She made the discovery when attempting to transfer her beloved plant to a new container
fake succulent
Credit: Caelie Wilkes

Being a plant parent can be stressful. It takes time and energy to assure it gets adequate sunlight and water and has room to grow.

One California woman was a proud plant parent for two years before realizing her beautiful succulent was actually a piece of plastic.

Caelie Wilkes, a stay-at-home mom, shared her story on Facebook in a now-viral post. “I’ve had this beautiful succulent for about 2 years now. I was so proud of this plant. It was full, beautiful coloring, just an over all perfect plant,” she wrote.

It wasn’t until she was transplanting her succulent into a new vessel that she made a shocking discovery.

“I go to pull it from the original plastic container it was purchased with to learn this plant was FAKE,” wrote Wilkes. “I put so much love into this plant! I washed its leaves. Tried my hardest to keep it looking it’s best, and it’s completely plastic!”

Instead of a healthy root system, when Wilkes, 24, pulled her beloved plant from the container she found a styrofoam block with sand glued to the top.

She recounts that she had been a very devoted plant mom. “I had it up in my kitchen window. I had a watering plan for it, if someone else tried to water my succulent I would get so defensive because I just wanted to keep good care of it.”

Things will never be the same for Wilkes. “I feel like these last two years have been a lie,” she concluded.

Still, the commenters on her post were mostly supportive and commiserated with her loss. “This is me, I am this girl,” wrote one. “Sounds like my last relationship,” joked another.

For those hoping to support a live houseplant, a succulent is a good place to start, as they’re relatively hearty. Their most common downfall: overwatering. Soak the roots and then let them dry out, advices Sunset magazine. Because their roots tend to rot if they sit in water, be sure to include drainage at the bottom of any planter.