5+ Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Artificial Trees
Buying a real tree for your home or business isn’t a budget-friendly exercise, and when it starts turning brown at the leaves and disintegrating onto the floor, you may wonder why you bothered. Fortunately, there’s a very good alternative to disappointing plants and spending your evenings trying to keep the thing alive – buy artificial.
Artificial trees are by far the best way to get a tree for your home or business that is the right size and shape for your space, and won’t later grow too large or die away. Many use real materials to give an all-natural look, and even those that don’t often offer an incredible level of realism.
Inside or Outside?
The first thing you should do when you’re looking for artificial trees is to decide if you want to use them inside or outside. Not all artificial plants are robust enough to withstand outdoor use, though some designed for indoor use may be able to with a little bit of extra preparation and care.
If you’re looking for trees suitable for outdoor use, make sure you read product pages carefully to learn if they are or aren’t suitable, and how suitable they are. Artificial trees built for outdoor use will use different materials to make them more robust and UV protection to ensure it doesn’t fade in the sun.
How do you want them to feel?
Another consideration you should make is how realistic you want your artificial tree(s) to feel – are they going to be in a high-traffic area and need to look hyper-realistic, or will they be out of reach? If the latter, then it may not be as important to you to have real-feel fabric leaves, but if you know people are going to be brushing past the plant or looking at it frequently (such as in a dining room or waiting area), you may want to spend a little more to get higher quality materials.
All artificial plants have come a long way in the past few decades, and unless you walk into a pound shop to buy your artificial plants, you’re not going to get anything with jagged, plasticky edges. However, you still get what you pay for. If you want a plant that looks so real people have to touch it to find out if it’s fake – and even then still aren’t sure, then you’ll need to spend a little more. Remember, artificial plants are an investment because they last for years, if not decades, before you would need to consider replacing them.
In the ground or in a pot?
The next thing to consider is where the artificial tree is going to go. You can place an artificial tree just about anywhere, but it’s a good idea to know where it’s going to go so you can consider what the finished look will be. Remember that a pot will add an inch or two of height to your plant, and that planting it outside in soil will mean it needs to be able to endure the elements without being brought inside.
You can plant an artificial tree directly into the soil in the ground or in a pot, or bury the travel pot (the base of the artificial plant) in pebbles or gravel if you want to place it outside. Inside, you have even more options – all you need to do is ensure there’s enough support to keep the tree upright. Beyond that, you can “plant” it anywhere you want!
Choose the Right Size
When buying an artificial tree, you’re likely looking for something to make a statement, but its easy to over or underestimate how big a tree will look in your space. While the measurements are key, you also need to consider the volume of the foliage. A dense plant will fill more of a space than one with foliage you can see through to the wall behind, so you need to consider how much “space” you’re willing to give up to the plant.
To decide if a plant is the right one for you, first decide where it’s going to go. You’ve likely got a good idea of where your artificial tree is going to go, but here are some of our favorite locations:
- Living room corners
- Spacious hallways and foyers
- Under floating staircases
- Home office spaces
- Bedroom dead-space
- Kitchens (especially to hide unsightly objects)
- Dining rooms
- In offices
- Outside entrances
- In outside sitting areas
- In waiting areas
- To divide two areas of a room
- Provide screening
Once you’ve chosen your location (or a few locations), grab your measuring tape and measure the maximum and minimum width and height that you’d consider. You can then use this to shop online, and use the measurements on the product page as a guide. Remember that the plant won’t be sat directly on the floor, either – you’ll likely plant it several inches from the floor in a plant pot, so have a plant pot in mind when choosing the right artificial tree.
If you’re still not sure what will work, here’s a general guide you can use:
- For small spaces, choose artificial trees that are shorter than 6’ (180cm)
- For statement plants in standard-ceiling height foyers, hallways, and other rooms, choose artificial trees shorter than 6’5 (195cm)
- For high ceilings in living rooms, hallways, and near stair cases, choose artificial trees that are shorter than 7’ (210cm)
If you’re working with a big space, such as a vaulted ceiling or a two-story high ceiling, then you really don’t have a limit!
Choose the Right Colour
Remember that any plant you bring into your home or business is essentially a piece of art, so the colours you choose are important and need to work with the other colours and themes in the space.
