Plant care & Tips

Do Pebble Trays Work for Humidity? The Real Facts

You have just finished a DIY humidity tray for your indoor plant. But, the question is – do pebble trays work for humidity?

The answer is simply no. Pebble trays or humidity trays cannot adequately provide the needed moisture for your indoor plants, especially during the harsh winter season.

The first time I saw a pebble tray, I thought they were just an aesthetic addition to plants. I never knew people use them as a humidifier for plants. The curiosity about how pebble trays provide humidity for houseplants made me research it.

In this post, we will look into the effectiveness of pebble trays for humidity for your houseplants.

What is a Pebble(Humidity)tray?

A pebble Humidity tray is just a shallow plate filled with pebbles or fine rock and water. The concept behind this idea is to provide a humid atmosphere around the plant during the cold winter for tropic plants.

The pot with the plant is seated on the pebble tray filled with water. The pebbles provide a barrier, preventing the plant roots from getting wet. Then, the water evaporates to increase the humidity level around the plant.

What is a Pebble tray

Is Pebble Tray a Good Humidifier for Plants?

No! Pebble trays don’t work well as humidifiers, but they are a great aesthetic addition to plants. And, they help prevent root rot by separating plant roots from standing water.

The fall and spring season is the only time the pebble tray can add a little humidity to the air, but it won’t function well in the dry winter.

However, apart from its decorative features, the pebble trays are an excellent reminder for me to always check on my plant. The more regularly I supervise my houseplants, the greater the chances of checking the soil moisture levels and keeping them properly hydrated.

Therefore, pebble trays are not useless. They play a vital role in reminding us to water our plants adequately.

Facts That Show Pebble Trays Don’t Work?

Facts That Show Your Pebble Trays Don’t Work-do pebble trays work

As a humidifier, the pebble trays are not effective as one might want. They do little or nothing in increasing the humidity level for plants. At least it prevents your plant from root rot as the pot is seated on top of the pebbles.

In early summer, a pebble tray could slightly increase the humidity for indoor plants. But, in drier season a pebble tray is less effective in providing the needed humidity your houseplants require.

In the dry winter season, humidity trays could hardly provide enough atmospheric moisture for your plant. Let alone for humid-loving plants that require an average to a higher degree of moistness.

After creating a pebble tray at home, you can get a hygrometer to check the dampness level around your plant to see whether the pebble trays are effective.

As for me, I use a pebble tray for its decorative feature. It makes my flower pot look prettier and classier. Pebble trays can only do little for your plant, but not enough as a humidifier. To keep your plants much happier and healthier during winter, investing in a humidifier would be the best.

Do Pebble Trays Really Work During Winter?

Pebble trays are ineffective during winter months; They cannot provide the needed humidity level that most houseplants require during the harsh winter season. The little dampness it releases to the air gets sucked up by the winter’s cold and dry air. Therefore, in a situation like this, it better to shop for a humidifier and grow lights to improve the odds of your plants.

Pebble Tray Vs Humidifier

Pebble Tray Vs Humidifier-do pebble trays work

Pebble tray vs humidifier – do pebble trays stand a chance? I don’t think so.

Pebble trays cannot be compared with humidifiers. When placed head to head, pebble trays are insignificant. They can’t increase humidity for indoor plants as a humidifier would.

The smallest of Humidifiers can provide a lot more moisture for your plants than the biggest pebble trays ever will. Therefore, tropical plants that require a high level of humidity can thrive even in the harshest winter season with humidifiers.

During summer to fall when the air is a bit warm, a group of pebble trays combine can add little relative humidity to the air. However, Don’t expect that humidity level to do a lot for the plants. They still need a humidifier to provide a higher moisture level in the atmosphere.

But just because your pebble tray can’t stand a chance with a humidifier, providing enough humidity for plants does not mean they are entirely useless. They provide breathtaking beauty around your plants and help in separating the plant’s root from the water in the tray.

