Pebble Tray for SucculentsA pebble tray for plants is a shallow saucer or dish that is filled with pebbles and water and placed below plant containers to boost humidity levels and protect the roots from going dry.

It is an easy DIY project which you can easily incorporate for indoor plants or in outdoor gardens.

In this detailed guide, you will learn its advantages and how you can make your tray with easily available materials that will do the trick. Wait no longer and dive straight into the article.

Do Pebble Trays Work for Humidity?

Yes, pebble trays immensely help plants in one or more ways. They are not only effective in increasing humidity levels around the plant but also come with other benefits. The advantage of having the plant over pebbles and water is:

  • It is a cost-effective plant humidifier and does not require much overhead investment.
  • The evaporation of the water causes an increase in moisture around the plant, thereby boosting humidity.
  • Apart from altering humidity, the pebbles ensure the roots don’t directly sit in water thereby reducing the risk of fungal diseases and root rot.
  • Proves advantages in plants such as begonias which require high levels of humidity yet prefer their leaves to be dry. In such plants, other options of altering humidity such as misting fail as this will make them susceptible to fungal diseases easily.
  • Works well even indoors, where the plant is grown in a centrally heated or air-conditioned environment. 
  • The use of decorative pebbles in the tray also adds charm to home décor.
  • Saves time as you will not have to spend time misting to maintain plant humidity.

How To Make One

You can make a pebble tray at home using easily available materials that you will find lying around you. There are many houseplants that require humidity to thrive and grow and if you are living in a dry zone, the environment can be detrimental to the plant.

Thus, this DIY project will immensely benefit moisture-hungry plants and keep their foliage lush green. Read the below section to get started as we explain how easy it is to execute and set this up all by yourself. 

– Materials Required

Here are a few basic materials that you will require to get started. 

  • A shallow dish, saucer, or tray. Additionally, you can also use a pie dish, cookie sheet, cake pan, birdbath basin, or shallow tote. Just ensure the width of the tray is wider than the plant’s leaf span.
  • Preferably use a tray size of at least two inches wide and more. For bonsai tree plants you will require a tray up to seven inches in width. Make sure you will use a non-porous tray that will hold water, unlike terracotta where there are chances of water seeping into the pores of the tray.
  • Small pebbles, bonsai gravel, or glass gems will be perfect to be used. Alternatively, you can also use large aquarium pebbles or landscaping gravel. The size of the pebble can be up to two inches in circumference, however, a larger number of smaller pebbles make for a better water sponge than a few larger ones.
  • Water that will serve the main purpose by evaporating and providing the plant with humidity. 

– Assembling and Getting the Tray in Place

Once you have the materials in hand assemble them in accordance with the steps mentioned below to make them efficiently work to provide the right humidity for your plant.

  • The first thing to do is rinse your pebbles well, to remove the presence of any silt or dirt that may be present in them. Strain the water out and let it rest for a few hours in the sun.
  • Spread these pebbles on the tray making sure it is leveled and flat. This will ensure the plant or flower pot is well balanced when placed on it. Pebbles need to be spread up to at least two to three inches in height of the saucer.
  • Pour water over this making sure at least half-inch of the pebbles are above its surface.
  • Place the plant pot over the pebbles in the center, such that the water does not reach the drainage holes of the pot.

– How To Use it

Use the tray once assembled to help the plant get some moisture that it prefers in the following way to have it adjusted properly

  • Once the setup is complete, let the plant rest steady and flat on the pebbles. 
  • As the water in the dish evaporates it will kick in some moisture in the air. The evaporation alters the humidity levels helping the plant to thrive and grow.
  • For some more humidity, use a wider tray as with more water held in the tray more is the evaporation and thus more the humidity. Moreover, in larger rooms, the water tends to evaporate quickly so a larger tray is highly recommended,
  • As the water evaporates, add in more up to the same level. Remember, hotter days will require a more frequent addition of water. 

– Take Care of Your Humidity Trays for Plants

  • Maintain and rinse the pebbles once in several weeks to prevent algae growth or insect infestations. 
  • Rinsing and changing the water regularly also aids in flushing out any fertilizer residue that may linger in the tray. Also, in places with mosquitos, changing water helps to clear any mosquito larvae present.


Different Pebble Trays for Houseplants 

As mentioned earlier pebble trays need to be made of a non-porous material that can hold water rather than seep through into it. Here are a few options you can consider.

  • Plastic Tray: They do very well as they are not expensive and you can even use any old one lying around your home.
  • Porcelain or glazed ceramic: these are non-porous materials and make for a perfect pebble tray.
  • Ceramic pebble tray: Yet again, these hold water well thus aiding in slow evaporation.
  • Humidity drip tray: Broad and rectangular and is a perfect choice for bonsai and orchids.
  • Glass saucers: Use any old glass saucer as a DIY tray to boost humidity.

– What Houseplants Need Pebble Trays?

Various houseplants can benefit from a pebble humidity tray to boost their humidity. In general, those that require extra moisture are tropical plants which seldom fare well in dry zones and extremes of weather. Here are a few plants that will love the advantage of a pebble tray.

  • Orchids
  • Ferns
  • Jade
  • Spider Plant
  • English ivy
  • Ficus
  • Schefflera
  • Maranta 
  • Calathea 
  • Alocasia
  • Aglaonema
  • Dieffenbachia 
  • Philodendron
  • Monstera


Can properly maintained pebble trays attract bugs?

Properly maintained pebble trays are less likely to attract bugs, but it’s not impossible. Regular cleaning and changing of water can prevent bug infestations.

Do succulents enjoy pebble trays?

Succulents can benefit from pebble trays as they increase humidity levels.

How much water should be put in a pebble tray?

A small amount of water, just enough to cover the pebbles, should be put in a pebble tray to avoid overwatering.


Having read our expert tips, you have now understood that a pebble tray for plants is the easiest and least expensive method to boost humidity for plants. Let us summarize our learning from the detailed guide.

  • A pebble tray for plants’ humidity is a simple dish or tray filled with pebbles and water to alter humidity levels around. The water evaporates increasing moisture levels, whereas the pebbles prevent the roots from sitting directly in water, reducing the risk of root rot.
  • This DIY project uses available resources such as a simple tray, some pebbles, and water. Set it up on your own to make your plant develop and grow healthy.
  • There are clear signs of a plant having low humidity levels. Look out for browning and brittle leaves, droopy stems, unbloomed buds and shriveled flowers.
  • Various plants such as orchids, philodendrons, acacia, maranta, etc… benefit immensely from this method of boosting humidity. 
  • Maintain and keep your pebbles clean once in several weeks to prevent insect and bacterial infections of the plant 

Several plants love extra humidity and often fail to thrive when they do not receive it. Having read our tips and techniques you can now create your own and watch your plants grow lush green and healthy, whether indoors or outdoors.

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