Do you prefer artificial plants for a specific reason?
I've bought several swords from Petsmart/Petco in tubes and had great success with them without dirt or additional ferts. They just need a decent light source and they'll grow wild.
If you're having trouble finding a cave or house type structure, an unglazed flower pot partially buried in the substrate works very well.
Pinch them off at the base to trim when they get to big and you're good to go. Live plants will also help gobble up some of the ammonia and nitrates that make water changes so necessary.