In keeping with my farm girl lifestyle, I grow food. I’m a decent gardener… but I only grow things I can eat! I’m pretty clueless about flowers. My mama tried, but I just haven’t had much free time in my adult life (can’t imagine why!?) and growing pretty things hasn’t been a priority. I have enough other living things that count on me to keep them alive, lol. However, this year I splurged on hanging baskets for the front porch. I asked for the ones that were hardest to kill and required the least amount of watering. Whatever I ended up with did fairly well – and they REALLY brightened up the look of our front porch. So much so, in fact, that I started to wonder about mums. They look festive, but I really did fail at watering my summer baskets and mums are kind of expensive to buy if I’m just going to kill them right away. That led me to google “fake mums”.
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I found some very realistic looking ones, but oh the price! In addition to not being able to kill my fall flowers, I also wondered if I could invest in fake mums, reuse them in the future, and end up saving some money. It would take several years to come out ahead financially if I purchased arrangements at $40+ per year!
Plan B was to search for some cheap, fake flowers and make arrangements myself. I started at Hobby Lobby, but even with coupons, their prices were prohibitive. Walmart had a few, but I’ve been having trouble with FedEx. So, I opted to search on Amazon instead. I found several that might work and offered free returns, so I ordered them all.
What to Order
Here is exactly what I ordered:
- Fake Mums in an Orange Red color
- Orange Fern Like Plants
- Yellow Baby’s Breath Silk Flowers
- Silk Sunflowers
I had 4 baskets to fill and I ordered a single quantity of each type of flower. They came with 8 bundles of each variety, except the sunflowers which were 14 single flowers in a pack. I ended up liking all of them enough to keep them!
The “orange red fake mums” were the most realistic looking. The orange red color is slightly brighter than I would like, but not too bright to be real. They dont have other colorways that might be better. I could see making an entire baskets of just these to really replicate the look of potted mums.
The orange fern like plants are slightly shiny, but the more I’ve walked past them I think they do pass as looking like a genuine dry, crunchy fall fern.
The yellow baby’s breath have the worst looking stems of all, they are thick and obviously plastic. However, they withstand a lot of bending so I twisted and folded them down and hid most of the stems. The yellow color does pop and add the most visual interest from afar, so I wouldn’t want to be without this unless I added some yellow mums instead.
The silk sunflowers look like other fake sunflowers I’ve seen. The leaves aren’t very convincing, but they blend in to the other foliage. The flower heads themselves look pretty good. I used them to fill in bare spots and hide the stems of the baby’s breath.
If I were ordering again for the first time, I would either go with this same combination but up the fake mums to a quanity of 2 (to get 16 bundles) to make the baskets a little more full, or I’d just order the mums and skip the rest. It would probably take 6 bundles per basket to do mums alone and have them be full enough.
How to Arrange Them
All the flowers were easy enough to fluff. You basically separate the stems and then fluff the smaller shoots and flowers, twisting them different ways to give them some dimension. It’s very similar to fluffing a fake Christmas tree.
I used the hanging basket I had purchased for summer, with real annuals and real soil in them. I cut the real plants off at the base with scissors and left the soil in the pot. Then I stuck the fake plants in to the soil. This way there was no need for styrofoam, and the weight of the soil will keep the pots from blowing around or styrofoam ending up all over my yard.
I put 2 of each bundle in a pot. I started with the fern type plants first. Next, I added the fake mums. Then, I put the baby’s breath in – twisting and bending it a lot and pushing the stems down in to the mums. Finally, I tucked 3-4 sunflowers in to fill gaps and further hide the other fake looking stems.
Will Fake Mums Hold Up?
It’s too soon to tell. I’m hopeful that they won’t fade too badly or become brittle. If they look ok come Thanksgiving, I’ll take them to the attic for the winter. I might pull them out, rinse them off, and replant them in new baskets next fall. Or, if they look like they’re going to hold up well, I may buy some fake summer flowers and just swap them back and forth in these same baskets.
Let me know if you try this and how it goes for you! Or, if you have another tip or trick for porch decor on the cheap, please share with us!