If your plants are struggling because of low humidity, a pebble tray is one of the easiest and most cost-effective options to increase humidity. We’ve used pebble trays for some of our Calathea, and Philodendron, which prefer high humidity, and had some excellent results.
In this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to make a pebble tray that your plant will love.
What is a Pebble Tray And What Is It good for?
A pebble tray, also known as a humidity tray, is an accessory that can help plants that are more suited to environments with higher humidity and moisture content (usually plants from tropical areas). The water in the tray evaporates, providing higher humidity for the plant above.
Humidity trays are simple to make and can be an excellent solution for any plant struggling in drier conditions.
What Plants Benefit From Pebble Trays?
Some examples of plants that would benefit from a pebble/humidity tray include:
This list is by no means exhaustive – but generally speaking, tropical plants that like high humidity but don’t like being in wet soil for long periods are excellent candidates for a DIY pebble tray.
Everything You Need To Make A Pebble Tray
- A tray or shallow dish – That’s at least 2 inches wider in diameter than the plant pot. Plastic, metal, or ceramic are ok to use for the tray or dish but DON’T use terracotta, as it will absorb all the water you use.
- Pebbles – Small mixed decorative river stones, glass beads, small decorative pebble kits, and even smaller aquarium stones are great options.
- A watering can or jug.
- The plant that’s going on top of the pebble tray.
How To Make A Pebble Tray (Humidity Tray) In 4 Easy Steps
1. Get Your Tray And Pebbles
Get everything you need in one place. Check you have all the pebbles you’ll need, as this will differ depending upon how large the plant is. Ensure the tray or dish is shallow and large enough for the plant.
2. Place Your Pebbles In The Tray
You’ll want to fill up your pebble tray until there is a 1-3 inch layer. Spread the pebbles out so that they form a flat and even surface. This is to ensure the plant pot can balance easily and that the water spreads evenly at the bottom.
3. Pour Water Into The Tray
Get some water and fill your humidity tray up until about halfway or until there’s still about a half-inch layer of dry pebbles. This is to ensure that there’s enough water to provide the moisture for humidity, but it doesn’t risk the water coming in through drainage holes and the plant absorbing the water through its roots.
4. Place Your Plant On The Tray
Put your plant on top of the pebbles. Make sure the plant pot is not leaning towards one side, and double-check that your dish or tray is large enough to support the plant. Place your plant in its usual spot and enjoy!
3 Handy Tips For Pebble Trays (Humidity Trays)
Wash Your Pebbles To Beat Pests
Make sure to wash the pebbles in your humidity tray tree on a semi-regular basis. If you notice the tray is getting dirty at the bottom, it’s time for a wash. Dirty humidity trays can attract pests and insects. Clean ones rarely have this issue. You can wash your pebbles by simply rinsing them in water.
Top Up the Water
You’ll need to top up the water in your humidity tray occasionally. How frequently you do this depends on how hot the environment is. The hotter it is, the more often the water will need replacing.
Don’t Overfill the Humidity Tray
Finally, don’t overfill the humidity tray. You’ll want to keep the top half-inch or so dry so the water doesn’t get into the drainage holes. This is especially important for plants that don’t like to be overwatered.
Anyone can make a humidity tray for plants at home. Follow these 4 easy steps, and you can enjoy your very own, fully functioning pebble tray. They make excellent decorative pieces, and your moisture-loving plants will be all the healthier and happier for it.