The Best Indoor Herb Gardens for Green Thumbs

The AeroGarden Harvest is our winner

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The Spruce Eats Top Picks

Our top pick is the AeroGarden Harvest, because you can grow the six included herbs via the adjustable 20-watt LED grow lamp and liquid plant food—and there's no soil involved. On a budget? We recommend the iDOO Indoor Herb Garden Kit, which also comes with an adjustable 23-watt LED lamp and grows up to 12 plants at a time (seeds not included).

Fresh and home-dried herbs will elevate any cooking experience, but if you don’t have an outdoor space or much of a green thumb, an indoor herb garden can be a perfectly suitable (and delicious) alternative. Enjoy fresh herbs year-round, no matter what the weather is outside, thanks to these picks that make growing your own herbs easy. 

Here are the best indoor herb gardens for your kitchen.

Best Overall: AeroGarden Harvest

5
AeroGarden Harvest
What We Like
  • Adjustable LED grow lights

  • Three color options available

  • Low maintenance

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Even if your home doesn’t have optimal lighting, the AeroGarden Harvest has a 20-watt LED light system on a timer, which provides simulated sunshine that allows your herbs to thrive. There’s no messy soil required, and it only takes a few steps to complete the setup. With this option, you can grow not one, but six herbs at a time. (The kit comes with basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, thai basil, and mint pods.) Caring for them is easy, thanks to an indicator that lets you know when it’s time to refill the water or add the provided liquid plant food.

As your herbs continue to grow to new heights, the AeroGarden grows, too. The extendable lamp can be adjusted up to 12 inches. The overall design is simple, clean, and compact enough to fit anywhere in your kitchen.

What's Included: 6 seed pods (basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, mint), liquid plant food, quick planting guide | Capacity: 6 | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 6 x 10.5 x 17.4 inches

Best Budget: iDOO Indoor Herb Garden Kit

iDOO Hydroponics Growing System 12Pods

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Adjustable light panel

What We Don’t Like
  • No reminders for nutrients

On a budget? The iDOO Indoor Herb Garden Kit grows up to 12 plants at a time (you’ll have to purchase these separately) at a friendly price point. It self-waters from the tank and has a visual window on the side so you can see when it’s time to refill. However, it does not provide reminders for when it’s time to add additional nutrients.

The 23-watt LED lights are on an extendable arm, and it features a fan for optimal pollination, air flow, and temperatures. You can enable vegetable mode or flower/fruit mode on the full-spectrum panel, which operates on a 16-hours-on and 8-hours-off timer schedule. If you prefer another size, iDOO offers both seven- and 20-plant growing systems, too.

What's Included: Sponges, seeding covers, tags, 2 nutrient bottles | Capacity: 12 | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 13.8 x 12 x 8.9 Inches

Best Basic: Urban Leaf Culinary Herb Garden Trio Kit

Urban Leaf Herb Garden Starter Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Compact design

  • Offers a more traditional hands-on gardening experience

What We Don’t Like
  • Requires natural sunlight or grow lights

Made of sustainably sourced materials, the Urban Leaf Indoor Herb Garden Kit is a more basic option for tight kitchen spaces. This does not have as many bells and whistles as other options, so natural sunlight or artificial grow lights and a more hands-on attitude are needed to allow your herbs to thrive in their home. 

This kit comes with seeds to sprout non-GMO basil, parsley, and cilantro in your simple wooden planter. Take your DIY skills a step further and give your planter a paint job to match your kitchen aesthetic.

What's Included: 3 coco coir pots, bamboo labels, 3 seed packets (basil, parsley, cilantro), soil discs | Capacity: 3 | Material: Wood | Dimensions: 12 x 4 x 4.5 inches

Best Modern: Rise Gardens Single Family Garden

Rise Gardens Single Family Garden
What We Like
  • Modular design

  • Includes storage space

  • Large capacity

  • App connectivity

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

If you’ve got the space and budget, fill it with the Rise Single Family Garden. Depending on which of the three sizes you get, it has room for 12, 24, or 36 of your favorite herbs and plants within the sleek, modern design. Everything is hands-free, too, because it self-waters and self-fertilizes from the comfort of your app or Alexa device. It even tells you when it’s time to harvest your bounty.

