Why artificial plants will never grow on me

Artificial plants used to look fake and quite silly, but that’s all changed.

Many of the new “plastic fantastics” are so realistic it’s hard to tell them apart from the real thing, but I still don’t like them.

They don’t need watering (although the occasional rinse helps get rid of the dust), they don’t require fertiliser and they won’t die on you like some temperamental rare orchid.

So why don’t I like them? Because they’re FAKE … not the real thing … artificial … bogus and not even slightly alive.

Worse still, I sell real plants so I can’t make a cent out of them.

But the No.1 reason you should avoid fake plants is because they are bad for you. Not only do they take the place of oxygen-producing living plants, but they almost certainly give off toxic fumes. Maybe only in small amounts, but these are gases you can do without.

Paint, furnishings, carpets, cosmetics, printers and copiers and many kinds of plastic are among the culprits that can emit these gases, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They exist in the air outdoors as well, but in far lower concentrations. (You can Google VOCs to discover more, but it’s not that interesting.)

The good news is that many indoor plants mop up these airborne nasties at the same time they produce oxygen and consume carbon dioxide.

Peace Lilies, Rubber Plants, English Ivy and Snake Plant are among the champions of air purification.

- Gary McGregor