Artificial plants have long been a popular option for adding a natural look and feel to a home’s interior. But can artificial plants work just as well for the exterior of your home?
Using artificial plants in outdoor landscaping has both pros and cons, and the decision will ultimately depend on your preferences, needs, the specific context of your yard, and the types of plants you want to use. Here are some of the most important things to consider when trying to make this decision.
There are several reasons why using artificial plants outdoors might be a great idea for your yard. Here are some of the most notable pros:
- They are low maintenance. Artificial plants require little to no maintenance. They need no water, fertilization, or pruning, making them a true “hands-off” greenery solution. This can save a lot of time and effort on your part as you work to keep your outdoor space looking its best.
- They have year-round appeal. Unlike real plants, artificial plants look great in all four seasons. They never go dormant and don’t drop leaves, which means they’ll maintain their lush, green appearance all year long.
- They are allergen-free. If you suffer from pollen or other outdoor allergens, an allergen-free plant option may be just what you need to truly enjoy your yard again, since artificial plants don’t produce these.
- They are durable. While some artificial plants may be more durable than others, high-quality plants that are designed to stay outdoors can actually withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions, including intense heat and cold. They won’t wilt or die if over- or underwatered.
- They offer design flexibility. With artificial plants, you can choose the exact height, size, color, and shape of the plant you need for your yard. There is no guesswork or maintenance in order to get a plant that looks a certain way or fills a space the way you envisioned.
- They require zero resources. Artificial plants require no water, making them a great eco-friendly option for your yard. You also will never need to use fertilizer or pesticides on them, so your yard can stay clean, green, and chemical-free.
Still, there are several reasons why someone may not want to use artificial plants in their outdoor landscape design, including:
- Lack of authenticity. Some people simply prefer the look, feel, and/or smell of natural plants, and will be bothered by the “fake” nature of artificial options.
- No environmental benefits. Real plants contribute to air purification and help support local ecosystems. Artificial plants have no such benefits. Plus, many artificial plants are made from plastic, which can contribute to waste problems if not disposed of correctly.
- Initial cost. If you are going to use artificial plants outside, you’ll need ones that are high-quality and designed to be kept outdoors. This often comes with a higher price tag.
- Potential fading. Some artificial plants are prone to fading and will lose some of their vibrant color when left out in bright sunlight or other harsh weather conditions.
- Some maintenance required. Artificial plants will still require a small amount of occasional maintenance in order to look their best. Occasional cleaning to remove dust or debris will help prevent fading or an otherwise shabby appearance.
- Heat retention. Some artificial plants actually absorb and retain heat, which means they can heat up your outdoor spaces. If you live in an extremely hot or sunny environment, this may make your yard less comfortable.
When it comes to using artificial plants in your outdoor landscaping, there are definitely pros and cons to consider. Think them all through before designing your space, and you’ll be able to make a smart, informed decision that works perfectly for your yard and lifestyle.