I put fake flowers outside. Not even lying to you.

Friends, I’m about to blow your mind. As much as I positively love gardening in my containers every year, there are a few flower pots that I’ve had it with. Some of my container planters just hate whatever I put in there! Maybe it’s the lack of water that I can get them, or the full sun or the black planters but flowers continually shrivel and die. I’m tired of redoing these planters all summer long! I am admitting to cheating and planting fake flowers outside in certain places. Yes, outdoor artificial landscaping is my new jam. No, I don’t use fade-resistant flowers everywhere (I truly do love my garden and real flowers) but using UV silk flowers in certain places is making my life easier. I challenge you to notice they are even artificial flowers!


Tips to using Outdoor Artificial Landscaping

Use sparingly and carefully. Just like mixing inexpensive home decor with higher end pieces, or an expensive sweater with super cheap shoes, the whole look needs to blend seamlessly. So no, I don’t use silk flowers outside exclusively. Pick and choose where to place them so nobody will be able to tell the difference between real and fake!

Mix the flowers in a very organic style. This is not the time for perfectly arranged floral arrangements. You want the plants to look natural. Mix varieties and intertwine the branches so they look like they’ve grown into each other Also, allow them to trail naturally. These silk flowers are an easy diy as long as you make it look like the earth grew them and abandon perfection! I started with the soil that was in there from last year. In this case, roots from the previous year work in your favor. Old soil is thick and will grip the UV plants better so they stay put.

I stuck in each plastic plant in the symmetrical way I would have planted real flowers, however I was careful to put them in at varying heights because this would help create the illusion that certain plants had grown up, and some wider just like real ones would have. Then I bended the branches in a variety of directions.

Lastly, I took my hands and tousled each bunch to mess them up. Just like you would do to your hair if you were trying to fluff it!

Type of Silk Flowers to Buy

There are special artificial flowers that are meant for outside. They are fade resistant. If you can, buy UV resistant to help them look better throughout the season. The boxwood and filler plants are plastic, which allow them to better handle Mother Nature.

My Favorite Place to shop UV proof Beauties online

where is the best place to buy fake flowers


All of these UV flowers get excellent reviews. The boxwood isn’t UV but tucked under a porch it will do so well. I have several that are holding up beautifully! I also love both the indoor artificial flowers and the outdoor plants sold by Afloral!

Pool flowers by the spa for gorgeous pink and green color.
Plastic boxwoods and silk azalea plants used in black flower container by pool spa.
Faux silk flower
Silk White Geraniums in tall black container.
Faux white geraniums
Using all white flowers in a container garden.
geraniums mixed with ivy.

Materials I Used

  • 18″ boxwood bush – 3 for each spa container.
  • Water resistant silk azalea – at least 3 for a small container. More for larger size pots.
  • Trailing petunias.
  • Artificial Geranium bushes in white – I used about 7 in my balcony container.
  • Plastic mini Boxwood pick – I adore these. I used 3 in each pot by the spa but wish I had bought more for the other containers.
  • Plastic rosemary greenery. A great filler. Get a few for each pot.
  • UV Protected Plastic Spathiphyllum Plant in Green – 33″, I used these tall plants in the fireplace containers.
  • Artificial Ivy Leaf Hanging Bush in Variegated Green – 22″ long. These are much shorter than I thought they would be so plan accordingly.
Afloral Fake Hydrangea Kitchen Frontgate Vase 2020-13

Learn to Create this Beautiful Arrangement with Silk Flowers!

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  • Kendall
    March 5, 2018

    Such a genius idea! Thanks for sharing girl!

    • Kelly
      March 12, 2018

      I’m so glad you liked it! Do you think you’ll use some this year?

  • Mary
    March 13, 2018

    It never occurs to me to use faux flowers outside. I guess I always thought of those cheap plastic red geraniums of years past. It makes perfect sense to use them since the sun can be brutal here in the summer. Thanks for the tips and a great idea!

    • Kelly
      March 14, 2018

      Hi Mary! Faux flowers have come along way. Yes, some can look plasticy, and some of the plants I used are plastic. I think it’s all about how you arrange them and where you place them. I’ve been really happy so far – and in some locations with brutal sun they are a life (or plant?) saver! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Heather
    April 16, 2018

    How do you prevent the wind from blowing them out of the pots?

    • Kelly
      April 17, 2018

      Good question and one I need to get back to you after living with them for a season. We had a big thunderstorm the other day and I did see some flowers in the pool the day after. But 6 other pots were very unaffected. The one planter that had missing flowers was the most exposed to the wind and elements. But I have found that planting them in old dirt that has a lot of old roots worked best because it gave them a good base to secure the flowers. Maybe you could even use one of those floral foam balls to stick them in and then put rocks on top of it to hold them down? Just a thought?

