Olive trees are the go-to for minimalist interior lovers, injecting a sense of Mediterranean holiday to any home or garden. As gorgeous as they are, these beauties are also not cheap and can be fairly tricky to care for.
But if you still want to emulate the look of one of the best indoor trees without the hassle of the care, there is the option of going down the faux route. Like with any artificial houseplants there’s always the concern that they might look very obviously fake. But after seeing this genius Instagram hack to make a faux olive tree look more realistic, that’s no longer an issue we’re concerned about.
The artificial olive tree hack
We first spotted this technique on Nida Rouf’s Instagram account @thehomediary_ focused on all things home, interiors, lifestyle and organisation. She got herself a Dunelm faux olive tree and posted an Instagram reel about how to make it look more real in a few simple steps.
‘The hack of elevating an olive tree and utilising a plant pot and artificial moss has been circulating the internet for a while,’ she says. ‘It’s an excellent method of adding some colour to a neutral room, adding to the textures and dimensions of a room and in my case, adding some height next to a low table and chairs.’
‘As a neutral home lover (and due to my inability to look after any plants), I always like to find decorative accessories that are simple, clean and easy to maintain. It’s hard to scroll across interior styling content without coming across an olive tree. My budget for an olive tree was limited and I could not justify spending hundreds on one.’ So she snapped up an artificial one and gave it a makeover.
So what’s the trick?
The first step sees Nida adding padding to her pot to elevate the faux tree and fill any gaps on the sides so that the tree is not tilted or wobbly. Keep in mind that you’ll need a big planter – Nida opted for a sleek black one with legs elevating it off the ground.
‘Place your olive tree in an oversized pot. A small pot is the first giveaway that a plant or tree is fake as the roots of a large tree would never fit into a small pot,’ agrees Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench. ‘To make it more realistic, place the tree on a stand to add height.’
Then after propping up the tree, Nida covers the top with artificial moss. But real moss, soil or rocks would work just as well.
‘Finish with fake soil, moss and rocks around the edge of the tree. A plastic base is an obvious sign of a fake plant so by mimicking real foliage no one should even notice it’s fake,’ Steve recommends. ‘If you want to take it one step further, why not try adding real soil.’
He adds one more tip, ‘Fake olive trees often have an abundance of olives hanging from branches, sometimes there are so many that it can seem unrealistic. Try removing some of these so there are still a couple of olives left, but not enough to draw attention.’
And voila, the look of an indoor Mediterranean garden idea is yours. We’re shocked by how good this looks!
Get the look
Dunelm Slim Silhouette Olive Tree 130cm
Dunelm’s slim variation was Nida’s faux olive tree of choice. And its sleek look is a winner in our books too.
Amazon Plant Pot with Plant Stand
Amazon’s large metal planter in a matte black finish is a very similar to the one Nida used in her real owing to the stand it comes with. And it’s currently on sale.