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Do you still use silk plants?

Posted by willowdee (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 5, 12 at 15:17

I absolutely love the look of plants but am no longer able nor inclined to care for them. There are several spots in my house that are crying out for something to soften them and make the rooms feel more alive. So I'm thinking about faux..silk or something similar.

How do you feel about faux plants/flowers? I'm considering purchasing some silk plants - large ones like palm trees, for my sunporch, as well as some smaller ones for other areas - but I don't want to get too fake looking either. Also, I'm not sure about flowers. In a recent fit of downsizing, I got rid of ALL my floral arrangements, and now I'm not sure whether to replace them with new ones or something completely different.

Any suggestions? And do you know of a good place to purchase online? All comments greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

A few years ago when I was doing some updating on a home my daughter told me "Mom you need to get rid of the fake flowers and plants" I removed all of them and put them in the garage sale, they did not sell so we took them to our local Salvation Army. Now fast forward 6 years, different house, new furniture and I once again have got fake flowers and plants in my house. I can not keep inside plants alive and love the look of flowers so.... I like them they fill the space and my daughter has not said anything about them - yet! I think i got most of mine at wal-mart and hobby lobby. (coffee table, entry table and dining table, if you could see my office and bedroom they also are sporting fake plants)

Medallion cabinets, brandywine color, Hood and Island Divinty white. Black Pearl granite, Delta faucet/ashton, Ticor sink, Electrolux appliances, GE profile induction cooktop


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Oh my! Your house is gorgeous! And you've done the plants in exactly the right proportion...not too much, not too little. Can't believe you got them @ Walmart. Did you use the gel stuff in the vase on the dining table? Seriously, this is stunning.

We just got a Hobby Lobby nearby (about 35 miles away) recently and we drove right by it yesterday. Wish I'd felt up to browsing a bit. Do they have large plants? I'm thinking my sunroom needs a really large palm or something. I live in Tinytown, USA so shopping here is a real challenge. :-) Does anyone know of a reliable online site? Thanks so much!

Hope some others have some pics and/or ideas to share.


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"Do you still use silk plants?"

Still?
I never cared for them... then or now.


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LuAnn, that's really interesting. Of course I prefer the real thing to silk so I'm with you there. But since you don't use them at all and never have, do you mind sharing what you use instead? Do you have all real plants and flowers? Or do you use some other decorative objects to bring in softness and warmth? If so, what are they? I've been racking my brain for other solutions but so far my brain is as empty as when I first started trying to figure it out. lol


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I have a lot of house plants, but I also have a couple of silks. My faves are tiny daisies I have on the kitchen windowsill. I switch out live plants with various silks several times a year, depending on the seasons.

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I've always used faux plants because I have trouble keeping indoor plants alive for various reasons. I think if you buy quality plants, use them appropriately and keep them dust-free, they are lovely in a home. Very good quality plant material is available online at ndi.com, but the offerings are quite expensive.


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I don't like the ones with lots of foliage. I have a bouquet that is made of paper. Not sure if anyone thinks it is real, but I like the way it adds a touch of color.
I like how rt and oak display theirs,sparingly and they have a real life like look about them.
I used to have some dried flowers. Not that they looked like live flowers, but they gave a nice touch of color as well.
I think the trick is maybe a few in a vase or container. Not a large formal arrangement. Maybe those are what we think of as a more dated look.


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No real plants here! I have cats, and they like to chew on them and then 'pitch it'...yuk. I don't have that many either, and they're unique and could *almost* pass for real. I never use more than 2-3 types of flower and a lot of 'greens'. They're also more free-form, not arranged per se.

Most of what I buy is from Z Gallerie or Pier One since they have unusal 'stems', but I get some of the 'greens' from Hobby Lobby. One large piece in a room is also more appealing than several little ones spaced sporadically here and there. ;o)


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I am not sure if imitation flowers and plants, including silk ones, are ever appropriate. Every time I see one, I question the decorating judgment of the person. I'd much rather see a half-living house plant than a fake plant.


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I've slowly phased out several of my silk plants but still have 3 in areas that I feel need some green. I used to have only real, but like patty_cakes, my cat now dictates what I can have.
I've found some plants I like at Michaels and Pottery Barn, but the best and most real-looking greenery I've found is from Cindy on ebay. I see she's carrying much less than she used to but if you're looking for something specific drop her a note.
I've linked to one of her plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ivy


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When we remodeled, I decided that I was going to get rid of all my silk plants, and only do real. Well, I can grow the real ones mostly, but it's a pain! I wish I had a lot fewer! But then again, sometimes I just don't know what else to use to fill a space.

I think silks are fine, just not too many.


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Fake plants remind me of wicker furniture, pastels from golden girls :)


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I am in the anti-faux plants camp.... and have always been. I do have a preserved boxwood topiary, but that is as close as I will come to a fake plant. They're just too fake to appeal to my eye.

I used to have a lot more real plants but have cut back to a handful in spots that cry for greenery. There are certain types that withstand neglect, and they have all lived for years without much attention. I water once a week, or less.


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I used to use garlands and arrangements of silk flowers and still have some altho not out at the moment. I have a cat that eats both real AND faux flowers so must place them up high which takes the fun out of using them except for seasonally during fall and Christmas sometimes. I do use curly willow as a natural touch occasionally.

I see nothing wrong with silk florals/plants if they are very good quality - even some top designers and high-end hotels use them. I don't really understand the snobbery against them. However, they seem to have fallen out of favor likely because too many people used the cheap ones which are usually too bright in color and fray easily. However Michaels always has a ton of them on display so someone must be buying them and they seem to have reasonably good quality. I don't think the fact that they're not currently trendy should keep anyone from using them if they want to.

I don't order much online so can't vouch for the quality altho usually save links that were recommended by someone else. Here are some you might look at:

"Nettleton Hollow"
"Natural Decorations" also posted by a previous poster.
"Save On Crafts" Not sure of the quality of the silks on this site but there are many botanicals and stems/twigs that look pretty good. Feathers can also be added to arrangements for a soft look.


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hmmmmm, I feel my decorating jusgment is *quite* intact krycek, and tacky can be tacky w/o the use of'fake' plants. Having real flowers/plants is not a pre-recquisite for having good taste.

