13 Best Hydroponic Gardens for Indoor Growing

hydroponic garden

123RF (wklzzz)

While so many people are jumping on the gardening craze, not everyone has the time or space to nurture a large volume of plants or even tend a raised planter box. There are many of us who would prefer to have a few of our favorites like herbs and lettuces 365 days a year. A hydroponic garden is an ideal answer to having year-round deliciousness at hand.

Hydroponics is simply the system by which you grow plants in water with a few nutrients. Indoor hydroponic gardens offer all kinds of advantages. In most instances, they are compact and can fit on any convenient countertop. There’s no need to worry about sunshine or heat, as most have built-in grow lights and many are programmable, offering the perfect number of light hours to nurture your plant babies.

Since you’re not messing with dirt, there really isn’t any need to wash your produce, so you can pick the perfect salad or snip a spoonful of herbs and know you’re eating and serving your own organic produce. Cool, right?

hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • More planting space
  • Uses your own seeds
  • Compact countertop size
Price: $119.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
small hydroponic garden system Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Easy to use
  • Uses your own seeds
Price: $54.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Small growing footprint
  • Uses less water per plant
  • Can be used indoors or outside
Price: $499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hydroponic garden side table Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Clever side table design
  • Stackable
  • Four plant capacity
Price: $277.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
indoor hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Budget-friendly
  • Automatic operation
  • 12 plant capacity
Price: $95.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
indoor hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Versatile
  • Adjustable LED grow light
  • Easy to use
Price: $120.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Uncomplicated design
  • Up to six plants
  • Comes with seed pods
Price: $129.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
small hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Free replacement of pods that do not sprout
  • Three plant capacity
  • Automatic and easy
Price: $99.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
aquaponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Aquaponic system
  • Dual function
  • Fun for kids
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
vegebox indoor hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nine plant capacity
  • Includes everything
  • Smart light improves production
Price: $92.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hydroponic growing towers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dual power system
  • Climing trellises
  • For sunny indoor areas
Price: $139.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kids hydroponic garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for kids age six and up
  • Comes with all supplies
  • Comes in packs of one to four
Price: $78.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hydroponic garden with bamboo stand Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Modern bamboo design
  • 12 plant capacity
  • Automatic light cycle
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Ivation Herb Indoor Hydroponic Garden Kit

    Pros:
    • Starts veggies and plants from your own seeds versus expensive seed pods
    • Comes with all the things you need to get started
    • Includes nutrient concentrates to enhance your water
    • Easy to use and get started
    • LED grow light is adjustable
    Cons:
    • Doesn't include any seeds
    • No timer on the grow light
    • Some customer service issues reported

    When you want to plant lots of things that you can enjoy, many hydroponic gardens can be kind of limiting. This clever model from Ivation allows you to grow up to 11 different plants at one time, all in a fairly compact countertop design. What you’ll love about this hydroponic garden is that it doesn’t require special seed pods. Instead, it gives you everything you’ll need to start your own seeds growing, so you can choose from your favorites.

    The kit includes the base plus the LED grow light system, a seedling tray, and 30 sponges used to start your own seeds. It also comes with 15 planting baskets that slip down into the tray as well as five planting hats to block out unused planting spaces. You’ll also get a measuring container, tweezers for gentle seeding, and even the proper nutrients to help your plants prosper.

    We also like that this hydroponic system is seriously affordable, so it would be a great gift for gardeners on a birthday or holiday.

  2. 2. BEAUTLOHAS. Hydroponics Growing System

    Pros:
    • Compact size makes it great for countertops or desk tops
    • You can start plants from your own seeds
    • Planting trays make getting started simple
    • Grow light can also be used as a reading light
    Cons:
    • No timer on the light
    • No water pump to circulate the water
    • Not large enough for more than one person's needs

    If you’re gardening in a small loft or tiny apartment, having fresh herbs on your kitchen counter is a real treat. This Beautlohas compact hydroponic garden makes that so simple with a countertop design that’s just 12 inches in length. It’s the perfect size for an abundant crop of basil, parsley and other complementary plantings.