Full-spectrum LED lights mimic sunlight on top, while the bottom of the cabinet contains storage space for accessories. It’s modular and can grow with you. Add more levels as needed, or utilize tray lids to increase your harvesting yield.

What's Included: 16 seed pods (assorted mix of lettuces, herbs, leafy greens), 3 bottles of nutrients, nursery pack, first harvest supplies | Capacity: 12, 24, or 36 | Material: Wood, plastic, metal | Dimensions: 36 x 16 x 39 inches (single family option), 36 x 16 x 52.5 inches (double family option), 36 x 16 x 66.25 inches (triple family option)

Best Large: Lettuce Grow Farmstand

4.7
Lettuce Grow Farmstand

Courtesy of Lettuce Grow

What We Like
  • Multiple seedling bundles offered

  • Indoor- and outdoor-friendly

  • Self-watering, self-fertilizing

What We Don’t Like
  • Requires more space

  • Pricey

The whole family will love getting involved in taking care of Lettuce Grow’s signature product: the Farmstand. Available in sizes ranging from 12 to 36 plants, these work well when placed indoors or outdoors. The smallest option has a 3-foot-8-inch-tall base, which contains the recirculating water and pump, and contains 12 plants. Teach your budding gardeners about hydroponic growing as you add water and nutrients to the reservoir and test the pH levels.

Lettuce Grow recommends adding on their Glow Rings for optimal indoor growing. (You won't need those if you plan to put your Farmstand outdoors.) Take your pick of pre-sprouted seedling packs, including fan-favorite herbs, leafy greens, fruits, and veggies. According to the brand, caring for seedlings takes five minutes of maintenance per week. Beyond that, the Farmstand is self-watering and self-fertilizing. Consumers can expect to have fresh, dinner-ready produce in as little as three weeks.

What's Included: Plant food, pH testing kit, seedling grow cups, scoops, stir stick | Capacity: 12 | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 3 feet, 8 inches tall (12 plants); 4 feet, 3 inches tall tall (18 plants); 4 feet, 10 inches tall (24 plants); 5 feet, 5 inches tall (30 plants); 6 feet, 1 inch tall (36 plants); all are 22 x 22 inches wide

Best Design: Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 Self Watering Indoor Garden

Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit With 3 Basil Cartridges & Orange Lid | Self Watering Planter & Patented Nano-Tech Medium For Plant Growth

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large water tank

  • Available in three colors

What We Don’t Like
  • Only holds three plants

The glossy finish, soft edges, and compact size of the Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden feel well-designed and thoughtful. Three biodegradable basil seed soil pods are included, but you can shop a wide assortment of available plant pods to mix and match. Become an expert on your herbs and plants by using Click & Grow’s app.

This model offers calibrated automated watering from the 40-ounce tank, which lasts for three weeks. Though it can only hold three plants, the LED panel pole adjusts between 8.25 and 18.5 inches to accommodate your growing plants. The LED panel is also automated, following a 16-hours-on and 8-hours-off schedule.

What's Included: 3 basil seed soil pods, quick start guides, lamp extension arm | Capacity: 3 | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 12 x 4.75 x 18.5 inches

Final Verdict

The AeroGarden Harvest is our No. 1 pick, because there's no soil involved, and it grows six herbs (seeds and liquid plant food are included in the kit) with an adjustable LED grow lamp. Green thumbs on a budget should check out the iDOO Indoor Herb Garden Kit, which grows 12 plants at a time, though you do have to buy the seeds separately.