Re:wicker and pastels, in moderation they're both 'useful' and can be very 'charming' in the right environment.

Different strokes for differnt folks. ;o)


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Somehow it was inevitable there would be comments against silk flowers! LOL I think that very good quality silks will fool most people but there are too many lessor quality ones around which is what most people judge by. I used to sell high quality silks in my store occasionally and it's difficult to tell them from the real.

Willowdee, if you are crafty you might "have a look at this tutorial" on paper peonies made from coffee filters. "This" is the site I found originally that shows them in a vase and links back to that original tutorial. This craft has been all over blogland for ages but I think they give a nice look with a certain type of decor. I think they are a fun way to add some softness altho, of course, do not even try to look like real flowers.


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I have no problem at all with silks in the right places, but I must say that in the past couple of years it's gotten a lot harder to find any that are remotely plausible--lots more plastic, lurid colors, etc.


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Patty cakes - I agree

I just love my fake Hydrangea arrangement on the coffee table and of course the fake Red geranium on my entry table love that also. Wouldn't know what to put on the dining table either, fake snowball branches in a tall glass container sits there now.

I would love real plants in my house. I really have never tried to have real ones except for the occasional one I received and it didn't last long. Any suggestions on good easy to care for house plants?


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How long do you want live plants to live? If you are willing to spend the money on "real-looking" silk plants, why not spend it on live plants? You have to care for silk ones, too, or the dust would look ridiculous!

My house is full of live plants, one of which is 44 years old. The rest of them come and go. I repot every couple years, sometimes I just toss them when I can't do anything with them, or they've lived out their time.

I understand not wanting to repot, etc., but simply watering a few plants can't be too much trouble when you consider that silks need maintaining, too. And live plants help purify the air, too!


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Nicely said, Patty Cakes and Fun2BHere :-)

Good quality faux flowers/plants, artfully arranged and placed, are a wonderful addition to a room.

When I was working as a silk floral designer for the great indoors, I watched people touch arrangements to see if they were real. My favorite was the ones who would lean over to smell the flowers, and be shocked to find they weren't real. Same thing used to happen with things I created when I was doing craft shows.

But it isn't always about things fooling anyone. Laminate floors will never fool anyone into thinking they are solid hardwoods, a faux bois finish will never pass for real wood, microfiber suede will never pass for sueded leather. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy them just as they are, for what they offer as an alternative to the 'real' thing.

Luckily, there is room the decorating world for a wide variety of styles and choices. I am sure that we all see things posted on designer websites that thrill us, and things that horrify us - and yet SOMEONE finds those things that we like horrific, and the things we abhor as sensational.

More importantly, no one EVER has to have something in their space that they don't like(unless there are a DH and a recliner in the mix, but I digress) but they should be able to allow others to have what they like in their space without looking down their nose at the other person.


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rtwilliams -

I'm adding a link with photos of 24 easy to grow plants. I agree with the BHG link suggestions for plants that grow indoors easily:

pothos,
snake plant,
philedendron,
hoya (mine rarely have dead leaves... grandma has had one for decades),
corn plant (my husband put a "Dead" corn plant in a dark, dry closet for about 5 months when we were dating.... when we pulled it out, it had a new shoot coming out of the ground... so, I'm fairly convinced this plant is hard to kill! That shoot is now a plant that starts to weep when it wants water. I wait until it weeps/asks, and it is doing just fine.)
fiddleleaf fig (although mine turned into a tree and needed to be rehomed...,)
dracaena (I've had a couple for about 8 years)

I don't agree with: ivy .... I've killed a couple/lots of dead leaves

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: 24 Easiest houseplants at Better Homes and Gardens


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"LuAnn, that's really interesting. Of course I prefer the real thing to silk so I'm with you there. But since you don't use them at all and never have, do you mind sharing what you use instead? "

Real plants in four rooms.
I am unable to kill them. Seriously.
I water them once a week and ignore them. One plant I got for a tablescape in 2002. It is still around, as is an umbrella plant (schefflera arboricola) that is even older.

My SIL just gave me an aloe... it will probably outlive me.


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Silk flowers? I'm in a 12 step program! ;)

I've limited myself to a few. I have quite a few live house plants, mostly orchids, but now I'm stuck with plants crowded in front of windows, and the rooms on the north side have none. But I enjoy arranging them so much...so I try to control myself to just holiday time.

But, I mean, is my wreath so terrible??


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Yes. Lots of them. Everywhere.


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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Air plants are intriguing me. Just do a search on google for lots of ideas


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I know a woman who, when she accidentally spies an arrangement of silk flowers or foliage, grimaces in a mixture of pity, horror & disdain. That, is, she would grimace--if she could move her Botox-frozen facial muscles.

See, that's where the old double standard comes in: capped teeth, a nose job, contacts, bleached hair, plucked brows, injected lips, lipo-suctioned hips & nips & tucks & a closet full of fake designer handbags--all that narcissistic fakery gets a pass, because she can afford (and deserves!) all those things, but let some poor K-Mart shopping housewife display a fake plant--or, worse, a fake tree at holiday time--and quelle horreur! Gimme a break.

At my place, though, all plants fall into a third category, neither fake nor living: just dead. Dead branches, dead leaves, even a dead tree trunk on an antique table. Not that I'm morbd or anything, but that other stuff, you either have to buy at a store or grow yourself. I mean, who has time for that? When you switch over to dead, you just pick up the debris after a storm. Much simpler, not to mention cheaper.


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I have seen what is called "Air dry clay flowers" and they are just amazing. They are on Etsy and several other sites. They are so real you would have to touch them to know they are handmade. Many of these bouquets are being used in wedding instead of real flowers. Even if this is not what you want, they are so fun to look at. The flowers made by "Deco claycraft "are the best I've seen. They are a little costly tho.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I have seen what is called "Air dry clay flowers" and they are just amazing. They are on Etsy and several other sites. They are so real you would have to touch them to know they are handmade. Many of these bouquets are being used in wedding instead of real flowers. Even if this is not what you want, they are so fun to look at. The flowers made by "Deco claycraft "are the best I've seen. They are a little costly tho.


