There is a common misconception that artificial plants can resist any environmental conditions but the truth is that they need to be protected if you want them to last. Sun and frost can damage artificial plants, just as they are harmful to most regular plants. If you want to know how to protect artificial plants outside, read our comprehensive guide with bulletproof methods.
Table of Contents
- Are All Artificial Plants Designed for Outdoor Use?
- What Can Happen to Artificial Plants Outside?
- How to Protect Artificial Plants Outside?
- Related Questions
- Final Thoughts
Are All Artificial Plants Designed for Outdoor Use?
Some fake plants and trees cannot be used outside due to their delicate nature. Certain forms of foliage can resist severe weather since they were created from a variety of materials such as plastic, silk, and polyblends. Only those that are specifically designated as being suited for outdoor use are suited for such a scenario.
They use technology that makes them resistant to fading, which stops them from losing their color when placed in outdoor places. There is no need to worry about the harsh heat, water, wind, or snow causing the color of outdoor artificial foliage to fade because it can be used in external places.
Long story short: artificial plants designed for indoor use are likely not outdoor resistant. However, you can buy artificial plants with UV protection that are fade-resistant when exposed to the sun.
What Can Happen to Artificial Plants Outside?
Artificial plants can be used outside, but that does not make them impenetrable to the elements. Even the most weather-resistant outdoor materials will eventually become brittle, fade, crack, and wilt after prolonged exposure to the elements.
You can anticipate a lifespan of two or three months out of your artificial plants if they are crafted from weather-resistant silk. After that point, it will be time to replace them.
Whether or not the synthetic material that your artificial plants are constructed of has been UV-treated is key in determining how long they will endure. These are usually made from rayon, polyester, or plastic.
Aside from their colors fading in the sun, some artificial plants can also suffer water damage. Those that are too lightweight can also be blown away by the wind.
How to Protect Artificial Plants Outside?
Applying a spray that is resistant to UV rays is the most efficient method for preventing damage to artificial plants caused by exposure to sunlight outside. To provide the plants with the highest possible level of defense, liberally apply UV spray to all plant components. For the best possible results, it is sometimes a good idea to put plants in vases before applying the spray to them.
The Scotchgard Sun and Water Shield spray is one of the best products to use if you want to add some UV-resistant coating to your plants.
It is a special spray that adds a waterproof coating to all kinds of surfaces, so you can use it on more than your artificial plants. It also works for tarps or patio furniture. It doesn’t have an odor when it dries and works on materials such as suede, leather, and even fabrics.
2. Place Them in a Heavy Pot
Another potential problem with placing artificial plants outdoors is that some of them can easily be tipped over by the wind. To avoid this, place your plants in a heavy pot and add weight to them.
For instance, you can use loads of tiny rocks to make the base of the plant heavier. You can find these rocks almost anywhere, so you don’t have to pay for them. Just put them inside the pot to add more weight to the plant, making winds less of a problem.
Based on the aforementioned idea that it’s useful to add more weight to the pot to prevent the wind from knocking over the plant, canopy weights are a great solution if you’re not really hyped about gathering rocks.
Products like the ABCCANOPY weights are actually fabric sleeves with a waterproof coating that allows you to conceal certain materials that can be included to add weight to the pot. You can fill them with water bottles or sand; they are considered a more aesthetic solution to covering the weights inside the pot.
Made from polyester fabric, these canopy weights can also be used to stabilize outdoor umbrellas or pop-up tents. Each bag can hold up to 28 pounds, and the filling is not included.
4. Tie the Tree Down
You can use string rope or a clear fishing line to tie the tree to a nearby fence or furniture. You want to use something thin and almost invisible because regular twine or rope would look weather in aesthetic.
I would advise against this method if you have pets that could chew through the line or children that run around and could be harmed by an almost invisible fishing line.
If you want to use this method of securing the plant, make sure the line isn’t stretching over a long distance and the plant is tied as closely to the fence or furniture.
5. Store the Tree Away During Bad Weather
Strong gusts and persistent rain are typically the two most significant dangers that storms pose to your artificial plants.
The rain itself is not normally a problem, but if there is an excessive amount of it in a short period, the soil and plant containers will become saturated with water. If the stem of your artificial plant is made of natural wood, it will momentarily soak up water.
When the weather gets better, the stem drying out won’t have any problems. However, the damp stem is more likely to break if it is subjected to vigorous wind forces at the same time.
The overturning of artificial trees is another possibility when strong winds are present. This may cause the stems to break and may also cause damage to the leaves.
A good approach is to relocate any fake plants that are in danger of being damaged. It will significantly lower the risk if you can relocate them to a garage, shed, or other protected location.
6. Store the Tree Away During the Winter
There are a lot of fake plants and flowers out there, and a lot of them are made out of plastic. If the temperature drops below freezing, the plastic is likely to end up brittle and will eventually break.
You might want to think about purchasing a shelf that is solely dedicated to the purpose of storing your outdoor plants over the winter. There are many wonderful choices available for the storage of plants. Consider purchasing plastic storage drawers or a plant stand with storage space.
You can even use outdoor winter furniture covers to protect the plants in the winter.
Artificial plants have their unique set of upkeep requirements, the majority focused on getting rid of dirt and dust. The synthetic materials that are used to make artificial plants frequently function as a magnet for airborne particles, which causes dust and other particles to build on and stain your artificial greenery.
If possible, try wiping down the plants once a week with hot water and mild dish soap. There are other products you can try. For example, if artificial plants are made from silk, you can use a special silk plant cleaner.
Can You Use WD-40 to Clean Artificial Plants?
It’s possible to use WD-40 to clean your artificial plants. If you want your plants to have nice and shiny leaves, simply spray a little bit of WD-40 and wipe them with a clean cloth. Note that this only works on artificial plants.
Can IKEA Fake Plants Go Outside?
Certain IKEA fake plants, like the FEJKA, are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. So yes you can use IKEA artificial plants outside, be aware some are not designed for outdoor use and may require more care. Apply UV and water spray protection, but more importantly store them away from the really bad weather!
How Long Should You Expect an Artificial Plant to Last Outside?
The lifespan of an artificial outdoor plant depends on the material it’s made from and the measures you’ve taken to keep it protected for as long as possible. The typical lifespan of a silk plant, for instance, is between 2 to 3 months, but artificial UV coating and proper maintenance can make it last longer.
Now that you know how to protect artificial plants outside, it’s time to look at some of the faux plants that would be suitable for your garden or patio. Remember that even fake plants require the occasional care, especially since you want the foliage to be nice and shiny.
Read our related articles:
- 10 Best Tall Outdoor Artificial Trees
- 9 Ways to Cool Down Artificial Grass in the Summer
- 5 Best Artificial Grass Options for Your Backyard
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.