Look around! [points in Martha Stewart] How many over-watered cacti are in your bedroom? How many plants have survived out of the 34 green babies you purchased during the 2020 lockdowns, in an attempt to nurture the anxiety away (no shame; same). As much as we love our lavender shrubs and fiddle-leaf figs, they’re not the easiest plants to keep alive (although those easiest-care plant varietals are right this way), because, no, we don’t live on the face of the sun. We live in a
tube sock railroad apartment. If only we were so dappled.
Lately, we’re kind of, really, majorly warming to the idea of fake plants—nay, faux plants. Let's call them forever plants—gorgeous, high-maintenance “blooms” that Mommy can leave inside, for eternity, without having to worry about watering schedules, because her buns are vaccinated and finally going #outdoors this summer.
Hear us out. While the thought of fake plants may conjure haunting images of 2008 Coachella flower headbands, funeral homes, and That One Aunt’s house, fake plants have come a long way. Some of the best fake plants are at a Madame Tussaud level of craftsmanship. These “leaves” are waxy, full of personality (yours, as you’ll be the one shaping them), and dare we say… better for the environment than our serial plant purchasing habit? As the Guardian recently reported, be mindful of the “plant miles” your houseplants—especially those that are literally designed to die, like “poinsettias, chrysanthemums, and sprayed cacti”—travel to get to your arms. Plastic is not fantastic, as a general philosophy, but if you’re sending a dozen succulents to their grave every year? It may be time to purchase the lifelong friendship of a Cost Plus Fiddle Leaf Fig whose only need is an occasional wee dusting.
It’s not them, it’s us.
You watch ‘Jurassic Park’ annually
So get a plant to prove it. Begonias already have meaty, textured leaves, and this veiny treasure brings just as much drama as a Begonia with actual pores, but with none of the high-susceptibility to root rot and overwatering. (Yes, plants have pores! They’re called stomata.)
Faux Rex Begonia, $55 at The Sill
Marginally cooler than an inflatable palm tree
Maybe it’s the amount of Queer Eye we’ve rewatched in lockdown, and Bobby’s very justified obsession with putting these in every home (yes, there is heated Reddit discourse on the topic), but we love a fiddle-leaf. They're like the big, flaky salt of the plant world, because every space they touch gets a vibe zhuzh we can’t explain. Maybe it’s a trend we’re not over, but we don’t care. We die on this hill.
6 Foot Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, $179.99 at Cost Plus World Market
Yes, pothos are one of the easier plants to care for, but they can also be one of the most demanding if you decide to shake up their watering schedule, and you just ordered another round of margaritas for the table, right? Get the faux pothos, and hang it in your lightless bathroom.
Faux Pothos $85 at The Sill
You may be a retired kids' show host
… Because this polka dot Begonia is giving all the energy of Miss Frizzle and whatever swamp Kermit lives in when he sings "Rainbow Connection." We’ve never seen this plant before IRL, so we honestly couldn’t tell the difference between a real or a waxy boy.
Faux Polka Dot Begonia Plant In Geo Pot, $19.99 at Cost Plus World Market
You’ve got to be orchid-ding me
How does one actually care for an orchid? (We’re convinced the plant parent in your life has been swapping out the dead ones every week or so.) Instead of trying in vain to care for a photosynthesizing version of these delicate beauties, pick up this lifelike facsimile that comes with its own little ceramic pot.
Faux Orchid Phalaenopsis, $75 at The Sill
You may own a silk nightgown
Why does this feel like the oh-so-jauntily-placed Personality Tree of the kind of person who can’t wait for the next Downton Abbey movie and collects 1920s cigarette cases? Them, or literally anyone else who lives for a dramatic silhouette.
Faux Double Yucca Tree, $74.99 at Cost Plus World Market
For the aforementioned over-watered cacti
You know when people say they’re so bad at gardening they couldn’t keep a cactus alive? Well, they probably couldn’t keep a succulent alive, either. Here’s the answer. (Disclaimer: These poorly named fake plants are not, in fact, tender, juicy, and tasty. Resist urge to consume.)
Faux Succulent Arrangement, $65 at The Sill
Aloe? Anyone home?
While you won’t be able to squeeze skincare lotion out of this fake version of one of the world’s most useful plants, it still brings a lil pop of color and pseudo-life into any room. (And god knows you need it.)
Faux Aloe In Terracotta Pot, $39.99 at Cost Plus World Market
Leaves that will stand tall
Snake plants are one of the easier plants to care for, and can tolerate some of the dankest of basements. But they don’t want too much water, and once their meaty leaves start wilting and rotting, you’ll have a very deflated situation. Get a faux snake, as it’ll always rise to the occasion (and have some of the easiest leaves to dust).
Faux Snake, $125 at The Sill
Your best new bud
Last but not least, we have a perfectly budding faux (we repeat: FAUX) pot of Mary Jane. Yes, they make those now—which is pretty cool, if you dig weed, but also cool if you just want to admire its aesthetic presence. As one of our writer’s boomer dads said, “Man, I miss growing pot. It’s just so f*ckin fun to grow.” So here’s an idea: Bundle it up with some Dad Grass, the smokable CBD-hemp that gives you a mellow buzz, and gift it to someone who just *gets* it.
22" Adult in black pot, $65 at Pot Plant
Enjoy not killing anything this summer.
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