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Pebble Tray for Plants – An Inexpensive DIY Humidifier

pebble tray for plants

Most tropical plants need a lot of humidity to thrive, whereas the humidity in most homes tends to be on the drier side, especially with modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that strip the air of a good deal of moisture. But what feels good for us humans isn’t necessarily the best for our humidity-loving houseplants!

As good as humidity might be for some houseplants, having them sit in extra wet soil isn’t a good idea, since wet soil can decrease oxygen permeability for the roots and lead to root rot sets in. To provide your plants with the humidity they want, you can do a few things:

  • Use a humidifier around them
  • Spray the leaves using a mister
  • If you have a few plants, grouping them together can help with retaining moisture in the air immediately surrounding your humidity loving plants
  • You can also move your plants to a high humidity area such as the kitchen or the bathroom if feasible
  • Finally, a DIY pebble tray is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your houseplants happy

What is a Pebble Tray and How Does it Help with Humidity for Plants?

A pebble tray is a remarkably easy and straightforward way to keep the air around your humidity-loving plants nice and rich in moisture, so they can grow and bloom to their fullest.

It is quite simple how it works. The tray is filled with pebbles and water, and as the water evaporates, it fills the surrounding air with water vapor, making it humid and therefore more favorable for your plant which is conveniently perched atop the pebble tray.

You can make a pebble tray for a single plant, or use a bigger, wider tray to group together plants that enjoy humidity. This way, you have the added benefit of the plants sharing their humidity, boosting the overall effect.

If the air in your home is extremely dry, however, you may need to consider supplementing with an additional source of moisture such as daily misting or a humidifier. 

Signs of Low/High Humidity in Plants

Plants that originate from tropical and humid climates usually need a humid environment compared to what is normally the ambient humidity in the average home. There are a few telltale signs of plants not getting as much humidity as they would like such as:

  • Wilting
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Yellow or brown patches on leaves or leaf edges
  • Crispy and dry leaves
  • Absent, abnormal, or wilting flower buds
  • Short-lived flowers

All of these signs can point to your plant finding the air around it too dry. If you’re unsure, here is a list of some popular plants that would benefit from some added humidity :

  • Aralias
  • Bromeliads
  • Caladium
  • Carnivorous plants (Venus flytraps, sundews, pitcher plants)
  • Citrus plants
  • Chenille plants
  • Crotons
  • Dracaenas
  • English ivy
  • Ferns
  • Ficus (fiddle leaf fig, weeping fig, rubber plant)
  • Fittonias (nerve plants)
  • Gardenias
  • Jasmine
  • Mimosa pudica (sensitive plants)
  • Monsteras
  • Oleander
  • Orchids
  • Palms (majesty palm, Kentia palm)
  • Plumeria
  • Peperomias (certain varieties including peperomia watermelon, incana, and serpens)
  • Rosemary
  • Tillandsia
  • Zebra plant

How to Make a Pebble Tray for Plants?

To make a pebble tray for your houseplants, you will need the following items:

  • A shallow dish or tray as wide or slightly wider than the leaf span of your plant
  • Small sized decorative pebbles (Bonsai gravel, glass gems, and river rocks work well. You can use landscaping gravel or beach pebbles as well)
  • Your humidity loving houseplant
  • Water

You can source materials for making a pebble tray from around your house too. Just be careful with using larger stones because the plant needs a stable base to sit on. Moreover, lots of smaller pebbles and stones would make a better solution compared to a few larger ones.

Assembling Your DIY Pebble Tray

Fill your tray with 2-4 inches of pebbles. Make sure to level out the pebbles in the tray or dish to create a flat surface for your plant to sit on.

Then, fill up the tray with water, keeping the water level about a half to three-fourths of an inch lower than the top of the pebbles. You want to avoid the water touching the drainage hole under your flower pot.

Finally, place your potted plant in the center of the tray, and return the tray along with the plant to a place of your choosing. Enjoy your now happier than before plant!


Does Monstera like pebble trays?

Yes, Monstera likes pebble trays. Using pebble trays is a great way to create a beautiful plant display that is both easy to maintain and will last for years. The Monstera will be both attractive and hardy.

What do pebbles do for plants?

Pebbles are made up of minerals, which are important to the health of plants. Minerals can improve the soil’s drainage, acidity and permeability, which all help plants to grow better.

Do pebble trays for plants work?

Pebble trays are designed to absorb excess water from your plants and deliver it to the bottom of the tray, where it is carried away by runoff. Therefore, these trays work best for plants that require a lot of water, such as ferns. They are also a great choice for terrariums.


Pebble trays are an inexpensive DIY way to make sure your humidity-loving plants are getting the right amount of moisture in the air around them. Without enough moisture, plants can display yellowing leaves, stunted growth, wilting, and wilted flowers and buds. A pebble is a cost-effective solution that can help your plants thrive by giving them the moisture they need. You can easily make your own at home with the needed materials usually lying around or very inexpensive to purchase.

Written by Chris Buckland

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