This simple yet genius hack makes an artificial olive tree look so realistic

We are gripped by this faux olive tree hack making the rounds of the internet

Dining room with long curtains and potted olive tree
(Image credit: Nida Rouf, @thehomediary_)

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

Dining room with long curtains and potted olive tree

(Image credit: Nida Rouf, @thehomediary_)

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.

Dunelm Slim Silhouette Olive Tree 130cm

(Image credit: Dunelm)

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.’

Dining room with long curtains and potted olive tree

(Image credit: Nida Rouf, @thehomediary_)

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

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.