What Is a Pebble Tray and How Does it Help with Humidity For Your Plants?

If your plants are not getting the humidity they need and the idea of buying a humidifier leaves you feeling penniless, than a pebble tray might be you and your plants best friend.

Many indoor plants and succulents enjoy a good misting. It can be a challenge to keep track of your plants waterings, misting, pruning, etc. so having an easy way to keep your plants happy and humid is ideal.

If your plants leaves are turning yellow or brown, then humidity is usually what’s needed. A pebble tray is easy and and a great way to keep your plants humid and happy. A pebble tray can be great for transporting plants as well and ensuring they don’t dry out on the trip.

So What is a Pebble Tray?

A pebble tray is a water filled plastic tray with small stones inside that helps keep plants fresh and with an ideal environment full of moisture when needed.

Think of those old fast food server trays filled with lots of little pebbles on it (But cuter!). You then pour water in the tray up to the top and place your plant(s) on top. Your plant will enjoy the humidity created by water in the tray and leave you with less time you have mist and water even.
These humidity trays are great for transporting your green plant babies as well. You don’t want to let your plants get dehydrated on the way to the farmers market!
Additionally, pebble trays are a great area for drainage. If you have plant containers with holes at the bottom, when you water your plant, the excess will run off into the tray. This will not only protect your floor and other surfaces but save your plants from root rot. The excess helps with the humidity and create a nice environment for your plant to thrive.


Pebble trays provide humidity for plants as the stones absorb the water from the top, and then slowly begin to release it back into the air around your plants.

How do I use a Pebble Tray for Plants?

Pebble trays are very easy to use! Simply place your plant or cutting into a soil filled container, and then place the container on top of the stones.

Fill the tray to the brim with water, and you are good to go! With a tray in place, you won’t need to spend as much time misting these water-hungry plants.

No need to get a humidifier or increase the moisture in the air if you just utilize pebble trays strategically throughout.

What Types of Plants Require a Pebble tray?

Succulents (cacti) are especially great for this method because they’re accustomed to long periods of little water throughout drought season. Orchids are another example of houseplants that can really benefit from a pebble tray. However, any plant can really benefit from a pebble tray.

I use these cool trays with many of my indoor houseplants when I start to notice yellowing of the leaves or little brown spots. I will also use them if I have to be gone for a weekend and can’t get to watering my more thirsty plants.

How to Make Your Own Pebble Tray for Plants

You can find these plastic pebble trays at any major nursery or plant store. If you don’t want to purchase a pebble tray for plants, you can create your own at home.

All you need is a sturdy plastic container and small pebbles or stones. Fill the container with enough stones so that it fills up with about an inch of water when you sit the plant on top. It’s that easy!

You can find a tray and pebbles on Amazon for about $10-15. You could also use a pretty plate as the tray if you have small houseplants or even a waterproof box.

Any color stone or pebble should work just fine, however if you are transporting plants that require high humidity (ex: tropical) you may want to consider using black stones. There is also the option to mix colors for maximum efficiency.

How Often do I need to Add Water to The Tray For Transporting?

Fill up your pebble tray at least an hour before leaving with your plants, so that they can absorb as much water as possible. If you are transporting for more than four hours, it is recommended to fill up the pebble tray with water every few hours.

When transporting, you don’t want to keep plants in a pebble tray too long unless they are high moisture plants.

The general rule is that you should try to avoid leaving your plants in the tray for more than 8 hours at a time. If you are traveling with them, it’s recommended to check up on their water levels every few hours to make sure they are getting enough.

Pebble trays are a great way for you to transport your succulents without worrying about them drying out due to lack of water!

Do I need to Water my Plants before leaving for a Trip?

No, it’s recommended to fill your pebble tray or container with water at least an hour before you leave.

By doing this, the stones will have time to absorb as much as possible so that no water is lost during transit. This should be enough time for your plants to last even without being watered again

What Happens If My Plant Starts To Grow In the Pebbles?

No worries- this means your plants root have found an ideal home. Assuming you have a plastic pot, simply drill or poke a hole in your plant container. Then carefully lift out all of the stones with your hand (it may take some time).

Once you’ve lifted all the stones out, you can safely transplant into a bigger pot and add new stones to replant.

If your plants roots are overgrown and your cannot lift your plant out of the container (or its not plastic), you will need to carefully pull the plant out of its home and replant to something larger.

Since these humidity trays are not very deep and not dense it is usually easy to pull the plant roots out- just be careful.

Final Thoughts

A pebble tray is a simple and effective way to create a more humid environment for your indoor plants. It is a cost-effective and low-maintenance solution that can help prevent common issues such as wilting, yellowing, and dryness.

Additionally, a pebble tray can also add aesthetic value to your indoor garden, making it a great addition to any home or office space. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily create a pebble tray for your plants and enjoy the benefits of healthier, happier greenery.

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