Fitout Plants: Artificial V Living. Digging up the pros and cons!

Planting the seed

Inside out, no…wait

Aussies love the great outdoors, there’s no denying it! But in today’s fast-paced, screen-dense society, us Aussies are spending less time appreciating the everyday greenery in our beautiful corner of the world. Plus, with nearly 2 million Aussies working 6 – 7 days a week, it’s no wonder we lap up anything that connects us with nature. Cue the continuing fitout trend for bringing elements of the outdoors to the inside…

Stand aside, lacklustre, standard interiors, the plants are here! And with good reason! Plants offer up a host of benefits (aside from the obvious huge aesthetic appeal) and can seriously boost the overall look and feel of your finished fitout. And your home, don’t forget your home! But, you know, we’re all about your business around here. So, we’ve let the plants battle it out and have compiled a list of pros and cons for artificial V living plants in your business.

Not many people consider the immense impacts of plants within a business fitout, whether it be a cafe, restaurant, retail store, surgery, salon, office or otherwise. There are many elements that need to be considered when making the right decision, such as health benefits, maintenance, appearance, and more. So without further ado:


Living Plants

Green machines

In today’s society, there is a massive focus on the best ways to benefit health and wellbeing. From eating plans and exercise, right down to the best plants.


  • Retail businesses take note: shoppers in stores with living greenery are inclined to pay up to 12% more for products and services!
  • Stress-reducing and inspires innovative thinking. Hallelujah! We could all do with a little less stress in our lives!
  • Living greenery can help to increase the productivity of employees by up to 12%. That could have a pretty positive impact on your bottom line!
  • Through a complex conversion process, plants work to eliminate air pollutants. Modern commercial buildings, with predominantly sealed air, can contain up to ten times more pollutants than the air outside! Eek! Think: mold, formaldehyde, dust, carbon monoxide and chemical cleaning agents etc.
  • Can help stabilise humidity-levels, thus helping to reduce cooling and heating costs
  • Living plants help to absorb noise by reducing reverberation time, which is great for high-traffic areas or areas where noise needs to be kept to a minimum.
  • Excellent for eye-level displays, where close-up examination is more likely.


  • Ongoing maintenance isn’t always simple. Living plants require TLC. Water, plant food and adequate sunlight are a must.
  • Insects can possibly be an issue if you are using the living plants for things such as outdoor tables/seating arrangements.
  • Options are limited based on the living plants that are able to withstand and thrive in your particular business’ environment.


  • Choose wisely. Don’t buy those beautiful sunlight-loving potted flowers for your interior reception area with one tiny window. Browning, sad plants are never a good reflection on a business.

Impressive credentials, right? But, wait! Before you run off to the Bunnings nursery, hear us out on living plants’ faux counterparts.


Artificial Plants

Fantastic Plastic

While living plants seem to take the cake when it comes to health and productivity, fear not! There are plenty of fabulous reasons you should invest in artificial plants!


  • Good quality artificial plants usually look like the real deal. After all, artificial plants get their design inspiration straight from living plants. Copy cats!
  • Minimal, almost non-existent maintenance (this one is our fave)!
  • The options are virtually endless. Colour, style, size. Not convinced on straight out plastic? Artificial plants can also incorporate materials such as paper, silk and polyester.
  • Save on long-term costs. These plants can bring you joy for years and years, with the initial investment dollars being the only price to pay. Oh, and the cost of a duster.
  • No more plant-sitting during business closures. Walk away and leave your artificial plants to fend for themselves, they won’t mind.
  • Shift the plants around, without needing to consider sunshine, water and air requirements. If you tend to get bored with your layout, this one’s for you.
  • Most insects aren’t huge fans of the plastic variety of plants. No one likes ants running along their table or bees buzzing around their pretty flowers.
  • Perfect for hard-to-reach places, like ceilings and high walls or columns. Living plants are just not plausible in these situations. Watering plants near the ceilings…I don’t think so.


  • Some cheaper artificial plants can have a noticeable ‘fake’ look about them. Steer clear if these plants will be at eye-level. We promise you won’t regret the extra investment.
  • Definitely a fire hazard. Made from highly flammable products, you don’t want to be lighting candles under, or right next to, any artificial plants.


  • If you’re purchasing your own artificial plants for your fitout, be wary of online purchases. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many people led astray by beautiful pictures, only to have their plants turn up looking a little less fab, and a little more drab.


The Verdict?

Dishing the dirt for your fitout

Well, it’s a hard call. And we really did struggle to find cons, because plants (no matter what type), are just so awesome! If you’re looking for a health benefits, then living is the way to go. If low-maintenance is top of your list, definitely put the watering can down. It may even just come down to your fitout design, and your option may ultimately be limited to practicality during installation.

The reality is, every business has its own set of needs and priorities. It’s important to acknowledge these when choosing whether to go with artificial or living plants. For us, having an office inside a shopfitting factory means that things get regularly coated in tradie glitter (i.e. sawdust). It also means there is less natural light and more pollutants in the air. So cleaning can often feel like a burden, and it also means that we could really do with some health and productivity benefits! In this way, living plants make far more sense for our office fitout. In the M2 office (we’re currently mid-renovations, yeah!), we are going to be implementing a combination of living AND artificial greenery. Artificial in those impractically high, not-at-eye-level locations. Living in and around desk height. We do love a good resolution! Best of both worlds.

Overall, any plants with a beautiful touch of colour, shape, or even a unique design, can work hard for your business. Choose wisely, and create a stunning feature with a beautiful link to our much-loved outdoors.


Keen for more?

Thinking outside the planter box

No matter how you plant your greenery, it’s going to be lush for your business. BUT, we love a good custom planter box or wall/ceiling feature to really amp things up. Our tradies are a talented bunch and can work with you to create the perfect greenery-housing creation to suit your fitout. We’re just going to leave these ideas right here (yep, we built them)…

Cafe fitout planter boxes: Brewed Awakening Cafe fitout planter boxes: Brewed AwakeningOutdoor fitout planter box: San ChurroRetail fitout: hanging plantsRetail fitout: hanging plantsOffice fitout: wall plants