6 Best Vertical Hydroponic Systems

vertical hydroponic system

Growing fresh produce used to be reserved exclusively for those with enough yard or farm space to accommodate several plants — something that’s not possible for many urban and apartment-bound green thumbs.

But that’s all changed with the popularity of systems that produce healthy, bountiful crops in just a few square feet of floor space.

Vertical hydroponic systems give home growers the ability to harvest herbs, lettuce, vegetables, and fruits in small spaces. Most of them work in a similar way, by pumping nutrient-filled water to the top-most planters, which trickles down to plants on the lower levels.

Since the plants are aligned vertically, the systems are ideal for high-traffic rooms or areas like the kitchen or compact spaces like balconies or patios.

Hobbyist gardeners like vertical hydroponic kits because they make it much easier to grow farm-quality produce with far less effort and upkeep.

Advanced hydroponic systems don’t require any soil since vital plant nutrients are delivered via water. They’re also set up so all plants in the system get exactly as much water as they need — no over-saturation or dryness.

Some vertical hydroponic systems come with absolutely everything you need to grow a robust garden: LED lighting, in-unit water tanks, automated monitoring, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Other systems are more basic, with simple piping apparatuses, hoses, and water pumps. Some use specially designed seedling pods you need to get from the manufacturer; others work with seedlings from your local garden store or nursery.

In this post, we’ll take a look at six vertical hydroponic systems in the marketplace that get the job done. We’ve included advanced systems that use technology to make home growing as easy as using a mobile app.

We’ve also included more basic hydroponic units that use PVC for those who prefer more hands-on (and less expensive) gardening. Whatever level of convenience you choose, these vertical hydroponic systems can revolutionize the way you grow and consume fresh produce.

What Are The Best Vertical Hydroponic Systems Available Right Now?

aero vertical hydroponic growing system Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Five-Year Warranty
  • Everything You Need Is Included
  • Silent Submersible Pump
Price: $1,200.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lettuce grow hydroponic growing system Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Perfect for Smaller Spaces
  • Futuristic Look
  • Great Price
Price: $348.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
GARDYN HOME Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super Simple yCubes
  • Great Mobile App
  • Produces Between 8-10 lbs of Produce Per Month
Price: $799.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
vivosun Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Best Budget Option
  • Easy Assembly
  • No Frills
Price: $131.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hydroponic growing system Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy Assembly
  • Cheapest Option
  • 108 Plant Capacity
Price: $115.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dreamjoy Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stands Tall
  • Easy Assembly
  • Great for Leafy Vegetables
Price: $88.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System

    Pros:
    • Five-Year Warranty
    • Everything You Need Is Included
    • Silent Submersible Pump
    Cons:
    • Takes a Couple Hours For Initial Setup
    • Pricey
    • Not Ideal For Root Vegetables

    For urban dwellers, apartment and condominium residents, or anyone with limited garden space, the Aerospring indoor vertical hydroponic growing system is a godsend. Everything you need to grow 27 plants comes in one package: LED lights, a hexagon-shaped housing unit, Wi-Fi-enabled irrigation, grow cups, and a grow tent.

    Aerospring calls this product a “two-in-one convertible” system because it works just as well outdoors if you happen to have the space. You can keep it indoors in winter and move it back out in summer with few modifications. 

    The unit needs only 10 square feet of floor space and measures just a little over 6 feet high. The unit accommodates herbs, lettuce, leafy greens, and some flowering vegetables; it can also be customized for larger items like tomatoes.

    Key Features

    The Aerospring system is powered by a Sicce Syncta Silent submersible pump and six foldable LED light bars. Both lighting and irrigation can be connected to your Wi-Fi for automatically scheduled light and water. 

    Inside, the reflective interior panels stimulate growth while restricting the presence of ambient light by 95% when fully zipped.

    Although the Aerospring is marketed as a hydroponic system, it’s really more of an aeroponic one. The pump sends water from the reservoir through the vertical pillar inside, lightly misting the plants inside. 

    The aeroponic component improves the circulation of air and oxygen throughout the unit, so you’ll get truly maximized gardening in one setup.

    The Aerospring takes about two hours to set up, and no tools are required. It also comes with a wheelbase for moving it around. If you want to put it outside, just remove the indoor kit, attach it to the included 20’ power cord, and roll it out.

