If you talk to anyone that lives in New England, they will tell you that Spring just forgot to show up this year. Winter overstayed (as it always does) and Summer has been desperately trying to push through, but for every 80 degree day we get, its followed by a 50 degree day. Oh yeah, and its raining all the time. The only thing I can do is look at pretty flowers and hope that they will stick around once Mother Nature stops having mood swings. While I always prefer fresh flowers when possible, the reality is that depending on where you live and your budget, it may not always be an option! So I'm going to say something that interior decorators and home stagers alike would strongly disagree with- it's okay to buy fake flowers!
Fake flower arrangements can be great for filling space during times when you can't get to the store for a fresh bouquet. They are always in full bloom, and you can be sure you're getting the exact size and type of flower that you want for your space. My house gets very dry in the winter, so even when I do buy fresh flowers, I struggle to make them last as long as when I can have the fresh summer air circulating throughout. In short, we are in a "fake it until the warmer weather makes it" situation. While fake flowers are low maintenance there are a few things that I have found helpful to keep my fakies vibrant and realistic looking. They only take a few seconds (because let's be honest what's the point of fake flowers if you have to do extra work) and they make a huge difference in the look and lifetime of the flowers.
1. Dust them. I know this seems obvious to some, but many people forget that fake flowers can accumulate a ton of dust. Give them a periodic once over with a feather duster. Take a smaller duster (similar to one you would use for a keyboard) and use that to get in between petals and in areas that a surface dusting wouldn't pick up. It only takes a few minutes, but all you need is a little dust to completely give away the fact that the flowers aren't real.
2. Real flowers LOVE sunlight! Fake flowers? Not so much. I lost many a tulip to sun fading. After a little research I was super excited to find out that there is actually a UV-resistant spray for faux florals. Give your arrangements a quick spritz and let them dry fully before placing them in direct sunlight. I have found it makes a significant difference in the color. To that end, try not to put them in direct sunlight. This goes a long way too!
3. Clean them. You have a few options here. Good old soap (just a few drops) and water is always good if you have a little bit of extra time. If not, I use a solution of vinegar and warm water. Whichever you choose, make sure you let them dry thoroughly after. I honestly don't do this all the time, mostly when I'm changing seasonal decor. In between I dust and spray. You can use a makeup brush or a toothbrush to get some of the hard to clean areas.
4. Use salt for delicate flowers. If you are too worried about getting them wet, you do have another option. Place the flowers in a bag with a course salt such as sea salt. Gently shake the bag so that the salt can get in between the petals and loosen dust and debris. Shake for about a minute and then remove the flowers and shake out any remaining salt.
5. Store them. When not in use, or in between seasons, don't just leave your fake flowers on a shelf to get dusty. You also want to be careful putting them in a storage bin as they can warp. Your best bet is to give them a good clean prior to storage. Then, using rubber bands and bags, cover the flowers so that the arrangement is still in tact the way you want. Use the bands to secure the plastic (grocery bags are great for this) before placing them in a cool, dry area. If you do put them in a rubber-maid bin, be sure to not overcrowd them. You also never want to stack them because it can weaken the stems of the flowers underneath and distort your arrangement.
I realize none of these tips are rocket science but with a little bit of effort (read: very little bit) you can fake people with your faux florals for years to come!
Do you have any advice for taking care of fake plants?