How to Pot Artificial Trees & Silk Plants

Updated on May 2, 2019
Potting silk trees is not as hard as it seems and can save you a lot of money if you DIY.
Potting silk trees is not as hard as it seems and can save you a lot of money if you DIY. | Source

Potting, Assembling, and Shaping Your Artificial Plants

When your new artificial plants or tree has been delivered, they may need some shaping to give it a beautiful presentation. The most important thing is that they look good to you and will improve your home or office décor. Whichever method you use to accomplish this objective is the right one! The shaping of your silk plants is the most important step in getting the most realistic look possible.


Fill your non-decorative planters pot 3/4 full with floral foam or plaster (found at most home improvement or craft stores). Use 20-minute plaster for trees that are taller, have larger trunks, or if you prefer a more stable base. If you're planning on using floral foam, just secure the tree trunk or plant to the pot making sure it's in the position you desire then add your expanding floral foam. If using plaster, mix it to the consistency of a thin pancake batter, then pour into the planters pot filling it approximately 2/3rds from the top then let it set for about 20 minutes. If you like, you can wait about 5 to 10 minutes until the plaster is just hard enough to hold your plant or tree on its own then insert your silk plant stem or tree. You may want to lightly tap the side of the container to make sure the plaster bonds to your stem or trunk. Once it's potted, insert your now weighted planters pot into a container or basket that matches your decor choice.


Some of the silk plants and trees may require some assembly. For instance, silk palm trees usually come with fronds, as well as a trunk with receptacles for the end of the palm stems. A general rule is that the smaller palm stems go towards the bottom, and the larger, longer stems go towards the top to give it the look of how it grows in the wild. Some styles, such as Phoenix palms or Robellinis, may have one palm head, which simply is inserted into the top of the tree trunk receptacle. It's usually a good idea to refer back to original picture of the products when assembling your artificial plant or tree for a visual reference.


When your product has been delivered there may be a few leaves that are bent due to the way they are shipped in the box. In some cases, steaming them will work well to allow the leaves to relax back to their original manufactured state. One way to accomplish this is to set it in your bathroom and turn the shower to the hottest setting; then the leaves will start to relax. Another way is to use a steamer that's used for clothes to steam the leaves back in shape (make sure you do not hold the steamer to close to the leaf as it may fade the color slightly).

For the whole tree to look natural. we recommend shaping with the directional method. This method will give you maximum fullness and create a more natural look for your silk plants. First, you will want to start near the tree trunk or main stem, then work your way to the end of the branch, gently bending the stem as you go to create a slightly downward curve on the lower fronds of the plant to a slight upward bend toward the top fronds. By staggering the branch tips around the trunk will give it a natural, full look. Again, always looking back at the original picture will help in this process.


To add additional ambience, some people like to use a small spotlight and stick it in the back side of their silk trees or plants for dramatic backlighting. You'll be amazed at how much elegance this will give your artificial trees and plants. Many of the high-end hotels will add real plants around the base of a silk tree to give it the most realistic look possible.

Also, when looking for a seven-foot tree, try buying one foot smaller then raising it up inside the pot by placing something in the bottom—thus saving you money. These are just some of the secrets professional designers use, and you can see it's not hard to do. It just takes a little patience and creativity.

Questions & Answers

  • If I'm using expanding floral foam to pot my artificial trees doesn't rainwater deteriorate it?

    Once the expanding foam sets up it is very durable. Yes, over time the weather will eventually eat away and weaken the foam so if at all possible try to keep it out of the weather as much as possible. If you're wanting to mount something for outdoor use, I recommend using cement.


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