Nebula Tubs

by Colleen Rochette

For a supplemental blast of moisture, I began to research humidity trays. I really wanted to add some pep to my orchids’ step!

At the beginning of January, I found two black 26″ x 20″ trays that would fit perfectly on top of the wooden table in our living room. A quirky little company called Beta Crafts manufactures the Humidi-Grow® trays, which are also carried by (with a much larger, scarier price tag!) These trays are produced in both black and brown and are also quite handsome and extremely durable!

After adding water to these trays every week, they will eventually they need a light scrub. A fresh start always feel nice and ensures that any bacteria or fallen, soggy foliage will be removed.

Tiptoeing down our long hallway with kittens afoot, I try not to spill the half-full humidity trays. My guess was that after a month there may be something scuzzy growing in this standing water. Truthfully, I was not in the mood to bathe in it!

I returned to the living room and stood quietly with my hands on my hips. It looked like we were moving out of our apartment. Ah, a big empty corner and a pile of orchids in the middle of the floor.

While removing the grates, I stabilized the trays on the edge of the big purple tub. After the flood gates were opened, only clear water filtered quickly down the drain. No slimy green juice? Oh, sweet success.

Before filling my humidity trays for the first time I added one tablespoon of Physan 20 to one gallon of water. I then placed one gallon of this mixture in each tray and topped off the remainder of the tray with regular water. When refilling was needed throughout the month, I used regular water as well. Apparently, this initial bit o’ Physan thwarted all algae and bacterial growth altogether. No need to be leery anymore!

So, I am finally getting my set-up back in order. The foam that you see floating in the water is from the Physan 20 that was added when the trays were cleaned and re-filled. This will disperse shortly.

All in all, I think that these large trays look pretty sleek? Especially when they are covered in glorious orchids! We may have another happy month ahead of us.