The Best Faux Olive Tree (Plus 3 Tricks to Style It Realistically!)

This post is about a popular faux olive tree I’ve seen in hundreds of homes—but all left styled incorrectly! So this is like my PSA to all faux-olive tree owners! 😄

I’ve been wanting to share these faux olive tree styling tips


Seriously, I’ve been dying to get to this one! It’s so simple, sometimes I forget why I haven’t gotten there yet, but then again, I know what life has been like around here. We’ve had so many other life-changing home design posts to write and share with you all, that it’s just been hanging out in the backseat of my brain.

For awhile, it was pretty chill back there in the backseat. “No rush!” it said. “We’re cool!”

But each month that passed where I did not get to sharing these tips, that backseat passenger got a little more antsy and then eventually a little more pestering.

faux olive tree styled in living room
See full details on our transformation on this master bedroom sitting room here!

area rug | blanket | olive tree | moss | pot | area rug | similar rug | similar rug


It didn’t help that I see this exact olive tree nearly everywhere on social media, in people’s homes. And for good reason! It’s inexpensive, the leaves and olives look as real as it gets with faux, and it’s tall and slender—perfect for so many spaces where you don’t want a “short & fat” olive tree.

Such as in our master bedroom. There’s only a sliver of floor next to our couch but it absolutely needed something tall and green there, and so I began my hunt. I went through phases of trying to get a tall, narrow plant on a plant stand there, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me.

Also a problem was the amount of light we get in this room, making it hard for any plants to live well here and look good.

styled faux olive tree in concrete planter next to couch
The best faux olive tree for the value!

area rug | blanket | olive tree | moss | pot | area rug | similar rug | similar rug

So…while I love me some real plants (as evidenced by my love of gardening & landscape), I finally buckled down and bought this exact faux olive tree. (It’s often sold out because it’s so popular, but I’ve also heard good things about this beauty, which is also an excellent price.)

The #1 mistake most people make is leaving their faux olive tree styled exactly how they receive it from the manufacturer, or just sticking all the branches out straight from the trunk (again, as the manufacturer pictures it).

How to rectify this situation? Read on, my friend!


Tips from a real olive tree owner.

Soon after we first moved into this house, I carried out my mission to redo our front yard with zero grass.

In that post, you can see how I adopted four (yes, 4!) olive tree babies to join our family. I planted them all in our front yard, and they’ve now grown quite large over the past six year we’ve had them.

I’ve learned how to prune olive trees. I’ve learned how they grow best. I’ve seen how they adapt to different wind and sun conditions.

I’ve also learned what real olive trees like to do naturally. Today I’ll be applying what I’ve learned about real olive trees so that you and I can style our faux olive trees the best way possible!

(And the best way possible means not accepting your faux olive tree exactly the way the manufacturer sends it to you.)

While I’ll be using this popular faux olive tree as my visual example (because SO MANY OF YOU HAVE IT!), these tricks can be applied to any faux olive tree you might have that needs some help in the Realistic Department.


Trick #1: Think movement.

Real olive branches do not grow perfectly straight and all pointing directly out, as so many of these faux trees are manufactured and sent to us.

So practically, this means I don’t keep all my faux olive tree branches straight. I curve some of them because that’s what my real olive tree branches do naturally. Or I might leave the majority of the branch straight and then “curl” the end. Or I might curl the entire branch. So much of this is up to your artistic eye! (You may find it really fun to create your own “design” here, as I do!)

closeup of faux olive tree branches styled
This is such a great faux olive tree!


Trick #2: Ugly makes pretty.

Another way to say this is: make your faux olive tree look imperfect to make it look more natural.

My real olive trees all look different, and each tree is completely imperfect. Some branches go this way, some go that way. Some branches are moved by the wind in the opposite direction of the branch next to it. All the branches do not go up; some branches go down.

Practically, this means that when styling a faux olive tree, I’ll have some branches point this way, and some the opposite way. Branches can curl into each other. When I’m curling one for movement, some I’ll bend up and—yes, you guessed it!—some I’ll bend down.

Generally it’s good to not force the branches to point completely inward—real olive trees you usually prune so that all branches are growing up and out, not across the trunk, but that shouldn’t be a problem with the faux one.

Don’t be afraid to bend them in “ugly” ways. My real olive trees do not look perfect. Especially with the wind and some conditions, branches grow in different directions all the time. I can control this a little bit with pruning but still there is a haphazardness to it that makes it look great.

Remember that too perfect looking will look too fake!

faux olive tree with olives, closeup of leaves and fruit


Trick #3: Consider removing olives.

Finally, consider removing the faux olives if your tree has too many. This depends on the look you want, but my real olive trees only have actual olives on them for a few months of the year.

For this exact tree I have (and I’ll put a link to the exact one I have here), I actually like how few olives there are. So this manufacturer did a good job with that. Hence, I can definitely recommend this faux olive tree in the Realistic Department.

Other faux olive trees definitely have way too many little fake olives on them, so you might just need to eyeball it when deciding how many to keep or remove. You can also make the decision based on your personal preference. I’ve left a few of them on mine just because I just decided I like the look of that in our bedroom here, but in another room of my house I might change that. So much of it is really personal preference, but in general I’d say

less is more.

styled faux olive tree with olives
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Check out our super-quick video showing you our best faux olive tree!


BONUS: What not to do! (Can you spot them?)

Sometimes, knowing what NOT to do is just as important as knowing what TO do! Now that you’ve heard my “What to do’s”, let’s see if you can spy what’s wrong in the below four photos!


In the photo above, the faux olive tree branches have not been pulled out from the trunk. Some “fluffing” would definitely help here, just for basic entry-level starters!


In the above photo, the faux olive tree is in a bedroom, and sure, it looks like it’s been “fluffed”…

…but all the branches are still sticking straight out! It looks too uniform and even, too “perfect”—and by now we all should know that too perfect often equals “unnatural!”


This is yet another example of where there’s just zero movement! All the branches are sticking up straight, and while it appears the top half may have been fluffed out a bit, that’s about all that’s been done. As a result, this poor tree looks tres faux!


I’ve saved the trickiest “what not to do” photo for last! While there are so many good things happening in this room (and that’s why it’s tricky—all those good things may be distracting your eye at first), the tree is still just screaming “I’m fake!” Do you see how straight every branch is sticking out from the trunk? Do you see how there are no curves? How there’s zero movement? It isn’t convincing anyone that this just might be a realistic tree!


What TO Do: Final Summary

The summary of my 3 tricks is easy:

  1. think movement,
  2. think the beautiful imperfection of natural, and
  3. don’t be afraid to remove some or all or the olives on your faux olive tree

to get it styled looking more like a real live olive tree.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    Thanks for the tips! Do you have a link to your planter?

    1. Jess

      Yes, it’s here! As well as in our Master Bedroom “SHOP”page!

      You’ll find links to every item in this room in this post about our sitting area! 🙂

      – Jess

  2. Diane

    Thx! You mentioned experience in pruning a real olive tree & I’m hoping you could do a post on it or point me in the direction of a good website. My tree is 8-9 yrs old, I’ve trimmed a few times but it really needs to be thinned out. Thanks for the help, Diane S

    1. Jess

      Hi Diane! I don’t know of any pruning websites; everything I taught myself through prior gardening knowledge plus trial & error with my real trees! 🙂 haha Google should be able to give you several solid results if you type in “how to prune an olive tree”!)

      – Jess

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