Ideas + Advice


Can You Put Fake Plants Outside?

You definitely can keep fake plants outside, as long as they’re made to withstand weather! Read this guide on material type and follow the tips below for outdoor faux plant storage.

There are a variety of fake plant types out there. From the more durable plastic and rubber types to the more delicate paper, silk and fabric types, different materials mean different environmental needs, so knowing beforehand which material type your plant is made of will determine whether or not you can keep it outside.

  • Polyester flowers. Polyester is a material that is often used in outdoor furniture and décor, from covers to cushions to pillows and even rugs. Since it’s tough, it won’t wear easily, and outdoor elements like dirt and stone won’t easily damage the fibers. Polyester plants are naturally mold- and mildew-resistant, as well, so you also don’t have to worry about rain compromising the plant’s dye or texture.
  • Plastic plants. Plastic is another material that can withstand the elements, so keeping them outside is fine. Like polyester, plastic is a synthetic material often found in many outdoor furniture elements (and other products designed to be kept outdoors for a long time).
  • Silk flowers. Most silk flowers are not meant to be kept outdoors. Genuine silk flowers are incredibly delicate (which gives them their genuine look, and which is why they are so expensive) and are meant for indoor use only. As tempting as it may be to want to infuse a garden with beautiful faux silk that you won’t ever need to water, refrain (as best you can) from doing so! Rain, sunlight and outdoor environs will damage the fibers and dye. (Note: There are varieties of silk flowers that can be kept outdoors – these will be treated with a special coating to protect them from weather. Check carefully that yours contain such a coating before placing them outdoors. Typically, silk designed for outdoors will last around two months.)
  • UV-treated faux plants. One of the best things about many artificial plants is that not only can they be kept outside, but they are designed for outdoor use. Some come pre-treated with a UV spray, designed to fend off fading and keep the plant looking new no matter the temperature, weather or outdoor elements. Some manufacturers will even sell bottles of UV treatment that can be sprayed onto any artificial plant for extra protection.
  • Paper plants. Like silk, anything made of paper should not be stored outside. The slightest hint of water can tear a paper plant and cause its dyes to bleed. Hold off on outdoor use for paper; go for the kitchen window sill or bedroom nightstand, instead.

How Long Do Artificial Plants Last Outside?

If it’s designed for outdoor use, you can place it outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Over time, even the most durable of outdoor materials can start to weather, crack, fade and wilt. If your artificial plants are made of weather-resistant silk, you can expect a lifetime of two or three months, before it’s time to replace them. If your artificial plants are made of synthetic materials like plastic, rayon or polyester, longevity will depend on whether or not the material has been UV-treated. (If it has been treated, expect a lifespan of a decade or more; if it hasn’t, expect a lifespan of several years.) If it hasn’t been treated with the UV spray, then the plant, no matter the material, is more susceptible to fading and losing its shape and texture.

Storing Fake Plants Outside

It’s fake – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it with the same care and storage as you would with a real plant! Opt for outdoor planters for storage; materials like concrete and porcelain will ensure the bottom of the plants are protected and warded off from the elements.

Remember that vases can be used outdoors! Even if they’re not marketed as for outdoor use, some vases are made of the weatherproof materials like durable porcelain, concrete and glazed stoneware. All of these materials can withstand the elements; if the vase's or planter’s description does not specifically say “for indoor use only,” then go ahead and place it on a patio table or ledge – just don’t forget to bring it in during extreme weather conditions.

Ideas for Arranging Fake Plants Outside

Not sure where to start with your new faux flowers or plants? Let decorative arrangements come to the rescue. (When you start to view your outdoor space as you do your indoor, beautiful things happen!) Outdoors, fake plants and flowers can blend in beautifully with these simple tips.

  • Outdoor pots and planters. Store a fake plant in a statement pot or planter designed for outdoor use. You can even add some fresh soil at the bottom or a few drops of water over its leaves to make it seem real! When styling, remember the old adage that more is always merrier – group planters or pots together for a varied and interesting look.
  • Faux plants combined with real plants. If you have an actual garden growing with real plants, why not add a few fake pieces into the mix? Ironically, this can make a garden seem more lively, thanks to the vivid colors and shapes fake plants come in. (The other bonus is that the garden will look more full, without the need for extra watering.)
  • Outdoor accessories (garden signs, stools & more). Outdoor accessories like garden signs, stools, string lights and lanterns aren’t just for real plants. If you have a fake garden going, accessorize it with any of these to add character (and bring your faux designs to life).
  • Table arrangements for centerpieces and seasonal décor for outdoor gatherings. Arrange a small vase or pot on a patio table; fill it to the brim with faux flowers. This is one of the easiest tricks for outdoor decorating and can go a long way in making an outdoor space feel instantly refreshed.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.