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Making the most of artificial plants

Dated-05 Mar 2013 

If you are planning to beautify your home or offices using plants, then artificial plants are the best choice, they require low maintenance and have largely improved in design over the past decades.

Today’s artificial plants, trees and flowers are very realistic looking and even have ‘real-touch’ feel and ‘imperfections’. There are now a large amount of artificial plant designs available, that 20 years ago would have been impossible to manufacture, such as - ‘real-touch’ orchids, ivies and hanging plants, kurrajongs palms, bonsais, Yucca trees and much more. In recent years, due to advance technology in the manufacturing process, the quality and colour of artificial flora has become an innovative and creative process. Always evolving and technically challenging, as designers come up with more complex ideas to replicate the natural stunning beauty of flowers and plants.

If you are looking for artificial plants, you might want to consider the following:

1. Artificial foliages are made from a wide array of textile fabrics, the most common being polyester because of the lower cost. Chiefly though, polyester fiber has a greater life span and reacts positively to the fabric dye used for leaf colour. It is well suited for the heat process applied in the molding of leaf shape as well as the glues and wires used to stabilize and hold the shape. The polyester foliage can also be latex coated, which enhances the ‘real-touch’ effect.

2. Real trunks/branches:
Artificial trees partly constructed from organic materials (such as real tree trunks, branches and bark) have artificial leaf stems inserted into the wood. They are usually not recommended for outdoor use. Climatic elements as well as other outdoor factors easily affect them (they are organic after all!). Even indoors, attention needs to be paid as humidity can cause mould if left unattended. Real trunks and branches are mostly inflexible - you cannot bend or adjust to shape.

3. Synthetic trunks/branches
Most artificial tree trunks and branches are constructed from PU and/or PVC which allow them much more flexibility and long term durability. PU trunks may use PVC tubing inside to hold the shape and for stability, or steel wiring so they can be easily bended. Branches have steel wiring inside which also makes them easy to bend and shape. PU and PVC trunks are becoming the more popular choice because of the authentic look and feel and overall lower maintenance. These materials are also recommended for outdoor use as they are not easily damaged or subject to inclement weather.

Finally, whether your artificials are inside or outside, be sure to dust the leaves once a month, and/or use a Silk Floral Spray cleaner. The polymers used in modern artificials will lose moisture over a period of years, and the conditioners in Silk Floral Spray cleaners will help keep the leaves supple. There are several on the market. They are inexpensive and will help keep your lovely silks in top condition.