Consider whether you want the tree to be the centre of attention in the room, or just add a touch of softness and greenery. You may be surprised how different the colours and style of leaf can make your home feel. For example, a green artificial parlour palm tree is a large statement piece, but can work well in smaller spaces because you can see through the foliage so it doesn’t take up as much “space” as a dense ficus tree or topiary tree.
If your space contains largely neutral shades, then you can choose anything that appeals to you. If you have bright colours or pastels, then you’ll need to be a little more selective. Consider the colours in the foliage, stem, and any flowers or fruits to decide if it will work harmoniously with your décor, contrast, or clash. You can use contrasting colours, but do so intentionally so it isn’t visually overwhelming.
Types of Artificial Trees
- Commercial – You can get huge, garden-sized artificial trees for commercial applications, and even for home gardens, but these trees are a big investment and you will likely need to use concrete to fix them into place. These types of trees are a good choice for urban areas where a real tree isn’t practical.
- Artificial Bamboo – the perfect accent in a zen home, as a statement plant, or for screening inside or out (though check that the artificial bamboo you’re looking at is suitable for outside use if that’s your plan). Place in a calming bedroom or living room, or in a bathroom if you have the space.
Artificial Banana Canna – these trees have big, beautiful foliage on thin stems, so it’s a great alternative if you want a palm-like plant with a bigger leaf. Use as a statement plant in your living room, dining room, or in a business with tropical branding.
- Artificial palm trees – another tree that looks as good outside as it does in, there are dozens of types of artificial palm trees to choose from in a size to suit you. If you want a statement tree but aren’t sure what to choose, artificial palm trees are a great place to start your search!
- Artificial ficus trees – ficus trees never go out of style, and are an ideal choice if you’re looking for something with plenty of foliage and volume. They suit any style of home or business, so are a great choice if you’re planning to move or redecorate in the near future.
- Artificial topiary trees – topiary is a style of plant that never goes out of style and brings a touch of class to any area of the home or business! The majority of topiary trees are in a boxwood style, but you can also find artificial topiary trees in a bay tree or cedar tree style.
- Artificial fruit trees – let’s be honest, growing real fruit trees in the UK isn’t exactly a fruitful endeavour (pun intended). If you want little trees with fruit for aesthetic purposes, you really need to choose an artificial tree. With lemon trees, orange trees, olive trees, and more available, you’ll be able to find a (relatively!) small artificial fruit tree you love.
- Artificial eucalyptus trees – Eucalyptus is very on-trend at the moment, and while beautiful, isn’t a practical live plant to look after. Artificial eucalyptus has the same beautiful, muted blue-green round leaves but with the narrow, delicate stems of real cuttings. This is the perfect choice for feminine spaces.
How to Best Maintain Your Artificial Trees
The good news is that faux trees require almost no maintenance – after all, that’s one of the biggest reasons to invest in them! However, there are a few things you can do to ensure they live a long, useful life.
Firstly, if you keep them in a high-light area inside or outside, make sure that you reapply (or apply) UV protection every so often. If the plant is in a pot and is easy to move, rotate it every time you clean around it so one side doesn’t fade in the sun while the other side of plant is protected. If your plant does fade a little over time and you rotate it, you likely won’t be able to tell because it will have faded evenly.
Besides that, all you need to do for your inside plants is give them a dust when you clean your home as normal.
For outside plants, make sure you reapply UV protection every 6 months or so, especially if you put a plant outside that wasn’t strictly designed for outside use. This is easy and cost-effective with UV-protective spray. Besides that, the wind and rain will keep the plant clean, so just make sure it doesn’t sit half-submerged in water if it has a natural stem, to ensure no rotting occurs. This won’t be an issue for 99% of cases, but be aware of it if you’re putting an artificial tree near a fountain, pond, in an area that gets puddles in heavy rain, or when choosing a new plant pot, as it will need to have a drainage hole. If your chosen artificial plant has a natural stem, re-stain or add a waterproof barrier once a year to ensure it lasts for years to come.
If you store your plant for any length of time, make sure you pack it away properly in the box it came in or wrapped in a blanket. Do your best to keep all the leaves together pointing up so you can arrange them when you are ready to use the plant again.
Artificial trees are a beautiful addition to any space, but choosing the right quality, type, and size is key. If you consider all the points we’ve covered above and properly measure your space, you’re bound to pick the perfect artificial tree first time. To browse our range of artificial trees, click here.