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I currently only have 2 real plants, a ficus I've had for about 6 years and a Christmas cactus I've had for 11 years. I won't have plants that can't go at least 2-3 weeks between watering. My spider plant and pothos were great for that, too (which is why you see them in restaurants and offices), but they got left behind in a move.

I thought I was anti-silk plant, until I remembered that my mom has a mix of real and faux. She usually has a faux plant in the bathroom (no sunlight), and a casual, realistic floral arrangement in the living room and sometimes bedrooms. All mom's faux plants get dusted and switched out with the seasons.

I think real plants are so easy there's almost no excuse for not having one...but faux plants can add a nice touch of color and texture, so long as you don't settle for the cheap ones, and replace them before they're too dirty, faded, or frayed.


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Ouch! I see I touched a nerve here. Thanks for all your input and I will be checking out every link y'all have provided.

That said, I have to add that I really don't see anything wrong with silk if you like it, and I do like some of them, in moderation, like everything else. And as for the cleaning of them, I tend to use them till they're pretty dusty by which time I'm also pretty sick of them, then toss them and buy new. I could never bring myself to throw a live plant away.

"I know a woman who, when she accidentally spies an arrangement of silk flowers or foliage, grimaces in a mixture of pity, horror & disdain. That, is, she would grimace--if she could move her Botox-frozen facial muscles."

Thanks so much for this! I'm laughing my butt off here...kinda puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Still haven't decided whether to use faux or real. Those air plants and the list of almost carefree plants really intrigue me. As long as they're slow growing...I can't do the repotting thing anymore which is what killed the last two living plants I had. May they rest in peace. :)


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"Fake plants remind me of wicker furniture, pastels from golden girls."

How comical...since there aren't any pastels in the photo you posted :-)

NDI florals are better than real, imo, because they are absolutely lifelike. They do require care and feeding, just like a real plant does. I have a mixture of real and fakes, and most people actually cannot tell the difference because the fakes are that good. Right now I have seven orchids... two are fake and five are real. I could put them side by side and you'd have to touch them all and even then you might not be able to tell. I pick flowers from my garden for the house almost daily during the summer and somehow that doesn't stop me from enjoying the fakes.


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>How comical...since there aren't any pastels in the photo you posted :-)

No wicker, either. :)


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Oh. my. goodness. I just googled NDI florals and they're absolutely gorgeous! But $1000 for a plant - fake or real - is something I just can't wrap my head around. I'd feel so guilty if I bought those. But wow, I can absolutely see why you say they're better than the real thing.


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Willow, I'd never heard of NDI florals either. Great looking flowers. I checked their site and luckily there is a sale on some items. You can get a twig marked down from $115 for the low, low price of $55. I think for twigs, I'll try Magnaverde's idea of dead branches first.

Here is a link that might be useful: NDI


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I used to have all silk but now have three live ones in the house. I have an aloe plant that has grown out of control on my kitchen window sill, a pothos on a tray/vignette on my island, and a peace lilly on a plant stand in my foyer. All three are poisonous to cats but mine are very well behaved. If they showed any signs of getting near them, those plants would go.

I do have a fake silk palm in the LR and switch out at least one seasonal group of flowers. I just put away the white tulips.

I don't have a problem with most fake plants or flowers.


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We have a couple of fake flowers living around here. I get them from our local florist, who also has a nursery. They have beautiful (and expensive!) fake flowers. Much better quality than michaels or similar. I think that I paid fifteen or twenty dollars for a small bunch of poppies on sale. Wreaths are a couple of hundred dollars, etc. Anyway... I'm half japanese, I don't know if this is a cultural thing. But, I swear that I see tons of fake flowers in homes with the same background. So, I'm definitely not opposed to them like everyone else. Just invite asians over from now on. :)

As a side note, dried flowers or freeze dried flowers are supposed to bring in bad feng shui energy. Unless, it's from something special and should be kept in a special place not to get dusty. So, just keep 'em fake!

:)
Kim


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Dried flowers are bad feng shui??? Learn something new every day. Dried was one of the things I was considering. I'm old enough to remember using them way back when they were the latest big thing...back then, it was to replace plastic flowers. In decorating, things come around then go around then come around again. Which is why it's best just to use what you like and not worry too much if it's the popular thing to do. If it's not popular now, hang around a while, it will be "in" sooner or later.


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M'verde, it's so good to see you here! I have always loved the way you tell a story to get a point across! Your 'take' is so refreshing. Have you been up to anything you might want to share? Don't be such a stranger!!!

I have never heard of NDI floral, but sure am impressed with their product, although quite pricey.

I mentioned Z Gallerie as having very nice 'fakes'. Here's a peek....

Here is a link that might be useful: faux florals


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Well, tacky or not, I've got one. It is a corner of my north-facing living room where I wanted and item with texture and height, and a silk tree accomplishes that. A live plant would be great but I simply don't want to deal with watering/mess, especially with newly-finished hardwood floors, and nothing grows well in that corner anyway. So this was the practical solution.
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No. I have a mixture of live, moss, and a couple of dried - i.e dried hydrangeas.

tina


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"I know a woman who, when she accidentally spies an arrangement of silk flowers or foliage,
grimaces in a mixture of pity, horror & disdain. That, is, she would grimace--if she could move
her Botox-frozen facial muscles."

Magnaverde, You reminded me of a joke!

A woman has an operation, all of a sudden she's up in heaven and sees God and say's "Oh no, I died"

God says, "no, no, no, you didn't die, you're just having an out of body experience; go back my child and enjoy,
you have forty-seven more years to live...

Well, the woman recouperates from the surgery and feels good and thinks to herself, hmmmmm,
forty-seven more years; I might as well live it up.

She gets a nose job, face lift,
botex injections, lips pumped up, boob job, and looses twenty pounds.
And lastly, makes an appointment for a manacure, pedacure and hair frosting.

On the way out from the beauty Parlor she crosses the street and gets hit by a bus and dies.

She goes up to heaven and sees God and says, "WHAT Happened!...you said I had forty-seven more years to live!

God leans forward and looks deeply into the womans eyes and says, "OOOOOOHHHHHH, I didn't recognize you"...


