Arizona is not particularly known for sprawling green grass and lush gardens. With scorching hot weather, 300 days of sunshine and little rain fall, caring for and maintaining plants can be a hassle, but not if they are replica plants. 

Arizona Sun Silks has installed silk plants in Arizona for over 10 years. Gene Goerke, who has worked in the live and replica plant installation business for 40 years, founded the company in 2006 when he saw the want and need for silk plants. 

Goerke’s silk plant business does more than provide small, interior fake plants that look real. In some cases, he has designed full trees as tall as 16 feet. 

Goerke said that he found many of his live plant customers converting their live plants to silk, and though replica, his plants are so lifelike that it would be a disservice to call them “fake.” 

“They have texture, they have wrinkles, they have contrast,” Goerke said in a phone interview, “all of the things that make up good design.” According to Goerke and the Arizona Sun Silks website, the material is guaranteed not to fade for at least 5 years. So not only will the colors stay their natural color and are easier to care for than live plants, they may even stay more beautiful than the real deal. 

But Arizona Sun Silks offers more than lifelike plant and tree replicas. Goerke recently designed and installed three unique wall displays for the Camelback Colonnade Mall, one with a clean geometric design, and the other two with an organic design that adds a subtle touch of personality to the space. 

“We needed to upscale the ambience of the space,” Goerke said. “I suggested these, and they liked them and installed them. It’s a new approach and new concept of wall art.” 

The wall displays are made up of preserved mosses and other design elements, Goerke said. The geometric design, which is featured in the common space of the mall, is 6-feet by 4-feet, while both of the organic pieces are 2-feet by 4-feet. 

According to Goerke, what especially separates his company from other typical replica plant businesses is his ability to work and design a concept that will uniquely capture his client’s vision, rather than working within the confines of using a template. 

“Our design intent is anything that the client would like,” Goerke said. “If the client would like their logo in the middle, we can do that for them.” 

In addition, Goerke uses five different importers for his silk plants to ensure that the quality of his material is top-notch and authentic. 

His work can be found all over the United States and even Canada. 

Goerke said that he plans to design and create similar arrangements for other businesses, including company logos and triptychs, which are three-piece panels that create one large picture.