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Tell the Quality of Artificial Plants
There are a lot of artificial plants on the market that are excellent quality and there is a lot out there that is pure junk. So how do you know the difference? Where are are a few determining factors that will help guide you in the selection of silk plants of quality:
  • How is the plant constructed. Check out the fine details. Tug a big on some of the leaves and see if they come off easily.
  • The amount, size, color, quality and realism of the leaves, trunks or stalks also makes a difference. Quality plants will be true to nature's colors, not too bright and not too strong. The colorization of the petals of the flowers will graduate from one color into another and not be a flat color throughout the petal.
  • Look at how realistic the plant or tree is designed, constructed and shaped out. Cheaper varieties may look great from one angle but be very thin from another angle. Turn the plant around and inspect it from all sides.
  • The use of the correct size and how large the nursery container is. Knowledge of scale is important here. You want to make sure your planter fully supports the plant and is in good scale for the size of the plant itself.
  • All of these factors determine a plants value, quality and longevity. Don't choose your plants based on price. Look for quality and spend a little more to get it. You'll be happier with it in the long run which will far outweigh the extra cost on the front end.
How to Pot Your Plants Successfully
Consider potting your own plants, especially if you are ordering over the internet. You can save a lot of money in shipping costs by buying your pots locally. Unpotted and unshaped plants cost less, but you have to do more work to get them ready to display in your home. Here's a brief guide on "How to pot the plant". Decisions on what to do are pretty much dictated by the size and style of the plant, where you're going to place it, and the style of your home.
  1. I find the best way is to pot first into a black plastic nursery pot (just like you would do if you had a live plant), tape up the holes, mix in some weight (such as rock, stone, brick) and use an expanding foam (which can be found in home improvement stores). Then you can put the plant into the decorative container of your choice, be it ceramic, metal, wood or wicker. This keeps the plant separated from the decorative pot and a larger (the proper) size nursery pot can be used. Many people tend to choose pots that are too small to save money. Don't do that. It's important to fully support the plant visually in every way.
  2. You can also pot directly into a decorative pot if you wish. If you are potting into a wicker basket with a plastic liner, just make sure to tape up any holes before putting in expanding foam with rock, stone or brick. This method is great because it allows you to pick up the plant and the pot as one unit which makes it easy and far less messy.
  3. Cement or plaster can be used as a potting medium. Cement or plaster is for adding a lot of weight when potting the plant into a smaller pot than is normally used, plants going into windy or high traffic locations and when a palm trunk curves way out. A few products like some of the topiary styles come from the factory already potted into a small nursery pot filled with cement. These are put into the larger decorative pot, then filled with pine or cedar bark nuggets, dried moss. To add even more weight, use decorative stone.

NURSERY  POTS

Below is the size of typical black plastic nursery pots. This is important in choosing new decorative pots or fitting into a decorative pot you already own. This information is needed when decorative pots are not cylinder shaped such as clay, fishbowls, urns.

POT  SIZE HEIGHT TOP WIDTH BOTTOM  WIDTH
   5"       4.5"    4.5"      3.5"
   6"   5"    5.5"      4.5"
   7"   7"    6.5"      5.5"
   9"   8"    8.5"   7"
10"        9.25" 10.5"   9"
12"      11.25"  12"            9.75"
14"    12.5"   15"            11.75"
17" 15" 16.5"     13.5"
19" 16"   19.75"     14.5"
26"    17.5" 24.5"  19"
30"    19.5" 27.5"     19.5"

Quick Links to July Newsletter
Lighting for House Plants
How to Select House Plants
How to Decorate with House Plants
How to Water Garden and Landscape Plants
How to Water House Plants
Caring for House Plants
Master List of Decorating Tips
July's Newsletter (2005)
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