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How To Make A Pebble Tray For Plants

How would you like to have a tray full of beautiful plants at home without having to spend much time or effort on their care? Well, now you can!

In this article, I will show you how to make a simple pebble tray for plants at home.

A pebble tray is used to provide water to plants. Pebbles absorb water as they dry, and then release it when watered again. A pebble tray helps your plants get enough water without having to use too much or waste any.

How to make a pebble tray for plants

The pebble tray is also a great way to give your houseplants a little extra attention. It’s also a good idea to get them out of direct sunlight, especially during the winter months.

If you want to create a pebble tray for your plants, then you should start by collecting some natural stones from the outdoors.

Then, you can use these stones to build a tray using wood. After that, you can add moss or soil to fill up the tray. Finally, you can plant your favorite plants inside the tray.

In this article, we will look at a step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect pebble tray at home, which plants would benefit from this type of humidifier, as well as debunking some pebble tray myths.

I will give you the tools needed to make a super simple and effective pebble tray, along with some troubleshooting hints and tips to get you started.

So, are you ready to make a DIY pebble tray at home for your plants? Well, let’s get started!

What Is A Pebble Tray For Houseplants?

A pebble tray is an easy-to-make system that uses pebbles and water to create a natural evaporation system to produce humidity.

A pebble tray should be about the same width as the widest part of your plant’s foliage. This will help prevent dehydration and promote healthy growth.

A DIY pebble tray can be used as an alternative to a water bowl for your plants.

You can place the tray under your plant, and water will stay inside the tray. This helps the plants get more moisture, but also makes sure that there isn’t too much water spilling out onto the floor.

Pebble Trays Explained

Pebbles protect plants by keeping them dry, but they also help plants grow because they absorb nutrients from the soil around them. Water evaporation helps the roots of plants get more moisture.

When you’re ready to water your plants, just pour some water into the tray. The pebbles will soak up the water, which will then be released back into the soil when the pebbles dry.

You may notice that some pebbles float in the water. This is normal and doesn’t mean the pebbles aren’t absorbing water.

If you don’t see any floating pebbles after watering, then your pebbles probably didn’t absorb all the water.

You’ll know if your pebbles absorbed water because they’ll look wet.

Why Use Pebbles Instead of Soil?

Soil absorbs water slowly, so it takes longer for your plants to get enough water.

When you water your plants with pebbles, you’re giving them instant access to water. This means your plants will receive more water than they would if you were to water them with soil.

It’s important to note that pebbles do not contain fertilizer. However, this doesn’t mean your plants won’t get any nutrients from the pebbles.

The pebbles will still be able to absorb nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, manganese, boron, chlorine, fluorine, sodium, and sulfur.

The only thing you shouldn’t put in your pebble tray is salt. Salt can harm your plants’ leaves, stems, and roots.

Why Do Humidity Trays Need Pebbles?

Humidity trays need pebbles to filter the water that reaches your plant’s roots and act as a barrier to assist with the evaporation of water to produce humidity.

Without pebbles, this process would not be as effective and your plant would not benefit from the moist air as a result of this humidifier.

How To Clean Your Pebble Tray

To clean your pebble tray, simply wash it off with warm water. Don’t let the pebbles sit in water for long periods of time as you don’t want them to get too wet!

To maintain the life of your plants, your pebbles should be replaced every few months. If you’ve had your pebbles for over a year, it might be time to replace them.

To make sure your pebbles aren’t getting dirty, take a peek underneath them. If you find dirt or debris, remove it before washing your tray again.

How Much Do Pebble Trays Increase Humidity?

How to make a pebble tray for plants3

Pebbles help plants grow by keeping them away from water. This prevents the roots of your plants from rotting and keeps them from drying out.

However, pebbles don’t increase humidity as much as a humidifier does. To increase humidity, you need something that will hold water.

A pebble tray is shallow so water evaporation will only occur in the pebble tray itself and not around the plant.

If you are only looking to raise the humidity around your plant’s roots, and not around the plant itself, then a pebble tray will do the trick perfectly.

If you require a higher level of humidity, then you may need to invest in a plant humidifier.

Why Do Plants Care About Humidity?

Humidity is a measurement of how much moisture is in the air. Moisture is taken out of the air by plants. When there is too little humidity, plants do not thrive.

In wintertime, it is important to make sure your house stays warm enough to prevent the cold air from holding less moisture.

The EPA recommends keeping the air in the house between 30% -65% humidity to prevent viruses and bacteria.

Keeping the humidity high prevents diseases and pests from spreading. A tropical forest dweller such as a palm tree needs more humidity than a desert dweller like a cactus.

What Is Humidity In Relation To Temperature?

