You are here: Home » DIY » How to Secure Artificial Plants in Pots so They Look Real!

How to Secure Artificial Plants in Pots so They Look Real!

DIY

You can have the most beautiful, realistic fake plant and it’ll still look fake if you don’t style it properly! Here are 2 easy methods for how to secure artificial plants in pots and make your fake plant look real.

I have a pretty brown thumb when it comes to houseplants. Actually, it’s not entirely my fault….the lighting isn’t great in the areas where I usually want to display plants (like in the corner). Well, at least I tell myself that the problem is the lighting… Lol!

zz plant in a brown pot on white brick fireplace next to small lantern with blue shutter in background

I’ve previously shared my favorite fake plants, but let me reiterate one point. I am very particular about fake plants. The leaves need to look real, the branches/trunk needs to be realistic…I’m even particular about the way that the leaves attach to branches!

But none of that matters if your fake plant isn’t properly styled so that it looks real.

Most fake plants come in a cheap plastic, weighted pot with brown/black plastic dirt. Some do come in plastic containers with Spanish moss and while I do like Spanish moss, the cheap plastic container is still a dead giveaway.

With that being said, you can’t just buy a fake plant and toss it in the corner or plop it on the coffee table and think you’re done. No, you have to style it. That’s why it’s important to pot artificial plants so that they look real!

zz plant in black plastic pot with text overlay reading NO
zz plant in brown plastic pot with text overlay reading NO
zz plant in brown plastic pot with dirt and text overlay reading YES

I use two different styling methods in my home so I’ll share both with you!

How to Secure Artificial Plants in Pots

I have several fake plants in my own home and have had them for years. Here’s my secret to styling:

The key to making a fake plant look real is to add real elements to it!

Kim @Tidbits&Twine

Please don’t misunderstand me and start adding real leaves into your fake plant! No, add your real elements at the base!

Base Elements

  • Rocks
  • Moss
  • Moss Rocks
  • Dirt

Dirt, rocks, and moss are all real elements you’d find at the base of a real houseplant, so they should be at the base of your fake houseplant, too!

Materials Needed

  • Artificial plant
  • Decorative planter/pot
  • Scissors
  • Packing material (newspaper, plastic bags, etc)
  • Riser (optional)
  • Cardboard or plastic pot liner
  • Dirt or moss (depending on method below)

Potting Method 1 – For Dirt & Small Rocks

To me, the most realistic-looking fake plant is one that has dirt at its base. While you could just plop your fake plant into a pot and fill the whole thing with dirt, that could potentially be a lot of dirt and would be very messy if you ever want to change the pot or plant. Instead, follow these simple instructions.

First, start by upgrading that yucky plastic container with something beautiful that fits your design style! I personally love using baskets just for the texture, but any container that is wide enough to accommodate the plastic pot and deep enough that you can cover it will do.

If your planter has straight sides, you can simply flip it upside down on a piece of cardboard. Trace around the opening to create a circle that is the same diameter as your pot. From there, start with Step 2 below.

brown pot upside down on cardboard with hand tracing around the rim of pot

But, not all pots have straight sides, like the one I’m using here. For pots/planters that are curvy or with thick sides, use a plastic pot liner instead! With the thin plastic liners, you can bend them to fit the shape you need.

I’m using an artificial ZZ Plant and a pot I had sitting in my garage for years.

tape measuring the opening of a brown plastic pot

Step 1

Measure the opening of your pot AND the diameter at the height you want your plant to sit. The opening of mine is 11″ but further down where the plant will sit is 12″. The plastic liner is flexible so I can squeeze 12″ through the 11″ opening.

tape measure measuring around the base of the leaves of a fake plant

Step 2

Measure the circumference of your plant at the base (measure the plant, not the pot).

clear plastic pot saucer with hole cut out of center

Step 3

Select a plastic liner size nearest to the diameter of your finished opening. Cut from the outer edge to the center. Because the plastic is flexible, this cut will allow you to contract/expand the liner as needed. Cut a circle in the center matching the diameter of your plant’s leaves/stem.

fake zz plants on silver stand inside brown plastic pot

Step 4 (optional)

Determine your finished height. If your container is deep and you want to raise the height of your plant, add a base. You can use books, boxes, even Tupperware! Just make sure that whatever you use to add height is sturdy and that your plant is stable on it.

artificial zz plant in brown pot surrounded by stuffed grocery bags

Step 5

Fill in the gaps. I use grocery store bags almost always, but newspaper, tissue, bubble wrap, or any type of filler material will do!

artificial zz plant in brown pot surrounded by stuffed grocery bags with clear tray on top

Step 6

Insert your liner (or cardboard).

artificial zz plant in brown pot surrounded by stuffed grocery bags with clear tray on top and some dirt

Step 7

Add a layer of dirt to cover the liner and plastic pot.

artificial zz plant secured in a pot with dirt to look real
zz plant in a brown pot on white brick fireplace next to small lantern with blue shutter in background

But wait…

I have a cat who loves to dig. In fact, as I was setting up my photo, guess who made an appearance and just had to check out the nice new dirt I’d added!

zz plant in a brown pot on white brick fireplace next to small lantern with cat looking at plant

So I use moss about 90% of the time in my own home. I would actually prefer to use dirt because I think it looks even more realistic, but I need to be practical sometimes (just sometimes, not always!)

Potting Method 2 – For Moss

If you want to use moss or moss rocks, you can use the simplified method below! And actually, I prefer this method for large plants as well because it’s less messy than Method 1 above if you want to switch out the container.

brown clay pot with box in the bottom to use as a riser for artificial plant

Step 1 (optional)

Add a riser to your plant if you need to add height. Ensure anything you use is stable so that the plant won’t topple over.

brown clay pot with artificial plant surrounded by stuffed grocery bags

Step 2

Fill the gaps. I use grocery store bags almost always, but newspaper, tissue, bubble wrap, or any type of filler material will do!

brown clay pot with artificial plant surrounded by stuffed grocery bags and moss being added on top

Step 3

Add a layer of moss to cover the filler and plastic pot.

brown clay pot with artificial plant topped with moss to look real
artificial olive tree in the corner of living room in a clay pot with moss on top to make tree look real

Either of these methods is a super-easy way for how to secure artificial plants in pots, covering those yucky pots and making your fake plants look real! Real elements added to the mix make all the difference.

Additional Tips for Fake Plants

Also, keep the following in mind when working with fake plants or flowers:

  • Always make sure to “fluff” your fake plant once you get it home. You’ll need to bend the branches and leaves to help give it a more realistic appearance.
  • Dust, dust, dust!! Plants, real and fake, do get dusty and both need to be cleaned. So don’t forget about the leaves when dusting! Nothing says fake like a potted plant covered in cobwebs!
Yield: 1

How to Secure Artificial Plants in Pots so They Look Real!

zz plant in a brown pot on white brick fireplace next to small lantern with blue shutter in background

You can have the most beautiful, realistic fake plant and it’ll still look fake if you don’t style it properly! Here are 2 easy methods for how to secure artificial plants in pots and make your fake plant look real.

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Materials

  • Artificial plant
  • Decorative planter/pot
  • Scissors
  • Packing material (newspaper, plastic bags, etc)
  • Riser (optional)
  • Cardboard or plastic pot liner
  • Dirt or moss (depending on method)

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Hand Trowel

Instructions

    1. Measure the opening of your pot AND the diameter at the height you want your plant to sit.
    2. Measure the circumference of your plant at the base (measure the plant, not the pot).
    3. Select a plastic liner size nearest to the diameter of your finished opening. Cut from the outer edge to the center. Because the plastic is flexible, this cut will allow you to contract/expand the liner as needed. Cut a circle in the center matching the diameter of your plant’s leaves/stem.
    4. Determine your finished height. If your container is deep and you want to raise the height of your plant, add a base.
    5. Fill in the gaps. I use grocery store bags almost always, but newspaper, tissue, bubble wrap, or any type of filler material will do!
    6. Insert your liner (or cardboard).
    7. Add a layer of dirt to cover the liner and plastic pot.

Notes

  • Always make sure to “fluff” your fake plant once you get it home. You’ll need to bend the branches and leaves to help give it a more realistic appearance.
  • Dust, dust, dust!! Plants, real and fake, do get dusty and both need to be cleaned. So don’t forget about the leaves when dusting! Nothing says fake like a potted plant covered in cobwebs!

More Decorating Tips

Similar Posts