9 Long-Lasting Florals That Aren't Silk

Ditch those dusty faux blooms and brighten your space with one of these gorgeous, low-maintenance fresh flower alternatives instead.

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Nothing fills your home with colorful charm like a gorgeous bouquet of fresh-cut flowers. Unfortunately, refilling vases with fresh blooms every week can add up quickly, tearing a sunflower-sized hole in your decorating budget. No worries! There are plenty of inexpensive, low-maintenance ways to integrate beautiful, long-lasting florals into your decor without ever stepping foot in the oh-so-scary fake flower aisle.

Best Dried Varieties

Photo by: iStock/Oksana_S


Dried or preserved flowers are as close to the real thing as you can get and last about 12 times longer than their fresh counterparts. However, not every flower looks good when dried, and it's important to follow proper drying techniques to avoid moldy or brown-tinted blooms. Hydrangea, statice, yarrow, baby's breath, lavender and blue thistle are great choices, as they maintain their natural shape and bright color when dried and will last for months or even years in a clean, non-humid environment.

Unique Ways to Display Dried Flowers

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Cotton Stems

Cotton Stems

Cotton Stems

In place of cut floral stems, consider adding the rich look of cotton stems to your Fall setup. Simply gather the stems in odd numbers, five and seven working best, then place them into a large vessel. The neutral tones work well for year-round use, and work gorgeously with Fall tones such as orange and dark brown.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

If you're looking to replicate Joanna Gaines' effortless Fixer Upper farmhouse aesthetic, grab a few bunches of cotton stems next time you head to the farmer's market. They're inexpensive, make a gorgeous statement and are 100 percent natural. Win-win-win. 

How to Use Cotton Stems in Everyday Decor

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Wood Planks Holding Succulents

Wood Planks and Succulents as Wall Decor

A green take on wall decor uses raw wood planks as planters for succulents, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

From: Fixer Upper

Going on vacation? No need to hire a plant sitter for these hardy blooms. Succulents are super trendy, low-maintenance plants that can survive year round in virtually all conditions. Plus, a succulent plant often costs less than a single silk flower stem! Arrange in sandy soil and place next to a bright, sunny window for best results.

Eye-Catching Succulent Decor

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Long-Lasting Wreaths



What if I told you that wreaths look just as great indoors as they do out? Work one of these chic floral decorations into your gallery wall, lay them flat on a table for a unique centerpiece or prop on a shelf, mantel or plate rail. Make your own from long-lasting materials such as dried flowers, magnolia leaves, dried boxwood clippings or paper blooms and switch out seasonally as desired.

More DIY Wreaths

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Sticks and Stems

Wood Mantel Topped With Rustic Paneled Mirror and Vase of Branches

Natural Wood Mantel Features Beautiful Decor

The natural look of the wood mantel in this living room pairs well with a rustic paneled mirror and a vase of sprawling branches. A gorgeous piece of white coral completes the look, adding a coastal touch.

Photo by: Carter Kay

Carter Kay

Decorative branches are about as low-maintenance as it gets. Just drop them in a pretty vase, arrange and you're done. That being said, not just any old stick will do. Choose ornamental types such as birch, pussy willow, driftwood curly willow or lichen-covered varieties for a polished look.

Paper Flowers

How to Make Paper Flowers 06:58

Julia shows how to make paper flowers for a bouquet that will last forever.

Ok, paper flowers are fake flowers, too. But if your home decor skews kitschy, bright DIY paper blooms are a fun and youthful long-term option and a unique alternative to silk or plastic florals.

More DIY Paper Flowers

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Long-Lasting House Plants

White Magnetic Wall Planters

Vertical Garden With Magnetic Planters

Rearrange your living wall with these magnetic planter boxes from Urbio. How it works: You purchase as many magnetic blocks as you'd like, then stick on durable polypropylene planters equipped with magnets strong enough to hold everything from succulents to leafy ferns. Once you've set up your blocks, you can move the planters to your heart's content.

Photo by: Courtesy of Urbio

Courtesy of Urbio

From indoor trees to shade-loving indoor plants, the options are endless when it comes to low-maintenance house plants. No green thumb required (seriously!).

Houseplants 101: Choosing the Right Indoor Greenery

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Floral Art

Nursery Wall Decoration

Window Pane Nursery Wall Decoration

As seen on Fixer Upper, the Barrett's new nursery uses an old window pane to hang over the baby's crib.

From: Fixer Upper

Make a big statement by transforming your favorite blooms into unique, large-scale home decor. Upside-down flower pots, sculptured planters and oversized macro flower prints are just a few of the stunning and creative ways you can display florals year round in a big way.

Stunning Floral Art

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Fresh Cuts



Create a unique look for your home by displaying different shades of coffee berry in vessels of varied height.

©Rustic White Photography

Rustic White Photography

Create a unique look for your home by displaying different shades of coffee berry in vessels of varied height.

At the end of the day, nothing can replace the look, feel and smell of fresh-cut flowers. Fortunately, there are a variety of blooms that will last two weeks or more when properly maintained. Rich-scented coffee berry, eucalyptus, orchids, chrysanthemums and zinnias are among the most popular long-lasting varieties and look great when displayed in large bunches. For maximum life span, arrange loosely in a clean vase, cut stems at an angle and replace water every few days.

Long-Lasting Fresh Cut Flowers

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Next Up

Designer Confession: I Use Faux Plants and Here's Why

Let's get this out of the way: I love faux plants, I use faux plants and I give you full permission to use them too. Follow these important faux plant tips and you'll have thriving plants FOREVER.

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