Fall and winter means dry air in your home, which is rough on humans and plants! (Except succulents, they love it). No matter the season, many houseplants need a little extra humidity to maintain optimal health. You can run a humidifier (but that takes up a lot of space and can be an eyesore) or try your hand at a DIY pebble humidifier tray to match your decor and meet your humidity needs. 

To make a humidity tray you just need three things: 

  • A shallow tray or platter 
  • Decorative stones (like for a fish bowl) or marbles 
  • Water 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Place a shallow layer of stones in the dish 
  • Add enough water to cover them about halfway 
  • Place your potted plant on top of the stones 

The evaporation from the tray will naturally humidify the area for your plant without impacting the look of your home decor! Plus, as a bonus, you can probably find these items at a dollar store for less than $5 total. You can use brightly colored stones, clear glass marbles, smooth black river rock, or anything else that fits your decor and style. 

Why do plants need humidity?

We all know that plants need water, but they can’t get everything they need from water in their soil. Plants respire through pores on their leaves, taking in carbon dioxide and letting out oxygen, and these pores will dry out if the air doesn’t have enough moisture. The good news is, plants naturally boost humidity around each other, so a few plants on humidity trays should help each other out! 

Do all plants need humidity?

No -- Desert dwellers and drought resistant plants like succulents and cacti don’t need much humidity at all. They prefer dry air, so if you are setting up humidity trays or other humidifying tools, keep your succulents at a distance. 

How do I know if my plants need more humidity? 

You will notice dry soil and leaves if your plant is low on moisture. The most obvious sign is brown edges on leaves, but yellowing leaves are also an indicator of needing more ambient humidity in the plant’s location. If a plant seems like it’s too dry but you know you’re watering enough, humidity is probably the necessary adjustment to make!