The 9 Best Indoor Gardens of 2023 for Growing Delicious Herbs and Vegetables

The high-tech AeroGarden Bounty does (almost) all the work for you and can fit on your counter.

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10-best-indoor-gardens-of-2022-tout

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No matter how little or how much outdoor space you have, you can grow healthy and happy plants with the help of an indoor garden. Besides being beautiful to look at, indoor gardens allow you to cultivate fragrant flowers, delicious herbs, and flavorful fruits and vegetables right inside your home. 

“An indoor garden is more than a potted plant near a window,” says Lindsay Springer, head of plants and nutrition at Gardyn. “It’s the intentional cultivation of plants for eating and enjoyment in the comfort of your own home.”

The best indoor gardens create a space that makes it easier to keep your plants healthy and thriving in all seasons by controlling the climate, providing essential nutrients, and more. Even if you don’t have the ideal outdoor space for a garden to thrive, these dedicated indoor spaces allow you all the benefits of having a garden outdoors without the variability in weather or conditions. 

The type of plants grown in an indoor garden varies widely. Since indoor gardens can range in size from small tabletop gardens to large floor-mounted models, there is a lot of freedom to grow your favorite plants.“Indoor gardeners grow anything from herbs to citrus,” says Brody Hall, environmental scientist, horticulturist, and co-founder of The Indoor Nursery. 

We created a list of the best indoor gardens based on system type, plant capacity, ease of use, and more. Our top pick is AeroGarden Bounty indoor garden for its compact design with room for up to nine plant varieties. It’s also easy to use thanks to convenient settings that allow even beginning gardeners to grow thriving plants at home. 

Here are the best indoor gardens.

Best Overall

AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Gardening

4.9
AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This indoor garden produces quality herbs and vegetables, plus it's easier to clean than most other models.

Keep in Mind: It can be difficult to find the replacement bulbs when one burns out.

The AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden gives you everything you’d get in a traditional outdoor garden without the need for soil or natural sunlight. This compact indoor garden allows you to grow up to nine different herbs, vegetables, or flower varieties any time of the year inside the stainless steel planter. Each plant will be able to grow up to 24 inches tall, making it ideal for herbs and small vegetables. 

This indoor garden is outfitted with 30-watt LED lights to promote photosynthesis, which, according to the manufacturer, can result in rapid plant growth up to five times faster than traditional gardening. It also features an automatic light timer so you don’t need to remember to turn it on or off, and a large water bowl that lets you go longer between refills. The AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden also features a convenient high-resolution control panel that displays your plant vitals and clearly displays reminders to add water and plant food. 

We also appreciate the “vacation mode” setting that will automatically take care of your garden’s upkeep whenever you are away. This miniature indoor garden even comes with a collection of gourmet herb seed pods to get you started, including basil, thyme, mint, and chives, just to name a few. 

Some shoppers noted that they had trouble locating replacement lights when the included LED bulbs burnt out. Since the lights will last quite a while before burning out, you’ll have time to purchase a replacement part. However, at the time of publishing this article, the manufacturer only offers 20-watt replacement bulbs instead of the 30 watt kind it comes with. 

Price at time of publish: $300

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 8 Inches
  • Plant capacity: Nine
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: Yes

Best Budget

Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit for 36 Plants

4.5
vivoson-hydroponic-growing-kit

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The growing system’s square holes are designed to hold plants in place, allowing them to grow better.

Keep in Mind: Cleaning the inside of the tubes and sponges can be challenging as parts need to be disassembled.

The Vivosun Hydroponic Growing Kit is the best indoor garden if you are looking for a budget-friendly yet effective way to keep herbs and small plants alive inside. The compact garden is easy to use and assemble, making it great for beginners with no prior gardening experience. 

This indoor garden is made from food-grade PVC-U piping and offers 36 sites for fruits, vegetables, and plants to grow. Because this garden uses hydroponics—meaning it’s grown in a nutrient-rich water solution rather than soil—it can yield double what you’d get from traditional soil-based gardening in much less space. According to the manufacturer, it’s particularly useful for growing leafy vegetables like lettuce, rabe, beets, and celery. 

The included timer minimizes any guesswork, allowing you to set the device to turn on the pump for five minutes every 30 minutes. This allows your plants to receive optimal nutrients without having to constantly take care of them. You can also set the pump manually for more control over their growing process. 

It’s worth noting that, while very easy to set up, this indoor garden does require some effort to clean. You’ll have to take apart some of the pieces to thoroughly scrub and wipe down interior piping, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

Price at time of publish: $80

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 38.6 x 20.6 x 14.6 Inches
  • Plant capacity: 36 plants
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: No

Best Splurge

Gardyn Home Kit 3.0

Gardyn 3.0 The New Generation of Hydroponics Growing System

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This system uses AI technology to help grow vegetables and fruits, so you’ll have help through every step of the growing process. 

