There are so many beautiful silk, latex and even plastic plants on the market today. If you don’t have a green thumb they are a perfect way to add color and warmth to your home. But if not properly cared for or regularly updated, these plants can date your home or leave a negative impression on visitors.

Lets begin with how to use artificial plants to decorate outside. Anything you put outside is at risk of being destroyed by sun and weather. The most durable and fade resistant materials for outside use are latex and plastic. I know that sounds awful , but there are some amazing garlands, shrubs and trees that you actually have to touch or smell to determine whether or not they are real. These products are perfect for areas such as a front porch that doesn’t get sun. They are also great if you are forgetful with watering your pots.

There is a house just down the street from me that has teal silk ferns on the front porch year round. Yes, TEAL! I am sure these lovely ferns were not teal when they were purchased, but after years in the sun the color has changed…for the worse! I’m sure the home owner wants to make the home look nice, but these ferns are doing the exact opposite. The ferns need to be tossed and replaced. Also, ferns for Christmas with snow all around? I don’t think so! It would be better to have an empty porch than the nasty teal ferns! Silk, plastic and latex plants and flower require little care. But that doesn’t mean you can put them on the piano, (or front porch), and forget about them. If your silks are out of sync with the season, faded or beat up it’s time for change.

In your home, each month you dust your plants and arrangements, check the color of your flowers and leaves for fading. Check for missing flowers, petals and leaves. It is amazing how much little fingers love to pluck the silk orchids in my house! It seems within 6 months of purchasing a silk orchid I end up with a pot of leaves and a long twig. Not the most attractive arrangement! Silk plants and arrangements also have a way of morphing shapes. If your silk arrangement is no longer the shape it was when purchased it may be time for a replacement. You may also take the misshapen arrangement to your local florist and have it reassembled.

The new year is a perfect time to take stock of your silk décor as well as your holiday décor. Before boxing your holiday décor make sure it is worth keeping. If your Christmas garland or wreath is faded, has exposed wire and/or is missing flowers, petals or leaves – say goodbye! You may be able to find a beautiful new wreath or garland for a song during after Christmas sales. Before you put out your ‘regular’ home décor make sure it is clean, attractive and up to date.

I have heard it said that one has only 7 seconds to make a first impression in person. I believe the same is true with your home. People form a opinion about you just by the appearance of your home – whether from the curb or the entry way. It is better to appear natural, neat, and tidy rather than dusty, out of date, faded and deformed. What are your silk plants saying about you?

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