    Each of the two little planting trays can accommodate up to nine seeds with vermiculite used as the dirt-free planting medium. Once you have your water vessel filled and seeds set, simply turn on the LED light for the desired number of hours per day (we’d recommend 16) and watch your seedlings prosper. And whenever you begin a new set of seedlings, be sure to replace the vermiculite to avoid mold. Vermiculite can soak up three to four times its volume in water per SFGATE, which is what makes it ideal in garden settings like this.

    Check to see what kinds of plants make good companions to ensure the greatest success with this garden. The grow light switches between pink for growing and white for reading. Nice for the kitchen counter if this garden has to share space with your cookbook. 

     

     

  3. 3. Lettuce Grow 24-Plant Hydroponic Farmstand

    Pros:
    • Planting towers come in many sizes and they are expandable
    • Harvest veggies in just three weeks
    • Takes only five minutes a week to manage
    • Uses less water per plant and reduces your carbon footprint too
    • Grows literally anything but root vegetables
    Cons:
    • Very spendy
    • Works best with their proprietary pre-sprouted seedlings
    • Indoor growing is more successful with a grow light

    This unique hydroponic garden is ideal for a sunny indoor patio, covered porch, or even your backyard deck. The Lettuce Grow Farmstand is a completely different concept than other featured gardens. It looks like a large tiered vase with planting spaces, and literally, that’s kind of what it is, although seriously efficient. In fact, if you use the pre-sprouted Lettuce Grow seedlings, you can be harvesting your own delicious veggies in as little as three weeks, which seems pretty amazing.

    What’s pretty cool is that this robust growing system takes just five minutes a week to manage. And the tall tiered design takes up a really small footprint (just 22 x 22 inches!) while reducing your own carbon footprint since you’ll be shopping a lot less. All you need to do is add water, nutrients and check the pH once a week and you’ll be on your way to splendid results. 

    The Farmstand comes in sizes from 12 plants to 36 plants, so you can choose what’s right for you and your family without wasting. This is especially great for folks living in areas where water isn’t abundant and conservation is critical. With this planting system you’ll use less than a gallon total per plant which is less than one quarter of the normal amount plants need. 

    You’ll get the tower (which is expandable, BTW) as well as the timer, pump, and plant nutrients. You can also get plant cups and start your own seeds, just be aware, the harvest won’t be quite as quick as if you bought the pre-sprouted starts.

  4. 4. Miracle-Gro Twelve Hydroponic Garden Side Table

    Pros:
    • Stackable side table design fits modern decor styles and small spaces
    • Room to grow four plants
    • Makes year round gardening easy
    • Bluetooth control with the Miracle-Gro Twelve App
    Cons:
    • Pretty expensive
    • Limited planting space
    • Lights are quite bright

    Okay, we admit it. We happen to think this little genius of an idea is especially cool for those of you living in spaces both small and large. The Miracle-Gro Twelve hydroponic side table does double duty as both furniture and a hydroponic garden, plus, you can actually order a stacking kit to place two tables together! 

    This clever garden makes hydroponics simple so you can grow a wide variety of leafy greens, herbs, and flowers inside your home year-round. Just add seeds, cuttings, or even start with small plantings from the nursery. Because this table is Bluetooth connected, it takes the guesswork out of growing and you can control your system right from your smartphone thanks to the Miracle-Gro Twelve app.

    This cool system comes with the transplanting kit (contains latex), two packets of plant nutrition, and a seed starting kit (which does not include seeds.) This accent table is a perfect fit for any mid century modern or minimalist decor style. Built-in grow lights under the tabletop will nurture up to four different plants.

  5. 5. Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System

    Pros:
    • 12 plant capacity at an approachable price
    • You can use your own seeds versus expensive pre-planted pods
    • Water circulation every 30 minutes
    • Lights operate automatically to provide the ideal growing conditions
    • Controllable for either veggies or fruits
    Cons:
    • Some design flaws in pod placements
    • Not as efficient as some others
    • Doesn't include seeds

    Soil-free cultivation is a snap with the Moistenland indoor hydroponic garden. Similar to the AeroGarden Bounty, this accommodates up to 12 plants, but at a much more budget-friendly price. With a 22 Watt full-spectrum LED light system, this hydroponic planter is ideal for veggies, herbs, and fruits to prosper. It even features a fan to keep starts from overheating.