    Price

    The Aerospring is by far the priciest model in this article. But it includes everything you need to grow plants indoors except water, electricity, seeds, and nutrients. 

    The pump comes with a five-year warranty. If you’re a committed gardener who plans to grow all year round, the price tag may be worth it. 

  2. 2. Lettuce Grow 12-Plant Hydroponic Growing System

    Pros:
    • Perfect for Smaller Spaces
    • Futuristic Look
    • Great Price
    Cons:
    • Not Recommended for Larger Growth Operations
    • White Design Prone to Dirt
    • Limited to 36 Seedlings

    Those just getting into hydroponic gardening for the first time will find an excellent partner in the Lettuce Grow Farmstand. It’s the simplest and easiest to manage of all of the kits in this post. 

    The Farmstand comes in five different sizes, accommodating between 12 and 36 seedlings. With just a little in the way of maintenance, the Farmstand is a self-fertilizing and self-watering system that produces a wide variety of herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers — all without a speck of soil.

    The Farmstand is ideal for yard and balcony growing, but it can also grow plants indoors with the help of Lettuce Grow’s Glow Rings, sold separately. 

    Its ease of use and uncomplicated upkeep makes it an especially good gift for kids who want to learn how to garden. The Farmstand is also great for busy adults who want a simpler way to grow healthy food.

    Key Features

    The Farmstand requires only a 2’ by 2’ level area and sufficient clearance for whatever size you get — the 36-plant system measures 6’1”. 

    Once it’s set up and the seedlings are in position, the grower simply adds water and nutrients every week. Lettuce Grow also suggests regular pH readings; a testing kit and pH Down are included, along with a water pump, power cord, grow cups, and a timer.

    Lettuce Grow offers more than 200 varieties of seedlings for the Farmstand, sold separately on its web page. The company says the Farmstand can grow the equivalent of 40 square acres of horizontal land using up to 95% less water.

  3. 3. Gardyn Home Vertical Garden

    Pros:
    • Super Simple yCubes
    • Great Mobile App
    • Produces Between 8-10 lbs of Produce Per Month
    Cons:
    • Expensive yCubes (Pods)
    • Difficult Assembly
    • Overpriced Membership

    Time magazine singled out the Gardyn Home system as a “Best Invention” of 2020, and it’s pretty hard to argue against that. It’s an indoor, open-air growing mechanism that fits comfortably in kitchens of all sizes, requiring just two square feet of floor space and 64 inches of height. 

    Gardyn claims its kit can produce between eight and ten pounds of produce every month, as much as a 1,300-square foot outdoor garden.

    Automation and artificial intelligence play huge roles in the Gardyn growing cycle. The system includes two cameras that take pictures of the crop every half hour. 

    The Gardyn mobile app helps growers program lighting and watering away from home, so regular maintenance doesn’t have to take a break when you’re on vacation. The system is designed to keep balanced pH levels that don’t require testing or monitoring.

    Key Features

    The Gardyn system uses proprietary seedling units called yCubes that are made of an inert material called rockwool. Gardyn offers an impressive variety of yCubes on their website — everything from leafy greens and herbs to cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. 

    The system comes with 30 yCubes to start with. The tank reservoir holds up to six gallons of water, and the full-spectrum LED lighting apparatus is built to last five years with consistent use.

    It’s extremely easy to use, too. Just pop the yCubes into the slots, sync with the mobile app, and follow recommended watering schedules. 

    The app will also let you know when it’s time to trim plants and harvest the produce. The Gardyn system is set up so you only harvest what you need for mealtime — the plants will continue to grow for 8 to 12 weeks.

  4. 4. VIVOSUN Hydroponic Grow Kit

    Pros:
    • Best Budget Option
    • Easy Assembly
    • No Frills
    Cons:
    • Too Basic For Many Growth Operations
    • Budget Look
    • Not Good For Taller Plants

    VIVOSUN makes different configurations of the same base product: a plant site with four rows that can be customized to fit a given growing space. This version is a three-tiered kit that can grow up to 108 plants without soil and with just one water connection. 

    Made from PVC pipes a bit less than 4½ feet long, the growing system uses a combination of sponges and creative irrigation to grow vegetables, flowers, and plants. It’s especially good for leafy lettuce.

    Setup is easy. To start growing, the gardener soaks seeds for an hour, waits as they germinate, then drops them in individual sponges. After the leaves appear, the plants are moved to the kits, sponge and all. Then, with regular watering through a series of interconnected pipes, you’ll have a full harvest of healthy plants in a few weeks.

    Key Features

    The kit comes with planting pipes, a water pump and timer, a hose, a power plug, all of the planting baskets, and 120 sponges. The pump can be placed in a vat full of water and connected to the irrigation outlet. 

    You can set the timer to feed water to the plants in the time increments that suit your plants (the default cycle is five minutes of water every 30 minutes).

    VIVISUN says its system can yield a crop that’s double the size that soil produces with far less water and space. It’s an exceptionally good system for beginners and kids and can even be beneficial to small commercial farmers and gardeners as well. The kit comes with a one-year warranty.

  5. 5. WEPLANT Hydroponic Growing System

    Pros:
    • Easy Assembly
    • Cheapest Option
    • Up To 108 Plant Capacity
    Cons:
    • Cheap-Looking PVC
    • Not for Tall Plants
    • Some Complain About Missing Parts

    The WEPLANT system employs the nutrient film technique (NFT), a method favored by commercial and private growers alike. 

    “Film” refers to the fact that the plants in the system are fed nutrients from a very thin film of water, trickling from slightly slanted trays down to plants on the lowest tier. NFT is also colloquially referred to as the “zig-zag” system.

    The WEPLANT hydroponics system is available in many configurations, from 36 holes up to 108. 

    A water pump pushes fertilized water on a timer through the irrigation system, returning it to the tank and recycling it. This process saves water and nutrient resources by design, highlighting the environmental and economic advantages of NFT systems.

    Key Features

    The WEPLANT system uses small, square-shaped planters that nestle comfortably inside the planting holes. 

    One big advantage of the square shape is that it’s easier to place conductive sponges in the planters, allowing for full coverage of the roots; square planters are also more stable. 

    As with the VIVOSUN kit mentioned above, growers germinate the seedlings apart from the WEPLANT system, installing the seedlings in the system after they sprout leaves.

    The WEPLANT system comes complete with a brushless water pump, a timer, sponges, and all of the growing planters the system can hold. You have to supply your own water tank, ideally, one that can hold between 10 and 15 liters of water. 

    The system also requires about four hours of light every day; indoor growers or those living in sunlight-challenged areas are advised to get grow lights to work with the WEPLANT system. It’s best for light, leafy greens like lettuce and herbs.

  6. 6. Dreamjoy Hydroponic Grow Kit

    Pros:
    • Stands Tall
    • Easy Assembly
    • Great for Leafy Vegetables
    Cons:
    • Cheap-Looking PVC
    • No Grow Lights Included
    • Too Basic for Some Growth Operations

    DreamJoy offers a few variations on its hydroponic growing system, the largest being a four-layer setup that accommodates 72 plants. It uses the same PVC-U pipe framework as the other systems in this post, with diameters of 2½ inches in the pipe and 1¼ inches in each planting hole. 

    The staggered setup of the 72-plant configuration allows for more room between plant rows, as well as the capacity to grow produce like celery, peppers, and small tomatoes.

    Each DreamJoy system comes with piping, a water pump, planting sponges, and a hose. It does not, however, include a timer, which can be bought separately. 

    You’ll also need to use your own 15-to-20-liter water tank. The parts are identified by numbers for quick and easy assembly.

    Key Features

    The DreamJoy system uses the standard process as other vertical hydroponic planters, in which germinated seeds are planted once they sprout leaves. Its easy assembly and disassembly make occasional maintenance and cleaning relatively painless. 

    As with the Giraffe-X, the DreamJoy can be used for both ebb-and-flow and recirculating deep water culture gardening with one simple adjustment of the drainpipe.

    You can use the DreamJoy kit indoors or outdoors. Indoor configurations need proper lighting systems. The straightforward setup makes the DreamJoy system another good choice for beginning gardeners, producing farm-quality produce within 30 to 60 days.

Can You Use a Vertical Hydroponic System For Strawberries?

Yes, you can grow strawberries in any type of vertical garden because of how hardy they are.

 

 

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