificial Azalea Topiary Swirl
Materials Needed: Instructions:
  • Cut the artificial plant into strips of flowering foliage that can be attached to the decorative topiary frame.

  • Wrap the foliage along the frame, keeping much of the flowers and artificial foliage on the topiary frame's outside.

  • Wire the foliage to the frame on both foliage ends, securing additional wires where needed. Cut any excess wire.

  • Gently shape the foliage so the topiary plant looks healthy and realistic from every angle.

  • Place the finished topiary plant into a decorative planter.

Outdoor Artificial Plant Solutions for Seasonal Changes

Outdoor artificial plant solutions can make updating your commercial exterior to reflect the seasons a simple and easy process. Outside of being easy to maintain, artificial plants add color year round, eliminate watering, pruning, and fertilizing costs, are great for locations where growing live plants is difficult, and can create interesting and character-adding themes.

This step-by-step instructional video will demonstrate how to create seasonal plant designs by rotating and switching out outdoor artificial plant products from Commercial Silk Int'l.

[more]Products Used:

  • Outdoor Artificial Azalea Hanging Plant
  • Outdoor Artificial Barberry (Green)
  • Outdoor Artificial Ribbon Grass (Fall)
  • Outdoor Artificial Cedar Plant
Materials Needed:
  • Grow Pot
  • Rock
  • Spray Foam
  • Sphagnum moss, mulch or bark chips
  • Glue gun or styrofoam adhesive
  • Window Box or Outdoor Planter
  • Outdoor Artificial Plants
To design an artificial plant interchangeable planter box, each single plant is potted into one grow pot, later to be easily inserted into your window box planter.
  • Layer rock several inches thick at the bottom of the grow pot to add ballast.

  • Dispense foam. Do not fill to the top of the grow pot. The foam will rise and expand.

  • Add moss as a top dressing for the plant; press into the foam. Allow to dry and set up overnight.

  • Using a glue gun, quickly spread glue onto the spear of the artificial plant.

  • Press the plant into the foam filled grow pot, thus gluing it into the foam. Repeat steps 1-5 for each plant.

  • Place all potted plants into the window box planter. The weight of the rock in the grow pots will keep the artificial plants secure in harsh weather conditions.

  • Gently shape the artificial plants for a healthy and groomed appearance — all leaves should gracefully reach towards the light.

  • When you want a fresh look, easily remove a plant and insert another prepared plant.
With these simple steps you'll have a fully functional artificial plant solution for keeping up your outdoor planters with the seasons.

Outdoor Artificial Flowers: A Compilation of Window Box Designs

Outdoor artificial flowers add dimension to your landscape with a variety of plant colors and textures, especially when implemented into window box designs. The following presentation of window planter box designs was created with a variety of outdoor artificial plants.

[more]Plants used include:

  • Slide 1:
    Artificial Ribbon Grass (Burgundy and Light Green)
  • Slide 2:
    Artificial Azalea Bush (Beauty)
    Artificial Asparagus Fern
  • Slide 3:
    Artificial Azalea Bush (Pink)
    Artificial Ribbon Grass (Burgundy, Light Green)
    English Ivy
  • Slide 4:
    Artificial Boxwood Bush
  • Slide 5:
    Artificial Cedar Bush
    Artificial Holiday Cedar Bush (Red Berries, Red Branches)
  • Slide 6:
    Artificial Azalea Bush (Pink)
    Artificial Ribbon Grass (Burgundy)
  • Slide 7:
    Artificial Azalea Bush (Cream)
    Artificial Barberry Bush (Burgundy)
  • Slide 8:
    Artificial Ribbon Grass (Green)
    Artificial English Ivy
  • Slide 9:
    Artificial Azalea Bush (Beauty)
    Artificial Azalea Bush (Cream)

How to Unbox and Shape a Silk Plant

When you buy silk plants from Commercial Silk Int'l, they will often arrive in a cardboard box. To unbox your silk plant you'll need a simple set of tools, and to properly shape it you'll just need your set of hands and a delicate touch.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Pliers
  • Flathead Screwdriver


  • First, use a screwdriver and pliers to remove the staples from the bottom of the box.
  • Lift the box cover off.
  • Using your screwdriver and pliers, remove all staples from the base of the box.
  • Beginning with the foliage leaves on the bottom of the silk plant, shape the leaves by bending them down and out.
  • Working upwards to the top of the floor plant, continue to gently shape the silk foliage using both hands.
  • Continue shaping the plant until all leaves are gracefully reaching towards the light, just like a healthy living plant.
  • Well shaped plants will only need a light annual silk plant cleaning. They appear healthy without the ongoing maintenance that indoor tropical plants require.