    An easy viewing window allows you to see your water level at all times, and the water tank holds up to four liters (more than one gallon)of water at a time. The water circulation system keeps water fresh, automatically coming on every 30 minutes. The easy on/of button will turn on the grow lights for 16 hours and turn them off for eight hours. Once the eight hour rest period is done, the lights will come back on so this machine makes gardening indoors a carefree and fun activity for your whole family.

    The system comes complete with 12 planting cups, 12 planting sponges made of biochar versus soil, and everything you’ll need except seeds. We love the flexibility it offers to grow exactly what you want without expensive pre-sprouted starts or proprietary plant pods.

  6. 6. GrowLED Height Adjustable10-Pod Indoor Garden

    Pros:
    • Can be used as a traditional soil planter or hydroponic garden
    • LED grow light is height adjustable
    • Comes with planter baskets and nursery domes
    • Easy to fill with water and has a water level monitor
    Cons:
    • Lights may be too hot for small seedlings
    • Grow light is dimmer than some others
    • Some difficulties with customer service reported

    We love finding items that are multi-taskers, and the GrowLED hydroponic garden does double duty during different seasons. It allows you to use the grow light system with dirt in the basin during the spring to get your garden planting started and then you can switch it up during other times of year to act as a complete hydroponic garden system. 

    This smart indoor garden has an automatic time that keeps the full spectrum LED light system on for 16 hours and off for 8 hours per day. The light is height adjustable so you can set it at the optimal height for small starts and then raise it as they grow. The self-watering planter has an easy to fill injection hole, a water level indicator, ten growing pods. 

    It also comes with ten planter baskets and ten nursery domes to contain warmth and moisture for new seedlings. Be sure to order extra growing pods so you can plant year-round.

  7. 7. AeroGarden Harvest 360

    Pros:
    • Comes with six different herb pods
    • Easy to use touch sensor control panel
    • Full spectrum 20 Watt LED grow light
    • Timer cycle enhances photosynthesis and plant growth
    Cons:
    • Lighting schedule is not adjustable
    • Premade seed pods can get expensive
    • Can not grow large vegetables

    The AeroGarden Harvest is the perfect mid-sized automatic hydroponic garden for your home. You can grow up to six plants at one time, all up to 12 inches tall. This garden system has a high efficiency 20 Watt full spectrum LED grow light with a 15 hour timer that helps to maximize photosynthesis, resulting in rapid, natural growth and a more abundant harvest.

    It also has an easy to use, simply designed control panel with touch sensor illuminated buttons that dim when the garden light is off. The controls alert you when it’s time to turn on the lights, add water, or enhance the water with more fertilizer. 

    It comes with Genovese Basil, Curly Parsley, Dill, Thyme, Thai Basil, and Mint plus a three-ounce bottle of all-natural plant nutrients, which is enough for a full season of plant growth. You can also get AeroGarden pods for all kinds of other veggies from lettuces to tomatoes and more.

  8. 8. Click and Grow Smart Garden 3

    Pros:
    • Top of the line design and functionality
    • Three plant capacity
    • Ideal for herbs and strawberries
    • Pesticide free gardening
    Cons:
    • Not enough capacity for a family
    • Pods can get expensive to replace
    • Relatively expensive

    This smart garden from Click and Grow is an ideal indoor hydroponic garden if your space is limited. It features a stylish Scandinavian design and three pods total to grow your home vegetable crops. The kit comes with three plant pods to get you growing right away, but you can get lots of pods with your preferred veggie or herb choices. You can choose from exterior colors in grey, black or white.

    This smart garden is completely hassle and maintenance-free. All you need to do is place the pods in their holders, fill the water reservoir, and plug the garden in and your plants will start growing automatically. After you harvest your lettuce, tomatoes, or basil you can choose from over 40 pre-made pods, or experiment with adding your own seed.

    This garden also comes with a growth guarantee – If your seeds do not germinate, they will replace the pods for free. 