Keep in Mind: You will need a subscription through the app to access many of the smart features.

If the image of a lush indoor garden brimming with fragrant herbs puts you in the mood to start cooking some delicious homemade meals, the Gardyn 3.0 Hydroponic Growing System might be a winner. This advanced garden system was thoughtfully designed to grow up to 30 large plants within only two square feet of space while using 95% less water than other systems. Plug-and-play light bars and columns make it fairly easy to assemble—no screws, tools, or water line needed. 

We also love that this indoor garden system comes with a generous collection of pre-loaded gourmet seed pods for harvesting salad and cooking greens, including arugula, kale, Swiss chard, basil, thyme, and mint. This system can also grow vegetables like cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers. 

You’ll be able to pair your hydroponic indoor garden with an app, which uses The system’s app, which uses artificial intelligence to help you look after your garden. Since the garden has multiple sensors to monitor the temperature, humidity, and water level, it can give you personalized recommendations based on the plant’s current conditions. This is a major benefit for beginner gardeners, since it eliminates guesswork when caring for your plants. 

Unfortunately, several of the app’s features are only available through a paid subscription, so you’ll want to factor in an added monthly cost to get the full experience. 

Price at time of publish: $949

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 38.6 x 20.6 x 14.6 Inches
  • Plant Capacity: 36 plants
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: No

Best Vertical

Lettuce Grow Farmstand

4.7
Lettuce Grow Farmstand

Courtesy of Lettuce Grow

Why You Should Get It: This vertical garden is beautiful to look at and extremely easy to assemble. 

Keep in Mind: Lights and seedlings are sold separately.

If we were choosing an indoor garden based on looks alone, the Lettuce Grow Farmstand just might take the prize. This intuitively designed vertical garden stands just under 4 feet tall and doubles as a living work of art, making it a great showpiece in any open living space. 

The top half of the structure has space for up to 12 different plants and uses an advanced hydroponic system to automatically distribute water evenly throughout all the plants. This garden works well indoors and outdoors, plus it’s extremely easy to assemble wherever you choose to portray it. Once it’s up and running, you can expect to enjoy your first harvest in as little as three to four weeks. 

Keep in mind that this system was designed to be used indoors or outdoors, so grow lights are not included with the garden itself. You can, however, purchase indoor glow lights separately from the manufacturer. And while the manufacturer sells an impressive array of over 250 seedling types, none are included in your purchase, so you’ll need to buy them separately. 

Price at time of publish: $399

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 24 Inches
  • Plant Capacity: 12
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: No

Best for Herbs

Rise Gardens Personal Garden and Starter Kit

Rise Gardens Personal Garden and Starter Kit

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: A 30W LED light panel mimics the sun and provides the right broad spectrum of light that herbs need to grow. 

Keep in Mind: While it provides great conditions for herbs to grow, the selection of vegetables you’ll be able to harvest from this garden is limited.

Experiment with different herbs in the kitchen thanks to the Rise Gardens Personal Garden and Growing Kit which is the best indoor garden for herbs. This hydroponic device allows you to grow a variety of fresh herbs and crisp greens without the challenges of outdoor gardening. You also won’t have to deal with bugs, weather, or pesticides. 

This indoor garden features a custom 30-watt LED light panel that mimics the sun, providing ideal levels of broad-spectrum light that most herbs need to thrive. This means your plants will get all the benefits of natural sunlight without the risk of overexposure to harsh rays. And, measuring just 18 inches in height, this indoor garden can sit right on the kitchen countertop without taking up tons of space. 

For those without the gift of a green thumb, this indoor garden comes with a convenient companion app that controls self-watering and light functions. When your garden needs tending, the app will let you know, so there’s never any second-guessing or accidental over- or under-watering.  

The included starter kit brings everything you need for six weeks of garden nutrients, as well as a collection of gourmet seed pods that are a foodie’s dream, including Super Sweet Genovese Basil, Common Sage, Forest Green Parsley, and Santo Cilantro. You also get a salad mix four- pack that includes Bronze Arrowhead Lettuce, Parris Island Cos Lettuce, Astro Arugula, and Red-Streaked Mizuna Mustard. 

Note that, due to its small size, it’s not ideal for growing most vegetables. If this is your primary goal in buying an indoor system, we recommend shopping a different model on our list of the best indoor gardens. 

Price at time of publish: $349

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 18  x 11 x 16 Inches
  • Plant Capacity: 16 plants
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: Yes

Best Small

Click & Grow The Smart Garden 3

Click & Grow The Smart Garden 3

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This system takes up just 5 inches of space on your countertop.

Keep in Mind: With only three pods, the variety of plants you can grow is limited.

