How and When to Use a Pebble Tray For Houseplants

With the hovering recognition of tropical houseplants, I’ve heard many tales about overwatering resulting in deadly root rot, but the plant leaves seem dry and crunchy. You aren’t alone when you have discovered your self watering a plant to dying as a result of the leaves look dehydrated.

A pebble tray on your houseplants is a quite simple and low-maintenance answer to this downside. Able to be taught extra? Let’s dig in and have a look at learn how to use a pebble tray, and when the scenario usually requires it.

The Humidity Dilemma

Sustaining indoor humidity between 30-60% is essential to forestall mildew development.

In case you’ve ever struggled with preserving tropical crops alive inside the home, you possible know firsthand the challenges of making an indoor atmosphere with sufficient humidity for these crops. I’ve misplaced many a valuable leaf to the scourge of dry air.

It’s notably difficult within the winter, as compelled warmth can zap the moisture out of the air in a contained house. 

As any HVAC specialist would advise a buyer, the best indoor humidity stage needs to be between 30-60%. About 50% humidity tends to be the candy spot, proper between dry sinuses and the purpose the place moisturizer received’t take in.

That is essential for stopping mildew development and is why mildew grows within the lavatory (probably the most humid room in the home) a lot sooner than in every other room.

Cacti and Succulents

To place this in perspective, drier states like Arizona and Nevada have common out of doors humidity ranges of about 38%.

You may anticipate crops native to those areas would develop completely positive inside the house with a humidity stage on the decrease finish of the spectrum. So long as you’ve a sunny window, cacti, and succulents are simple to develop as houseplants. 

Tropical Houseplants

Alternatively, common houseplants like orchids, calatheas, and philodendrons hail from heat, humid climates like South America and South Asia.

These locations have far more moisture within the air, so it stands to purpose that the native crops to those areas would take pleasure in tropical environments. Relying on the genus and species, tropical houseplants favor a humidity stage between 50%-80%

Some tropical crops can thrive in terrariums with the nice and cozy, moist air they want. Whereas terrariums are lovely and attention-grabbing gadgets to have within the house, they aren’t sensible for a lot of houseplant lovers. In case your plant assortment is habitually increasing like mine, you want a strategy to hold your crops moist above the soil, not just under. 

Humidity Choices

A close-up of a humidifier releasing a fine mist of water. Various leaves in vibrant hues showcase nature’s diverse palette. In the background, a tapestry of leaves forms a blurred mosaic, providing a harmonious backdrop to the scene.
To repair the humidity difficulty, think about using a humidifier.

There are 4 predominant methods to rectify the humidity predicament:

  1. Transfer your tropical crops to high-moisture rooms like a toilet or kitchen.
  2. Purchase a humidifier.
  3. Mist the crops.
  4. Use a houseplant pebble tray.

Develop In Humid Rooms

You may hold many crops completely happy when you have a toilet with a decent-sized window and loads of mild. However that limits you to hiding your crops away the place you don’t get to take pleasure in them as a lot as in the event that they had been in your extra lived-in rooms. 

Add a Humidifier

An alternative choice is to make use of a humidifier. Any run-of-the-mill humidifier will work if it raises the humidity to the specified stage. There are three points with this methodology:

  1. Mould threat: Consistently leaving a humidifier on in the home could be a recipe for mildew and furnishings harm. 
  2. Excessive upkeep: A humidifier have to be refilled every day, which might get bothersome.
  3. Cleansing: On your personal well being’s sake, a humidifier must be totally cleaned commonly.

Mist Your Vegetation

One other methodology of giving your crops a dose of humidity is by misting. Misting is nice for moisture-loving crops. Nevertheless, misting additionally has a couple of issues:

  1. It may be time-consuming and tedious.
  2. It could promote mildew or fungal development on plant leaves.
  3. It doesn’t create long-lasting humidity.

Would you like a much less problematic answer than the entire above? Take into account a houseplant pebble tray. A pebble tray is a quite simple strategy to increase the humidity stage for particular crops with out affecting the humidity stage within the room as an entire. 

How It Works

A cluster of pebbles, each adorned with a unique hue, forms a vibrant mosaic. Submerged in crystal-clear water, they create a mesmerizing underwater landscape, showcasing nature’s artistic palette.
Pebbles act as a buffer between the plant roots and the water.

A pebble tray on your houseplants is exactly what it appears like. It’s a dish or tray stuffed with pebbles and water. This tray sits beneath the plant in query. The pebbles act as a buffer between the plant roots and the water. Most tropical crops like moist however not soggy soil. In actual fact, extra of those crops are killed by overwatering than simply about every other care issue.

So, the pebbles elevate the container, preserving the plant’s “toes” from getting soggy. Then, because the water evaporates from the tray, it provides humidity to the air instantly round and above it. All you’ll want to do is fill the tray when it will get low. This may largely coincide with watering instances anyway, though the depth of the dish and the humidity stage within the house will think about. 