  9. 9. Back to the Roots Water Garden

    Pros:
    • Aquaponic garden nurtures both pets and plants
    • Fun and easy for kids of all ages
    • Comes with everything you'll need plus a coupon for a fish
    Cons:
    • Limited growing options
    • No grow light
    • Requires water changes for the fish

    If you’ve got a family and you’re interested in keeping them both healthy and entertained right now, the Back to the Roots Water Garden is one clever way to let them learn to nurture both plants and pets. The water garden is a self-cleaning fish aquarium that allows you to grow organic microgreens on the top. 

    It creates a symbiotic relationship between the two – the plant roots naturally keep the water clean, and the fish waste fertilizes the plants. Genius. Just choose an appropriate finned friend for the aquarium (and there’s even a coupon included with this set up) and then plant your microgreens and wait. In ten days you’ll be snipping those yummy greens to add to sandwiches, salads and smoothies.

    This kit includes absolutely everything you’ll need to get started, including the tank and topper, microgreens seeds, chlorine remover for the water, and growstones as the medium to get your seeds started. 

    Granted this isn’t the system for the serious grower, but it’s a fun and approachable way to get kids into eating green stuff and a relatively simple opportunity for them to have a low maintenance pet too. This is a great gift for almost anyone on your list – from kids to seniors, all of whom will enjoy the fish and the greens too.

    Want to know more about the difference between aquaponics and hydroponics? This article from Powered by Plenty will give you all the facts. 

  10. 10. VegeBox Smart LED Hydroponics Growing System

    Pros:
    • Adjustable light panel allows plants to grow taller
    • LED light improves production, flavor and photosynthesis
    • Nine growing pods with caps for unused spaces
    • Smart control for on and off cycles
    Cons:
    • Does not include seeds
    • Adjustability doesn't make for equal distance to all plants
    • Some timer malfunctions reported

    If you’re looking for a simple and smart hydroponic garden for your kitchen, the VegeBox Smart LED hydroponic growing system is both affordable and flexible. A standout in our book is the LED grow light panel that provides everything your plants will need to produce and flourish. The four color light system helps improve photosynthesis, flavor, and overall plant production.

    This system accommodates nine different plants and comes with all you’ll need to get started except for seeds. It includes  20 planting baskets, 18 sponges, eight caps, the cultivation box, a non-woven bag, a measuring cup, and tweezers. The light panel is adjustable to be more efficient as your plants grow in height. 

    If you’re game to spend a bit more for additional growing spaces, VegeBox also has a 24 plant system which is substantially larger and a radically different design. It’s in short supply so it’s one to order sooner than later.

  11. 11. Big Smart Indoor Hydroponics Growing System with Trellises

    Pros:
    • The water circulation pump works on A/C or solar power and includes a solar panel
    • 59 inch climbing towers make growing beans and peas easy
    • Can grow large fruiting plants like melons and cucumbers
    • Smart control automatically circulates water when necessary
    Cons:
    • No grow light system
    • Does not include growing medium or seeds
    • Some durability issues reported

    One issue with most hydroponic gardens is that they won’t accommodate large plants or climbers like beans and peas. The Big Smart hydroponic growing system is geared toward those very veggies, and it actually includes climbing towers to accommodate those sorts of plants. While this system doesn’t include grow lights with it, the manufacturer says any sunny indoor space will work to grow things including melons and cucumbers.

    It has a built-in pump for good water circulation to support super growth, and a smart reminder when lack of water becomes an issue. One cool thing about this system is that you can power it with the included A/C adaptor but it also comes with a solar panel to keep the water circulating, which we think is especially cool.

    This system comes with three basins and three 59 inch climbing trellises. In smart mode, the pump works by sensor to know when best to circulate water as well as to indicate when water is low. 

  12. 12. AeroGarden Herbie Kid’s Garden with Pizza Party Activity Kit

    Pros:
    • Comes with everything needed to grow pizza topping herbs in 12 weeks
    • Great for kids age six and up
    • Comes in packs of one to four
    Cons:
    • Small size is only suitable for small plants like herbs
    • Relatively expensive for limited function
    • Not fully automatic

    The AeroGarden Herbie is the perfect introduction for your kids to start learning where their food comes from. This fun hydroponic indoor garden is perfect for home use or in the classroom. It has everything you need to start a gardening adventure that lasts 12 weeks from seed to harvest and ends in a pizza party using your own homegrown herbs.