If you’re extremely tight on space or are simply intimidated by the thought of maintaining any type of plant, consider this pick from Click & Grow. At less than 5 inches wide, it’s the smallest option on our list and will fit seamlessly in even the tightest kitchen. It’s also extremely easy to use when it comes to setting up—think of a capsule coffee machine, but for plants. Simply load the pods, plug in the unit, and add water. This tiny smart garden will do the rest. 

This indoor garden may be small, but it features energy-efficient LED grow lights that rival larger models, making sure your plants thrive regardless of the weather outside. There’s room for three plant pods, so newbies can start with a few basic herbs to build their gardening confidence. 

Once you’re ready to explore other plant varieties, the Click and Grow Indoor Herb Garden Kit offers a wide assortment of seedling pods, including cilantro, basil, lavender, and thyme. 

Because of its size, this indoor garden isn’t as useful for growing vegetables. Once you’re ready to expand your indoor plant collection, you may want to look into a larger model for harvesting things like tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies.

Price at time of publish: $91

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 9 x 4.9 x 12.5 Inches
  • Plant capacity: Three
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: Yes

Most Stylish

Modern Sprout Smart Growhouse

Modern Sprout Smart Growhouse

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Gorgeous brass-plated stainless steel construction will complement any modern home aesthetic.

Keep in Mind: There’s no self-watering feature.

Growing plants and herbs inside your home doesn’t have to mean compromising on your interior design style. The Modern Sprout Smart Growhouse features a sleek, brass-plated stainless steel design that beautifully displays your favorite kitchen herbs, leafy greens, and flower varieties. Measuring less than 6 inches wide, this stylish indoor garden easily fits onto most kitchen countertops, so you won’t have to sacrifice valuable counter space. The kit even comes with hanging hardware, giving you more options to display your beautiful greenery throughout the home. Plus, you can even use this indoor garden as a planter for your succulents.

Like other indoor gardens on our list, this pick features full spectrum LED lighting to support seed starting, vegetable growth, and flowering. The lights run at low temperatures, which reduces the risk of burning your plants as they grow. You’ll also get access to a convenient companion app that allows you to create customized lighting schedules including partial shade, partial sun, and full-sun options for your different plants.

For all its helpful features, this indoor garden doesn’t include a self-watering feature, so you’ll want to stay on top of its maintenance to ensure your plants thrive.

Price at time of publish: $239

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 5.5 x 15.8 inches
  • Plant Capacity: Four
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: Yes

Best Wi-Fi

iDOO 12 Pod Hydroponics Growing System

iDOO Hydroponics Growing System

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Easily control light settings, switch from fruit to vegetable mode, and control water pump runtime and fan settings all from your smartphone.

Keep in Mind: The pods can move in their slots, which creates instability for some plant types.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your plants and ensure they thrive with this wifi-connected indoor garden. The Idoo 12-Pod Wi-Fi Hydroponic Growing System makes growing plants indoors so easy, even for the novice gardener. Thanks to its user-friendly companion app, you can control all aspects of your indoor garden care in a few simple taps. Set timers for specific lighting, fan, and watering, or customize your settings by choosing the fruit/flower or vegetable modes. 

The app also allows you to manually input planting days, reset the device for new plants, keep track of each plant’s growth, and upload photos to your plant diary to keep a record of the entire life cycle. It has space for up to 12 pod plants to grow a generous variety of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. 

The 6.5-liter water tank also provides plenty of space for root development and keeps your plants fresh for two to three weeks without having to water them. Keep in mind that the plant pods of this indoor garden are a little wobbly, which means they can tip over if you let the stems become much longer than the roots. To avoid this, you’ll want to make sure you stay on top of maintenance.

Price at time of publish: $180

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Hydroponic
  • Dimensions: 15.43 x 12.01 x 7.95 inches
  • Plant Capacity: 12
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: Yes

Best with Soil

TorchStar Plant LED Kit Indoor Herb Grow Light

TorchStar Plant LED Kit Indoor Herb Grow Light

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It combines natural soil with an effective LED lighting system to grow plants and herbs indoors. 

Keep in Mind: Plant pots and seeds are not included.

Where there are many benefits to hydroponic indoor gardens, soil is more natural for plants. It’s also gentler and produces slower results, which could be a benefit for anyone who doesn’t want to tend to a rapidly growing indoor garden.

The Torchstar LED Indoor Herb Garden provides many of the same benefits as indoor hydroponic gardens while also giving you the option to grow your plants in natural soil. The full-spectrum LED lamp closely matches sunlight to better promote plant growth, making it great for cultivating flowers, herbs, and succulents anywhere in your home. There’s also an automatic timer that keeps the lights on for 16 hours at a time before turning off for eight hours, mimicking sunrise and sunset to help promote the plants’ natural growth rhythms.

