In the full heat of summer some of our thirsty plants can get a little fussy. To make things more tricky, many of our houseplants love moisture but hate "getting their feet wet" – sitting in standing water can quickly lead to rot. The good news is there is a simple and easy solution to increase humidity for your leafy fellas: make a pebble tray!

The easiest and least expensive way to give your plants some extra moisture in the air is through the use of a pebble tray. A pebble tray is simply a tray or shallow dish filled with pebbles or small rocks and water.

The idea is to place your potted plant on top of the pebble tray filled with water. The pebbles prevent the plant from getting its feet too wet. Then, as the water evaporates into the air, your plant will get that spa day it's been asking for.

Humidity Hack: How to Make a Pebble Tray - Pistils Nursery

How to make a pebble tray

Creating your own pebble tray at home is remarkably easy. Before we launch into how to make a pebble tray, how do you know if your plants are looking for more ambient moisture? Browning leaf tips and edges, curled or wilted foliage and misshapen or torn new growth can all be caused by a deficit in humidity.

Plants that love extra humidity are usually from tropical environments. Some of our favorite humidity loving plants include: prayer plants (like Maranta, Calathea and Ctenanthe), ferns, and Begonias.

Here's how to make one at home!

  1. Find a shallow dish or tray that holds water and is the appropriate size for the plant or plants needing some extra moisture
  2. Fill the tray with decorative pebbles or rocks
  3. Add water, making sure that the tops of the pebbles stick out just ever so slightly above the level of the water. This way, when you place your plant on top the roots are not sitting in standing water
  4. That's it! Check back regularly, and refill the tray as needed. This can be pretty often during heat waves and in dry spaces like those with AC

Humidity Hack: How To Make a Pebble Tray - Pistils Nursery

A few other easy ways to add humidity into a room is through the use of a humidifier or mister. Humidifiers should be the appropriate size for the room – in other words, get a larger humidifier for large rooms and smaller humidifiers for small spaces. Misters should have a fine spray so that large water droplets are never sitting for too long on your tender leaves. You could even consider taking your plants for a field trip to your bathroom the next time you take a shower to soak up the steam!

So if you’re tired of seeing browning tips on your moisture loving friends simply add decorative pebbles to a shallow dish with water and let science do the rest.

By Bee Oxford

Pistils Nursery


Thanks soooo much for these tips praying my plant survives. My best friend gifted her to me

— Jojo

Excellent information! Thank u so much! I love rocks so this’ll be perfect!

— Karen

This was very helpful!!! I think I will take Plant 101.

— Wendy Lewis