It virtually appears too simple! However, that is one event the place simplicity is likely to be the reply to preserving thriving, wholesome tropical crops indoors with out remembering to mist them every day or coping with peeling paint and mildew from a continuously working humidifier. 

Let’s have a look at the professionals and cons of utilizing a pebble tray. As with each plant care methodology, it’s not a precise science, and chances are you’ll have to experiment with what works finest in your indoor backyard.


A close-up of a cluster of wet pebbles showcasing a stunning display of colors. From earthy browns to rich purples and deep black, each pebble contributes to the overall visual diversity.
Utilizing pebble trays is a cheap methodology to lift plant humidity.

In case your plant assortment is on the smaller aspect, utilizing pebble trays is an inexpensive and straightforward approach to extend the humidity stage round your crops. It additionally has all the advantages of accelerating humidity with out rising the specter of fungus. Not all crops that like humidity additionally like moist leaves, so a pebble tray is superior to misting on this approach.

Pebble trays are time-saving, as they don’t have to be maintained every day. They increase the humidity solely in a concentrated space, in order that they don’t trigger hurt to different objects within the house or increase the danger of mildew and mildew development. 


A cluster of plants in various vases adds a refreshing touch to the wooden table, creating a captivating display of nature’s diversity. Each vase holds a unique plant, showcasing a symphony of colors, shapes and textures.
The results of the pebble tray are nullified by circulating air, making it unsuitable for rooms with followers.

By way of drawbacks, the primary downfall of this methodology is that it might not fairly present sufficient humidity for some crops. One other difficulty is air circulation. In a room with ample air circulation, the evaporating water will diffuse within the surrounding house somewhat than rise vertically. Pebble trays work finest in rooms with out followers because the circulating air will nullify the consequences of the pebble tray.

Lastly, when you have an intensive houseplant assortment (you already know if I’m speaking to you), utilizing pebble trays is likely to be extra work and costlier than a humidifier. This methodology can get expensive when you have a lot of crops as you’re continuously sourcing new trays to tuck beneath them.

Pebble trays are not efficient for hanging crops. The kitchen and loo home windows are the best place for hanging crops. My home windows are so full that there isn’t any want for curtains!

A close-up of a watermelon peperomia plant, with lush green leaves and intricate patterns, thrives in a pot. In the blurred background, it shows cacti enjoying the sun’s rays, creating a dreamy and sun-kissed atmosphere.
Frequent houseplants like Monstera, spider crops, and Dracaena thrive in greater humidity ranges.

Here’s a listing of frequent houseplants that favor greater humidity ranges:

How To Make A Pebble Tray

A close-up of a round wooden tray, exuding warmth and natural beauty. Nestled on a wooden surface, it harmonizes with its surroundings, radiating a sense of organic elegance. Strewn nearby, gray pebbles add a touch of visual interest.
Water evaporation charges fluctuate, leading to sooner evaporation throughout hotter seasons or elevated HVAC use.

You will want:

  • A tray or saucer
  • Water
  • Small pebbles or river rock gravel

After gathering your supplies, assemble the pebbly tray:

Discover A Receptacle

The perfect container could have a barely bigger diameter than the pot your plant is in. Your tray may be as easy or fancy as you want, however guarantee it’s extensive and deep sufficient to carry water. A dinner plate wouldn’t make an ideal pebble tray; a pie plate, however, could possibly be good. 

Fill The Tray With Pebbles

Fill the container to the highest fringe of the tray, and clean them out together with your hand or a straight edge in order that the floor is as stage as doable.

Add Water

Fill your tray in order that the water stage is just under the extent of the pebbles, however not greater. You don’t need your pebbles fully submerged, which can put your plant’s roots within the standing water.

Set Your Plant Container On The Pebbles

Place the plant container within the pebble tray. The house the place your container’s drainage gap lies shouldn’t be involved with water. Whether it is, the standing water will hold the plant’s roots moist, which might result in root rot. 

Refill As Needed

It could take a couple of weeks to get used to the pace of evaporation in your atmosphere, so for the primary short while, examine usually and see how lengthy it takes for the water stage to drop.

It’s possible you’ll discover that you could get by till the day you water your crops, through which case, the water draining from the outlet within the pot will refill the water within the tray. Simply watch out to not overfill the tray such that the underside of the pot is touching the water.

*It’s possible you’ll discover that the water evaporates at completely different charges relying on the time of 12 months. Increased temperatures or extra use of heating and air con causes the water to evaporate sooner

Ultimate Ideas

In case you’ve discovered your self in a quandary over dry leaves and soggy soil, there’s a good likelihood that you’ve a humidity downside in your arms.  A pebble tray may be a helpful and low-maintenance device in sustaining humidity round tropical houseplants. 

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings