The rising demand for faux greenery reflects a growing appreciation for its hyper-realistic appearance, durability and low maintenance, says one expert

With technological advancements and innovative material processing techniques, artificial plants shed their tacky, fake image and emerge as high-quality substitutes for fresh greenery. Modern hyper-realistic-looking plants are increasingly gaining popularity because of their longer lifespan, low maintenance, and allergy-friendly nature. Unlike real plants, faux plants do not produce allergens such as pollen. Creating indoor vertical gardens and green walls using faux plants is also gaining traction among residential and commercial spaces.

Options chats to Anne Wong, founder and managing director of Pollyanna Concepts, a pioneer in the local artificial greenery scene. Starting as a florist in 1974, Wong shifted her focus to faux greenery due to the challenges of working with fresh flowers, including limited shelf life and wastage. Embracing artificial alternatives allowed for equally stunning arrangements prepared in advance, free from perishability constraints.

After nearly four decades, Wong has become a prominent figure in the industry and is highly regarded by interior designers for her creations. She is frequently sought after for prestigious commercial and residential projects.

Artificial greenery is an excellent choice for creating well-manicured balconies in high-rise living, without the fuss that real plants bring.

What inspired you to specialise in artificial plants and green walls, and how has this focus evolved over the years compared to when you first started?

The initial spark stemmed from two main factors: The challenge of wastage and scarcity of warehouse space. Dealing with fresh flowers meant contending with perishability and storage constraints, prompting us to seek alternative solutions. I initially explored preserved flowers, even before they became popular. Embracing artificial greenery, despite its novelty, was a natural progression.

Navigating the Singapore market posed challenges as trends took longer to catch on. Educating consumers was essential to introducing the concept. With greater acceptance of our products, our focus now shifts towards sustainability, championing eco-friendly practices for a greener future.

What common misconceptions do people have about artificial plants, and how do you address them? 

In Asian culture, feng shui heavily influences the choice between live and artificial plants, believing that live plants with large leaves maintain positive energy.

To address this, we suggest combining live and faux plants or starting with a small live plant and complementing it with faux ones.

Regarding environmental concerns about artificial plant production, customers rarely express worries about toxicity or plastic waste.

However, we emphasise sustainability in urban areas like Singapore. Our high-quality faux plants are preferred because they last longer, reducing the likelihood of disposal. Seeing them reused or shared, spreading joy and staying green is gratifying.

Customised green walls made with artificial plants can instantly elevate spaces and offer extended longevity with minimal maintenance

How are artificial plants and green walls used in interior design to create inviting, aesthetically pleasing spaces?

Integrating artificial plants and green walls into interior design involves meticulously enhancing aesthetic appeal and ambience. It begins with assessing space characteristics and client preferences, followed by careful selection and visual mock-ups to align style and atmosphere. Placement maximises visual impact, creating focal points that add depth and vibrancy. 

Beyond ornamentation, they contribute to inviting environments, evoking nature’s tranquillity. Low-maintenance upkeep enhances their appeal, delivering enduring charm and vitality. Ultimately, their integration elevates interior design projects by infusing them with the timeless allure of natural greenery.

What are the key considerations when designing and installing a green wall in a residential versus a commercial setting?

In residential settings, aesthetics are key. Choose plants that match your style, ensuring your green wall reflects your personality. Consider practical uses like creating a cosy nook or enhancing privacy for durability. Size and layout matter; ensure the wall complements the space without overwhelming it. Factor in humidity and UV levels for indoor and outdoor walls to ensure the plants’ longevity and overall condition. Opt for low-maintenance options to save time on upkeep.

In commercial settings, green walls must embody the brand’s identity and values, serving as prominent features in corporate offices, retail spaces, or hospitality venues. Maintenance accessibility requires easy watering, pruning, and cleaning access to sustain the wall’s vitality.

Durable materials and robust plant varieties are essential to withstand heavy use and maintain appearance amidst high foot traffic. Green walls offer benefits beyond aesthetics, improving indoor air quality, reducing noise levels, and enhancing occupant well-being. Compliance with building codes, fire safety regulations, and sustainability standards requires collaboration with experienced professionals.

What distinguishes Pollyanna Concepts from other artificial plant and green wall providers in terms of design innovation and sustainability practices?

At Pollyanna, we pride ourselves on our bespoke approach to landscaping and green wall projects. We tailor each to our client’s preferences and bring their visions to life.

While fixed green wall panels offer convenience and lushness, they may lack the personal touch reflecting our clients’ style and home ambience.

With over three decades of experience, our heritage as a pioneer in interior decoration ensures exceptional quality and craftsmanship, earning the trust of our loyal clientele.

We prioritise sustainability, introducing UV-coated plants and sourcing from factories using recycled fabrics and non-toxic materials. We are also collaborating actively to integrate fire-retardant materials into our products, enhancing safety and sustainability.

Throughout her career, Wong has lent her expertise to creating magical spaces for elaborate weddings

How does Pollyanna balance faux plants with fresh flowers in its offerings for weddings and festivities?

Our main focus still lies in using artificial plants and flowers. However, we seamlessly incorporate fresh plants and flowers for weddings and special occasions where specific botanicals are requested and not in our collection.

If we have it, we showcase it. If not, we go the extra mile to source it, ensuring each event is embellished perfectly.

Over the years, the quality of artificial plants and flowers has greatly improved, providing an effective solution for weddings that require longevity, such as full-day events or multi-day celebrations, particularly for elaborate Indonesian weddings.

What are your goals and priorities regarding innovation, sustainability, and client satisfaction?

Pollyanna is dedicated to innovation and sustainability, setting us apart in the market. We draw inspiration from European trends, pioneering UV protection for artificial plants in Singapore and exploring fire-retardant materials. Sustainability is a top priority, and we are on a mission to embed eco-conscious practices into every aspect of our operations, from responsibly sourced materials to minimising waste and shrinking our carbon footprint. Our mission is client satisfaction, turning dreams into reality with stylish designs. Understanding that beauty is subjective, we aim to bring the client’s visions to life faithfully.

What are some of the up-and-coming trends in artificial greenery?

Bringing the outdoors inside: People bring nature into their homes and offices. Artificial greenery and green walls are hassle-free ways to add some greenery without the upkeep.

Hyper-realistic looks: Technology has come a long way, and now artificial plants look almost as good as the real deal. They are so lifelike you’ll have to do a double-take!

Going vertical: Vertical gardens are all the rage. They are stylish and great for saving space, especially in tight city apartments.

Personalised picks: Everyone wants something unique. Customised artificial greenery lets you create a personalised space, whether you’re into a jungle vibe or something more minimalist.

Eco-friendly Choices: Sustainability is big these days. People love artificial greenery made from recycled materials so that you can feel good about your decor choices.

Create beautiful outdoor landscapes, such as this planter, can be made simple through expert use of faux plants

As the global artificial plant market grows, how do you see the industry evolving to attract future consumers and influence landscaping trends?

We’re witnessing significant growth in the artificial plants sector, driven by their winning combination of aesthetics and convenience.

Offering the same visual appeal as real plants but with minimal upkeep, artificial plants are ideal for modern living. Their cleanliness and hygienic nature also appeal to homeowners prioritising a pest-free environment.

Younger consumers increasingly opt for artificial plants for home decor, especially in space-constrained cities like Singapore. We offer a diverse range of options to suit varied tastes. Artificial plants bring the outdoors in, recognising the importance of green spaces and promoting a more relaxed and calming living environment.

Embracing their versatility is key to the future of landscaping and interior decor, and at Pollyanna, we’re dedicated to leading this evolution with innovation and quality.  


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