Real vs. fake: should you choose real or artificial plants for the workplace?


Plants add the perfect ‘finishing touch’ to the décor in both offices and hospitals, as well as any venues that provide hospitality; think pubs, restaurants, hotels, and everything in between!

However, this isn’t just because they look pretty and add a more welcoming feel to the building; plants are also proven mood boosters, and they’ve even been found to improve concentration, and therefore your staff’s productivity.

When it comes to choosing plants for hotels, offices, and other public spaces, the first thing you’ll need to decide is whether to opt for real or artificial plants. This will involve taking into account the existing design and layout of your location, as well as your budget, and the amount of maintenance your new plants will require.

To help you make your decision, here are the benefits of artificial plants compared to the ‘real deal’…

They require less maintenance

One of the main reasons for choosing artificial plants for your premises is that they need less care and maintenance to keep them looking their very best. So, although they should still be cleaned and dusted regularly, unlike real plants they obviously don’t need to be watered, or require plant food or fertiliser.

Another advantage of using artificial plants is that they last longer than real ones; because of this, they could be a better investment for businesses on a budget. It’s a simple fact that even if your real plants are properly cared for, they’ll still lose their leaves and colour from time to time, and they’ll eventually perish and need to be replaced.

Typically, a replica plant should last between 5-10 years, so considerable savings can be made than if you were to choose real plants.

They won’t trigger hay fever and allergies

Hay fever, which is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, affects around 13 million people in the UK each year. Other allergies, such as asthma, can also be aggravated by plants; in fact, even the scent of strong cut flowers can trigger asthma symptoms. (source: Asthma UK)

Although you can reduce hay fever symptoms by choosing plants that don’t release pollen into the air (such as peonies, hydrangea, primrose, and pansies), the safest thing to do in offices, restaurants, and any other location where people will be exposed to plants for an extended period of time, is to opt for the artificial alternative.

You’re not limited by design

One of the best things about utilising artificial plants in venues for hospitality is that you can really be creative! As well as being available in a range of colours, sizes and plant types, artificial plants can also be hung upside down, placed in very inaccessible places (where you’d need an acrobat to water them) or in places with no direct sunlight.

Some projects our clients have done include placing plants in bowls, using fake grass instead of carpet, and installing living walls.

However, don’t fear if you want your plants to have a more classic and ‘authentic’ feel; artificial plants can also be made to be very realistic, and are often mistaken for the real thing.

They’re able to boost mood and morale

Having plants in the workplace has been proven to boost employees’ productivity and morale, as well as their general health and well-being. This is particularly due to the fact that plants reduce CO2, dust, bacteria and mold levels (which cause headaches and other unpleasant symptoms).

However, although artificial plants aren’t able to filter the air like real plants can, they still have a very positive effect on morale. This is because just looking at plants and pictures of natural landscapes can improve mood and concentration levels!

Additional benefits of artificial plants

The benefits of artificial plants