Rabo Bank Realistic Roof Garden Green Wall

What's better real or artificial plants?

This question used to be a no brainer – real plants always won. However, gone are the days when an artificial plant looked plastic and had very little lusciousness or believability to it at all. Today, artificial plants are often so real that you have to touch them to work out whether they’re alive – and even then it can still be difficult to tell. If you’re currently looking at real and artificial plants then these are some of the reasons why we think artificial is always better.

More variety

Its odd to think that you’ll have more options if you opt for artificial plants but that really is the case. It’s not just that there is a really wide range to choose from but also that you’re much less likely to be restricted by your environment if you don’t choose real. The downside of real plants is that they need to be in exactly the right position to thrive. If your space doesn’t have much natural light – or this only exists in places – or the environment is either too dry or too humid then certain real plants simply won’t work. Artificial plants, on the other hand, don’t have these kind of specific environmental needs. That means you can pick the plants you want based on your interiors and not from the limited category of those that are available to the space.

Low maintenance

Real plants require ongoing maintenance, from regular watering and fertiliser to pruning or turning to take advantage of the light. You may find that there are some seasons when they just don’t look their best, whether that’s because they’re not flowering or because you haven’t quite got the right conditions to get the most from them. Artificial plants come with much less of a maintenance burden – they will need to be turned every few weeks to prevent fading and dusted down to remove any dust or dirt build up but other than that there is no work required. In particular, you won’t be constantly walking a tightrope in terms of whether they are thriving or not because they are guaranteed to do so.

Overall cost calculations

Some real plants cost less up front because they are often much smaller, being purchased as plug plants, small trees or even seeds. Artificial plants come fully formed whenever they are delivered and so the initial cost can be slightly – but not much – higher. However, this is the only time that an artificial plant is likely to cost more. Over the lifetime of both there is no other cost to consider for artificial plants whereas with real plants you need to bear in mind the cost of maintenance, replacing plants that die, feeding and buying increasingly larger containers to accommodate a growing plant.

Real plants can be beautiful but given the realistic nature of artificial plants today it’s very difficult to spot those that aren’t real. As there are so many benefits to opting for artificial plants it seems like an obvious move to choose them over the more organic alternatives.


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