We often describe our designer quality silk flower arrangements and artificial plants as permanent botanicals. We use the word permanent in the sense they will last a very long time. They are stable and not expected to change over time. Permanent also expresses the long-term benefits of silk in contrast to the temporary, ephemeral nature of perishable fresh cut flowers. Permanent botanicals have lasting benefits, far beyond those of fresh cut flowers and live indoor plants, but will not last forever!
Many things can affect the performance of silk flowers and artificial plants over their lifespan. Years of neglect can accumulate layers of dust. Housekeeping, moving, and storage can disarrange flower stems and branches. Improperly potted trees and floor plants can dislodge from the decorative container. Years of exposure to direct sunlight eventually discolors or fades even the best quality artificial flowers and foliage. Children and pets can do some very strange things. Don’t forget those of poor quality and bad design that were doomed from the start. After years of use, much like any home and office furnishings (sofas, occasional tables, arm chairs, etc.), permanent silk flowers and plants will show their age.
Everyone has seen the sparse ficus tree with nine or ten misshapen branches in the auto service center, the very bizarre flower design in the doctor’s waiting room, or the dusty, cobwebbed things they call plants in the bank branch lobby. Perhaps, in the home of a friend or family member, a silk flower arrangement or artificial plant at the end of its days lurks in a corner. How can people walk by something so bad every single day and be oblivious to how unattractive and ragged it has become? This kind of shabby is never chic. Tell them it is time to let it go!