How To Style An Artificial Indoor Tree Look More Real

Need to bring a little life to a room? Why not try a real looking faux tree? This post will show you how to style an artificial indoor tree to look more real. 

Have you ever thought about breathing a bit of life into a room in your home by adding a tree? I do not have a green thumb when it comes to indoor greenery so I’m talking about the faux variety. Today let’s talk about what to look for in a tree and how to style an artificial tree to look more real.

I recently added an artificial ficus tree to our living room and my whole room looked much nicer!

We decided to tuck the tree into a corner of our living room by a window and that gave it even more credibility!

Artificial trees have come a long way over the years with their natural looks that are very much like their real counterparts. And they often look so real it is almost an insult to call the fake trees! Now they have been elevated to the faux category!


There are a lot of reasons to buy an artificial indoor tree. Here are just a few…

  • an artificial tree does not need watering like live plants or trees
  • it will not die (a big plus for people like me who buy real plants and consider them long lasting cut flowers)
  • if you have pets, faux trees don’t drop leaves that could be harmful to them
  • you will not be spending time pruning, repotting, or sweeping up dropped leaves or spilled soil
  • they are great if you have kids or others with allergies
  • they look beautiful even in a room with low light
  • and they look good for years

There are lots of reasons to look for a faux plant to add an organic vibe to a room.

Now, let’s talk wh about what to look for in an artificial tree and how to style or “fluff” a tree so it looks very realistic.


I would consider artificial indoor trees accent home decor. Its main role is to add lots of life and an organic feel to a room. So we want it to look as real as we can! And we can help with that!

There is a big difference between artificial trees! So let’s weed out the ones that will never look good and choose the ones that are worth the $$$!

Here’s what to look for in a faux tree worth putting in your home!


When you look for an artificial tree the first thing you should look for is one that has the overall shape of the real thing.

Look for a nicely shaped tree that isn’t too bushy.


One of the most important things to look for when considering a faux indoor tree is that the leaves on the tree look real.

Make sure they are the same size and shape as ones on a real tree.

Our tree is a ficus and the leave are an excellent representation of the real plant. Some leaves are darker and fully grown and some are lighter and smaller because they look like they sprouted not long ago. This is a sign of a more realistic looking tree.

Also, the backs of the leaves have veins that mimic real leaves.

Here are a few other tips…

  • stay away from fake water droplets on leaves as well as overly glossy shiny leaves.
  • if you are worried about leaves fading in sunlight you might want to look for trees marked uv resistance.
  • today, leaves can be made from many materials like plastic, plastic with a foam coating, silk, or polyester. Look for the material that gives the leaves the most authentic look.


It’s also important to get branches, stems, and leaves that have been wired and can be bent and curved to look like a real outdoor tree.

Stay away from trees with straight stems that cannot be bent. These trees will never look realistic.

Also, choose branches that look real and have varying shapes and thicknesses. And look for trees with slimmer stems that contain well formed leaves.

We want branches to fool the decerning eye.


Another giveaway that a tree is fake is a poorly designed trunk.

Most real indoor trees have slender trunks or small clumps or splits of even more slender trunks. Look for the same when looking for a faux indoor tree.


You don’t need to be a horticulturist to style an artificial tree to look more realistic. You just need a few savvy tips that are easy to do!

Most trees come in a big box and the branches and leaves are often scrunched together close to the center.

I was surprised by how nice our tree looked right out of the box. It needed a bit of help but the branches and the leaves were in good shape.

Here are a few easy tips I used for styling our artificial tree to look more realistic.


The first thing you want to do to “fluff” your faux tree so it looks more realistic is to separate side the branches and make sure the center branch is straight. Doing this will start shaping your tree.


After you have shaped the main branches then begin at the bottom and pull the bottom branches out a bit from the trunk and shape each individual stem and the leaves.

It’s important to work around the tree as you shape it.

It’s a good idea to look at a few pictures of a real tree to determine what the branches, stems, and leaves look like.

The branches, stems, and leaves should point in several directions and not all face the same way.

Many branches come out from the main trunk on one side or the other so use that as a guide.

Work your fingers down the branch bending the wire in it and then work your fingers down to the leaves bending the wire in them also. This will give your plant a gentle curve and a natural look. You can arch some stems and branches more than others as they would look on real trees.

If you decide you don’t like the bend in the branches, stems, or leaves they can be easily straightened out and you can start over.

If you feel there are too many branches on your tree you can remove them with a pair of wire cutters. But remember you can’t put them back!

Take your time making sure each leaf looks perfect.


Work up the tree by repeating the process above. As you get to the top of your tree notice what the real tree looks like. Do the branches come away from the tree or do the top branches stay upright.

Work on bending the branches, stems, and leaves the way they naturally go.


Before you style the top of the tree decide on the front of the tree.

Style the top of the tree so it looks best facing the room.

Our ficus tree had one longer stem at the top of the tree. So I gently bent the branch to the left, still quite upright, and gently curved the stem and leaves.


The right container completes the look of a faux tree. Choose one that fits the size of the plant. Remember the Goldilocks rule: you don’t want a container too small or too big. You want to find a pot that is just right. And it’s worth trying out a few containers to find the best one for a faux tree.

The right container can also add texture to your living spaces.

