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Deco-office Plant Care Guide

When you buy artificial plants and trees - whether from us or other suppliers - every now and then you may encounter a branch that doesn't point the direction you'd like it to, an imperfectly shaped leaf, or one that has a slight crease.

It's an unfortunate fact that these little problems just cannot be avoided. Unpotted artificial plants for example are delivered flat packed to save shipping costs. And even if the plants were fully arranged and sent in an oversized box, the delicate nature of the fabric, coupled with unpredictable handling by the postman would likely result in some creasing anyway.

When you receive your delivery of artificial plants, arrangements or artificial trees, they will always need a little bit of arranging to look their best. But the good news is that it takes very little effort to fix these things as explained below.

Arranging your Artificial Plants

Before:
Flat packed Boston Fern before arranging
After:
Flat packed Boston Fern after arranging

Most plants have wired branches or wired fronds/leaves to be able to maintain their shape, and thus can be easily reshaped by hand. Think about the look and how the corresponding real plants might grow, then start from the outside to gently arrange the stems and work towards the center to make the artificial plants look natural. Depending on where you are placing your plant or plant arrangement, it may make sense to adjust the leaves in such a way that the plant looks more impressive from one side than the other, for example when used as a corner arrangement.

If you have an artificial plant or tree with slightly creased leaves, many of these will naturally straighten out after a few days. If you cannot wait that long, remember that most of our artificial plants are made with synthetic fabric. So applying gentle heat with a hairdryer or steaming with a steam kettle will often allow the fabric to become softer and will allow you to shape it with your hands. You may also try to iron them on a low synthetic setting and through a cloth. When using tools, please be careful and use your common sense - too high heat can damage the material and may even pose a risk of fire or injury.

Potting your Artificial Plants

Our plants can be placed into almost any container and bedding. You can use plain gardening pots as commonly found in garden centres, decorative planters and window boxes, or one of our indoor plant pots. Foam (e.g. Oasis) is a very good filler, which can then be topped up with soil, stones, pebbles or other material depending on the look you would like to achieve. At Deco-office our indoor pots are made from a paper mache-like material, have a heavy filler at the bottom, and a styrofoam core for inserting the artificial plants.

To pot a plant into one of our pots, we recommend the use of a slim stick or rod (chopsticks are ideal) to poke a 'guidance' hole into the styrofoam first. The stick must be slimmer than the stem of the plant, and care must be taken not to poke deeper than about two thirds of the pot height - that is where the filler begins and some could spill out or the pot break if you use too much force. The increasing resistance will help you get this perfect. Of course, the plant itself also shouldn't be pushed in much deeper, so it may be necessary for you to measure the stem of the plant and use bolt cutters to shorten it before potting the plant. If the plant is to be potted permanently, consider using hot melt glue on the stem to firmly affix it to the pot.

Cleaning and caring for your plants

Artificial plants are pretty much maintenance free, however they may require an occasional dust. You can use a moist cloth to gently wipe the leaves clean, and a feather duster can be very useful for cleaning more intricate leaf shapes, such as the fronds on a boston fern. Thanks to the synthetic fabric used in the leaves most plants can also be rinsed with warm water and left to air dry.

To prolong the life of your artificial plants we recommend keeping them indoors or in a shielded area. While synthetic fabric is less affected by sunlight than natural fabrics (like cotton or real silk), it is still possible for colours to slowly begin fading when the plants are exposed to direct sunlight over extended periods of time. And just to be safe it is probably worth taking the plants indoors during spells of extreme weather, which might include storms or heavy snow.