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Have not read everyone's comments, but for those of you with cats and who think you can't have live plants in the house -- consider orchids. They're nontoxic to cats, and, if you get ones with thicker leaves (such as phalaenopsis aka moth orchid), your cats most likely will leave the plants alone. Thinner-leaved orchids might be interesting for a while, but I can tell you that here, the cats ignore all my orchids. Back when I started growing orchids, they were relatively to very, very expensive. But now, you can buy really nice TC (tissue-cultured) ones in most any food store. In fact, I have four phalaenopsis from a food store in my sunroom (sitting on my hideous and unsatisfying plant stands). Unless you're a serious collector, you'd enjoy them as much as any specially ordered from an orchid grower. I certainly do.

Silk ones - for several years, I had fake ivy twined around some stuff sitting on top of the kitchen cabinets at our former house. I think that may have been the thing to do back then, so I did it. The ivy was high enough up that you couldn't really tell it was fake, but it never looked right either. That was my one & only experience with fake plants.


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Marita, I adore your living room! Your sofa and chair are an almost exact duplicate of the ones we had when I was a very young child....many many moons ago, lol. You've pulled off the vintage yet timeless look to perfection! Looooove the palm tree in the corner, that's precisely what I was thinking of for my sunroom. Do you mind sharing where you got it?


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Straying from the subject a bit here...is there something wrong with wicker that I don't know about? I have some wicker pieces on my patio and I love them!


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We have silk plants in our screen room. Most of the time it is too cold for real plants out there, so the silk ones make it feel more tropical out there, even when the thermometer assures it that it isn't :)

Carrie


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If there's anything wrong with wicker I haven't got the memo yet, willowdee!

Good call on the rattan, writersblock :-)


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Thanks willodee. I got the silk plant online at www.silkplantdesign.com. It is the 6' Areca Palm. Not cheap by any means but excellent quality. It has held up well. I dust it with a feather duster.


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I also don't understand the snobbery regarding faux plants. They've come a long way.

Marita, your room (and my windowsill, lol) are perfect examples of why it's okay to have faux plants.

I have been growing plants indoors all my adult life. Let me tell you, it's work. It takes research, and trial & error.

Proper lighting and watering is the key. I don't do the weekly watering because each plant is it's own "person." I sound like Prince Charles! lol. It's easier said than done growing live plants.

Also, taking care of silks is a breeze. Just buy those cans of air and spray the dust off them when you're cleaning the chandy, keyboard, etc.

There are a ton of great websites for faux flowers that are inexpensive and still look nice.

A friend was over one day and asked how I grew my daisies. I told her they were fake. And cheap. :)


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oak, I agree. A couple of things to add in my situation (ok, I guess I'm trying to justify myself here!! :) One is that unlike one poster here I would far rather see a faux plant than a half dead one. And believe me I've been in a whole lot of houses with half dead, withering, anemic looking plants. Our winters are very long here in MN with very dry interiors, so it requires enormous diligence to keep indoor plants alive, unless they are small enough to be carried around to the sink for water and rotating windows for sunlight. Second, I live alone and travel a lot, so I don't want to have the burden of watering a big plant. The little ones can be placed in the bathtub when I'm gone or if they die easily replaced. Third, I have cats and as others have mentioned they would chew on/try to climb/or dig in a large plant container (even--yuk--do their business in it). So for all these reasons I am very happy going the faux route!!


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If you can't keep real plants (and really want to), then a nice quality silk is the next best thing. I do prefer real plants, but will use fakes in arrangements/wreaths or even in extremely low light rooms. No need to be snobby should someone not be using only real plants in their home. Humans must have a natural desire to feel in touch with nature and if a fake plant helps give that to them why pass nasty judgement? Of course, this is assuming those fake plants don't have fake dew all over them (that I can't tolerate).

Also, many of us don't have the disposable income or extensive gardens to use real flowers for all of our needs. Never mind that real flowers on a wreath wouldn't make it 24 hours on my front door!


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I have two small silk plants (just greenery-no flowers) on the top shelves of the wall of built ins in my family room. There are also real plants on the lowers shelves. The greenery at the top is needed for balance, but I would need a step ladder to water them, so silk it is!


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I haven't read all the replies so not sure anyone is saying there is something WRONG with silk plants or wicker or pastels for that matter. It's simply a matter of preference. Some people like chocolate, some don't. Same thing with silk plants. It's your home so you should do what YOU want to do. Doesn't matter what any of us here like, or don't like.


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Marita, I never thought I would see a set of the same furniture my son has!! I was over at a neighbor's when I first moved into my house, and she had a sofa and chair setting in her garage. I commented about it, and she said she was giving it to good will. It had been her parents and she had used it for several years, but now that she had a new house, wanted new. I knew my son, who loves all things from the 30's/40's era, would die for it, so I offered to buy it. She said she was going to take a $100 deduction for it, so that's what I paid, $100! He's absolutley delighted to have it. Did you know it's Mohair? His had a couple of small rips that I repaired, but other than that, it's perfect. You must love yours. too. It's a gorgeous room! And your faux Areca Palm looks like it belongs there! ;o)


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Marita, thanks so much for the link to the site where you bought your palm. As you said, not cheap, but way closer to my budget than NDI...as beautiful as the NDI plants are. For me and my budget, there's indulgence and then there's idiocy. LOL!

Another question for those of you who prefer real over faux: Does that also apply to flowers? I remember watching a Oprah show years ago when she disparaged fake flowers and she got quite a backlash from her fans for it. I can't afford to buy fresh flowers - and wouldn't do it it if I could afford it - and I'm certainly not inclined to grow them, though I do have flowering plants in my yard. But every room needs a little color in it all the time. How do those of you who don't like faux add that dash of color in your room? Do you just use other types of decorative objects? I'm getting old so I realize that some of my ideas may be dated. To me, a room with no flowers is missing something. But I'm always willing to try something new if I can see pics or something that would change my view.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I use some faux plants/flowers but not in every room all the time. I avoid like the plague anything that is a color or form that is unnatural or noticeably fake. I also choose plants that I would have if I could keep them alive. Saying that "anyone" can grow plants is like saying "anyone" can be a size 6 - if they want it bad enough. For a variety of reasons (including the light in my house) I can't keep plants alive. Let me rephrase that, I can't keep the kind of plants I want alive. As a result, I have silk boston ferns. I like cut flowers but they are expensive - sometimes I have them and enjoy them. For a while I couldn't because I had a cat who would overturn vases and drink the water. I currently have cats that eat plants and flowers - no matter how carefully I explain to them why they shouldn't ;) Lastly, both dried and cut flowers are bad feng shui; the master I used explained that those plants are dead or dying.

