How to pot an artificial tree
How to Pot Your Faux Trees
Faux plants are God’s gift to the non-green-thumbs of the world. And faux trees are getting more and more realistic looking which is good news for me because I believe every room needs a plant, a tree or two….but somehow “Water-plants-Wednesday” escapes me. That being said – when faux trees arrive, usually they come in a smaller weighted pot – that are both hideous and helpful. That small pot can fit into most baskets, pots and planters. And so today I am sharing how to pot those faux trees and make them look photoshoot worthy.
Here is the faux olive tree that I got last year and never finished potting. See how tiny that base is compared to the top? Some bases are smaller than others. I find that the smaller bases can do a great job of weighting the tree down and some do not. Usually when I spread out the branches, I find that the trees with a large ‘spread’ of branches get off balance more easily. In this case, the olive tree was off slightly and would tip if shifted so I wanted to add a bit more weight.
Goodwill and other thrift stores usually have plenty of weights that are old, cracked and super cheap. I found a round weight for this project for $1.91. I also found some hand weights for any future potting project I may need to have weighted down.
The weight isn’t absolutely needed but I like adding it because my kids end up throwing socks and balls and random stuffed animals so nothing is safe.
You will also need other items….
A basket or planter or large pot is needed. I think it looks best when the width of the basket is at least half as wide as the tree OR more than 1/4 the height of the tree. I described how I pick the size of the basket or planter here….
Once you pick your planter or basket, it’s time to make that tree look like it naturally grew there…because obviously a faux tree naturally grew right there in the living room in a basket 🙂 I use a whole bunch of plastic bags (bubble wrap, paper, or cardboard will do), a pair of scissors, a glue gun, and some flat moss.
Make sure the weight fits in the bottom of your pot first.
If it does fit, grab your glue gun and put a whole bunch of hot glue on the face of it.
Then stick your pot to the glue and allow that to dry.
This heavier weighted tree is going to make it not top heavy but we also need to make sure that it doesn’t tilt inside the pot. Oh did I mention? You need to put the weighted plant inside the black pot and then inside the basket.
I smashed most of the plastic bags around the little pot and bigger pot. I didn’t have any black plastic bags otherwise I would have used those on the outside of the black pot.
I cover even the original tree pot with plastic bags. You want the slope to be from the tree trunk down to the outside.
Next we are gonna put the moss on top of everything. I bought my sheet moss at Hobby Lobby (use that 40% off coupon!) and it is cut easily with scissors. You want to cut it so that it covers the entire top of the basket with a small overlap. Then cut a wavy line into the center. In the very center I cut an X shape.
Slide the tree trunk into that X and then lay the moss flat around the top of the basket. The wavy line you can overlap.
Mine needed a bit more stuffing so I added even more plastic bags under the moss.
Once it looked fuller, it was time to get that seam flat and flush. I peeled off the paper backing near the seam so that it looked even more natural. Then I put hot glue right at the edge so that it could stay put.
After that I tuck the edges around the sides and slide it in between the basket and the plastic bags.
Bada boom bada bing!
And that is how I pot my faux trees to make them look natural and grounded in any planter or pot! And the best part?! I can’t kill it and it will continue to look good year after year!
That being said – here is the link to the moss I used and some really nice affordable basket finds and other large faux plants that are GREAT. I linked the olive tree below that I used in this tutorial and I own both fig trees that I linked below. Can not recommend them enough and I can’t wait to show you more ways to use faux plants in your home!
How to Repot a Silk Tree
Learn how to repot a silk tree so you can change the ugly pot that came with your faux plant to a planter that looks more proportional and matches your home decor.
This post has links to products I used to do this project. If you click on those links, I may earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks for your support.
Silk Tree Review
CommercialSilk.com sent me one of their silk trees and asked me to write a blog post giving an honest review of it. They sent me a 6-foot tall silk ficus tree and overall I was very happy with how it looks and its quality. You can watch my full review, and see more details of the tree in the following video:
You’ll notice in the video that the pot that came with the silk ficus tree is tiny, plastic, and ugly. That’s not a problem. It’s actually a good thing. A tiny pot means I can repot my silk tree into a bigger and nicer pot. After all, a good silk plant company makes high quality silk plants, not ceramics. You should get your planter somewhere else.
How to Repot a Silk Plant
Choose a New Planter
Besides choosing a well-made pot that you love, make sure that the base that came with your silk tree will fit inside of your new pot. This shouldn’t be hard since most faux plant pots are too small and your new pot should look big enough for a real plant to grow in it. For example, a real ficus tree would need enough space in a planter for its roots, so the planter for my faux ficus tree should also be that big.
