DIY Artificial Silk Plants for an Aquarium

Making your own silk plants for your aquarium will save you money.
Making your own silk plants for your aquarium will save you money. (Image: aquarium image by FotoWorx from

Many people opt for artificial silk plants in their aquariums over raising live plants. Many aquatics do poorly with tanks with live plants and let’s face it, raising live plants takes a lot of work. You can get artificial silk plants in just about every pet supply chain store, and they range in price from cheap to very expensive. You can make DIY artificial aquarium plants with a few silk plants from a home decor store, aquarium gravel, a cupcake pan and aquarium-safe silicone.

Things You'll Need

  • Cupcake pan
  • Wax paper
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Aquarium-safe silicone
  • Stir stick
  • Silk plants
  • Warm water

Line each cupcake tray with wax paper. Wax paper will help you get the plant out of the cupcake holder once dried. Most cupcake trays have room for six cupcakes.

Fill each cupcake holder 50% with clean, dry aquarium gravel. As a tip, use the same gravel used in your aquarium. This will help the base of the plant blend in with your aquarium.

Fill each cupcake holder the rest of the way up with aquarium-safe silicone. This is a clear silicone used to seal the glass corners of an aquarium. You can get it from a pet shop and it is safe for fish.

Mix the gravel and the silicone together thoroughly with a stir stick until all of the gravel mixes with the silicone.

Bend two inches of the stem on your silk plan to a 90-degree angle and then press the stem into one of the silicone gravel mixtures and bury it approximately three-quarters deep into the mixture. Repeat this process for each plant you are making.

Allow the mixture 24 to 48 hours to fully dry and then remove the gravel base from the cupcake holder. The base is hard and has enough weight and mass to hold the plant down when you bury it in the gravel of your aquarium.

Thoroughly clean the silk plants and the bases with warm water before you submerge them into your aquarium.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can substitute the silicone and gravel for terracotta clay. Place the terracotta clay into your cupcake sheet and then press the stem into the clay and allow it to dry. You can even press aquarium stone into the surface of the clay before it hardens.

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