Relative Humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum possible amount of water vapor in the same volume of air. High relative humidity means there is a lot of water in the air.

This makes plants grow slower because the moisture in the air prevents the plant roots from absorbing enough nutrients.

On the other hand, low relative humidity means there is very little water in the air. When this occurs, the plant roots have no problem absorbing all the nutrients they need.

The ideal temperature range for indoor plants is between 60°F and 85°F. Anything above or below this range can lead to problems.

If you live in a cold climate, you might notice that your plants seem to struggle during the winter months. This is because the lower temperatures cause the plant sap to freeze.

Evaporating Water And Humidity – How Does It Work?

Humidity is increased by cold air and decreased by warm air. If the temperature of the air rises, it becomes drier. If the temperature drops, it becomes moisture.

As the temperature increases, evaporation causes the air to become drier. As the temperature decreases, condensation causes the air to become wetter.

As the temperature rises, evaporated water moves into the air. As the temperature falls, condensed water moves back into the air. When the temperature of the air changes, the relative humidity changes.

Are There Alternative Ways To Increase Humidity For Plants?

Plants need lots of water to grow well. Even though pebble trays are a great method for creating a high-humidity environment for your plants to grow, there are also alternative methods that are popular.

A lot of people use glass or plastic bottles as a way to bring water into the house. However, these bottles take up space and are hard to clean.

Plastic bottles are also not environmentally friendly so this should be taken into consideration when choosing your humidity methods.

Does Size Matter?

A big tray is better than a smaller tray because it holds more water and therefore will create a higher volume of water evaporation and thus humidity! The bigger the room, the bigger the humidity tray required.

If you have the space, I would recommend using a larger tray for your plants to really encourage them to thrive!

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Pebble Tray For Plants?

Pebble trays are great because they allow air to circulate around the plant which helps keep the plant healthy and increases its growth rate.

They also allow you to add moisture to the air without having to worry about watering your plants.

Using pebbles is an easy way to increase humidity in your home while saving money on expensive humidifiers.

What Size Pebbles Are Best For Humidity Trays?

Pebbles should be chosen based on the size of the trays and the type of plants being grown. Smaller pebbles are better for smaller trays, while bigger pebbles work well for larger trays.

Smaller pebbles are best for small trays, such as those used for houseplants. Larger pebbles are better suited for large trays, such as ones used for growing vegetables.

When choosing pebbles, look for smooth surfaces. Smooth pebbles are easier to clean than rough pebbles.

Also, choose pebbles that aren’t too heavy. Heavy pebbles can weigh down your plants. They may even fall through the holes in the bottom of the tray.

The pebbles should also fit snugly into the tray. The pebbles shouldn’t stick out of the sides of the tray.

You can find pebbles in many places around your house. For example, you can collect them from outside. Or, you can buy small pebbles from a garden center or pet store.

You can use different sizes of pebbles. The larger the pebbles, the longer they’ll last. Smaller pebbles will work just as well, though.

How To Use Pebbles For Houseplants

Houseplants require less water than many types of outdoor plants. However, if you want to grow houseplants indoors, you’ll need to provide them with enough water to survive.

If you’re not sure how much water to give your plants, you can use pebbles to determine how much water they need.

Fill your pebble tray with water until it’s just below the top of the pebbles. Place your houseplant inside the tray so that all of the pebbles are covered with water.

Leave the tray outside overnight. In the morning, check the level of the water in the tray. When the water has dropped below the level of the pebbles, it means that the plants have been watered adequately.

You can continue doing this every few days or when needed. Remember to change the water before putting the tray back outside.

Some Signs That Your Plants Need Higher Humidity

Your plants may look fine, but if they’re not growing properly, they could be suffering from low humidity. If this happens, here are some signs that your plants need more moisture:

  • Plant leaves appear yellowish or brownish.
  • Leaves turn black in color.
  • Leaves wilt easily.
  • Leaves curl up.

Leafy plants tend to grow better with higher humidity levels. They require less light than other types of plants, so they don’t need bright lights. However, they do benefit from indirect lighting.

Types Of Houseplants That Can Benefit From A Pebble Tray

All the plants listed below need to be watered regularly. Some of them may require pebbles or gravel to help with drainage. If your home is on the drier side, then these plants will benefit from a pebble tray:

  • Aralias
  • Bromeliads
  • Caladium
  • Carn
  • Carnivorous Plants (Venus flytraps, sundews, pitcher plants)
  • Citrus Plants
  • Chenille Plants
  • Crotons
  • Dracaenas
  • English Ivy

How To Make A Pebble Tray For Plants

Many tropical houseplants need high humidity to thrive, and an easy DIY pebble tray can help. Here’s how to make a pebble tray for plants.