Add a Base Inside the New Pot
Place something sturdy, like bricks, inside your planter for the silk plant to sit on. This does two things. First, it raises the bottom of the trunk to be level with the top of the new planter, where it should be. And second, it makes your silk tree taller. The taller a silk tree is, the more expensive it is, so by repotting it, you can buy a smaller silk tree and add height.
Just a side note about the picture: it shows how I planned to make the base. But it ended up making the tree a little too tall for the room, so I readjusted the base and made one out of three bricks instead. This made the tree a little lower in the pot, but not too low.
Secure the Base
The bricks are heavy and so it the ceramic pot. Since I didn’t want to add any more weight to the whole thing, I used foam to wedge the brick base in the pot.
It would be easiest to use expanding foam sealant to secure the base. Just spray it in and watch it fill up all the nooks and crannies, holding everything tightly. However, expanding foam is permanent, and I may want to redecorate and change my pot sometime in the future, so I figured out a more temporary solution.
I took some left over styrofoam packaging and cut it into small rectangles. I use an electric knife to cut any kind of foam, including styrofoam, because it make less of a mess. There’s still some bits to clean up, but the electric knife slices through foam very easily.
I wedged those styrofoam pieces around the bricks until nothing could move. Now the base is secure and ready to hold the silk tree.
Secure the Plant inside the Pot
Place the silk plant in its original pot on the base inside the new pot and secure it. Again, expanding foam sealant would be easiest, and probably hold it the most securely, but I used pieces of styrofoam so that one day I can remove it and change pots easily.
Hide Your Work
A real plant would be in dirt, so you don’t want any bits of foam or base to show when the repotting is done or it will make your plant look fake. I used brown fabric to cover the styrofoam. Brown craft paper or packaging paper work too. I had planned to use the packaging paper that comes in so many amazon. com orders, but I didn’t have any left. That stuff is so useful. Luckily, I had this scrap of brown, dirt-colored fabric.
Add Moss or a Natural Covering
The easiest way to make a planter look realistic is to add spanish moss. It’s inexpensive, natural, and looks like the forest floor where a tree or plant would naturally be growing. There green, brown, and other colors of moss available, depending on the look of your plant. I chose brown. Green might have made the leaves of the tree look more fake.
And here’s my newly repotted silk ficus tree in our dining room. I love how the tree looks. And it’s a well-made tree so it looks good close up, which is important when it’s just a couple of feet away from where people sit to eat dinner.
In the photos you can tell that we still have a few more projects to get done in our dining room makeover. A post about the new light is coming soon. But we need to finish painting the walls. They are half pink and half white right now!
I love how our dining room is starting to look. But you can see the reflection of the bright orange rain barrel in the glass panes of the midcentury cabinet. I’m thinking we need to do something to camouflage those rain barrels.
How to snow your artificial Christmas tree
Want to add artificial snow to your Christmas tree but don't know where to get it? We have prepared several recipes for you to snow your Christmas tree with your own hands at home . Choose the one that seems easier and more interesting to you. In such ways, you can add snow not only to the Christmas tree , but also to interior compositions, to the windowsill or window.
To begin with, we recommend that you study all the recipes presented and choose the right one from them, and not the first one that comes across. It is quite possible that the components for some of them are already in your home and you do not have to go to the store or order them on the Internet.
Shaving Foam Soda
One of the ways to make artificial Christmas tree snow is to combine shaving foam with regular baking soda. You may have come across this method on the Internet before. It is really very simple and popular on the Internet. The result is guaranteed to be exactly what you want. Here's what needs to do :
- Take a plastic basin, saucepan or bowl, and squeeze the shaving foam from the can into it. Take the cheapest, quality and brand do not matter here.
- Stir the foam with baking soda. For one can you will need about 1-1.5 packs of soda. While pouring it, do not stop stirring. Do this until you get the desired consistency.
- If desired, add white or silver glitter to the mixture. So the resulting snow will be even more natural and brighter. It will look really festive. Mica is suitable for the same purposes.
This will give you artificial snow bright white and with a pleasant loose texture. You can decorate an artificial Christmas tree with it: sprinkle on top of it.
Often on the balcony, mezzanine, in the closet are the necessary materials for such artificial snow. In boxes of household appliances, especially large ones, you can find polystyrene foam or polyethylene foam without any problems. If you find any of these, make sure they are no longer needed and start making snow.
Grate Styrofoam. Use a blender if possible. You will get a very light and pleasant artificial snowball with which you can decorate the Christmas tree. It is not necessary to glue it to the branches. Due to its structure, it will hold between thin needles, but even under a tree on the floor there may be some part of the snow. If you do not want this, take a transparent glue and dot it on the branches, and glue pieces of polystyrene or foamed polyethylene there. But this snow will stay for a long time.