To help your money tree, and high humid plants better in the cold and harsh winter months, it advisable to get a humidifier and support it with grow lights to keep your Houseplants looking healthy throughout the harshest seasons.

How to Increase Humidity for Plants During Harsh Seasons?

If you own a Monstera, Peace lily, or any other tropical plant– it is important to know that pebble trays might not provide the needed humidity that these plants required during the winter months. So, you need to seek other ways of providing humidity.

If your plant is confronted with dry heat and low humidity, it makes your plant’s leaves curl, turn crisp and brown. An incident like this shows that your plant needs watering and would appreciate a more humid environment.

Pebble trays won’t work for humidity; they will not be able to sustain your plant. Therefore, to help increase humidity for indoor plants in the winter season. Here are few easy and simple things to do.

Use Humidifier

The best way to build up humidity around your indoor plants is to get a humidifier. A humidifier for plants is a must-have during the winter, particularly if you have a lot of humid-loving plants, like ferns, peace lily, and mosses.

If you are concern that the long use of a humidifier may encourage the growth of mold and cause damages around the house. Try hanging your humidifier up higher and not on the floor. With this, you are going to control any damage in the home.

Plant bath (or shower)

Plants bath simply means keeping your plants in the bathroom for few minutes during the shower, so they benefit from the high humid environment. Typically, our bathrooms are one of the most humid areas of the home. The shower and water heater provides a perfect environment for plants.

Keeping your plants in the bathroom for a while, especially during the winter months will give your high humidity plants a little warm and humid sensation/surroundings.

Please, note that you are not to bathe directly on the plants as too much water in your plant’s pot can cause root rot.


A simple way to increase humidity to a plant’s proximity is by misting its leaves with distilled water. Misting can improve the humid level surrounding your plant. You may need to mist many times a day to build up the humidity around your plants.

Depending on the plant species and how dry the day is, misting can be time-consuming and tiring. Therefore, you have to invest a little in a humidifier to save yourself the stress.

Now for those of you who still want a pebble tray not necessarily as a humidifier but, for its decorative addition to your plants and home. Here are simple steps to create one for yourself.

How to Create a Pebble Tray at Home?

How to Create a Pebble Tray at Home-do pebble trays work

Do you have a pebble tray design? Or just want to make a regular humidity box for plants? Creating a pebble tray at home is simple. But, before we dive into how to create a pebble tray at home. How do you know that your plants need humidity?

Browning of leaves at the tips, curled or torn new foliage are caused by low humidity. Plants with a high affinity for humidity are usually from the tropics. Examples of humidity-loving plants include Monstera, Peace lily, and Orchid.

Here is how to create a pebble tray at home!

  1. Find a shallow plate or tray that can hold water and the appropriate size for your potted plant.
  2. Fill the plate with aesthetic stones or pebbles.
  3. And add water, but ensure that the pebbles stick out a little above the water level. So that, when you place your potted plant on top, the roots won’t touch the water.
  4. Congrats! you just created a pebble tray. Check your tray regularly and refill the water is dry.

Remember, doing a DIY pebble tray for Monstera, peace lily or and other plants is just a step away. Don’t need to spend much, all you need is an old banking pan, a basin saucer, or a plate that is approximately an inch in depth. The most important thing is to choose a tray/plate that is shallow, impermeable, and rustproof.

Final thoughts on Do Pebble Trays Work for Humidity

Do pebble trays work for humidity? As previously stated in this article, pebble trays do not increase humidity. But, that does not necessarily mean it is useless.

Pebble trays are valuable in more ways than as a humidifier. They provide aesthetics addition to plants and serve as reminders. Reminding us that we have to check on our plants regularly for water and pest.

Pebble trays can help prevent your plants from root rot – as they serve as a barrier and protection for plants root from the water in the tray.

so, to increase the humidity around your houseplants. You going to need a humidifier for plants during the winter months. You can likewise mist your plants or keep them around the shower area at home.

Do pebble trays work? Do you have other ways of increasing humidity for indoor plants? Let us know in the comments

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