New here? Sign-up to our newsletter for 10% off your first order

Choosing The Right Artificial Plants For Restaurant Tables

A small fernlike plant on top of a cafe table next to an iced coffee and a glass of water.

Kate Blott |

Choosing The Right Artificial Plants For Restaurant Tables

As customers, we may take it for granted that our favourite restaurant, or the brand new one that we are only now trying, looks amazing, and has decor that oozes class and taste. Stepping outside of our customer-oriented bubble to think about what has gone into the interior design shines a light on the different elements that make the whole space come together. Aside from colour palettes and furnishings, the small details included often make the biggest difference to the aesthetic. One important flourish is plants.

Whether they are used as bold statement features or discrete motifs, plants bring an extra dimension to what could otherwise be a flat and potentially uninspiring place. The plants don’t have to be real to accomplish this, as there are some amazing faux options available that will fool all but the most eagle-eyed horticulturalists!

Artificial products are long-lasting and make for a good investment. Creating a good base of different products allows for mixing up the design to keep the look fresh and inviting to your customers. The plants can be used over again, and easily stored when not in use, saving you time and money on the upkeep and financial commitment of live products.

Focusing on table decor, the plants you choose can provide another level of detail to draw your diners into your aesthetic. It’s important to consider what the table can accommodate so the decor doesn't interfere with the dining experience. Smaller plants can still enhance the decor without becoming a nuisance to those trying to enjoy their meal. Let’s look at some ideas as to how to choose the right artificial plants for your restaurant tables.

The Do’s And Don’ts For Restaurant Centrepieces

Centrepieces are exactly as they sound, a plant or arrangement designed to sit in the centre of a table. What is the best practice for centrepieces on a restaurant table?

Do: Choose a plant that allows diners to see each other across the table.

Don’t: Choose a plant that gets in the way and takes up valuable space on the table.

Do: Choose similar-sized or style plants and remain within your aesthetic.

Don’t: Choose wildly different plants that will clash with your restaurant’s design and colour palette.

Do: Try and style the plants as realistically as possible, as this will assist in creating the illusion of live plants. A little gentle heat can assist with this. For more tips, read our article on ‘How To Make Faux Plants Look Real’.

Don’t: Select a low-quality plant that cannot be styled and manipulated - it’s worth spending a little more on a good-quality product to get the realism.

Do: Be sympathetic to diners on smaller tables. Ask yourself if you could manage with a plant on the table.

Don’t: Be afraid to leave some of the tables free of plants if they are too small. It will break up the design and add some asymmetry.

Timeless Greenery And Tabletop Artificial Foliage

Keeping tabletop decor relevant and inoffensive is a difficult balancing act. A major element of most plants and flowers is greenery, and this calming colour can be used well within a restaurant setting. Using greenery on tabletops is particularly useful when setting a neutral tone. Although green isn’t a neutral colour per se, in terms of plants it can be. Using plant greenery to ground a table top’s decor is a simple and effective way to create interest without the additional fuss of flowers that die or give off strong and irritating scents.

Potted Ferns

Ferns come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and looks. Their versatility can be used within a restaurant setting from hanging baskets, wall-mounted sconces, and of course, tabletops. It’s possible to pot on ferns to create small, unobtrusive tabletop plants that look good but don’t interfere with space.

Image Credit: Thới Nam Cao

It can be daunting to know whether your chosen tabletop plant will cope with the stresses of high traffic, so be open-minded to artificial specimens. The high-quality options available these days are likely to fool even the most eagle-eyed observer. With an artificial fern, the worry of damage and maintaining a live plant is removed. With occasional cleaning and styling, these plants will continue to look good for years.

Tabletop Monstera Deliciosa

You may think that Monstera is only available as a statement, large plant, but they have to start small! If your tables have more real estate, to begin with, you can make use of these gorgeous plants to create a mini tropical paradise. These plants are quite slow-growing, so it should be a while before you need to change them for something smaller.

Image Credit: Anna Nekrashevich

To avoid changing the plant for a new one due to growth, try a good-quality faux option, and take advantage of low maintenance needs. These sturdy little specimens are ideal for spaces where people may knock them, spill liquids or food, and which could also be less than ideal in terms of heat and humidity.

Faux Flowers For Restaurant Settings

Faux plants can be an excellent choice for restaurants. The busy nature of ever-changing table settings, and swirling customers can be a damaging environment for a live plant: Combine this with fluctuating temperatures, lighting, and humidity, and it can become inhospitable. Either alone or as part of a blend with real flowers, artificial products can be used to lift the look of the decor and bring in some natural elements to the design.

