Best Artificial Indoor Trees and Tips to Make Them Look Real

A round-up of the realistic looking fake indoor trees and plants, plus tricks to make them look real with budget-friendly DIY dupes.

Every corner is happier with a tree! That’s my philosophy anyway because I use indoor trees all over our house and in room makeovers we do for friends.

As much as I would love to grow real indoor trees, I haven’t quite gotten the knack of it (maybe one day when I don’t have to also focus on feeding and watering these kids running around here). So I’ve searched around over the years to find the best artificial indoor trees and discovered some tricks to make them look real.

artificial indoor tree in a dining room

Health Benefits of Having Indoor Plants

If you ever find yourself staring at a room feeling like “something is missing”. I can almost bet it’s because it’s missing a planter of leafy green branches or a vase of flowers.

But if you really want to add some drama and life, an indoor tree can wake up a room in seconds.

Studies have been linked to plants for:

Put your hand over that picture of our living room’s eucalyptus tree below. Doesn’t the room seem less lively without that dose of green dancing in the corner?

eucalyptus - best indoor tree for a living room

There are so many health benefits to having real plants and trees in your home.

But if you struggle with keeping real ones alive and prefer to go the artificial indoor tree route instead, our brains can still perceive them the same as real trees to receive similar mental health benefits. (Real trees are better for benefits like purifying the air, but artificial trees can still boost your mood.)

best indoor trees that look real

The Best Fake Indoor Trees

I’ve seen so many over the years, but these seriously are the best artificial indoor trees for a range of budgets and sizes.

Tip: If anything store-bought is completely out of your budget, try making a DIY indoor tree for $25 using a cut branch, hot glue, and fake leaves.

How to Make a Fake Indoor Tree Look Real

I’ve learned a few tricks over the years while styling our room makeovers to make a fake indoor tree look as realistic as possible.

1. Place Plastic Bases in Larger Planters

A lot of faux indoor trees are set in concrete in a small, plastic planter at the base, but a real tree of substantial height would need a large planter with room for roots and growth. So place your fake tree’s small base inside of a large planter to make it look realistic and add some extra drama.

If you tree is a little too short, you can even add old books or boxes underneath to act as a riser and give it height. Place craft moss on top to conceal the plastic planter so that it looks like the real thing.

Tip: I love the look of this designer knock-off DIY 3-ingredient stone planter!

placing a fake tree in a large planter with moss to look real

I found the large planter above for our dining room’s indoor tree at Target.

But you can usually spot large planters when decor shopping at thrift stores regularly. Just keep an eye out and see what unique vessels could work. A large basket, urn, or crate could work well too.

I found the brass planter for the fake tree in our hallway below for $14 at the thrift store.

fake tree in a hallway place in a brass planter to look real

2. Separate Branches

When you buy fake trees, the leaves are usually squashed and the branches are usually pressed together in shipping.

So take a few minutes to pull apart each stem for some separation to create a full, natural look. Try to smooth out any leaves that have been crushed so they look realistic.

separating tree stems to add fullness

3. Add an Uplight

Okay, I guess this one doesn’t really make a tree look more realistic, but it’s really really cool.

I found this remote controlled uplight you can tuck inside of your tree’s planter (I hid mine in the moss at the base) to shine up the tree’s trunk. The light can be set on a timer too. I recommend using rechargeable batteries so you don’t have to pay any extra in the long run.

adding an uplight to a fake tree with a remote

The end result creates a really cool shadow cast of leaves on the ceiling and walls at night!

spotlight at an artificial indoor tree at night

It looks like a Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel artificial tree but for the price of Target.

faux indoor tree in large planter with moss and uplight

(Shop this corner of our dining room)

I think I need like 10 more of those little uplights because they really are the coolest.

Do you have any indoor trees in your house? Are you team real or team faux? Maybe one day I’ll work up the nerve to try a real one again after my kids learn how to mostly feed themselves. 😉

More Greenery Ideas for Spring and Summer

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  1. Am I missing something? I can’t find the link to shop your artificial tree suggestions? Please help!