In my never-ending quest to add greenery to the house, I’ve been searching for realistic faux houseplants.

Are you aware what a steep mountain that is to climb?


Whoever makes faux plants should look to the real ones for inspiration.

Real plants are green, but not too green.

Shiny not overly waxy.

The leaves are different sizes.

And in all my travels over highways and byways—never, ever, ever have I seen…

…a real plant with a brown rubber branch.

Specifically, I’ve looked everywhere for topiaries.

Somewhere along the way someone decided that topiaries were the top of the plant food chain.

And priced them according.

I was looking online for a topiary similar to this and they had it listed at $75.


For a brown rubber branch?

I had given up.

And then?

I was walking through IKEA minding my own business—shopping for down inserts for my pillows and I saw these.

Don’t they look real?

Look at the leaves.

Different sizes.

Not too waxy.

And the best part?

Look at the branch stem.

It looks real.

No brown rubber branch in sight.

They were only $14.99 each.

Maybe you’ve already seen them.

Maybe you are much more brilliant than me and you are nodding your head and pointing to an IKEA topiary on your coffee table.

Maybe I should have bought a forest of these instead of just two.

All I know is my kitchen counter and I are high fiving and drinking sweet tea.

I needed refreshment.

Climbing the faux houseplant mountain can be exhausting. 🙂

PS  Thank you for all your sweet words of encouragement about the lookbook.  We gave away our entire giant collection of lookbooks in under 10 hours.  Can you even believe it?  Stay tuned for the PDF with even more bonus features (including my mom and her cranberry bread recipe).

And here’s a little topiary DIY I made on page 25 of the lookbook—be sure and check it out when yours arrives in the mail.

We were stying the kitchen and we needed a topiary and I hadn’t discovered the ones at IKEA yet.  So I just made my own.  I went to the yard and found a branch on the ground and cut a branch from a bush and wound them together with twine.  Then I put the topiary into the pot and covered it up with more leaves.  This was just a temporary fix for the photo, but the topiaries stayed green for about a week.  It would be a great idea for a party.

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  1. Image for Karen Karen

    Seriously.......PREACH on the faux stinkin' expensive for neon green leaves and plastic, strange looking stems! I've been looking high and low too and have missed the IKEA topiaries. Do you have a link for your fab find? My black thumbs thank you so much!

  2. Image for Natalie Mitchels Natalie Mitchels

    I have been on the search for realistic topiaries too. I kill almost every real plant I touch. Are these available online at IKEA? Could you share the link? Thanks!

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Love the DIY Topiary!! And, I live a few miles from IKEA so thanks for the gentle reminder to stop by and shop!! SO looking forward to the lookbook!!!

    1. Image for Heidi Heidi

      I am obsessed with topiary and have made them from burlap or silk. Just finished a chandelier topiary in a barn entrance for a wedding in Evergreen, CO. I used an air conditioning wire fan cover i pulled from a warehouse under demo and nearly 10 yards of material. I'll send a pic if I can figure how to do that!

  4. Image for karen karen

    I just threw away 3 plants. I have the blackest thumb in Arizona . I may throw in the towel ,the topiaries are very real looking. Thanks for climbing that mountain for your readers.

  5. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Wonderful-thanks!!! I did get a fern from Pottery Barn that looked pretty real...but yep paid a pretty penny for it. Will check out IKEA for sure!

  6. Image for Sue Sue

    Hmmm, I love them but looked on line in both Canada and the U.S. and I can't seem to find them. Do you have a name for them so I can maybe call? I just threw 2 away that were barely hanging on. Would love to pick these up. Thanks!!

  7. Image for

    Think I need to add Ikea to my list of things to accomplish today! Missed you at Haven this year. We were just in Charleston for spring break and I couldn't make a 2nd trip happen in July! Hoping for a regional venue to attend! Let me know if you hear of anything! xo laura

  8. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    Ikea has some really great stuff! I actually thought those were real in your pics above. Can you have to many topiaries in your home? I feel like I have a lot of greenery (topiaries included) and I don't want to look like I'm drowning in the 90's. What do you think the limit is for that sort of thing? My email says Look Book is on it's way! Woo hoo!

  9. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I, too would like to find some GOOD LOOKING faux topiaries!!!! Ni Ikea nearby:(:( I will continue my search. Yours look great!!! I am hoping Ikea has them online????

  10. Image for Joanna Joanna

    What?? I totally missed seeing these at the IKEA here in Denver. I will definitely have to make a trip back. Thanks for the great tip! Fabulous!

  11. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Oh happy day! Big hug on your lookbook,and love your topiaries! I too agree, it is no small feat to find those that look real...but you did when you weren't even looking! I love when that happens. Sadly, there is no IKEA here where I live. Do you have the link? I'm wondering if I can buy it online?