UV-Safe Pelargonium

Should you require something more floral for your restaurant, indoor plants such as pelargoniums are a lovely choice. Available in many colours from white through to bright red, these pretty plants also come in options with single or multicoloured petals, and single colour or variegated leaves. As immature plants, they look sweet in small pots, and as they grow on cuttings may be taken to propagate new plants. The petals of these plants are very delicate, so should you require something more robust, it’s worth considering an artificial variety.

Image Credit: Skyler Ewing

With premium artificial plants, it is possible to achieve a realistic look for your restaurant without compromising on the quality of the aesthetic. Contemporary faux plants are very convincing and are malleable, so the stems, leaves, and flowers can be manipulated to create an authentic display. When dressed in a decorative pot with either real or good-quality artificial soils, the illusion is enhanced. An alternative to these is preserved moss, which can be used to disguise the base and create a pleasing look. The plant below comes with a plug-style base and should you wish to create a smaller plant it can be cut to suit, and the pieces arranged in dry foam to arrange it. Similarly, a much larger plant could be created with more than one plant. It’s easy to experiment with these as they are very forgiving!

Geranium (Austrian), White, 40cm
A faux Austrian Geranium plant.

French Geranium, Red, Trailing, 70cm
A selection of artificial, trailing French Geraniums in hanging baskets.

If you're concerned about your faux products fading in sunlight, then choose UV safe products.


The pretty impatiens, also known as Bizzy Lizzy, is a bold flower that doesn’t take up a vast amount of space on a table.

An artificial Impatiens bush, displayed in a textured, stone pot.

With white, red, pink, violet, coral, purple, and yellow flowers to choose from, these gorgeous plants will complement any table decor. Mix and match or keep to a colour theme, the choice is yours. As you can see from the picture above, artificial impatiens are a good option for those of you who don’t have the time or ability to maintain live plants. Your flower budget need not be used up and then lost to dead plants with carefully purchased faux options. They’re definitely worth considering for a business on a tight budget with time constraints!


The petunia comes in so many colours, you will be spoiled for choice! They are a true country garden plant whose upright, bushy varieties do well in pots, containers, and hanging baskets. Smaller plants would work for restaurants seeking a cottage-core look throughout summer, into autumn. If you wish to achieve this look all year round, select realistic faux plants to enhance your table decor. Petite products can be dressed with pots that are consistent with the existing aesthetic to enhance the overall appearance of the plant and make it a cohesive part of the design. If you wish to embolden the theme, select trailing varieties to hang in windows or from ceilings. Mix real and faux varieties to make it less of an obvious shift to all faux in the off-season.

Using preserved moss to dress the pot's surface is a great way to cover up unsightly foam with your faux petunia plant.

Do You Need Flowers Or Plants On Every Table?

As with so many things in life, less is often more. When it comes to enhancing interior decor with plants, choosing carefully and being considered with your placements can make all the difference between being over the top and just right. Design messages are often far better sent with subtle cues, and your clientele will feel far less bombarded if plant choices are well-spaced within the more accommodating tables and side furnishings, rather than uniformly placed on every available surface.

Image Credit: Dmitry Zvolskiy

Should All Restaurant Centrepieces Be The Same?

Ultimately, design strategy is down to the individual business, so if you feel it’s relevant to your aesthetic to opt for the same plant style on each table, there’s nothing wrong with that. More individual styling will certainly be more suitable for other businesses, so it’s worth researching and experimenting either with real plants or with some computer-aided design to get the look you’re after.

Top Tips For Making Restaurant Tables Extra Aesthetically Pleasing

Depending on your interior design theme, including the table decor can draw a look together. Opting for contrasting or complementary-coloured tablecloths may be a good starting point. Napkins, place settings, and items like candle holders may also add cohesion to the design. Lastly, the right choice of plants can be the flourish the setting needs to complete it. Brainstorm and create mood boards to visualise your ideas, and test these on friends, family, and trusted customers to get feedback.

Getting your restaurant tables’ decor on point is not necessarily an easy task but with the right research and experimentation, It’s possible to get the look you desire. At Atlas, we may be biased, but we think flowers and plants should be part of your decor. They don’t have to be live plants flowers, or even real ones for that matter! Choosing from dried, preserved, and artificial floral products can lift your interior design and give your customers a relaxed feeling. Making the most of greenery to create calm and using carefully chosen flowering plants on the tables and side furnishings can enhance the aesthetic by bringing in some natural elements to an otherwise safely decorated, utilitarian space.

We encourage you to experiment with your table decor, and make the most of your budget with some premium artificial products too, as these will reduce the need for frequent maintenance, and care, and remove the worry of dying plants!


Want 10% Off Your First Order?

Subscribe to our emails to info on new products, new blog posts, important shipping info and more, straight to your inbox!