Here are four popular containers for trees…

  • a large ceramic pot
  • baskets
  • a pottery planter
  • cement urn

Our tree came with a lovely pottery container that worked perfectly for its size. And instead of a covering that looked like dirt, it was covered with faux moss. A nice designer touch.


Now that you have shaped and styled your tree it’s time to give it another look and make sure it is exactly the way you want it.

Reposition branches, stems, and leaves to look pleasing, and pay special attention to the top of your plant.


Like all things in our homes, an artificial plant will get dusty. So giving your tree a regular dusting with a feather duster (my choice) or other cleaning tools like a swifter is a good idea. Just be gentle so you don’t reconfigure your tree.


There are so many different kinds of artificial trees but these are very popular right now…

  • fiddle leaf fig tree
  • ficus tree
  • palm tree
  • faux olive tree
  • faux monstera
  • traveler’s palm tree
  • areca palm tree
  • paradise palm tree

Now that you know how to choose and style an artificial indoor tree to look more realistic here are a few you might like…


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  1. I have been admiring your great room area rug for months now. Who is the manufacturer and what is the design. I think it would look great in my home.

  2. I love a good looking faux tree.The tree you chose looks very realistic.It’s a nice addition to the room.

  3. Thanks, Yvonne, for this helpful information. I’d never given thought to the possibility of perhaps cutting/trimming branches from a faux tree to make it look better. GREAT idea.

  4. Carol Wellein says:

    The pop of green looks great with your neutral colors.

  5. That tree, the way you “fluffed” it, perfect!

  6. I have been looking for a faux tree your advice was great.

  7. looks good – I may try adding one of these to our house.

  8. Love the new and refreshing faux trees that are available now. But what the heck am I going to do with all my old, dusty ficus!!?

  9. Joyce Connolly says:

    Love the look of greenery in a room! My rooms are not well lit so this will be my best option!

  10. Lucia Corwin says:

    Love the tree in your livingroom – a perfect addition. thank you for the advice in styling!

  11. Janelle Dorn says:

    I now live in Arizona in a tiny home and don’t have a place for this delightful faux tree. Any chance you could create a tall cactus?

  12. Good advice…truly makes a difference!

  13. Donna Stachulski says:

    I always thought an artificial tree would be great but never liked the idea of cleaning them. Now I like the idea of one even more with all these tips! Thanks.

  14. Faux trees and plant have come a long way. They look so nice! I love having greenery in the house.

  15. Love the idea of a faux tree, that way I can’t kill it!

  16. Great suggestions if ones home or office is not large enough to have live trees in it. Yours is the most real and beautiful I have seen and goes perfect with your decor. I prefer real but our place is too small for anything other than a very small plant. If we do upsize again, as I hope, even if just a little I would look for something similar to yours, it is so real looking and brings an outdoors feel to the room. How does one dust something well with so many leaves, to be frank…. perhaps it is something to pay someone else to do? ( laughing, but serious at same time!)

  17. Your faux tree is a great idea for those of us with mold allergies. Thanks for the tips! (Soil can have a lot of mold.)

  18. I love your new tree, I have a fiddle leaf fig tree that I had a hard time positioning the branches, I will have to give your ideas a try. Thanks!

  19. Deborah Paradis says:

    Thanks for this info!

  20. I want to use a faux tree, but I am trying to decide the best area to place it in my home.

  21. Karen Scott says:

    O I love that. Now I want one. Time to go shopping.

  22. Very nice presentation Yvonne! I bought a pony tail palm in college at the local grocery store (42 years ago) it still lives on and is now 12 feet, very easy to maintain but so heavy and cumbersome to repot indoors as we live Mid Atlantic state and too cold for outside. Faux greenery is looking real good!!

  23. Evangelina says:

    Love your detailed directions on how to style an artificial tree, thank u

  24. Julia Harris says:

    you give me some good ideas. like always. I want some trees inside the house but they die on me, they never last, even know I’m good with my plants outside

  25. Oh I am totally with you about the fake drops of water on the leaves…so not attractive! I love the pot you used for your ficus tree. it looks amazing! Once again I love your tips!


  26. Very natural looking. Great tips…thank you!

  27. Finding the perfect faux tree and the perfect $$ is always a challenge. Yours looks really nice in the ceramic pot.

  28. Yvonne, you seem to have the knack for everything!

  29. I have never been a fan of faux plants, but you might have changed my mind!

  30. Dawn Faber says:

    Very nice artificial tree. I am wondering how color fast it is due to being near a window. I have seen artificial trees fade and give themselves away as being faux. Hopefully that won’t be the case with this lovely tree, beautiful.

  31. Micaela Brundage says:

    I have never seen a fake tree that was so beautiful!

  32. Bonnie Chase says:

    I have never had a faux tree but your post has inspired me to try one. Thank you for such an enlightening, helpful post on incorporating a faux tree into our decor. I hope to have mine look as real and pretty as your does. I really enjoyed your post.

  33. Green goes great with neutral! So pretty.

  34. Love your advice on trees inside. Now I want to get a pretty tree for the bedroom!! I really like your suggestions and plan on shopping for a ficus tree. It was so real
    looking and will make my guess bedroom perfect.

  35. Where did you buy the moss you used?