Materials Needed

To make your homemade pebble tray for plants you will first need a shallow dish or tray that is at least as wide as the width of your plant’s leaf span, a humidity-loving potted houseplant, water, and a bunch of pebbles!

There are many alternatives trays that be used for a pebble tray such as:

  • Drip tray from a flowerpot
  • Pie tin
  • Ceramic tart dish

You should assemble your pebble tray before placing your pots on top of it.

It’s best to keep the pebbles dry until you fill the tray. Then, add water to the tray and let the pebbles soak up the water. After that, you’ll want to cover the tray with a lid.

Place the pot over the pebbles and water. Keep adding water to the tray as necessary. Your plants should thrive with this arrangement.

Assembling Your DIY Pebble Tray

Water should be kept away from plants because it could cause problems for them. Plants need air to breathe and water to grow. Watering too often or too much can cause roots to rot and damage the soil.

A plant’s root system needs to stay moist but not wet. Moisture can also lead to mold growth if the humidity is high enough.

Pebbles are very good for plants because they absorb moisture well. Watering plants with pebbles is easier than watering them with soil.

Pebbles are also less likely to attract pests and diseases.

Pour water into the tray, leaving about a half-inch of dry pebbles at the surface. Your plant is going to sit on this dry layer of pebbles. You don’t want the water to reach the drainage hole of the pot.


A plant should be placed on a flat surface, preferably on a ceramic or glass shelf. Water should be poured over the top of the soil, but not directly into the drain hole. This prevents the roots of the plant from being damaged by the water.

When filling the tray, make sure there is no more than an inch of pebbles exposed.

Once the tray has been filled with pebbles, place the pot on top of the pebbles. Let the pebbles absorb all of the water.

The pebbles will hold the water in the tray while the plant absorbs the water through its leaves.

As long as the pebbles are damp, the plant will be fine. If you’re having trouble keeping the pebbles damp, try covering the tray with a plastic bag. Be careful when removing the bag so you don’t get any pebbles inside it.

If you do find yourself with some extra pebbles after you’ve removed the bag, you can use them to line the bottom of another tray.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Humidification Important For Plants?

Humidifiers add moisture to the air. Plants need moisture in order to thrive and dry environments can cause plants to experience difficulties with their growth.

The addition of moisture via a humidifier is important as it helps prevent mold and mildew growth in plants. It will also keep leaves from drying out too fast.

What Is A Pebble Tray?

A pebble tray is simply a tray or shallow dish filled with pebbles or small rocks and water.

It is used to create moisture for house plants through the evaporation of the water through the pebbles, to create a moisturized environment for your plants.

What Should I Buy To Make My Own Pebble Tray For Plants?

Find a shallow dish or tray that holds water and is the appropriate size for the plant or plants needing some extra moisture.

Fill the tray with decorative pebbles or rocks. Add water, making sure that the tops of the pebbles stick out just ever so slightly above the level of the water.

What If I’m Not Happy With The Results?

If you’ve followed the step-by-step guide to making a pebble tray, but you are still seeing signs of dehydration in your plants, there are a few things you can try.

Firstly, have a look if you can increase the size of your tray. The bigger the tray, the more water can be stored. This will lead to higher levels of evaporation and therefore, humidity.

You can also look to change up the size of your pebbles to see if that has an effect on your plants and how they grow.

It is also worth noting that pebbles need to be changed regularly and kept clean. So if that’s not the case, then you could also try this tip.

If all else fails, it might be the case that your plants require more moisture than your pebble tray can support. In this instance, a humidifier will be a more suitable choice.

Will Having A Pebble Tray Attract Bugs?

Pebble trays should not attract insects. You must clean your stones before using them for a humidity tray and this process should remove any bugs which may already have been on the pebbles before use.

If you do have bugs in your pebble tray, it is probably the case that bugs could have been on the rocks when you found them.

Final Thoughts

So as you can see from this article, pebble trays are a cheap and easy way to give your plants the water they need to keep them hydrated and their environments full of moisture to support their growth and enable them to thrive.

You can use a range of bases to make your pebble tray as long as it is deep enough to adequately fit your plant’s roots and hold a good amount of pebbles, and adequate water.

Depending on the plant that you have, the amount of humidity needed will vary.

The climate conditions of your state will also play a part in how your plant will grow as air conditioning units and heaters will all affect the humidity surrounding your plant.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective and super-easy way to create some moisture for your plants, then a DIY pebble tray is a good place to start.

Not only are pebble trays economical, easy to make, good for the environment, and easy to use, by following our step-by-step guide and troubleshooting topics, you will be a pro in no time!

Ian richardson

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