Do Humidity Trays For Plants Really Work?


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If you’re taking care of plants then you’ll know each one has its own requirements.

Some plants need higher humidity levels than others but what if you cannot provide a humid enough environment?

The answer could be as simple as a humidity tray but do humidity trays for plants really work or are they just a gimmick?

Humidity trays for plants house
Humidity trays for plants

These pebble filled trays are designed to raise the humidity levels of a houseplant.

They do work for plants that only need a little extra humidity but they’re not really recommended for jungle plants that need a serious humidity boost. 

In This Guide – We’ll look at the effectiveness of humidity trays for plants and provide you with more information on how they work. 

What Is A Humidity Tray For A Plant

A humidity tray for plants is designed to increase humidity levels for plants that have this requirement.

The trays are filled with pebbles or stones as well as water.

If you don’t want to invest in expensive humidifiers then this is a much more affordable way to see to your plants’ needs. 

The idea is that the water is poured onto the stones so that not as much of it seeps into the soil. Instead, it will begin to evaporate which in turn, creates extra humidity around the plant. 

You can also put a container of water directly next to a plant in order to achieve the same thing.  But a humidity tray, with its attractive pebbles certainly has more aesthetic appeal.

There is also the option to place a plant pot on top of the humidity tray as long as there are holes in the bottom of the pot.

Do Humidity Trays Actually Work?

Humidity trays are great for certain types of plants but they won’t work in every situation.

If you have a plant that requires a slightly higher level of atmospheric humidity then these trays are ideal.

But if you’re growing jungle plants that need extreme humidity then you probably won’t get very far using just a humidity tray. 

In this case, you’re probably going to have to admit defeat and look at other ways of giving your plant the humidity it needs.

If the air in the room is still too dry even after using a humidity tray then the next best thing is going to be a humidifier.

Yes, they are more expensive but if you want your plant to be happy and healthy, it’s an investment you’re going to need to make. 

That said, if you’re really dead set against the idea of using a humidifier then it is also possible to increase the levels in other ways.

For example, placing additional containers of water around your plant.

Don’t Forget – If you are taking care of more than one plant then you’re going to need a lot more containers but it can help to group plants together according to their needs. 

It is also possible to mist your plants but there is some debate surrounding the effectiveness of this.

Some people will tell you that there is no better way to increase humidity while others will tell you it’s a total waste of time and does nothing but make the plant wet.

The only real way of knowing if it’ll work for your plants is to test it.

And that brings us to our next question… 

How Do I Know If The Humidity Tray Will Work?

If you have never used a humidity tray for the plant you are caring for then it can be difficult to figure out whether or not it’s going to be effective.

The only real way of finding out is to try but you can boost your understanding of the tray’s effectiveness by using a hygrometer. 

These tools are used to measure how humid the air is so you’ll be able to get a clear idea as to whether the tray is doing what it is meant to.

Of course, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding and the real evidence of whether the tray is working will be in how healthy the plant is.

If a plant isn’t receiving everything it needs then it’ll start to die off.

In the case of too low humidity, the leaves of the plant may begin to go brown and crispy as moisture is being wicked out of them. 

Will A Humidity Tray Work In Winter?

One of the reasons that a lot of people want to use a humidity tray is to help their plants make it through a harsh winter.

While the concept is nice, this isn’t something that will usually work. 

The problem is that the air is much colder during winter and so it’s very difficult for enough moisture to build up and increase the humidity levels. 

If you are looking to get your plant through a tough winter then we would suggest investing in a humidifier as well as grow lights for the best success. 

Making Your Own Humidity Tray At Home

If you think that your plant will benefit from a humidity tray then the good news is that this is a simple thing you can make at home.

If you’ve never done it before then here come some easy to follow instructions.

  • Start by choosing your container. While these are called humidity trays, it’s OK to use a saucer or a dish as long as it can hold some water. Also think about the size of the tray in comparison to the plant and whether it is going to be used to support several plants or not. 
  • Next, you will need to add some stones to your container. These don’t have to be anything special and if you like, you can go outside and collect stones from your yard. However, if you want something a little easier on the eye, then it’s worth heading out into nature to look for attractive stones such as those found around rivers. Just make sure that, whatever you use, the stones are clean.
  • Now you will need to add some water to the tray. The level of the water should be kept relatively low if the pots have holes in the bottom. If you pour too much water in then the roots will sit in this which is unhealthy for the plant. You can use tap water but a lot of people prefer to use distilled water as this is cleaner and purer.
  • You can now place the plants on top of the stones and let the tray work its magic. Make sure to keep an eye on your humidity tray and replace the water as it evaporates, again being careful not to add too much at a time. 


There are a lot of plants that require much higher humidity levels but it isn’t always easy to provide this when growing non-native species.

However, a humidity tray could be the answer to your problems but do they really work?

The truth is that humidity trays will increase humidity levels a little bit but they’re not suitable for plants with demanding needs.

If you’re growing jungle species that rely on very wet air then these trays probably won’t produce enough moisture to sustain them.

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