How to Create Stunning Planters with Faux Flowers for your Summer Porch

May 16, 2022

Nothing is prettier on a porch in the summer than pots filled with beautiful flowers. But it isn’t always easy to keep things looking nice. Faux plants provide the color and beauty without the hassle. Learn what artificial flowers to look for and how to design your container for maximum impact.

DESIGN + STYLE   |   Updated March 24, 2023

White flowers in pot

Pots and planters filled with flowering plants add so much to the overall look of your porch and patio in the summertime.

But it isn’t always realistic or possible to get things growing the way you’d like. Poor lighting, a lack of time to properly care for them, or even just the normally lifecycle of a plant can lead to your container garden looking a little lacking.

Thankfully there is an easy solution and over the long haul, it won’t cost much more than the plants you are purchasing now.

Realistic looking faux plants and flowers can be just as inviting outside all summer long as the real thing, but you don’t have to spend the season tending to them and keeping things alive and thriving. And with proper care, what you buy now should be able to last for seasons before they need replaced.

READ NEXT: How to Use Faux Shrubs + Bushes Outside

Blue pot with white flowers and greenery


Why Choose Fake Flowers Over Real Ones Outside?

Nothing beats being able to bend over and inhale the scent of the flowers you have blooming outside your door. Or watching the bees and butterflies pollinate from blossom to blossom. But there are circumstances where using faux plants in containers can be beneficial.

  • You don’t have to worry about watering, feeding, or deadheading artificial flowers. If you don’t have time to tend to plants or find that you are lax in caretaking, but still want something “living,” faux is a nice option.

  • No green thumb is required!

  • Some porches and patios or shady garden areas do not have the light that is required for thriving real flowers.

  • It is great curb appeal to always have a fully blooming, in-full-color container garden gracing your front entryway.

white geraniums and queen anne's lace in planter

Tips for Realistically Using Fake Flowers Outside

  • The use of artificial flowers outside should be done sparingly. Don’t use them everywhere, but rather in addition to real flowers so that people won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.

  • “Plant” in an organic style. Flowers do not grow in picture perfect arrangements and your faux planters should be no different. Place plants at varying heights to create the illusion that some are growing higher and wider than others. Bend the branches so they are “growing” in different directions. Slide the leaves along the branch so that they aren’t all the same equal distance apart. Intertwine the branches and leaves of the plants so that they look like they are naturally growing into one another.

  • Choose a variety of plants just as you would in a natural container garden. Unless you want to change out the flowers in your planter through the summer, try to focus on picking things that would grow through the whole season like geraniums, boxwood, or fern.

  • Look for plants manufactured to withstand the outdoors with UV protection. They will be more expensive, but likely will last for years to come with proper care. Or if your container will be protected from the elements like under a covered porch, consider spraying the faux flowers with UV Floral Protective Spray to block damage from the sun.

  • If you can see into the container, add dirt. Nothing will give away a faux planter faster than looking down to see that the flowers are growing in nothing!

  • Consider doing a small grouping of planters with faux plants for maximum impact.

Blue Hobby Lobby pot

How to Plan the Design of Your Faux Container

STEP 1: Start with the right container – You want something that is going to coordinate with your home or the area where you are placing the planter. Different materials that you might consider are terra cotta, concrete, wood, metal, plastic, fiberglass, or resin. You can also think outside of the box and use something unique like a repurposed basket or old galvanized bucket.

STEP 2: Select a color scheme for your flowers – Play off the color of container you chose or focus entirely on the plants. Be careful how you mix them as some colors look better together than others. For example, cool colors don’t normally work with rich, warm or bright, while rich colors work with everything other than cool. Here are some examples of the color families:

  • Rich: Crimson, black, mahogany, purple, deep blue
  • Bright: Orange, bright red, vibrant pink, purple, golden yellow, acid green
  • Warm: Muted coral, apricot, peach, bronze, cafĂ© au lait
  • Cool: White and pastels, light pink, lavender, sky blue

STEP 3: Decide on a combination of plants based on the color palette you chose. Remember that when designing a container, you want to try to have one of each of these three different varieties:

  • Thriller: Adds height and a bold vertical element to your container garden. Thrillers normally include foliage plants, ornamental grasses or upright flowering plants. They typically go near center of your container and are the dominant plant.

  • Filler: Tends to be more mounded and makes the container look full. Fillers generally are placed in front of or around the thriller plant and fill in gaps without being too showy.

  • Spiller: Tumbles over the edge of the container softening the edges. If your planter will be seen from all sides, be sure to place spillers all the way around.

STEP 4: Shop for your plants. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and JoAnn Fabrics have a great selection of different artificial flowers to shop from. It is nice to be able to see things in person to tell how real they look and they often have sales allowing you to shop for up to 50% off. There are also a lot of faux options (many with UV protection) available online.

Some plants you may be able to find in bush form, meaning all the branches are attached onto one stem, but many of the flowers may come as individual stems.

Here are a few great options to look through:

Queen anne's lace laying on linen

Step-By-Step to Recreating the Look of My Planter

SHOPPING LIST – All purchased from Hobby Lobby

  • Outdoor Planter

Faux summer plants

Blue stone pot


STEP 1: Fill the container with dirt. Another cleaner option if you won’t be able to see down into the planter would be to put bubble wrap in the bottom and fill it with sand.

STEP 2: Place your “thriller”, the largest plant that will fill pot. In this case, it is the spiky monkey green grass.

Blue pot with spiky green grass

Adding faux queen anne's lace to blue planter

STEP 3: Then add your filler, like the white Queen Anne’s Lace bush.

Adding spiller plant to container garden

STEP 4: Tuck your spiller into the planter to hang down over the edges. Bending the branches of the small mint bush allowed it to tumble down over the sides of the pot.

Adding white geraniums to planter

STEP 5: Finally, add in some flowers if your arrangement needs a little something more. Place them at different heights and angles to make it look realistic.

Container garden with white geraniums, grass, and queen anne's lace

White flowers in pot

While using faux flowers outdoors isn't an idea for everyone, it is a nice way to be able to enjoy the beauty of a container garden all season long without the fuss. It's also a nice gift idea for those who are unable to tend to their flowers any more.

READ NEXT: How to Use Faux Shrubs + Bushes Outside

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