Fake Plants are Growing
It may seem to you that faux plants have gone the way of the payphone; perhaps popular many years ago, but has now fallen out of the commonplace. You might think that, but next time you’re walking in a decorated interior that has greenery, reach out and touch it. You might be surprised by what you discover.
Let’s face it, fake plants had it rough the first time around. Papery, thin, or fraying leaves would get hot-glued to plastic stems and trunks, and that droopy abomination would sit next to the watercooler for ten straight years, collecting dust and giving off a “hot plastic” smell. I’m sure I’m not the only one to try to stop and smell the roses, only to get a nose full of ancient dust and a sneezing fit.
But things are better now. A lot better. And faux plants have been making a quiet resurgence that is already upon us. Advances in technology and manufacturing have made better materials more readily available and affordable, and include much more UV and Fire resistance than ever before, resulting in more convincing, much safer replica plants.
Hiding in Plain Sight
The next time you see an indoor green wall, palm tree, or even ivy crawling up the wall, reach out and touch it. There’s a good chance that what you’re feeling is completely fabricated, but incredibly well camouflaged. Designers have been paying closer attention, studying live samples and getting to know the world of botany, and are consequently getting swept up in the Biophilic Design movement.
The organic world teaches us so much about design, from the Fibonacci spirals seen in snail shells and sunflowers, to the delicate nuanced coloration of tropical flowers–there’s a vibrant world of detail that has never been replicated in the past.
You’d be forgiven for not being able to tell if modern indoor plants are real or fake–it’s seriously hard to tell these days. Exotic varieties can be replicated with stunning botanical detail, earning a second glance from even the seasoned gardener.
Back in the day, artificial plants were known for their ability to attract dust like a magnet, taking on a powdery brownish gray film after just a few weeks. See, back then, less expensive plants were terribly flammable and catastrophic in the event of a fire, so they were coated with a fire-resistant chemical that, as you might guess, attracts and traps dust like nobody’s business. But the dusty days of the past are long gone. Modern, cleaner replica foliage is made with inherently fire retardant materials that look vibrant, detailed and lifelike.
And if you think your body knows better–it doesn’t. While fake plants won’t recycle carbon dioxide for you, they still convey all the psychological benefits that real plants have on people. That sensation of calm and well being, the tranquility you get from the soft shimmering of leaves against leaves is still very real in fake plants. Studies have shown that employees of offices that contain even fake greenery saw big improvements in both happiness and productivity.
So, modern artificial plants are feature rich, clean and safe. But don’t real plants share those qualities as well? Real plants are beautiful and natural, and have been known to survive perfectly well indoors in many cases. While that may be true, at the end of the day, it comes down to cost. While the price tag on an artificial tree is certainly higher than an equivalent live plant from a nursery, the real money sink lies in the maintenance.
If you’re looking to outfit your building or offices with live plants, you’ll also be paying constant fees for watering, trimming, cleaning, and quite often, full replacement. Plants can get diseased, they can dry out over long holidays, wilt with inadequate light and all of that just costs you more money. Artificial Plants take neglect in stride, maintaining picturesque beauty year after year, without ever being taken for a fake.
So the “Why?” is really more of a “Why not?”. Artificial Plants provide manicured beauty with serious longevity, and saves you money in the long run. With that in mind, it’s understandable why people are choosing the cheaper, safer, prettier, easier way with faux plants.