Have your eyes ever lingered on a beautiful orchid as you’re leaving the supermarket or walking through the houseplants section at a garden center? Perhaps you brought one home with you, only for it to lose its flowers, look sad for a few months, and ultimately die.
Despite many reassurances that orchids are “low maintenance” and “easy to care for”, many of us just can’t keep them alive, happy, and flowering. The good news is you don’t have to choose between buying a new orchid every other week to keep this beautiful plant in your home or business and not having it at all. Artificial orchids are the ideal choice for someone too busy to care for a live one.
We’ve put together this ultimate guide to buying artificial orchids so you won’t make any mistakes when choosing yours. Read on to find out all you need to know.
Why buy an artificial orchid over a real one?
If you’re still on the fence about whether to buy a real orchid or an artificial one, here are some of the key benefits of an artificial orchid:
- Can be placed in rooms without sunlight
- Can be placed in wet/humid locations, such as bathrooms
- Brighten a room even in the depths of winter, when house plants typically won’t flower
- You don’t need to water it
- You don’t need to prune it
- You don’t need to feed it (orchids are notorious for needing orchid fertilizer)
- Won’t decay, rot, or develop mold
- No pollen, so you won’t aggravate any respiratory issues or allergies
- No dropping leaves or petals to tidy up
- No need to re-pot (unless you want to!)
- They’ll look exactly the same from one year to the next, especially if you care for them properly (which requires very little effort on your part - we’ll get into that later)
- No chance of it catching a disease
- They won’t attract pests
- Buying one artificial orchid will save you a ton of money over buying a new live one every few weeks
- You can browse for one you like at home - no having to traipse around three different garden centers just to find one you like, and no surprises turning up at your door if you order online
Everything You Need to Consider When Buying Artificial Orchids
Material - What’s the best material for artificial orchids?
It used to be that the only materials you could find artificial plants made out of was a hard, rubbery plastic or silk. The former didn’t give a realistic result and the latter aged quickly. Nowadays, artificial plant materials have advanced to such a point that many people won’t know if a plant is real or fake until they touch it.
Silk is usually the best material for orchid petals because it mimics the natural texture and shape best.
The leaves of an orchid will usually be made out of plastic and will mimic the bright, upright, “thick” look of a healthy orchid leaf.
The stem and roots of an artificial orchid may also be made out of plastic, though the stem and roots may use twigs to give a more realistic look and feel.
When shopping for artificial orchids, look for plants that have a realistic texture, accurately represent the colors of a real orchid, and have a natural, twisting stem.
Price - How much should you pay for an artificial orchid?
Whenever we talk about artificial plants, we come back to that age-old saying: you get what you pay for. Sure, you may be able to get a bargain from time to time, but when you’re buying a physical product you’re going to be paying for the materials that went into it - a cheap price usually means cheap materials.
That said, there’s not a specific price point you should look to pay. Instead, be wary of any plant that is much cheaper than others on the market of a similar size and style. Just remember that you’re investing in a plant that will last years - paying a little more for quality is usually the best thing to do.
Location - Where can artificial orchids go?
Since artificial orchids don’t need sunlight or water, you can put them almost anywhere you please. A windowless basement office? Not a problem. An orangery that’s in direct sunlight throughout the summer? Not a problem. The only place you don’t want to put them is outside.
Since orchids are grown as houseplants in the UK, you’re unlikely to find an artificial orchid here that’s designed for outdoor use. Outdoor artificial plants are designed specifically to withstand a wide range of weather conditions, so are more robust than indoor artificial plants. If you put an artificial plant outside that’s not designed for outdoor use, it will usually deteriorate quickly.
Color - What colors do artificial orchids come in?
You can find artificial orchids in all the colors of orchids you can find in supermarkets and garden centers. While wild orchids are generally only found in shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow, you’ve likely seen those beautiful blues and reds that look as though they’ve been dyed with ink. Well… that’s not too far from the truth. These exotic colors are grown into these live orchids through a special patented process. You can find artificial orchids in natural and unnatural shades.
Shape - what shape of orchid should I choose?
There are no rules here - what you like is what you should choose. However, we do highly recommend you avoid perfectionism, at least where the shape of your orchid is concerned. While it may sound counterintuitive, buying an orchid that is perfectly straight and symmetrical will make it look more fake in your home.
