Four times in a row, I’ve tried to buy a faux plant from Target—and failed. I’ve signed up for in-stock alerts for Hearth & Hand with Magnolia’s 9-inch hanging Hoya plant four times, and the second I’ve gotten the alert, I’ve dashed to the checkout…only to have it sell out before I can complete my order. It seemed like a glitch in the (big box store) matrix, until I dug deeper: Interest in gardening has been on the rise since the pandemic, but for many of us Plant Killers out there, so has the desire for quality dupes, be they dried, crochet or plastic, like my just-out-of-reach Hoya.
And when it comes to artificial greenery, Target seems to be people’s secret source. Searches for “cute fake plants” are up 40 percent this month, according to Google Trends—suggesting growing appeal overall—but the bullseye-branded store is seeing even stronger demand (and not just from me). Queries for plants are up 300 percent year over year on Target.com, says executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Jill Sando. It was that surging interest that inspired the brand’s latest collaboration with Wild Creations author and stylist Hilton Carter, which includes 20 different faux plants, ranging from 10-inch desktop plants to showstopping 7-foot-tall fake trees. And they all look so surprisingly realistic that, if you buy one, you may accidentally water it.