This option is suitable if you have separately bare branches. You can grow "ice patterns" on them. It will feel as if frost has worked on this decoration and stuck around the branches. How to create this?
- Make a solution of table salt and water. To do this, heat some water in a large saucepan and dilute salt in it. How to understand proportions? Add salt until it no longer melts in the chosen amount of water.
- Take spruce or other branches and dip in saline solution for a few minutes.
- Take a vase that will hold the branches safely and let it dry for 4-5 hours.
You can decorate not only an artificial Christmas tree in this way, but also individual branches, which are then used in compositions, New Year's decor and bouquets. The option is more suitable just for "naked" objects that can be "iced" by making frost in this way. But for some Christmas trees, this effect is also suitable.
If you have a small child, then most likely you do not need to run to the store. You have new diapers in stock. There is sodium polyacrylate inside the diapers. To get it, cut the new diaper lengthwise and remove the filling into a deep basin. Decide for yourself how much of this snow you need. Also keep in mind that snow will increase several times.
Pour clean water gradually into the basin with filler. Along the way, mix the future artificial snow so that the mass is crumbly and elastic. As a result, you will get a cool and pleasant snow. You can decorate an artificial Christmas tree or any compositions with it.
There are several recipes for making artificial snow based on starch. Consider all possible, and you choose the one that suits you the most. All of them are simple and unpretentious. Food starch is usually in the kitchen of any housewife. And if not, then in the store it is inexpensive, so significant costs will not be required.
Shaving foam and starch
Yes, that's right, this method is similar to the baking soda recipe. All actions are the same as in the case of it, but instead of soda, starch is added to the desired consistency. The mass is mixed gently until you get the snow you need. They can decorate an artificial Christmas tree or other items.
Starch and glue
Take ordinary PVA glue and starch in a ratio of 1:1. Mix in a deep bowl. You can also add glitter or silver paint at the end. So the resulting mass will be more like snow.
Oil with starch
Take any vegetable oil. It can be sunflower or any other cosmetic liquid oil. If you chose refined, then stop at the lightest of them.
For a pound of corn or potato starch you will need about 150 ml of oil. Mix both ingredients in a bowl or saucepan until you get sticky and crumbly snow. Now you can use it to snow artificial Christmas tree .
- If there are small children or animals in your house , try to choose a safe way to snow so that materials do not enter the esophagus.
- Before decorating the Christmas tree with artificial snow, lay a large sheet of paper or a tablecloth under it so that excess snow falls on it. So around the Christmas tree you will have order.
- To save yourself the trouble of making snow DIY , stop at white rain, artificial snowflakes instead of Christmas balls or a white garland with small lights. All this will create the illusion of snow-covered spruce.
- Light up the finished snow with a white garland. So your Christmas tree will sparkle, and the lights will reflect on your artificial snow.
If you are not in the mood for creativity and analogues, then pay attention to the artificial Christmas trees in our range with ready-made snow coating. You do not have to create snow with your own hands at home. No cleaning required after the act of creativity and during the cleaning of the artificial Christmas trees . Also, stains and traces will not remain on the tree, which can happen after working with oil, starch or foam.
The artificial Christmas tree is perfectly stored in a dry warm place, the snow is applied in a safe way, it is not dangerous for the health of children and adults. You can choose a tree according to the size of your apartment - from a mini-tree to a full-sized one. Depending on the color, we suggest choosing decorations for your New Year's beauty.
Christmas tree options for home
On New Year's Eve, parents face the question of how to decorate the house for the holidays. Which is better: an artificial Christmas tree that will last for years and will not cause trouble, or a real one, but cut down. Or maybe buy or grow a small live Christmas tree in a pot, which can then be planted in the forest or in the country? And someone just dresses up a ficus on the windowsill or makes a "Christmas tree" from improvised materials. Alexander Barne, an employee of the State Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences, tells how to extend the life of a New Year tree and what other alternatives there are.
Live Christmas tree: pros and cons
Live Christmas tree has two main disadvantages: firstly, it needs to be installed, which is not easy if the tree is large. Secondly, needles will fall from it. But nothing compares to the moment when they bring a real Christmas tree into the house, let it thaw and wait for the magical aroma of pine needles to float around the house, creating the feeling of a fairy tale.
The tree can be installed on a wooden cross or a special plastic stand, but in this case it will not last long and the needles will quickly begin to fall off. However, it is best to fix a live Christmas tree in a bucket of water, which can be decorated with fabric with a New Year's print, garlands or, in the old fashioned way, cotton wool. Water in the bucket must be added frequently, especially in the first few days.
