What Is A Pebble Tray – Keep Plants Humid With A Pebble Saucer

Individually Potted Plants Placed In Pebble Trays
pebble tray
(Image credit: Jerry Norbury)

A pebble tray or pebble saucer is a simple, easy-to-make gardening tool used mostly for indoor plants. Any low dish or tray can be used along with water and pebbles or gravel to create a humid local area for plants that need a little moisture. Read on for tips on using a humidity tray for plants and how you can make your own.

What is a Pebble Tray?

A pebble tray is exactly what it sounds like: a tray that is full of pebbles. It’s also full of water, of course. The main purpose of a pebble tray is to provide humidity for plants, typically houseplants.

Most houseplants are tropical varieties, but most houses have dry, conditioned air. A pebble tray is a simple, low-tech way to provide those plants with a healthier, more humid local environment. Orchids are examples of houseplants that can really benefit from a pebble tray. With a tray in place, you won’t need to spend as much time misting these water-hungry plants.

You don’t have to get a humidifier or increase the moisture in the air throughout your entire home if you just create strategic pebble trays. The plant sits on top of the pebble in the tray and benefits from the moisture created by water in the tray.

Additionally, a humidity tray for plants provides an area for drainage. When you water your plant, the excess will run off into the tray, protecting the floor and other surfaces.

How to Make Houseplant Pebble Trays

Making a humidity or pebble tray is one of the simplest of all gardening DIY projects. All you really need is a shallow tray of some type and rocks or pebbles. You can buy purpose-made trays at garden centers, but you can also use old drainage trays from pots, cookie sheets, the top saucer of an old bird bath, or anything else that is about an inch (2.5 cm.) deep.

Fill the tray with a single layer of pebbles and add enough water so that it rises just about halfway up the rocks. You can use decorative pebbles from a garden center, rocks right out of your own garden, or inexpensive gravel.

Set potted plants on top of the rocks. Just keep adding water as the level drops and you have a simple, easy source of humidity for your houseplants.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.