Outdoor Artificial Plants: The Ultimate Guide

Warmer weather comes with an irresistible urge to spend time outside.

Surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, the birds, the plants, and the warm breeze, you can’t help but feel at ease.

Yet, to truly enjoy the time spent in your yard, you need a thriving garden that can accommodate all this beauty. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or the green thumb to maintain such a garden.

And now you’re in a tizzy.

But here’s the thing - you have fantastic alternatives to traditional gardens - outdoor artificial plants!

So what’s there to know about outdoor artificial plants and can you really use them like real ones?

Let’s get into it.

Can You Use Artificial Plants Outdoors?

Yes, you can. But only if they’re suitable for outdoor use.

So, before you get your hands on the first pretty artificial plant you see on the shelf or online, read the labels.

While artificial plants can work well outdoors, they should be specifically designed for the outdoors. If the faux plant manufacturer intended the product to be outside, they’ll include some features to make it more resilient.

Usually, this means they embed UV resistance so that the artificial plant doesn’t fade or crack from the sun. Or, it can mean they make the faux plants with a different blend of materials so that they handle the changing weather conditions better.

In the best-case scenario, you’d also get a warranty against discoloration and breakdowns. For example, Designer Plants’ warranties for faux green walls and hedges cover up to 4 years of outdoor use.

How Are Indoor and Outdoor Artificial Plants Different?

indoor vs outdoor faux plants

The differences between artificial indoor and outdoor plants aren’t obvious at first, especially if you’ve never used fauxliege.

Both types of faux plants contain high-quality materials, mimic real plants, and are as low-maintenance as they get.

But since artificial outdoor plants are subject to changing weather, heat, rain, and strong winds, they need more strength. So, manufacturers usually embed UV resistance and test the fauxliege repeatedly to ensure it can withstand any kind of weather. High-quality fake outdoor plants need to be as close to indestructible as possible.

Now, don’t take this to mean that artificial indoor plants are of lower quality. They’re still made of the best combination of materials, they just serve a different purpose. Namely, indoor fauxliege doesn’t need UV resistance unless it sits right next to a window and basks in the sunlight.

As a result, indoor fake plants often don’t come with built-in UV protection and won’t do as well if you take them outside. They’ll still survive, just not as long as outdoor artificial plants.

On the other hand, fake outdoor plants can fit in your home as easily as they can in your garden.

How to Style Outdoor Artificial Plants

If you’ve decided to include outdoor artificial plants in your garden decor, here are some tips to style them the right way:

Lead with Quality 

Before you do anything, look at the quality of the artificial plant you’re interested in. The most realistic artificial outdoor plants contain high-quality materials and likely aren’t waiting for you in local department stores.

In the past, faux plants were cheap, tacky, shiny, and so vibrant they could blind you if you looked at them for too long. This is not what you want or what your space needs. Instead, get fake plants with UV-resistant plastics designed to withstand outdoor elements without deteriorating.

You can get this information on any Designer Plants product page under the tab “USE”. If it states that the product is suitable for outdoors, you’re good to go.

Plant and Pot Them

Arranging and presenting your new outdoor artificial plants is the best step of the journey. And as it turns out, it’s not much different than when dealing with real plants. So, you can plant or pot your fauxliege in stylish outdoor pots or planters to enhance their visual appeal and make them look even more realistic.

If you’re planting, we recommend using the soil you’d use for real foliage and adding a few rocks around the faux stems. This way, your artificial plants will blend in with your outdoor decor and your visitors won’t be able to tell the difference.

Mix with Real Plants 

If you want to make your fake plants look more real, the easiest way to do so is by mixing them with natural greenery. By doing so, your fake plants won’t take center stage and you’ll be more comfortable with your new decor. On the other hand, if all your plants are fake and grouped together, they might draw more attention and fail to fool the discerning eye.

Be strategic in your placement and mix different sizes and types of plants for a balanced look. Don’t forget to base the plant group’s placement on the needs of the real plants. If the real foliage needs more sun, ensure the fake plants are also UV-resistant so they can all take in the rays. 

Use UV Spray 

While reputable suppliers won’t trick you into buying fake plants unsuitable for outdoor use, you should still take precautions. If you purchase from Designer Plants, you can also get our homemade UV protection spray to keep your fauxliege from fading even further.

Our spray will arm your fauxliege (and even your outdoor furniture) with an additional layer of protection and will help maintain the color over time. Apply the spray generously once every few months to extend the lifespan of your artificial plants.

3 Best Fake Outdoor Plants

Now, the word “best” doesn’t mean that these 3 types of faux plants are the end-all-be-all of outdoor fauxliege. Of course, the “best” plants are subjective - what works for your friend may not work for you.

But when discussing outdoor decor, we’ve gained enough knowledge to know which faux plants fit well outdoors and give the clients exactly what they need.

So, here’s what we suggest for a first-time outdoor fake plant user:

Artificial Green Walls 

artificial outdoor green wall

Artificial green walls or fake vertical gardens are our most popular choices for outdoor spaces. They get the most love from our clients, and for good reason. They’re typically made up of artificial foliage arranged on a pliable grid that creates a lush, green surface.

Our clients use them to cover unsightly walls, create privacy barriers, or just add some color to a space lacking it. Unlike their natural counterparts, faux green walls don’t need time to fill in the grid, don’t need watering or pruning, and can withstand harsher weather conditions. They even come with 4-year warranties to prove it!

Fake Hedges 

fake hedges on pool

Faux freestanding hedges are another versatile option for outdoor spaces created from materials that mimic the appearance and texture of real hedges. Our clients get very creative with these products and use them as privacy screens, dividers, windbreaks, etc.

The best thing about this type of fauxliege is that it’s durable and imitates the real plant so well it’s bound to fool some of your visitors. Plus, fake hedges need minimal maintenance, so you just need to hose them down or use a damp cloth to clean the leaves every now and again.

Faux Hanging Plants 

faux hanging garlands for balcony

Last but not least, artificial hanging plants - one of the newer additions to our catalog and one many can’t resist. This type of fauxliege is a great way to add greenery to an area that doesn’t have much to offer in terms of space. Hanging flora takes advantage of the vertical space in your yard and is a convenient option for a low-maintenance decor piece.

The best fake hanging plants have trailing vines that delicately sway in the wind and lend well to being planted in a hanging basket. They’re lightweight and easy to install, making them a fantastic choice for people stretched for time.

Finishing Thoughts 

And there you have it - all you need to know about outdoor artificial plants in one place.

With this information, you can feel confident in choosing the right faux plant for your outdoor space and understand how you can judge its quality.

When you finally find something worth its penny, you have a bevy of easy styling tips available to craft the perfect low-maintenance display.

But if you need more detailed styling tips - don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re always here for ideas.