There are several techniques you can use in order to increase the humidity in the air and give yourself a healthier Orchid. One such way is to spray water, preferable distilled water, onto your Orchid several times during the day. Another more expensive method is to use a machine called a humidifier, which will increase the humidity of the entire room in which it is place. A much better and also popular method is to use a humidity tray.
Simply put humidity trays are trays… of water. The water in the tray will evaporate throughout the day causing the air around your Orchid to be more humid than the surrounding environment, which of course is a good thing as your Orchid loves humid conditions.
When creating your own humidity tray the really art is making the tray look attractive so it doesn’t distract from your beautiful Orchid.
You can purchase humidity trays from most garden centre’s but trust me it’s much more fun and creative, not to mention cheaper, to do it yourself. It is also very easy and for 10 to 15 minutes of effort will make a lifetime of difference to the health and therefore the enjoyment you will get from your Orchid.
So let’s get started, first off and I’m sure you saw this coming you will need a tray. But don’t get too tied up looking for an actual tray nearly anything will be appropriate that can hold water from containers and pots to the bottom of a plastic milk bottle. Also a lot of pots that you can buy from garden centre’s nowadays come with a saucer, which is ideal to use as a humidity tray. Even an old saucepan you don’t use anymore will make a chic looking humidity tray (maybe take the handle off if you can).
Now you have a tray to work with the next thing you will want to get your hands on is some stones or pebbles. These will add to the beauty of your brand new humidity tray so it is always nice to spend some time to find some stones you like the look of, most people like rounded stones but it’s your humidity tray so whatever takes your fancy. Good places to look for some well rounded stones as I’m sure you know are down the beach or alongside a river. However what most people don’t do is have a look in their back gardens, this is the simplest thing to do and I have a feeling that you might be surprised by what you can find.
Since you are now a renowned stone/pebble hunter it’s time to place you findings into your humidity tray. Make sure you try and squeeze in as many stones as you can and it’s important that the surface you are left with is relatively flat, as this is where your pot containing your Orchid will be sitting. If you did have trouble finding enough pebbles or stones gravel will also do the job.
For bonus points I like to wrap the pot either with wrapping paper form the last birthday present you beautifully wrapped or a nice piece of material usually found in the corner of some cupboard or wardrobe.
Now that you’ve got your humidity tray looking in tip top condition all that’s left to do is add the water. You will want to fill your humidity tray until the water is just below the level of the stones. Now position your Orchid pot carefully on top of the stones and you’ve just made your very first humidity tray.
Before you get too excited remember to keep your new humidity tray topped up regularly. Checking the level of water about once per week in the winter and closer to once per day in the summer will make sure that your humidity tray never dries out.
This is important, when you check the water levels of your humidity tray you should ensure that none of your Orchids roots actually make contact with the water. If you forget to do this and the roots of your Orchid do come in to contact with the water it can cause root rot, which if left long enough can be fatal to even the healthiest and hardiest of Orchids.