      • Heather
        April 18, 2018

        Thanks for the feedback! I think I’ll try the foam ball and some pea gravel.

        • Kelly
          April 20, 2018

          Awesome – let me know!!! I’ll update my post end of summer to see what I learned from doing this for the first time!

  • Cathy Wolfe
    April 28, 2018

    OMG….I just left a comment on your knee debacle because I’m going thru the same thing with my broken leg and it’s horrible.. then I read more of your blogs and I found you use fake flowers outside and I do too… I always have!!! Fake and real and nobody can tell the difference…. as a matter of fact the house we was renting years ago, the landlord had to come over and touch my flowers because he couldn’t believe that they were fake because I plant them like I would plant real flowers… it was hilarious because the maintenance man told him that they were fake and he didn’t believe it so he came over and touched them, he was like you do have fake flowers,they look so real.I have so many compliments on my flower arrangements and my backyard and I just stumbled onto this and it’s like amazing….I think I love you!!! ❤

    • Trish
      May 15, 2018

      Cathy Wolfe – where do you buy your artificial flowers?
      Thank you!

      • Kelly
        May 22, 2018

        Hey Cathy! These are from AFloral.com. There is another post on my website where I also used their real-touch flowers indoors. The real touch flowers are equally amazing. Afloral is a great company with excellent customer service!

      • Cathy Wolfe
        July 10, 2018

        I buy most of my flowers at the Dollar Tree!!! They are very cheap and look amazing!! Hobby Lobby and sometimes Michael’s, when they are on sale.

        • Kelly
          July 19, 2018

          Great tip! Yes, I use Michaels, too. Afloral has gorgeous real touch flowers though for indoors where people will be up close and personal with them! So many people stop to touch them! Ha!

  • Vicki
    May 3, 2018

    I live in a townhouse and cannot plant in the ground. I am putting up a lattice how can I make faux floweres look good on it.

  • Karen
    May 4, 2018

    I’ve done this at our cottage to make it look like we are there. Though I’m not a big red fan I’ve used red geraniums I’m going to switch mine up this year I’d love your combinations, absolutely beautiful! I’m even going to do it here at home this year very cost-effective. I feel terrible at the end of the growing season here in Michigan when I have to dispose of these and they’re still blooming. By the way I love your long dress or robe it’s beautiful. May I ask where you made the purchase

  • Corine Cuvelier
    May 4, 2018

    Love it! I live in smokin’ hot AZ and there are very few plants that look decent through the summer. This post will be a game changer in opening my mind. I have already used faux succulents in the front entry and now you have inspired me to expand. Thanks!

    • Lynn Scheinoha
      June 5, 2019

      Faux succulents are the best ! No one knows there’re not real. The trick is to not buy really cheap! Spend a little more at AFloral.com and you’ll be happy ! I got some beautiful white geraniums, mixed with ivy leaf vines, and they are gorgeous ! We are gone on weekends to a cottage, and I do this both places, because we aren’t there to water in the heat of the summer! Real flowers end up all dying! This is a great solution.

  • Stacey Torres
    May 29, 2018

    I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now also. I have been a proficient gardener for almost 20 years, but in the last 5, due to illness and new limitations, I can’t physically. The original garden has become overgrown and out of control, so, I’m in the process of working on that. I can’t afford it though lol … I’m an original starving artist, and sometimes paying a lawn guy, etc. is just out of the question. But, in the meantime, I’ve supplemented a few of my perennials with very small faux flowers here and there, and it’s made a huge difference. I don’t mind ditching them at the end of the season, because I only get excited about what to “plant” next year. Thank you for sharing!

  • Cait D
    July 19, 2018

    So, so, so glad I found this blog post. Have been toying with the idea of using faux plants in my front porch’s hanging baskets and pots for awhile now. I love to garden but the heat waves and drought conditions that hit southern NJ can turn a luscious potted plant into a dead stick within 12 hours.

  • Heidi Bookenstock
    July 20, 2018

    Silk flowers are so pretty and look so real! I’ve thought about putting them outside before but was worried that they would show too much wear and tear. I had no idea there is a specific type of silk flower you can buy that is meant to go outside.

  • Paula
    October 20, 2018

    Hi Kelly, I’m completely clueless about all this, also I kill everything except succulents, so I’m thrilled to find you! I have a new apartment with a small patio, and would love to put something like what you have in the window boxes I bought. Can I use the same beautiful combinations as you have? They will be on the railing. Any input is greatly appreciated!

    • Kelly
      November 15, 2018

      Hey, Paula! I’m glad you found my blog, too! I think you could totally do that in window boxes. The geraniums are far and away my favorite. They look super real and would look great in a window box! I would go with that and some simple greenery! Let me know how it turns out!