To keep the Christmas tree in the water longer, make a fresh cut along the diagonal of the trunk: the larger the cut area, the more water will flow into the tree, and it will remain fresh until the end of the holidays. Moreover, in this case, the tree often produces fresh green shoots.
Many feel sorry for the felled tree, but today no one cuts down most of the Christmas trees in the forest: they are grown on forestry plantations, like potatoes or carrots. The grown trees are cut down by the New Year, and new ones are planted in the spring.
Also on New Year's Eve they sell Christmas trees left after thinning commercial timber (without thinning trees will grow thin and diseased), as well as after clearing power lines. In addition, a tree that has served its purpose completely decomposes and leaves no debris behind. And in many cities, New Year trees are accepted for processing into mulch - special containers are installed for this.
Christmas tree in a pot: can be transplanted in the country, but not in the yard
Before the New Year, a lot of coniferous plants in pots appear in shops. It would seem that by buying a plant in a pot, we save the forest, because after the holiday the Christmas tree can be transplanted or left to grow until next year. However, it is not.
It is impossible to plant a tree bought in a store in the forest, because together with the Christmas tree (which, most likely, came to our country from afar), dangerous pests can be brought into the forest. And in the city, the roots of a tree can damage communications, so all urban plantings are always carefully coordinated in advance, and inconsistent ones are removed by public utilities.
So, transplanting a Christmas tree bought in a store from a pot will only work in a summer cottage. And it's not a fact that the tree will take root. After all, most coniferous plants, having stood during the holidays in a warm and dry room, inevitably dry out.
In countries where there is no strong difference in air temperature outside and inside the premises, Christmas trees in pots may well become a decoration for the New Year holiday and then successfully take root in the garden. But in most of the territory of our country this is not possible.
In addition, in many stores, Christmas plants are treated as disposable goods: they are not watered on time, they do not provide sufficient lighting. As a result, they get to buyers already terminally ill.
What you need to know for a successful plant transplant
If you still want to try growing a Christmas tree from a pot, you first need to find out what species a particular plant belongs to. This is usually written on the label. If it is not there, you can take photos and check with experts on botanical forums.
If you have Konik spruce or cypress, they need to be transplanted into a mixture of soil purchased from a store with sand (a third of the sand, two thirds of the soil). They should be kept as far as possible from the radiators, and even better - removed from a warm room, for example, on a glazed balcony that does not freeze much. In addition, the tree must be provided with good lighting and do not forget to water (but not ruin it with excessive watering).
If you wish, you can decorate the tree with toys and an LED garland. Incandescent light bulbs can injure a tree, and also cause a fire. Also avoid paints and glitter sprays: they harm plants by preventing them from breathing.
If the conifer turned out to be not a cypress, but a real small cypress, then a nice and rather unpretentious indoor plant has appeared in the house. It is completely unsuitable for wintering in the climate of the middle lane, but it grows rapidly in room conditions.
Cypress does not need to be exposed to a cold place, but it also needs to be replanted, put away from batteries, provide good light and not overdo it with watering. Cypress grows quickly, and it is possible that in a few years the tree will reach the ceiling and will have to be sawn from above.
Artificial Christmas tree: use as long as possible
Artificial Christmas tree can be put up and taken down at any convenient time, it is immediately sold with fasteners, needles do not fall off it. But that's where her virtues end.
First, you need to store it somewhere, and the box takes up a lot of space. In addition, an artificial Christmas tree can hardly be called an eco-friendly option. During the production and disposal of such Christmas trees, a lot of harmful substances and non-degradable garbage enter the environment. In addition, cheap Christmas trees can emit formaldehyde, phenol and other harmful substances. And a good Christmas tree with a certificate of quality is not cheap.
If you have already bought an artificial Christmas tree, try to use it for as long as possible. And if it breaks, do not rush to throw it away, but try to fix it or use its elements for New Year's decor.
Palm, ficus and other alternatives
If you don't want to decorate your house with a felled tree and an artificial Christmas tree is not an option either, there are other ways to decorate your home without damaging nature.
The Christmas tree can be made from any materials at hand and is a great way to spend time with children. If this is a temporary structure, try to choose materials that can then be recycled: cardboard, paper, fabric scraps.
Also, for the New Year, you can start a plant that looks like a Christmas tree, which will definitely be fine at home. For example, buy an araucaria or one of the types of cypress in the nursery - evergreen, large-fruited, Lusitanian or dwarf (by the way, do not believe the name - dwarf cypress in nature grows up to 40 meters).