If you’ve followed me for some time then you know I can’t keep a plant alive to….well…save my life! In my defense, I haven’t really had much practice although if my mom asks me how my lemon tree is doing one more time, I’m going to break down and tell her the truth – it didn’t make it mama! Lol.

It’s not that I’m terrible at remembering to water them, it’s more that I don’t quite understand why they can’t survive on one watering a month (I can’t wait to become a mom, lol). I’m really consistent at first and then by week two, I’m like, okay, they’ve got this! As if the dirt and sunlight will carry them on their way to “adulthood”. Now funny enough, ask me to grow a vegetable garden, and I’m your girl. Last year I had tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and beans! Shoot, I could have made a salad with the stash I had going, but give me a succulent and it won’t make it past the first forty-eight.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, so we’re good there. I know I’m not the plant lady my mom and grandma were and that’s okay. I’ve come to terms with it and I choose to thrive (unlike the plants left in my care) against all odds with a little help from a few “fake friends”. I’m not talking about the silk flowers from your aunt’s wedding ten years ago. Faux plants have come along way thanks to “advances” in coloring, shape and texture but there are still a few not-so-well-done fakes out there that should be avoided if possible.

There are THREE things I look for when hunting down a good fake – color, shape and texture and in that order.

COLOR – There’s this shade of green that’s somewhere between a very old lime and the darkest part of a watermelon rind that really makes a faux plant believable (that’s as close to the color as I can explain lol). Because let’s be honest, if you see a chartreuse fiddle fig tree you’re heading for the exit. It’s a dark yellowy green that wins it for me every time. Too much blue and it’s an immediate “no”.

SHAPE – In nature few things grow perfectly. For me, the weirder and asymmetrical the overall shape, the better. Plants that seem too perfect tend to be a dead giveaway. If all the branches or leaves are the same length or if the trunk/stem is pencil straight, it breaks the illusion. My new palm (which I’m obsessed with) has a sporadic shape no matter how I rotate it. It’s not a perfect “V” which makes it more interesting and believable. Real plants are just as imperfect. Having leaves going in different directions or having some straight and other drooping is always a win.

TEXTURE – Texture is last on my list because while I always touch plants to see if they’re real, this tactile property may not really matter to others. Personally, I like my plants to feel a little dewy. The closest thing I can liken it to is touching a slice of cheese. My fiddle’s leaves are full on plastic but they’re thin enough for light to pass through yet thick enough that they’re heavy and feel like real leaves. They also seems to have a slight film covering (the nature of them being plastic) which creates that dewy feel.

With spring starting tomorrow (because two weeks after Christmas it’s magically 80 degrees outside and everyone’s ready to shop for a new grill), shelves are already filling up with new greenery and I’ll be honest, a lot of it is REALLY GOOD. Unfortunately there’s still a few “paper plants” lingering around – trying to confuse you. Don’t be fooled!

And if you’re wondering which I prefer, real or fake – REAL wins all day. Unfortunately I’m just not a good plant mom at this time but I will be revisiting the situation at a later date lol. Happy Saturday guys!

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