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Olive trees are the new fiddle leaf fig trees — it’s a truth universally acknowledged by decor experts everywhere. Over the past year, these slim plants with their ethereal silvery-green leaves have been kicking fiddle leaf figs out of living room corners across the country.
Why do designers and DIY aficionados love them? They basically accomplish the same goal as a fiddle leaf fig. They bring height, color and fullness to spaces that look a bit empty without adding clutter, and they activate that biophilia-loving part of our brain. It’s undeniable: Green things relax our brains, according to the National Resources Defense Council.
However, an olive tree’s vibe is a bit more pared-down, minimalist and low-key. Fiddle leaf figs have big, shiny leaves, and can grow quite big when well cared for. Olive trees, on the other hand, have a subtler, softer kind of California energy. It’s no surprise we’re increasingly turning to them in a year when sage green is most paint companies’ color-of-the-year pick. We’re all in the mood for some peace, quiet and rest—and that’s exactly what olive trees deliver.
I, for one, am relieved. After 10 years of sporadic care, my poor fiddle leaf fig tree (purchased on a Brooklyn sidewalk) recently succumbed to the cold and my inconsistent watering and died a dry, dry death. But watering wasn’t even the trickiest part of caring for it. The plant’s signature wide, bright green leaves required frequent dusting, since dust can coat the leaves and block the light. This might make me sound like a bad housekeeper, but my place isn’t unusually dusty. The leaves just seem to draw dust to them like a magnet. In the process of dusting, no matter how careful I was and no matter what I used (Swiffer, plant spray and a soft microfiber cloth, compressed air), I always accidentally damaged at least one.
As any fiddle leaf devotee knows, they don’t have a ton of leaves. Each is precious. Whenever one fell off, I grieved a little and felt like a bad plant mom. Even if you choose a fake version, you still have to dust it a lot to keep it looking nice and un-fuzzy.
By comparison, olive trees are bursting with leaves that offer much less surface area for dust to settle. They are a bit finicky about sun and watering, but still, I promise you won’t feel the same leaf grief.
That’s especially true if you go for an artificial version — which there’s no shame in, by the way. Because the leaves are more plentiful and smaller, they’re less apt to look fake.
To choose the most natural-looking artificial olive tree, go for something tall and slim with a candle-wick-shaped canopy of leaves. Nearly Natural’s 82-inch tall version (that’s six and a half feet!) — on sale now for $100 — has a naturalistic trunk, delicate silvery leaves and the ideal silhouette for a sunny corner. And requires practically zero maintenance.
Don’t want to pay all in one go? Opt for four Easy Pay installments of just $25 instead. Plus, if you’re a first-time QVC shopper, you can grab an extra $15 off your purchase with code OFFER. And be sure to check out this video to get inspiration for how to incorporate it into your own space.
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