At first glance, artificial plants might seem like a great idea. They don’t require a lot of maintenance, don’t need water, don’t use soil or a growing medium, and no matter how terrible you are at gardening, they’ll never die.

It sounds like a decent option, right?

But when you dig a little deeper, it becomes pretty obvious why fake plants are inferior to the real thing. It’s true we might be a little biased—but after considering the facts, we think you’ll understand why it’s always better for your office plants to be alive. Here are six reasons to stick with the real deal.

Artificial plants don’t last forever. Many people think artificial plants never need to be replaced, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fake plants are prone to deterioration and fading—especially if they’re constantly exposed to light. Bright colors (particularly flowers) will begin to fade after just a few months as dyes start to break down. This translates to an unattractive, washed-out look; to maintain your image you might actually end up replacing fake plants more often than living ones.

You have to clean them regularly. Artificial plants are dust magnets. Since they aren’t growing and don’t require maintenance to stay alive, it’s easy to let them gather dust for months without noticing. Not only does this make breathing more difficult, it can also make your office look dirty.

You don’t get any health benefits. Living plants are proven to provide significant health benefits for clients and staff, and new studies are coming out all the time to support this. If you’re looking to improve overall health and morale, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more cost-effective option than living plants. No one can say the same for their artificial counterparts.

They aren’t eco-friendly. Many fake plants are created in factories using harmful dyes and synthetic materials that aren’t easily recycled. And once a fake plant is faded or damaged, it gets thrown in a trash dump where it will probably take many years to deteriorate. On the other hand, if a real plant needs to be thrown away because it’s dying, it begins to biodegrade almost instantly.

They can give a bad impression to clients. While real, healthy plants can give the feeling that your business is well taken care of, fake plants—especially if they aren’t pristine—can do just the opposite. People value authenticity, and that’s especially true with clients.

Your choices are limited. While there are plenty of fake options, you’ll have a lot more to choose from when you go with real plants. Especially if you have a large arrangement requiring color coordination, you might struggle to find artificial options that work well together. And your choices for different leaf and flower textures will grow immensely when you go for the real thing.

So are there any merits to artificial plants? One special situation where we might recommend fake plants is if people in your office have plant-specific allergies. If this is the case, artificial plants might be the right choice—but these kinds of allergies typically aren’t triggered by a few office plants.

If you’re thinking about adding some beautiful, living plants to your office, please check out our interior plant leasing program. We can also help you choose the right plants for the right places and create custom designs—and when it comes to ongoing care for your plants, we have you covered there, too.

Ready to learn more about adding interior plants to your office? We’re ready to talk—contact us today!