Seven Reasons Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers

Though high-quality artificial flowers look almost like real flowers, in many ways, they fall short of the real thing.

By: THURSD. | 03-01-2024 | 10 min read
Sustainability Flowers
Why You Should Avoid Artificial Flowers

From historical times, flowers have always been admired for their natural beauty and the satisfaction they bring to people's lives. In their natural form, they have always been considered a symbol of nature's graceful elegance, and offer a sense of serene peacefulness. The serenity that comes with having flowers is, definitely, unrivaled.

However, lately, artificial flowers have become increasingly popular. These flowers have gained acceptance in various settings, from home decor to weddings. While they may seem quite like a convenient and cost-effective alternative to fresh flowers, there are compelling reasons why you should think twice before settling for artificial flowers. 

The Artificial Flowers Conundrum

The use of artificial flowers has, in recent times, sparked a debate among people, especially those seeking to enhance their spaces with flowers, plants, and floral arrangements. There are diverse reasons why, nowadays, people are turning towards artificial flowers, over real natural flowers.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
A bouquet of artificial flowers
Photo by GoranH


Allergies related to pollen and different scents associated with real flowers, avoiding the seasonality limitation of real flowers, low-maintenance needs of artificial flowers, and permanency are some of the persuasive reasons why some use artificial flowers.

Yes, artificial flowers may last longer than real flowers. They may also be inexpensive compared to their real and natural counterparts. Still yet, they may require little or no effort to take care of them. But while these artificial flowers offer the prospects of durability and convenience, there are valid concerns regarding their qualities and the repercussions of having them. Concerns have, also, been raised about their aesthetic appeal and also the negative environmental impact that they have. This begs the question, are these artificial flowers really worth the investment?

Why Should You Avoid Artificial Flowers?

There are several good reasons why one ought to consider avoiding artificial flowers. While they may look almost like real flowers, they fall short in many aspects. And despite being an opportune, cost-effective option to real natural flowers, artificial flowers do not measure up to the exquisite qualities that real flowers have.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
A vase containing artificial flowers
Photo by GoranH


In that regard, here are seven compelling reasons why you may want to avoid these flowers.

1. A Lack of Authenticity

One of the most prominent shortcomings of artificial flowers is their lack of authenticity. No matter how advanced the manufacturing techniques may be, artificial flowers can never replicate the subtle nuances and delicate beauty of real flowers.

The textures, fragrances, and imperfections that make real flowers unique are absent in their artificial counterparts. Thus, by opting for artificial flowers, you miss out on the genuine connection with nature that real flowers offer.

In essence, their appearance and texture can be quite different from the real thing, which can detract from the natural and organic feel of your home or event when you use them.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
A vase with artificial flowers.
Photo by slightly_different


2. Limited, or Entirely No Aesthetic Appeal

While artificial flowers may initially appear visually appealing, they lack the dynamic and ever-changing nature of real flowers. Real flowers offer a wide array of colors, shapes, and sizes that vary with each season. In their lifetime, they evolve and transform, adding a touch of natural beauty to any environment.

Additionally, the beauty, elegance, and sentimentality of real flowers are unparalleled, and artificial flowers do not even come close to reproducing such authenticity regardless of their quality. Real flowers can grow and evolve, adding dynamic beauty to your space!

Artificial flowers, on the other hand, remain inert and fail to capture the essence of nature's constant renewal. These flowers and foliage have a static appearance, which means they do not change or grow over time. They also lack the sensory experience that real flowers provide.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
An unhappy lady holds a bunch of flowers
Photo by stockking


The limited aesthetic appeal of artificial flowers can make spaces feel stagnant, dull, and devoid of life, and the inhabitants of these spaces are weary, stressed, and without positivity.

3. The Floral Sustainability Aspect and Respect for Traditional Art and Craftsmanship

Floristry is an age-old tradition that dates back to ancient times and given that this art is deeply rooted in traditions and craftsmanship, florists take pride in their ability and know-how to work with real flowers to showcase their creativity and skills. It is an art that lies in the intricacies of nature and its connections. Sustainably grown real flowers have the power to forge such connections.

In choosing real flowers, you uphold floral sustainability and uphold the floristry art and the innovativeness of indigenous florists, and even flower growers who play a vital role in the economy. After all, the flower industry provides employment opportunities and greatly contributes to sustainable agricultural practices.

Supporting these crafts and industries ensures the preservation of traditional age-old knowledge and craftsmanship, while promoting indigenous economies. Artificial flowers, on the other hand, are often mass-produced and imported, contributing to the decline of such floral enterprises.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
Prospective florists in a floral design masterclass.
Photo by Kenya Flower Festival


4. Detrimental Impact on the Environment

Artificial flowers are predominantly made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastics, synthetic fibers, metals, and sometimes wood. These materials are often made to look and feel real, so oftentimes, one has to touch them to know that they are fake. The production of these materials requires significant amounts of energy and resources, contributing to environmental degradation.

Additionally, their disposal poses a challenge, as artificial flowers cannot decompose naturally. These attributes contribute to environmental issues and sustainability concerns. They make artificial flowers a poor choice for environmentally conscious people, as they contribute to pollution and waste accumulation.