Keep in mind that this indoor garden doesn’t have self-watering features, so you’ll need to monitor the soil and stay on top of routine watering. Plants and seedlings are also sold separately, so plan to purchase these or have them on hand if you want to buy the Torchstar LED Indoor Herb Garden. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Product Details: 

  • System Type: Soil-based
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 19.85 x 14 inches
  • Plant Capacity: Four
  • Light Type: LED
  • Programmable: No

The Bottom Line

We chose the AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden as the best indoor garden overall because of its compact design that fits on the countertop while still offering room for up to nine varieties of plants. We also like the easy-to-use control panel with convenient features like vacation mode, which helps keep your plants alive even when you’re gone.

What to Know About Indoor Gardens Before Shopping

System Type

When shopping for the best indoor gardens, you’ll need to choose between a hydroponic system and one that uses soil to grow plants. While you can find soil-based indoor gardens, the most popular types of indoor gardens use hydroponic systems. Simply put, this means they grow plants using water and a heavy concentration of nutrients without the use of soil. Hydroponic gardens are generally less messy than traditional soil-based gardens, and some even include self-watering features that make it easier to ensure you don’t kill your plants. 

Dimensions

The best indoor gardens are available in a wide range of sizes to fit your needs. Small countertop options can measure less than 10 inches wide and 12 inches tall, making them super easy to keep nearby for cooking purposes without taking up tons of space in your kitchen. Large indoor gardens can be a couple of feet wide and up to 5 feet tall, giving you plenty of room for bigger plants and multiple varieties. 

Plant Capacity 

Depending on the size of your indoor garden, its plant capacity may vary anywhere between three to 30 plants. However, the best indoor gardens for your needs will have enough slots for you to grow multiple plant varieties at a time, whether you want to grow herbs on your countertop or help indoor plants thrive. Some very large indoor gardens can hold up to 75 plants. 

Light Type 

One important feature to look for when shopping for the best indoor gardens is whether or not they have grow lights. Without grow lights, you’ll have to rely on natural sunlight which might not be bright or consistent enough to keep edible plants like herbs and vegetables alive inside at all. You may get enough sun in the summer to grow smaller container crops on your windowsill, but on a year-round basis, you’ll likely need an indoor LED grow light to keep your plants thriving.

“State-of-the-art full spectrum LED lights mimic sunlight, allowing you to grow herbs and leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants,  and even bright sunny sunflowers right in your own home,” Springer says. “High-quality LED lighting not only ensures an impressive biodiversity of plants will thrive in an indoor garden but gives back highly nutritious produce in return.”

Settings

The best indoor gardens make it easy to keep your plants alive, whether you’re an expert gardener or new to raising plants. Look for options that have an easy-to-use control panel or offer connection to an app, so you can change settings, set light timers, track plant growth, and more.  With these models, you’ll be able to better ensure that you don’t over- or under-water anything, resulting in healthier plants and less responsibility on your part.

Your Questions, Answered

Are indoor gardens high-maintenance?

Depending on the types of plant varieties and what type of indoor garden you decide to buy, keeping plants alive indoors may actually be easier than outdoor gardening. 

The maintenance involved in maintaining indoor gardens depends on several factors,'' Hall says. This includes the type of plants you choose for the garden, the level of care and attention they need, and the amount of time you are willing to devote to upkeep. 

“Generally speaking, while indoor gardens require some initial investment in terms of time and effort, they don't need to be high maintenance,” Hall says. “Depending on the planning, care, and choice of plants, indoor gardens are as high- or low-maintenance as gardeners would like to make them.”

Are indoor gardens worth it?

The best indoor gardens make it easier to grow thriving herbs, flowers, and vegetables, regardless of how much space you have in your backyard. However, they’re even more valuable for people who have limited or no access to their own gardening space outside. 

“Indoor gardens are ideal for people who live in urban areas with limited outdoor space,” Hall says. They are also ideal for gardeners who want to enjoy the benefits of gardening without having to deal with the challenges of traditional outdoor gardening, such as unpredictable weather events, pests, and soilborne diseases.

What can you grow in an indoor garden?

An indoor garden is a great way to grow your own food year-round, regardless of the weather outside. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs indoors. According to Hally, hydroponic or aeroponic systems will grow leafy greens like lettuce and spinach the best. Other options likely to thrive include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme also do well indoors.

“And, of course, there are endless ornamentals that enjoy the environmental conditions indoor settings offer,” Hall says. “These include ficus trees, orchids, ivy, peace lilies, and many more.”

Who We Are

This article was written by Adria Greenhauff, who has been writing about food and lifestyle topics for over a decade. To come up with this list, she interviewed Lindsay Springer, Head of Plants and Nutrition at Gardyn, and Brody Hall, environmental scientist, horticulturist, and co-founder of The Indoor Nursery.

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