For my part, I love looking at the homes that are shared on this site and love the discussions. Do I see things that I wouldn't do in my home? Yep. Do I learn a lot and get lots of ideas? Yep! Keep it coming!

Lynn


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I do well growing plants..ivies that are over 70 years old, christmas cactus that is over 30 years old. However, I don't care how good a grower you are, plants need light of a certain sort to thrive and you can't get that in the places you want plants...like corners of rooms or on book case shelves. If you want to run around placing plants before company comes, that's fine, but for the every day, they are going to have to be where they need to be. Silks on the other hand can go anywhere and brighten any corner or enliven any room, regardless of lighting.

If you don't like them, don't use them....if you like them, use as you see fit. Just keep them clean.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Sure glad I don't buy the whole feng shui thing. I love fresh flowers in the house. From my garden in season and bought during the winter. Only real plants in my house. The ones I have are not hard to take care of - water, feed once a month or so, re-pot when (in my case, absolutely) needed. I like the way they grow and change. And bloom whenever they feel like it. I have a "Christmas" cactus blooming right now and an amaryllis just finished blooming.

For those interested in growing, these are plants I have had for 20+ years: snake plant, monstera, several varieties of "Christmas" cactus, schefflera.


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I agree with those who say if you like them, use them; if you don't like them, don't use them. DH always picks up fresh flowers at the grocery store. Even if he gets only one bunch, I have three wonderful Stargazer stems or a bunch of tulips or irises. Usually, he buys several bunches and I have enough to spread around the house. I also cut branches from shrubs and stick them in vases. Love it. I only have two house plants at this point-a gardenia that has grown huge and a jasmine, both of which are outside now and will come in the house in October.


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Willowdee, green is my favorite color, so I favor foliage plants. I also add pops of color with artwork, throws and pillows, knick-knacks and rugs...and actually, I just spotted the dried remnants of the boutenierre and bouquet from our wedding, so I guess I used flowers to add color, too!

As for whether your idea of a room needing flowers is dated...I don't know, possibly; however, rooms decorated to the taste of their owner, whether dated or not, have much more soul than rooms decorated strictly according to current trends!

cyn427, I envy you those cut flowers! I wish I lived near an inexpensive supplier, so flowers wouldn't be reserved for birthdays.


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I admit to having a few fakes above my kitchen cabinets. I am not going to get up on a ladder and water plants up there!
I don't have much of a green thumb, but have been able to keep "lucky" bamboo alive for quite a few years. I also just bought a plant called a ZZ plant that is supposed to thrive on neglect and bad light. They had a few of them at my eye doctor's office and I liked they way they looked. I bought mine at the Grange, but I have also seen them at Lowe's.


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You know, after I've read this thread and reflected on why I started it, I'm feeling a little silly. When all is said and done, it's as many of y'all have said. It's all about what makes me happy and what is pleasing to my eye. Sometimes, I worry about stupid stuff. LOL!

My main goal when we moved into this house last year (my childhood home) was to create a comfortable, calm, low maintenance space to live our very simple lives. Hubby and I are both disabled so that had to be a consideration in all my decisions. I thought than - and still do - that fewer objects would tend to create that calm but easily maintained atmosphere I was seeking. But I've found that my soul needs to have some things just because they're pretty to look at and I happen to like looking at flowers and plants. My aesthetic sensitivities are not offended by fake, and my body will tolerate taking care of those much better than worrying about real ones, except the few I really want. So? I'm gonna get fake and I'm gonna enjoy them! :-)

So sorry to have bothered y'all but this conversation did allow me to hear lots of points of view and also to see my own way more clearly. Thanks so much to all of you for helping me out, and especially to those who shared pics. I love looking at other people's houses...they're awesome inspiration!


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Annie, you're spot on. Light is essential to growing a good plant, and unfortunately flowering plants won't bloom in dark corners unless you have a gro-light.

Like I said, faux have come a long long way since our parent's days. I bought some Hydrangea stems from Walmart and they look real to me. I plan on putting them in one of my darkish corners.

Now don't tell anyone, but I kind of want some of those old wax fruit. :)


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Christmas cactus...about the only thing I grow inside that I don't kill, lol. I can't keep up with much inside, as I travel frequently and will forget to water houseplants, which is why I have a couple of pieces of fake greenery inside. I rinse it off (along with the real stuff) as I hate anything dusty and it gets replaced it often to keep it fresh. Nothing I hate more than to see something faded and old. I too have problems with low-light in some rooms and I also hate clutter.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Only if they're really obviously fake, like Mexican paper flowers. But a large tree on a sun porch? It's just going to collect dust and look bad as it fades. There must be something else that can serve as decor without pretending to be real.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Willowdee - just in case you're interested, here's a listing of some "easy" houseplants. There are many plants for low-light areas, should be some on this site.

tina

Here is a link that might be useful: easy care houseplants


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

We have fake plants in our house, nothing wrong with them. We tried real plants and they don't live. Cut flowers are gone in about a week.


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It's been an interesting conversation, Willowdee--don't apologize for starting it!

What's curious to me is that so many people think this is an either/or situation. I planted four gorgeous Peruvian lily plants this spring (you may know them as Alstromeria) and have fresh flowers about every other day from them. Adding in the wisteria I force in the spring, the Japanese iris, gardenias, camellias and our purple coneflowers (echinacea), I have both real and fake in a pleasant abundance that I enjoy. We've recently planted 26 new yellow knockout rose bushes, and I have high hopes for cut flowers from those towards the end of the summer.

Like everyone else, I guess I have my own gradient from
tacky :-( to okay :-/ to wonderful :-)


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I was advised by my doctor to get rid of all live plants a number of years ago because of serious allergies, with mold and mildew among them. This was in the middle of six years of eight allergy shots a week.