  • Linda
    January 13, 2019

    Hi Kelly. I am so glad that I came across your blog. Have you worked with the Artificial Lavender Bush in Purple from Afloral? It doesn’t say it’s UV protected, but it is for outdoor use.

    • Kelly
      January 13, 2019

      Hey, Linda! I’m glad you found my blog as well! I’ve never tried their lavender bush. I will say I prefer the plants that stand up more than ones that hang like petunias. Sorry I can’t be more help – haven’t tried it!

  • Stacy
    January 29, 2019

    How did your flowers hold up? Are you going to be able to reuse them or is it a one year thing?

  • Linda E Evans
    March 3, 2019

    I am so happy to have found your website — everything looks great. A friend of mine started mixing real greenleaf plants with artificial indoors and until she told me I would not have known. So I was thinking of using artificial flowers and green mini shrubs outdoors but avoiding the usual artificial flowers I see in some outdoor window boxes. I have spent a lot of time and money on real flowers outdoors and although I give it a lot of time — the results are fair to dismal. I am going to start looking at the artificial ones at Michaels first and then try what you have used (afloral.com). I am actually feeling hopeful this time – yeah !!!

  • Joyce Lucak
    April 11, 2019

    I use artificial plants & florals in all my hanging baskets for the last three years and still going strong. They face south and under the porch overhang. I change with the season as well. I store them by hanging in the garage during ‘off’ seasons. Pretty even during off seasons. Also did large container which sat in the open elements. Stored during winter season. Three years later, some color flowers were slightly faded and replaced with more intense color. This year, it sits on the porch.

  • Jackie Burns
    May 19, 2019

    For those who are using artificial outside, can you please recommend what to do to keep the plants secure in a planter. If the wind blows, some of mine are in the back yard.

    • Kelly
      May 23, 2019

      I would recommend using styrafoam (or the kind you buy at a craft store) and placing the flowers in that way. Then you can either glue in the foam or weight it down with rocks!

  • Val
    June 2, 2019

    Thank you! I have used faux flowers and stems for years over the winter and string – even made my own forsythia by buying Dollartree yellow flowers and gluing them onto branches. But your planters are amazing! My daughter-in-law, who couldn’t keep a planter alive if she tried, asked me to find how to make some planters for her new house with fake flowers. So thank you for the inspiration!

  • Mary
    June 28, 2019

    How do I keep the flowers from getting flooded if heavy rain. It’s not under any cover . I put into a pot with foam a brick some potting soil and moss from Michael’s. The pot has no holes in bottom I dont want a muddy mess when it rains.???

    • Kelly
      July 7, 2019

      Well…I can’t say I have a perfect answer for this, but it’s not unlike when you’re planters get flooded and soil runs all over the place and you have to top it off. Mine survived a whole summer outside – they did eventually get UV wear in their color, but I didn’t find the rain to be a problem!

      • Leslie
        May 14, 2020

        Do you use styrofoam and rocks to hold the plants in place? I just want to make sure styrofoam will hold up if it rains. Thanks!

        • Kelly
          July 20, 2020

          Both! I actually think in this planter I have styrofoam with real dirt on top to make it look more real. Both work beautifully. Styrofoam is always a good option since it lets you reuse it!

  • NurseSusy
    October 22, 2019

    I plan to start the faux flower pots with fall mums. Buying fall mums every fall adds up, so I am going to find faux mums and make them into pots and store them off season. Thanks for this website

    • Kelly
      October 27, 2019

      Oh, awesome! Let me know how the mums look! I haven’t used those before!

  • Wendy Charnell
    December 14, 2019


    • Kelly
      December 22, 2019

      I have everything linked and listed! Were you able to see it?

  • green grass
    January 6, 2020

    Its very good blog.Thanks for sharing such great information for me. I hope you will share some more information about Please keep sharing!

    حديقة اصطناعية

  • The Brides Bouquet
    January 19, 2020

    Is there any other way to make a silk flower bouquet more attractive?

  • The Brides Bouquet
    February 5, 2020

    Great article and pics. I liked it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Victoria Tosto
    March 22, 2020

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing…. I have one question. I read somewhere that if you put Armor All on UV outdoor plants it will protect even more from the sun damage and fading?

    • Kelly
      March 25, 2020

      I have heard that rumor but I’ve never tested it! Let me know if you try it, would love to know!

  • Lois Orton
    April 5, 2020

    Kelly, You are so talented! This is the 3rd or 4th time I have looked at your site. Iam going to try to copy some of your ideas. You have created amzing results. No one would know these are not real flowers.

    • Kelly
      July 20, 2020

      Oh wow, thanks Lori! Did you ever end up using silk flowers outside?!

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