How to Make a Humidity Tray for Orchids

There are a few methods of increasing the humidity around your orchid. Buying a humidifier to bump up the level of moisture in the air around your home is one and misting your orchid with a spray gun is another. By far, the most popular method is to use a humidity tray.

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Humidity trays are simply a tray of water that sits below your orchid pot. As the water in the tray evaporates, it rises thereby increasing the humidity around the plant. They can also be used to enhance the d├ęcor around your orchid. Humidity trays can be bought from most garden centre's, flower specialists and even discount stores however it is very simple (and cheaper) to create your own.

If you do decide to buy a humidity tray, I can highly recommend the following:

Multi-plant humidity tray
Single plant humidity tray

Make your own humidity tray
Firstly, you will (obviously) need a tray. This can be literally anything that can hold water and is large enough to hold the base of your orchid pot. For smaller pots, plastic containers from the Chinese takeaway or cutting off the bottom of a plastic milk bottle will do the job. Most pots come with an accompanying saucer that can be used as a humidity tray or just about any piece of Tupperware will work. TIP: Take a look at the back of you kitchen cabinets - there's usually something long forgotten about that can be used.

Having acquired a tray, the next job is to hunt for some round stones. Round pebbles look the nicest and these can be picked up from beaches or river beds - you may even have some in your garden. Alternatively, gravel or sharper-edged stones will also do the job but may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Once you have your mineral of choice, spread them liberally over the base of the tray, ensuring they are level at the top (where your pot will sit).

Next, you will need to add water to your tray of stones. Fill the tray with water until the level is just below the tops of the stones. Finally, place your orchid pot on top of your new home-made humidity tray. Job done!

Ensure the water in your tray is regularly topped up. You might have to do a check every day in the middle of Summer, with less frequent checks (perhaps once a week) at the height of Winter.

And finally, a word of warning. Please make sure that the roots of your orchid are not in direct contact with the water in your humidity tray. This can cause them to decay and result in irreparable damage.

There are many factors that you need to get right when successfully growing orchids and humidity is just one of them. Check out our Beginners Guide to Orchids to get the lowdown on how to take care of this wonderful flower.