So nothing but expensive silk plants in our house. I work incredibly long hours and keeping plants alive has always been a challenge anyhow. I do buy the occasional potted plants to freshen up a table during special occasions but they soon make their way outside.

If someone is incensed by my silk plants when they come to visit my house, they can take their toys and go home.

Jodi-


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That's really interesting Jodi! I have a serious mold allergy. I also take shots, but I've never had to do more than 1 twice a week. I've never been told that houseplants could have mold. I'm going to have to research that.

I agree with kswl on cut flowers. I love fresh flowers and I think you can find them fairly cheap. Especially at some of the grocery stores. I am also fortunate to have many flowers to cut in the yard. KSWL, I've never thought about cutting my knockout roses though (only pink here), since there's not much "stem". Going to have to try that and see how it looks.

tina


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Willowdee, do not apologize for your original question. Often, broad, connect-the-dots responses--even the contradictory ones--are more interesting than narrow, to-the-point answers, anyway: Yes. No. Restrained Gold. Whatever.

Here's the thing: the math-quiz reminder to "Show your work"--that is, explain your thinking--that we got from the teacher in second grade works here, too because doing that not only demostrates that you truly understand the problem, but also your explanation of how you arrived at a particular answer helps those not yet clear on the concept. It's easy to copy your neighbor's answer, just as it's easy to copy your neighbor's room, but if you don't understand the thinking behind those things, when the next problem (or empty room) comes along, you're back at square one without a clue. So lots of answers from lots of people are good, and those answers don't come unless there are questions first. So no apology is needed. You spurred a good discussion.

Besides, as in your case, the mere act of asking a question sometimes makes the asnwer clear to the questioner. At any rate, you answered your own question with the only real answer that counts around here--whatever works for you, not whatever works for the neighbors. Congratulations. It takes some people a long time to realize that that's the only sensible way to decorate.

Regards,
Magnaverde.

PS: Ideefixe, is this plant fake enough for you?
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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

One of the biggest problems with silk plants is the maintenance, as has been mentioned. They attract dust, and that's when they really start looking fake. I personally dust very rarely in my home, so fake plants would become a dust pile. I find it much more appealing to water a plant once a week than to dust a plant once a week. Plus I never seem to get all the dust off...they are kind of like window blinds...always some dust left after a frustrating experience. Not worth it. Plus, I think of the Golden Girls too.


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Of course real house plants need dusting too.....


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That's what housekeepers are for. There are some advantages to having lots of allergies. :-)

Jodi-


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Click Like - krycek :)


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Tina, like gardenias, they look good in a wide, shallow bowl--- short stems and a mound of flowers. Traditional rose bowls are meant to show off just those beautiful blossoms and heady scent. I'm hoping to get masses of flowers from mine. The scent is faint, but it's heavenly.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I don't understand the issue several here have with the maintenance of silk plants. Just as I used to drag my live plants out to the deck and wash them down with the hose, not to mention the small ones that were placed in the shower for a good bath, I also wash the dust off my silk plants. From the 8' palm to the small ivy, everything is easily washed with a gently spray, then given a good shake and air dried.

Whether live or silk, the maintenance is pretty much the same.....except you never have to repot silks!


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MV, that plastic plant is so fake I almost like it.....in a groovy 70s kind of way.


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kswl - good idea! I had not thought of a bowl. I'll have to try that. Mine are blooming their heads off!! I'm deadheading often (because it looks better), which I think must just make them bloom more!

Annz - I think there is something about the silk that just attracts dust. When I had a couple, it seemed they just acquired a coating of dust. Honestly, very few of my houseplants (live) require dusting. I do have some that I occasionally wipe with a damp cloth. Think Bromelaid or something with the long leaves (fronds?).

tina


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Thanks again to everyone for your comments. Someone mentioned how a silk plant would fade on a sunporch. Because mine faces the west and that late afternoon sun is a KILLER, and because that is the room where we spend the most time, I have plantation blinds on every window (yeah, blinds too, lol...and they're fake wood!) that I open in the morning and close in the early afternoon. If you could have seen this room when my mom lived here, and all the many silk arrangement she had, you'd understand that I'm being downright minimalist with the plants. Bless her heart, my mama loved her knickknacks and flowers, real or fake...she was definitely not a purist! :-)

Tina, thanks for the link. A sunporch does beg for plants and I will keep an eye out for some of these easy care ones on your list...if they don't require repotting every year, that might be perfect for me. But I'm still getting the palm that Marita so kindly provided the link for. I love it, so I'm getting it! LOL!


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Photobucket
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I love real plants and don't care so much for fake ones. That being said, I've had to alter the way I use them because of an adopted cat. In our old house, I had nothing but beautiful large plants throughout. Now, it seems that everything I like is lethal to those of the feline persuasion.

Missing the green in our new house, I began searching for something that didn't look too fake and picked this up. It even has dying leaves. My DH said that it's so ugly it looks real. If anyone knows of houseplants that are safe around cats, please share.


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See, that's where the old double standard comes in: capped teeth, a nose job, contacts, bleached hair, plucked brows, injected lips, lipo-suctioned hips & nips & tucks & a closet full of fake designer handbags-

If she's got the lipo, nose job and nips and tucks, they're probably Real designer handbags!

I have no firm comment on silks, I love nice silk arrangements but they must look real and be used in context.

Unfortunately bad ones poorly situated are the norm.

Most people don't think a silk basket of flowers should cost as much a piece of furniture but good ones do.


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KS, good luck with the yellow knockouts! They are THE slowest growing Knockouts made. They're only a few years old. While my red and pinks are thriving, my yellow's are slow growers. Still pretty but their blooming aren't as abundant as the other ones.

Again, all one has to do to clean the silks is to use a can of air. Presto!

I could only see 2 of the plants without having to pay on the BHG site, and those two do need at least some good indirect sunlight or they will just stay green without forming color in the veins. They definitely will just sit there in dark corners. They may not die, but they won't grow either.

Pothos actually like some direct sun.