  12. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, I love that you made a topiary for the photo shoot, you are very creative, but we all knew that! Such a mountain climber! I better put on my hiking boots and get going!

  13. Image for lisa fagan lisa fagan

    Hi ...I was wondering where you got the kitchen curtain that is shown over your sink with your darling topiary in a basket:) It is beautiful! Also, were the baskets used for the topiaries at Ikea too? Thanks for always bringing a smile to my morning. Lisa

  14. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Karianne, I have 2 things to look forward to- your look book and my new sewing machine- teaching my granddaughter to sew w/me. God bless you Sherry

  15. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Ah! Thank you!!! I have asked you about your house plants before and you were so sweet to respond. I have actually bought several that match your descriptions (plastic, waxy look) but I am enjoying them anyway since I kill every single real plant I buy. I love that you said the people who make the fake ones should look at real plants for inspiration. Now, if only I had an ikea nearby.

  16. Image for Mary C Mary C

    Most every faux plant in my house is from Ikea. I think they have some of the most realistic looking ones. Especially their greenery at Christmas.

  17. Image for Bonnie Schulte Bonnie Schulte

    I have a fake tree in my house, had it for 10 years, and I was thinking maybe fake was outdated, and I should just get rid of it. I really hated to do that, because it really does look real. Well, then you posted your "very informative" post (thank you so much) and showed your adorable, real looking topiaries. which I love, love, LOVE!!! So it looks like I am going to keep my tree after all. I am in, not out, after all.

  18. Image for Cristie Cristie

    Your Amazing, thanks for goin shopping for us! If I wasn’t out of town (where there’s No IKEA!) I’d be right over there! Luv ya

  19. Image for Dee Dee

    I just have to say how much I love you! You are fun, and refreshing; sweet and real, you're just a blessing! Thanks for the info on the Ikea topiaries, what a great price! I'm so glad I was able to snag a Lookbook I can't wait to receive it! You are always full of the best ideas and you're so practical I appreciate that so much!

  20. Image for Fran Fran

    I have several pots and containers out front and I don't want to water so manufactured plants are my go to. BUT, to avoid the expense, I hit up the nicer estate sales and have found the costlier ones! I now have enough for seasonal changes and swear that each season cost less than one brand new faux plant!

  21. Image for Roxie Hardin Roxie Hardin

    LOve all your writings and decorating have been following you for many happy that I found your blog.Love your house beautiful.

  22. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I've spent a lifetime looking for real-looking fake plants. Actual real plants have a hard time staying alive in my care. They are out there, those real-looking fakeries, just like these adorable topiaries you found at IKEA! I have a friend who stopped by for coffee one day and said encouragingly about a potted plant on my end table , "That one looks like its doing well!" "That's because its not real," I said.

  23. Image for Gina Gina

    The tile is different, no? Can't wait to get my Look Book. BTW, the email and the marketing info from JC very much has your voice and I love that!

  24. Image for Holly Browning Holly Browning

    The addition of your own branch is genius and yes...I know what a steep mountain to climb to find real looking faux greens. Ugh!

  25. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Those IKEA topiaries are beautiful! I need to go check them out! AND, I need to take a few minutes to really look through the Lookbook! I didn't see that topiary you made!

  26. Image for Beth Beth

    KariAnne - I LOVE your sink!!! I did not see it on the resources page. Would you mind sharing information on it? Thank you! Beth

  27. Image for Jenifer Scherlin Jenifer Scherlin

    I have a cat that LOVES any fresh green live anything!! So, it is faux for me and IKEA is fabulous!!!💗

  28. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    I tried repeatedly to sign up for the Look Book, but the linked site kept rejecting my email address! I finally gave up and used “Contact” to write them directly to explain/plead my case! No word back … but I sincerely hope I will receive one! (My one email addy is many YEARS old, so I cannot begin to imagine the problem.) You are so funny, as usual ~ love the brown plastic trunk comment!

  29. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Thank you once again IKEA!! I do truly like you’re cute homemade topiary too. Great for a party...thanks for the idea :)

  30. Image for Michele M Michele M

    At the office where I work they had a few Ikea plants there since a few years ago, and the new girl kept watering them till we figured it out and we all laughed. YES, Ikea nailed it, as they are so apt to do. No watering necessary. ♥

  31. Image for Marilyn K Craighead Marilyn K Craighead

    My daughter and I were in Ikea yesterday and we missed them! But we also had a 1 month old and a 2 year old in tow! We are either brave or not too smart! Actually they were very good. but we were moving fast and shopping off our lists.... girls gotta do... what a girls gotta do! And those are the best topiaries I've seen!

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