Why? Because (as much as we’d like the opposite to be true) perfection isn’t common in nature. The two sides of your face likely aren’t exactly the same, your tabby cat likely doesn’t have the same colors on each side of its body, and plants don’t grow to look good to us - their goal is to grow up toward the sun and attract bees to pollinate them. That means they may twist and turn, one flower may be drooping while another looks up at the sky, and some buds may not yet be flowering.
That doesn’t mean you need to pick something unappealing, but avoid a plant that’s completely straight with all flowers in full bloom - that’s rarely how it works in nature.
How to Style Artificial Orchids
When it comes to styling your artificial orchids, the only limit really is your imagination. Besides not putting them outside (unless they’re specifically designed for outdoor use), you can put them…:
- in plant stands
- on bathroom windowsills
- as a centerpiece on your dining room table
- On a large front-facing window to give you some privacy from passersby
- On side tables
- On bookshelves
- As the tallest plant in a group of three
- On a desk
We’ve written dozens of style guides for faux plants, so here are some of our favorites you can use for inspiration:
- 10+ Ways to Style Your Outdoor Office, Summerhouse, or Garden Room with Faux Plants
- How to Use Artificial Plants to Decorate Your Kitchen
- 6 Great Ways to Style Your Artificial Plants in the Bathroom
- 11 Ways to Transform Your Living Room with Artificial Plants
- 11 Ways to Transform Your Bedroom with Artificial Plants
- 9 Artificial Plant Styling Trends for 2022
- How to Improve the Feng Shui of Your Home with Artificial Plants
How do I choose a pot for an artificial orchid?
Since your artificial orchid is going to live in your home, you’re completely unrestricted by material - as long as it looks good, you’re good to go! Artificial orchids look great in neutral-toned planters so the attention is drawn up to those show-stopping flowers, but don’t feel limited to plain pots if you prefer something brighter or busier.
We have a guide on picking the right planters for outdoor artificial plants, so if you’re looking for a bit more inspiration as well as some styling advice, head there next: How to Choose the Best Outdoor Planters.
Potting your artificial orchid is simple - we’ve created a step-by-step guide for you to follow here.
How do you look after an artificial orchid?
Of course, an artificial orchid requires very little in the way of care because, well, it’s artificial. Your artificial orchid will brighten any room with no maintenance, but if you want to keep it looking its best for many years to come, we recommend you dust it off whenever you’re doing your dusting in that room, or once every other week. To do this, simply take a duster or cloth and wipe over the leaves and flowers to shake any dirt loose.
We also recommend you spray your artificial orchid with UV protective spray once every 3-6 months, especially if you keep your artificial orchid in a sunny position, such as a windowsill or somewhere that receives direct sunlight for a large part of the day (such as a conservatory).
Are orchids poisonous to cats and dogs?
No, but if your kitty or pup decides to chow down on the leaves regularly, their stomach probably isn’t going to be too happy about it. While most pets should be fine, they may vomit, have diarrhea, or look generally uncomfortable for a while.
If your pet eats a part of an artificial orchid, you likely won’t see any symptoms (other than a piece of chewed plastic in their waste), but if your pet eats a significant amount of any inedible object, it’s best to give your vet a call to ask for advice or take them in for a check-up.
What other artificial plants look good with orchids?
Orchids grow naturally in tropical locations, usually in forests, but some in drier locations or near the coast of Central America and South America. Orchids are versatile plants that will pair well with any other artificial plants, but other tropical houseplants are best. Here are a few other artificial plants and artificial trees to consider:
- Colocasia - a tall artificial tree with a palm-tree like trunk and large yellow-green leaves with orange touches
- Fruticosa - a twisty artificial tree that’s usually narrow
- Bird of paradise plant - this plant has huge fan-like leaves and a bright yellow-red flower, reminiscent of an exotic bird’s plumage
- Palm trees - any palm plant (such as our Areca palm tree) will complement the tropical feel of an orchid
- Philodendron - with large, broad, dark green leaves, this plant ensures the colour of your orchid’s flowers pop
- Monstera - the popular cheese plant is a must-have in any home and will complement your orchid perfectly
- Anthurium - this plant has large waxy red or white flowers with large heart-shaped leaves on tall stems
- Banana canna - the banana canna plant is an iconic tropical plant, with tall fan-like leaves that add a relaxing vibe to any room
Artificial orchids are the best way to bring the beauty of an orchid into your space without the stress of trying to care for it. You now know everything you need to consider when choosing an artificial orchid, so put these tips into action and enjoy a quality artificial orchid for many years to come!
When you’re ready to start shopping for artificial plants and for the best planters to match, start browsing our range here.