Since my Hydrangea flowers have already spent their blooms, I think I'll stick in Wally World faux Hydrangea stems. ;)

Which reminds me. There's a house in town where an elderly couple live, and they have the prettiest hedges around their house. I always admired them. Come to find out they're fake! lol


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Oakleyok, we have neighbors who do the same thing...although I don't know where you'd get fake hedges! I always knew my neighbor's were fake because new ones in full bloom would spring up from one day to the next. But my daughter mentioned to me just yesterday how pretty she thought their yard was, and opined that the lady there must be a fantastic gardener. She was a bit crushed when I told her the truth. lol


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Okley - there's nothing to pay. It's free to sign up, but at the top of that screen, it says "skip to next page" or something like that.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I have them inside and I've grown to like them. Even though I hated the idea of fake plants originally I ended up with little choice. DH was absolutely against real ones because he said we wouldn't remember to water them, they would die, and we would have ugly dried twigs all over the house. I laughed and bought some anyway... they all died. And he was way more smug than I appreciated.

Outside is another story. Our neighbor, a very sweet older lady, has decorated all over her front yard with fake flowers from Michaels. In various shades of bright colors (orange, red, yellow, blue, green, purple... you name it) and she "planted" them in pots to make them look real. Awful.


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Yes, also silk tree's have 3/4 of them, got enough real plants and flowers outside, luv the silk for inside.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

In reference to live house plant and mold - yes they are a breeding ground for mold - ask your allergist.

I suffer from mold allergies and still have one live vining plant that I have had for years. I can't bring myself to get rid of it.

I like a a few silks but they need to "look" real. I saved a picture for several years of a large basket sitting in the floor filled with hydrangeas. I have a pretty basket - now I need to find some nice hydrangeas that I like.


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Francy - That one looks good to me.

Here's a list from the ASPCA of non-toxic plants to cats.
Off the top of my head I know the boston fern is safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA list


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yes!!!!!!!

Although I have a few large real plants 25 to 30 years old, I make absolutely *NO* apologies for my fake ones. The bedroom vine fools everyone - that room is kept dark in summer when I'm not home to keep it cool - and it thrives in the dark spilling over the top of an antique cabinet that I never have to worry about getting wet. My vase of kitchen poppies are anchored in acrylic water; they provide that pop of color I want to see everyday. Other fakes are single stems that like Kim's are much better quality than Michaels. Bought at an area nursery from $7 to $20 a stem, a large bouquet becomes expensive, but they are breathtakingly realistic. My faux arrangements are of flowers that are currently blooming and are replaced when that bloom time is over. I no longer enjoy bringing cut flowers indoors, and prefer enjoying them outside, with no more worries about bringing in spiders, as I frequently get spider bites and have allergic reactions... The main thing is I enjoy handling and arranging these faux stems, and kind of like christmas ornaments, get to enjoy them all over again the next year, however briefly. Oh, and in my living room I have a big giant orange orchidy-type potted plant from Home Goods, just for fun and again, for that pop of color. Someone else may use a bright orange vase, or basket or whatever for that effect. So I use a fake plant. How is that different? Or bad? And why should it matter?


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Oh yes, peegee, your post reflects exactly how I feel about how artificial stems perk up a room like nothing else...except I never use the word *fake*...artificial just has a better ring to it (grin) .. also, if quality is important, don't buy from Hobby Lobby or Michaels..just sayin'


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Thanks Sheesharee!


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They are not fakes or artificial....they are everlasting flowers!

;)


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

The knockouts do well as cut flowers. I have quite a few shrubs that are on their fourth season and this year they grew so big I had to cut off big sections of them. I was FORCED to bring in one rose covered stem after another and scatter them around the house in vases, lol. They were gorgeous and if you were sitting near a vase you could definitely smell the roses.

I decided to start some extra shrubs in an area that can't be seen when you are in the yard. I will be able to cut ALL of the roses off of those, which means I'll have them from April through November in the house. Love the Knockouts!


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Great idea to plant a few knockouts just for cutting,, cindyloo!


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Warning about Knockouts! On our local news the other night, many Roses, especially Knockouts are dying from Rose Rosette disease. At least here in OK. If the disease hits, the plant has to be dug up & no future Roses can be planted in their place. I'd wait a year to plant any. I pray mine won't get effected.

Peegee, I want some of those artificial branches with little lights on them. lol. I may get some at Christmas.


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Well, I couldn't let them go to waste in the closet!

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Oakley, I have to ask. Is that set of pitcher and glasses on your mantel Frankoma?


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I don't like them, but I use them. The only thing I've ever been able to keep alive for any length of time was a yucca, and it nearly bit it a few times. I've tried most of the "easy" varieties (pothos, MIL tongue, etc.) and even cactii, and no luck. Yes, I've killed air plants. I "get" that some people can water it one a week and forget it. My mother is one of those people. That just doesn't work for everyone. Maybe it's a difference in household humidity or something, but my house is void of green thumb mojo. I have no idea how my DD is still around.

I do justify my hypocrisy with a few key points...

1. I have pets, and a young daughter. Silks (or fakes of whatever make-up) are not edible, nor lethal. Like someone else mentioned, a ot of the things I like the looks of are not pet (nor kid) friendly in that regard.

2. I have to disagree (for me personally) with a sentiment I saw above: that a half dead plant is more appealing than a fakie. Totally disagree. Half dead plants look junky to me. Fakies look like "At least I can admit I don't keep it alive." :)

3. DH's family is in Europe, and we try to go there for a minimum of 2 weeks, usually 3, as our work comittments allow. There is no one near us we'd trust in our house to water plants.

4. Silks can be pricey, but at least you're only buying it once. Can't count how many $$$ plants I've bought for two or three weeks of eye candy. I saw some gorgeous potted ivies once, with 6 ft "branches" (I have no idea what you actually call them), $$$ and both were gone in less than 3 weeks.

5. Sometimes I'm not looking for a plant so much as I'm looking for something with height and texture and about a certain width, and a plant foots the bill. I have three fake floorplants (in real pots) for this reason. They're on 2 y/o wood floors and I'm not about to trust that I wouldn't overwater/flood them on the wood floor.

Etc etc etc.