What to Look for in an Indoor Herb Garden

Capacity

Depending on the size of your indoor herb garden, the capacity can range anywhere from comfortably fitting three or four plants to upwards of 30 or more. What you need will be determined by the size of your household, the variety of plants you desire, the amount you anticipate using, and the space you have allotted for the garden at home.

Standout Features

Does your indoor garden include the seeds, or do you need to purchase them yourself? Does it provide clearly written instructions? Is it pleasing to the eye? Those are just a few features to take into consideration while picking out which indoor garden is right for you. 

What Our Experts Say

“The best indoor gardens offer automatic monitoring of water levels, easy cleaning, and an aesthetic that complements an indoor location. Clear instructions should be included with your kit for an easy, foolproof start,” says Ethos Seed founder and co-owner Marjorie Beausoleil. “To truly enjoy your indoor garden, it should provide you with visual joy at every stage and allow you to appreciate the entire process, from seeding to harvest.”

FAQs

How do you start an indoor herb garden?

Buying an indoor herb garden and the necessary supplies is the first place to start. In case your purchase doesn’t come with seeds or seedlings, Beausoleil recommends shopping for seeds from trusted sources to obtain the best results.

“After all, seeds are inexpensive, and using high-quality seeds ensures the best results and flavor,” Beausoleil says.

Anne Fletcher, founder of Orta Gardens, has a trick for keeping an herb garden green over time: “Choose herbs that will tolerate being indoors. Indoors, it's much easier to create the conditions that annual herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, parsley) prefer. Always start new plants from seeds so that as one reaches the end of its life, you have a new one ready to replace it.”

What herbs and other produce can you grow indoors?

In addition to common kitchen herbs, you can grow leafy greens, such as lettuce and kale, and even fruits and vegetables in your indoor herb garden. Beausoleil suggests getting started with herbs, including parsley, cilantro, dill and chervil, which grow very well under part-shade conditions.

However, there are numerous possibilities for other herbs, too. “The ease of cultivation opens the door to more exotic herbs, as well. Popular herbs like basil also come in a dizzying array of colors, shapes, and flavors when grown from seeds—much more than the few select choices offered in grocery stores. By growing them indoors, the new gardener opens the door to new possibilities.”

Does an indoor herb garden need direct sunlight?

Indoor herb gardens typically come equipped with an LED light panel, so natural sunlight is not always necessary. However, if your herb garden does not come with a simulated light source, a sunny window and at least six hours of light will do the trick.

“By far, the most important element is the grow light. You can use any containers you like—regular flower pots with regular bagged potting soil are just fine. But without a quality grow light, indoor herbs simply won't thrive,” Fletcher says. “All herbs need full sun or intense grow lights. Herbs need a lot more light than your average houseplants.”

As for the temperature, most herbs cannot tolerate an environment that is too cold or too hot. The sweet spot will be around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Mild indoor temperatures are fine for most annual herbs,” Fletcher says. “Basil may need extra heat if your house is cool, as it's happiest above 75 degrees.”

How do you care for an indoor herb garden? 

Many indoor herb gardens come with just about everything you need to get started, from seeds or seedlings to plant nutrients, care tips, and more. 

“Most indoor gardens rely on hydroponic cultivation techniques, so gardeners must have a reliable supply of organic fertilizer to feed their plants, as there will be no soil to provide nutrients to the growing vegetation,” says Beausoleil. “An organic, soluble nutrient solution is the best choice, and gardeners should follow the instructions on the packaging for the best results.”

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Jacqueline Weiss is a professional food writer with over five years of experience, and a lifelong lover of working in the kitchen. Her writing has appeared in Eat This Not That, EatingWell, AllRecipes, Simply Recipes, and elsewhere. To choose the best options for this article, she conducted research and considered key metrics.

Sources

Marjorie Beausoleil is the founder and co-owner of Ethos Seed Company.

Anne Fletcher is the founder of Orta Gardens.

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