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Bring the Outdoors In: Our Favorite real & Faux Indoor Plants & Stems for Decor

The Style & Structure design team loves using plants and floral arrangements to add warmth, texture, and vibrancy to interior spaces. While living plants can sometimes be tricky to maintain, faux stems allow you to achieve a similar look without the upkeep. Read on for our team's current favorite indoor plants for decorating along with where to find realistic faux stems to complement them.

Fiddle Leaf Fig -

With its oversized, vibrant green leaves, the fiddle leaf fig tree makes a dramatic statement in any room. We love incorporating these in entryways, living rooms, and bedrooms. While mature real fiddle leaf figs can grow quite large, you can find more compact varieties perfect for accenting corners. For faux versions, nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, we recommend the stems from Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. Fig trees are a hard one to replicate, because of the tree trunk, so skimping on this one is not a good idea.

living room design with plants
Style & Structure living room with real Fiddle Leaf Fig

Snake Plant -

The snake plant, also sometimes referred to as mother-in-law's tongue, filters air while asking very little in return when it comes to care. With tall, rigid leaves patterned in shades of green, yellow, and white, it fits in seamlessly with current modern and contemporary design trends. Place them in floor pots for an architectural element. For faux snake plants, the stems from West Elm offer unbelievable realism. We also have had great luck with scouring places like Home Goods and T.J. Maxx. The snake plant is a little easier to replicate than other plants we have noticed.

We also have a great guide on how to care for your snake plant by Martha Stewart.

Maidenhair Fern -

Delicate maidenhair ferns offer lovely fine textures perfect for shelving, mantels, and tabletops. Their trailing tendrils can also beautifully spill out of hanging baskets. As one of our more challenging houseplants to grow, realistic faux options allow you to achieve the look without the maintenance. Both Pottery Barn and West Elm have really realistic ones, but one of our favorites is the Studio McGee drop in that can go into any pot.

Monstera -

Known for its iconic split leaves, the monstera plant has been surging in popularity. We like to use its large showy foliage to create an urban jungle vibe in living spaces and offices. Monstera is also an air purifying plant and can help filter out common pollutants. For faux monstera stems, the selection from West Elm offers different sizes for various design needs.

Aloe Vera -

Known for its healing properties, aloe vera is an easy to grow succulent that can thrive indoors on sunny windowsills. We love the unique texture aloe's fleshy spiked leaves provide when incorporated into arrangements with other plants. Aloe is also believed to bring positive energy into living spaces. For quality faux aloe options, the aloe stems from CB2 accurately replicate the distinctive details of the real thing.

Click on the image below to see how to take care of your plant.

Succulents -

Succulents are popular for indoor spaces because they are low maintenance and come in gorgeous shapes, sizes, and colors. Their funky forms, such as the Echeveria and Aeonium, provide eye-catching textures contrasted with smoother leaves. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, many succulents are also easy to propagate for DIY projects. For realistic faux succulents, we love the arrangement at Williams Sonoma. Their artificial stems capture the diversity succulents offer when looking to incorporate these plants into arrangements with unique silhouettes. But if that is too spendy for you, we recommend trying your green thumb at the real thing. They are super easy to care for, and just might be the perfect pnat for you!

succulents on a window

Eucalyptus -

Prized for its fragrant silver dollar foliage, the eucalyptus plant has become a staple in fresh flower arrangements and bouquets. But did you know it also makes a lovely addition to interior spaces as well? We love using eucalyptus stems and trees of all sizes to incorporate organic texture into wall installations and table centerpieces. For stellar faux eucalyptus, the seeded eucalyptus stems from Afloral are beautiful sprigs perfect for designs needing delicate detailing. One of our favorite Eucalyptus trees is from Pottery Barn.

Eucalyptus tree in bedroom
Eucalyptus Tree

Birds Nest Fern -

The birds nest fern is aptly named for its unique fountain-like shape resembling a bird's nest. We enjoy incorporating these as eclectic stand alone pieces or mixing them into large arrangements. Birds nest ferns are also pet safe which is a bonus. The Bird’s Nest is a lower-maintenance fern that does great as a houseplant. When growing indoors, these fronds can reach up to two feet in length. This plant thrives in indirect sunlight, loves humidity...try them in your bathroom!

For quality faux options, the stems from Michaels are pretty good, but once again, this plant is low maintenance, so try your green thumb with this one.

Birds Nest Fern in a kitchen with open shelves
Birds Nest Fern

Italian Ruscus -

Also known as Italian laurel, this unique plant has clustered green leaves that closely line its curving woody stems, giving an appearance some liken to twisting vines. We enjoy incorporating Italian Ruscus stems in arrangements to provide visual interest and an almost sculptural element. The varying heights also make it suitable for both floor vases and countertop displays. If looking to achieve the look without frequent watering, the faux eucalyptus Italian ruscus stems from Afloral offer unbelievable realism true to the living plant.

Bundle of 3 Dried Natural Pampas Grass:

This is one of our favorite stems to decorate with from Afloral. Beautiful and perfectly neutral tan natural dried pampas grass is the key to elevate your home decor with the feeling of nature. Style it alone in a tall vase or add plumes to any floral arrangement to create dimension. Product may need 5-7 days to fluff. Set your pampas near a sunny window for a few hours, it helps it to fluff and dry.

  • 40-48" Tall

  • Plumes, 24-30" Tall x 5-7" Wide

  • 3 Stems per Bundle

  • Dried

  • Styled in white jug with 12 stems (and they are on sale!)

At Style & Structure, we aim to incorporate greenery into every interior space we design. Plants provide so many benefits beyond just aesthetic appeal, including air purification and increased oxygenation. Being located in Stillwater, MN, we are lucky enough to be located in the “Land of Lakes” where beautiful nurseries are everywhere.

Our favorite local gem for sourcing both indoor potted plants and cut stems is Mother Co. Plants in Minneapolis, MN. Their incredible selection makes finding perfect accent plants for each client project effortless. From flowering orchids to trailing ivy to tall palms, they offer rare tropicals along with classics at reasonable prices.

The knowledgeable staff at Mother Co. Plants also provides thoughtful recommendations tailored exactly to each space based on factors like sunlight exposure and room use. For local readers, we highly recommend stopping by their greenhouse to see what inspires you. The way the warmth of terracotta pots and exposed beams combines with lush greenery to instantly impart serenity mirrors our design vision.

Bringing elements of nature into residential and commercial spaces creates an organic, inviting environment for inhabitants. Whenever possible, we specify live plants for our clients. And when tricky lighting situations or maintenance limitations come into play, quality faux stems allow us to still achieve breathtaking plant installations. No matter which route makes the most sense for the space, incorporating plants into interiors has immense benefits for both aesthetics and wellbeing. Our passion lies in creating beautiful, functional spaces where people and plants harmoniously coexist.

modern dining room with house plants

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