I don't care what people have. I'm not going to judge someone's decor sense because they like fake plants and I don't (or vice versa) any more than I'm going to judge because they like red or pink and I don't.

I have two rules. I will NOT do a faux fica. Those are too much for me. And I will NOT put clear minilights in a fake tree for "ambience". But it doesn't mean I won't be your friend if you do. :)


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Erm...

Faux fica? Make that ficus, please. I didn't catch it before I hit submit. Guess I have taxes on the brain?!?


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

Late to the discussion but I read most of the posts it seems that one of the objections to silk it maintenance. I have both silk and real in my home so no preference silks are up high so I don't have to climb and the dust doesn't show so much up there. But I cheat when it comes to cleaning them I plop them onto the top rack of the dishwasher and Voila clean. I have only ever lost one or two leaves but then fit them right back on. No Problem :D


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Thanks for that warning, Oakley. The Missouri Botannical Garden has a good webpage about this (linked below). Although the disease is mainly prevalent in wild roses, it is attacking some cultivars now. I remember seeing this several years ago and hearing it called Witches Broom, which it is still called in some areas because of how the plant changes. It's caused by a mite!

Here is a link that might be useful: Information about Rose Rosette, or Witches Broom disease


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I use a combination of both. Too much estrogen here for me to illustrate my approach, but it works for me. Water or dust...hmmmm

seagrass


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Yes, I do, I kill any real plants indoors. I like them in moderation and some of them look more real than others.


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Yes, that's Frankoma. The factory, before it burnt down, was in the next town where I grew up. I've never been fond of Frankhoma but I've inherited a few pieces, and my DS gave me the ones on the mantel as a gift.

KS, I'm constantly looking at my Roses every day. I guess here in OK. it's REALLY bad.


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My daughter asked once if she could move the fake plant I have sitting on a chair in my kitchen so she could sit on the chair. I had to laugh. I have a a couple silk plants in my house, but this one was actually real. Do people who would only have real plants in their homes ever wonder if other people think they are fake?


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Would you agree to draw the line at fake florals "planted in the ground" :) LOL!


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I've seen a fair amount of disgusting looking fake flowers in window boxes around here! I guess I'd say that's really tacky. . .


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Hmm. Fake outdoor plants. I could have the hosta I'd like but don't plant because the deer would devour them. A banana tree in the front yard would be nice. Sure would be a traffic stopper when there's four feet of snow on the ground. Think everyone would know they're fake? ;-)

Guess I'll stick with the plants that suit my climate and growing conditions. Both inside and out.


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Here's a shot of our neighbor's lineup of fake, potted flowers (the 5 pots dividing our lawns). It's from when we first moved in but they're still there. In fact, they now are in a pattern of red, white, and blue for the upcoming 4th of July. *sigh*


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LOL lara!! Poor you! At least they don't have a yard full of cheap plastic figurines (trolls are really big around here) and their Christmas lights up in June.


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Lol marita, I guess I should be thankful then! Is that your neighbors you are referring to?? On related note, my MIL has a holiday tree in her foyer that stays up all year long. It's a fake 4' tall Christmas tree that she decorates for the holidays. So she makes it a Easter tree, a Valentine's Day tree, St. Patrick's Day, etc. Maybe I'm just not festive enough...?


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Oy, Lara--- I feel your pain. And see it, too... poor you :-(


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What is your least favorite fake item from this list?
- Fake indoor greenery
- Fake indoor flowers
- Fake outdoor flowers
- Fake grass
- Fake Christmas tree
- Fake fruit (on kitchen countertop or dining table)
- Fake plants in aquarium
- Fake leather furniture
- Faux finished walls
- what else am i missing...


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oops
- What am i missing (no else)..


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Here's my silk flower story. It happened to me today. I'm going to be watering someone's outdoor plants for the week. After surveying the plants in front, I was lead through the house to the backyard deck to be introduced to further plants I would need to attend to.

En route, the woman called my attention to a newly reupholstered chair: "Stinky, have you ever heard of Robert Allen?" "Oh, yes." "Well this fabric is Robert Allen." "It's beautiful, I love it." "Well, the dog jumps up in this chair so he can look out the window...can you believe it? Goes straight to the Robert Allen chair." "Gosh!" I proclaim in disbelief. "The plumber here this morning asks if he can keep his shoes on, but the dog goes right to the Robert Allen chair."

Next to the chair stood a white wrought iron plant stand with an enormous white wicker basket containing a huge array of silk flowers in every color of the rainbow. I felt dizzy at the sight of the cacophony of crayola box hues, so I rested my gaze on the the newly covered chair fabric. It depicted a subtle dance of cherry blossom branches, rendered in soft aqua and delicate pink, a wisp of brown.

Ahh...Robert Allen to the rescue.


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"What is your least favorite fake item - what else am i missing?"

Phony people with fake smiles, fake sincerity, and fake concern.

All the rest is just a matter of personal choice.


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Les, I absolutely LOVE your answer re:fake items!!! And you're 100% right, everything *is* a personal choice. Why leave important decisions up to anyone else? Geez! ;o)


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

I do both fake and real. I love having cut flowers in the house but I don't want to purchase them every week because they don't last long. My green plants are real but for flowers I go good quality silks and am very happy and pleased with the way they look. I get to have beautiful cut flowers in the house on a regular basis without having to shell out the high price for them weekly. For me its a win win.


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RE: Do you still use silk plants?

There is a grower of gerbera daisies one town over who will let people stop at the greenhouse one day a week and buy culls. I often do this for summer parties or just to brighten up the house. You get what you get--- no choosing--- but it only costs $45 for a huge bucket of about 7dozen stems. Yesterday I got culls for our luncheon today (for DS2s college, a party for incoming freshmen in our state). I have vibrant yellows, reds, pinks, oranges, and every shade of those all throughout the house and it is lovely. I did move one "old reliable" silk (it's actually latex) out of the way to make room for these Gerbers. The big tin bucket out on the porch filled with yellow and orange flowers is my favorite! Because I get them from the grower, they will last almost two weeks if I trim the stems and change the water every day.... And put a few drops of Clorox in the water as recommended by the greenhouse. Although available year round, these flowers look gaudy in winter, and my ndi amaryllis and others look more at home.


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