How To Create Silk Topiary Plants

Silk topiary plants are ideal for hard-to-reach areas, indoor locations with limited light, and places where live potted plants cannot grow. Commercial Silk Int'l craftsmen take pride in creating quality decorative silk topiaries, and this informational video demonstrates the process of creating a silk topiary plant.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Glue Gun
  • Pliers
  • Mulch or Bark
  • Moss
  • Spray Foam
  • Knife
  • Craft Ball
  • Tree Stem
  • Craft Pins
  • Container
  • Rock
  • Silk Ivy Plant


  • Layer rock several inches thick at the bottom of the plant container to add ballast.
  • Dispense foam. Do not fill to the top of the container. The foam will rise and expand.
  • Add mulch or bark chips as a base; press into the foam. Allow to dry and set up overnight.
  • Using the knife, carefully cut a hole in the bottom of the topiary ball for later insertion of the tree stem.
  • Using the knife, sharpen both ends of the tree stem to a dull point.
  • Quickly spread glue on the tip of the tree stem.
  • Firmly press the glued end of the tree stem into the pre-carved hole of the topiary ball.
  • Glue the remaining end of the tree stem.
  • Insert the tree stem into the foamed container. Working quickly, be sure the stem is straight vertically. Check its potted position from all angles.
  • Working in sections, apply hot glue on the ball.
  • Press a clump of moss onto the hot glue to cover the ball. Continue gluing and mossing the entire surface of the topiary ball.
  • Push the craft pins through the moss and glue, securing the moss onto the surface of the ball.
  • Once the ball's entire surface is covered with moss, wrap the artificial ivy around the topiary ball, securing the ivy with craft pins as you work. If needed, cut the ivy into strips of foliage for better placement. Trim any excess decorative ivy.

Cleaning Silk Plants

Cleaning silk plants will keep them looking fresh and realistic. Twice a year will do, however once every three months is recommended to reduce time and effort during each silk plant cleaning.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Spray Bottle
  • Hot Water and Dishwasher Soap
  • Silk Plant Cleaner
  • Paper Towel


  • Fill your spray bottle with hot water and dishwasher soap.
  • Spray your silk plant with the soap mixture, applying a thorough coat.
  • While still wet, spray on the silk plant cleaner.
  • Using a paper towel, wipe the silk plant clean.

The Art of Creating Artificial Trees

Creating artificial trees is an art, as shown in this time elapsed video of a Commercial Silk manufacturer creating an artificial Ficus tree. Our team of craftsmen are masters in their field and strive to create the most authentic and realistic silk trees in the industry. Fortunately, our craftsmen have over 40,000 square feet of studio-like warehouse space to perfect their art.

At the base of the tree, trunks and PVC collars are embedded into a reinforced container. For permanent installations, steel plates would be utilized.

[more]Branches are joined to the main trunk using doweled ends. Steel reinforcements allow our craftsmen to manipulate tree density and form specific shapes typical to the various trees we manufacture. Cables are then used to preserve the shape.

Branch and trunk imperfections are hand painted to blend with the stem coloration, further heightening the authenticity, and tapered branch tips provide a smooth transition from branch to foliage.

Last and certainly not least, our Inherantly Fire Retardant (IFR&trade) foliage provides permanent fire protection to meet state fire code requirements (NFPA 70, Class A per ASTM E84, California title 19, US BOv SIN 4722-06 Flammabilty Code, NFPA 705), allowing our silk trees to be implemented in commercial projects, such as a rooftop bar Ficus tree installation.

How to Make a Planter Box with Silk Plants

With a few materials and a little time, you can make a planter box yourself with artificial silk plants provided by Commercial Silk Int’l.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Planter Box
  • Rock
  • Sphagnum moss, mulch or bark chips
  • Spray foam
  • Glue gun or styrofoam adhesive


  • Add a two-inch layer of rock to add ballast
  • Dispense foam. Do not fill to the top of the planter box. The foam will rise and expand on its own.
  • Add mulch. Press mulch into foam. Let dry and set up overnight.
  • Use a screwdriver to make a small guiding hole in the foam/mulch for each silk plant to be planted.
  • Using the glue gun, quickly spread glue onto one plant.
  • Press one plant into a hole, thus gluing it into the foam. Step and repeat.
  • Shape plants for a groomed appearance.

If you will be making a planter box or hanging planter for interior use, consider a basket with colorful artificial Bougainvillea flowers.

Commercial Silk Int'l
Commercial Silk Int'l