In a quote about flowers, twentieth-century Indian psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, writer, and public speaker Anthony de Mello once said:

"Whatever is truly alive must die, look at the flowers; only plastic flowers never die and anything that does not die eventually becomes harmful to our environment."


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
A bunch of artificial flowers.
Photo by y45_ihmdn


This, he said, in relation to the detrimental attributes that make artificial flowers harmful to the environment. They choke the ecosystem when no longer needed - or discarded - because they do not easily decompose. They in turn become an eyesore; creating a scene that is unpleasant.


Why You Should Avoid Artificial Flowers


Real natural flowers, on the other hand, are the opposite of this. They are eco-friendly and biodegradable and hence contribute positively to the conservation of the environment.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
Natural flowers in a bouquet.
Photo by @royalvanzanten


5. Health Risks Involved in Artificial Flowers

Artificial flowers often contain harmful chemicals, such as lead and phthalates, which are used in their manufacturing process. These chemicals can potentially leach into the air and pose health risks, particularly for individuals with respiratory conditions or allergies.

Furthermore, the accumulation of dust on artificial flowers can exacerbate indoor air pollution. Just so you know, artificial flowers tend to gather dust over time, which can make them look unkempt and may require regular cleaning. Plus, some people may be allergic to the materials used in artificial flowers or the dust that collects on them.

Real flowers, on the other hand, do not pose all these risks. On the contrary, they possess so many benefits healthwise. They provide a natural air purifying effect and can enhance the overall well-being of people. They also improve air quality, help in stress reduction, and control humidity. Artificial flowers do not offer these advantages.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
Lady delighted with these red flowers.
Photo by @serhii_bobyk


6. Cultural and Symbolic Significance

Flowers have, always, played a significant and symbolic role in various cultures and societies, symbolizing emotions, traditions, and events. Real flowers have the power to evoke these emotions and create meaningful connections.

Artificial flowers, however, lack the cultural and symbolic significance associated with real flowers. The kind of romance portrayed by real flowers such as the passion aroused by red roses, or the purity of a white lily, and all other deep-rooted meanings and symbolism conveyed by real flowers can never be evoked or replicated by artificial flowers.

In addition, the passion and processes that go into the creation and nurturing of real flowers cannot compare to the industrial efforts that go into the production of artificial flowers.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
A lady nurtures flowers.
Photo by freepik


7. The Emotional Connection

Many people appreciate the sentimental value and emotional connection associated with receiving or giving real flowers. The freshness and fleeting nature of real blooms make them special and symbolic, whereas artificial flowers lack this ephemeral quality. The emotional connection to real flowers stems from their natural beauty and the temporary nature of their existence.

Real flowers are often associated with special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or celebrations, where they are given or received as a gesture of love, appreciation, or sympathy. The fact that real flowers bloom for a limited time and then wither away adds to their significance. This fleeting nature creates a sense of transience. It calls for the need to cherish the present moment.

In contrast, artificial flowers lack this transient quality since they remain unchanged and do not go through the natural life cycle of growth and decay. As a result, they may not arouse the same emotional response or hold the same symbolic meaning as real flowers do.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
Cheerful amid tulips in bright sunshine.
Photo by @Maggie


In Essence, Real (Natural) Flowers Are Good for You!

Real, fresh, and natural flowers are, definitely, good for you. Their beauty, fragrance, and ability to uplift spirits are qualities that support this notion. Their benefits extend to positively impacting health and mental well-being. Green plants also have a similar impact on people.

The presence of real flowers has, for instance, been scientifically proven to elevate mood and promote positive emotions. Studies have shown that being in the presence of these flowers can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing feelings of happiness and well-being. In workplaces, they improve the general ambiance and enhance productivity. Their vibrant colors, natural scents, and visual appeal create a pleasant sensory experience that uplifts spirits and improves overall mood.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
Colorful gerberas
Photo by @schreursrosesandgerbera 


With the usual hustle and bustle that we, often, find ourselves in, finding ways to relax and unwind is crucial for one’s mental health. And real flowers provide the solution in that they are a natural stress reliever. The simple act of tending or simply observing flowers can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, and induce a state of relaxation. Real flowers in your environment provide a calming and soothing effect, helping to lessen stress and anxiety.

Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, thereby purifying the air we breathe. Some flowers, also, have the ability to remove harmful toxins and pollutants from the environment. These qualities of real plants and flowers contribute to cleaner and fresher air, promoting better respiratory health and overall well-being.

In addition, humans have an innate connection to nature, and real flowers provide a tangible link to the natural world, thus they have a significant impact on people’s mental state. This association with nature has been shown to reduce feelings of stress, increase creativity, and improve cognitive function.


Why You Should Shun Artificial Flowers
The joy that comes with flower gardening.
Photo by serhii_bobyk


On the other hand, while artificial flowers may offer convenience and longevity, they fall short in many aspects when compared to their real counterparts. They, also, lack so many benefits that real flowers have. Accordingly, if you’re stuck about which way you would rather go, real natural flowers offer a definite perfect option.


Header image by ArtificialMerch on Unsplash feature image by @serhii_bobyk on Freepik.



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