Interior Landscapes with Replica Plants
Planterra is a full-service provider, offering design, procurement, installation and maintenance of replica plantscapes. Our team has extensive expertise in installations for hospitality, medical and retail properties. For clients with multiple locations, we offer national programs with capabilities to service sites across North America.
What are Replica Plants?
“Replica” is a trade category used to describe faux, preserved and artificial plants. Replica plants are manufactured from synthetics or assembled from dried or natural products to create a life-like imitation of a real plant or tree. The quality, grades, and pricing on replica plant material varies greatly and can be confusing without expert guidance.
How is Designing with Replica Plants Different?
Even though the fundamentals of design are the same, replica as a material has significant differences. The most successful replica plantscape installations utilize the strengths of each individual product to benefit the design.
MIXING LIVE AND REPLICA
In areas where live plants cannot be sustained, using replica plants in these locations is a practical solution. Designs that blend live plants and replica are among the most successful – especially when the replica is utilized to achieve imaginative displays that would be otherwise impossible with live plants or flowers.
SPACING AND DENSITY
As replica plants do not grow, the density of the plantings needs to be tighter than what landscape designers are accustomed to on a plan. The density requires more material which increases the per square foot price but it also can provide greater structure to plantscape which can increase the lifespan of the installation.
SPECIFYING AND SOURCING
Thumbnails in catalogs can be deceiving and even when samples are approved, it is difficult for
most in the industry to guarantee exact colors and quality for projects more than six months out.
For this reason, design-build is an appropriate solution to align the design with the execution. On
large projects, we also recommend purchasing extra stock to be kept on reserve, in case areas
need to be repaired with an exact color match.
On hospitality projects, Planterra can follow the guidelines of AAA and Mobile to ensure the floral and plants contribute to the star status rather than detract. For luxury properties, replica materials are to only be seen from afar, where guests cannot touch the material to verify the authenticity. Exceptions generally qualify on preserved product or installations deemed as art pieces.
Are Artificial Plants Maintenance-Free?
It is a common misperception that replica plants require no maintenance. All replica installations require regular dusting and cleaning. Replica landscapes in higher traffic areas such as shopping centers and airports usually need annual refreshers, touch-ups, and the addition of matching replacement parts incorporated into their maintenance programs. Warranties can vary but even the highest quality replica foliage will require a complete refurbishment every 7 to 10 years.
Types of Replica Foliage
COMMERCIAL INTERIOR GRADE
Replica that is considered commercial grade is higher quality than similar products found in craft floral industry. Commercial grade has a longer lifespan, can be cleaned, and often is treated with protective fire-retardant and UV- protective coatings.
COMMERCIAL EXTERIOR GRADE
UV protection is the key component that distinguishes exterior grade. Without UV protection, replica plants fade and discolor. The effectiveness varies greatly by manufacturer and style of artificial plant.
PRESERVED TREES AND PALMS
Preserved plants are manufactured from real plant components that have been sustainably harvested and treated with dyes and chemicals. This technique is only available to plant and tree varieties where this process is available. The most popular is the preserved palm.
Not all locations that call for a living wall can support live plants. Replica plant walls are a sensible solution. These installations utilize a mix of textures and colors to produce compositions ranging from realistic to whimsical. Green walls can also be made with UV rated material for exterior installations.
Few interiors can accommodate the humidity requires to sustain living moss. Depending on the environment, even preserved moss can dry-out and become brittle within the first year. For longer-term installations replica, moss is a good bet. Replica moss walls can be hung just like a painting.