    Herbie comes with a safe to touch 8 Watt LED light that is easy to turn on and off and also includes everything you need to start growing, including grow medium sponges, domes, a measuring cup, seeds, plant food, dropper, dry erase marker, tape and a see-through reservoir to monitor water levels. 

    Because this is in short supply, another great starter kit for kids is the AeroGarden Sprout that can accommodate three plants and comes with starter pods.

  13. 13. VIVOSUN Hydroponics Growing Kit

    Pros:
    • Automatic light cycle for 14 hours on and 10 hours off
    • Capacity for 12 tidy starts or seedlings
    • Sleek bamboo design
    • Powerful LED grow light
    Cons:
    • Grow light isn't height adjustable
    • Doesn't come with seeds
    • Doesn't include any growing medium

    While so many hydroponic garden kits seem to look alike – mainly plastic components – we love the look of the VIVOSUN hydroponic garden kit because of it’s attractive and modern looking bamboo frame. It gives it a touch of impressive elegance the others don’t have. The ABS water tank is durable and the entire structure is environmentally friendly.

    This kit is built with a 12 plant capacity spaced so your garden stays neat and tidy. It comes with an LED grow light that is controlled with a simple switch. The lights will automatically turn off after 14 hours of constant use and will turn back on after 10 hours of rest, creating a cycle every 24 hours. It’s nicely sized for indoor use and the 24 watt grow light has thousands of hours of life.

What Are Indoor Hydroponic Gardens?

Hydroponic gardens, by definition, use water instead of dirt as the growing medium. With nutrients to enrich the water, these growing systems can produce beautiful herbs, vegetables, and berries with little effort and virtually no mess.

Indoor hydroponic gardens add one key element - they replace mother nature and sunlight with LED grow light systems that give the plants a jumpstart, improving photosynthesis, speeding up germination, and producing a tastier and more bountiful harvest. 

Is Hydroponic Gardening Organic?

Because your water-based gardening system requires nutrients to be added to the system, if you want to be completely organic, you'll need to choose the kinds of fertilizer that meet that specific requirement - meaning those without chemical ingredients. 

You might also want to take your efforts one step further by purchasing organic seeds that are non-GMO. That way you have total control of your own plants and the way you want to feed your family.

What Can I Grow in a Hydroponic Garden?

Among the most popular plants to grow in a hydroponic garden are herbs like basil, mint, chives, and oregano, buy indoor hydroponic gardens can produce a lot more interesting fare.

These indoor gardens are great for producing tender lettuces, chewy chard, and even tasty cherry tomatoes in the middle of winter. While some of these hydroponic gardens like AeroGarden and Lettuce Grow recommend you use their pre-seeded pods or pre-sprouted offerings, for the most part, you can also start them yourself if you buy the matching grow baskets and use a medium like sponge or vermiculite to get seedlings started.

What's the Difference Between an Aquaponic and a Hydroponic Garden?

Since both are water-based, it would seem these two gardening systems are one and the same. But surprise, they feature one key difference! Fish. Oscar Stephens compares the differences between hydroponics and aquaponics in this interesting article that provides even more information on the topic.

We have included an aquaponic garden in our list, because it's a great way to get kids into the thought of gardening, and it gives them a pet fish to boot. Look for the Back to the Roots Water Garden in our list of choices. While this simple garden is limited to growing microgreens, it's a great starter garden for a classroom or home.

Why Should I Consider a Hydroponic Garden System?

Hydroponic gardening is a wonderful way to keep growing year-round, especially for those who live in climates that have shorter growing seasons. These gardens can be an ideal way to sprout seedlings which can be transplanted in the spring, as well as to grow yummy stuff when the snow is flying.

We can't recommend a more fun way to keep your culinary creations fresh and exciting than with a snip of fresh herbs to finish them off. And who doesn't love fresh basil leaves on a homemade pizza?

Another added benefit to growing herbs in your indoor hydroponic garden? They smell delicious and it's great for your peace of mind to give them a pinch and just inhale their aroma. 

In fact, in a recent study by WebMD, rosemary oil can actually improve your cognitive powers according to this article by Jana Holstein. Now who couldn't use a pinch of that every now and then?

See Also:

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