Indoor Garden Systems are designed to allow you to grow fresh produce all year round in the comfort of your own home. This means that you can grow your favorite plants even if you don’t have a sunny backyard space!
These garden systems are ideal for busy people or those who feel that they lack that natural green thumb. We now have a wide range of smart garden systems that do most of the work for you, and some are even app-enabled, sending alerts right to your phone when you need to top off the water.
If this is the type of indoor garden system you’re looking for, then this article is perfect for you!
In this article, we not only discuss what factors to consider when buying an indoor garden system but also share our top 10 picks by category to help you find the right system for you, your needs, and your budget!
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What are Indoor Garden Systems?
Indoor garden systems enable you to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, and other plants in the comfort of your own home, using methods ranging from cutting-edge technology to more rudimentary systems based on basic science.
Although many people believe that gardening needs a lot of outdoor space and sunlight, this is not always the case. You can reliably grow a healthy and bountiful harvest in a small space indoors with hydroponic systems, soil-based indoor gardening units, or even a combination of hydroponics and aeroponics systems.
There are many benefits to growing food indoors. Growing at least some of your own produce saves you money, teaches you useful skills, and makes you more self-sufficient.
It also puts less pressure on a global food system that is often not sustainable. Maintaining this practice throughout the year makes it possible to have access to locally sourced, fresh produce even during the winter months.
The addition of indoor plants to your home can also enhance its aesthetic appeal by providing the space with a living component, color, and natural aroma.
There is a wide variety of indoor garden systems available, from elaborate hydroponic systems that can grow dozens of vegetables to more compact setups that are suitable for growing herbs and smaller plants at home.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best ones from different categories to help you find the one that’s right for you.
Why Buy an Indoor Garden System?
There are many reasons to buy your very own indoor gardening system! Here are the top reasons why you should consider getting one:
Grow Plants All Year Round
Regardless of where you live, buying a good indoor garden system will allow you to grow your favorite plants including herbs, veggies, flowers, and even fruits all year round without being concerned with the weather outside.
Grow a Wider Variety of Plants
Even if you live in say USDA hardiness zone 12, you’ll still be able to grow plants that aren’t suitable to your climate by using one of the indoor garden systems listed in this article.
Grow Plants Even in Smaller Spaces
Many people believe that the only way to ever have your own garden is if you have a big backyard space. But that’s definitely not the truth! Some indoor garden systems are compact enough to be perfect for even the smallest apartments and can fit right on top of your kitchen counter.
Grow Plants Without Any Hassle
We now have dozens of options when it comes to indoor gardening kits, and some of them are smart gardens that use advanced technology to manage most of the watering and other plant care for you!
So even if you’re short on time, or maybe you’re just forgetful, you can still grow and maintain plants effortlessly at home.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Indoor Garden System
Before we share with you what the best indoor garden systems are in 2023, here are some of the factors you should consider when choosing an indoor garden system for your home:
Indoor gardening systems come in different sizes, and you should choose one that fits your indoor space and skill level. Even the biggest indoor gardening systems only take up a few square feet of space, which can be suitable even for people who live in apartments.
While larger systems like Rise Gardens take up a lot more space but can simultaneously grow more plants, some seed pod gardens, like the AeroGarden Harvest, are typically portable, compact, and lightweight.
Types of Plants
You should also consider what type of plants you wish to grow in your indoor garden system. Some systems are designed to only grow certain types of plants, such as microgreens or lettuce, while others may only have enough grow height to grow smaller plants in general.
Larger or more advanced systems may allow you to grow a wider variety of plants, so it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing an indoor garden system for your home.
Although grow lights are already a common feature of many indoor gardening systems, they are not universal. You should look for kits that include full-spectrum LED grow lights, as these will allow the plants to grow healthy foliage, flowers, and fruits.
Some plants, like basil, do well in a lot of sun, while others do better with less light. LED grow lights allow plants to photosynthesize even if there is no sunny spot available in your home.
Some of these systems even come equipped with dimming capabilities in addition to automatic timers that will ensure the grow lights are on for the majority of the day.
After the first harvest is finished, you will eventually find that you need more seeds or seedlings, so plan ahead accordingly. Most of the time, you’ll need to get these from the company that made your system, but you can usually start your own seeds.
Check the refill options and herb or vegetable selection before ordering your indoor garden system. Some companies like the AeroGarden have a wide variety with up to 75 different options including the ability to use your own seeds.
You might also require additional supplies, such as fertilizer or liquid plant food, which you might be able to get on a resupply basis through a subscription service.
Some methods of indoor gardening demand more upkeep than others, such as more frequent watering and more consistent maintenance of the soil.
If you’re just starting out, it’s best to keep things simple and low-maintenance at first and work your way up from there.
If you want a more hands-off approach, look for a self-watering system with timers, reminders, and other features that can make indoor gardening more convenient for you.
Top 10 Best Indoor Garden Systems in 2023
Now that we’ve looked at the factors you should keep in mind when choosing an indoor gardening system, let’s look at our top picks for 2023 by category:
Most Popular Indoor Gardening System: AeroGarden Harvest
The AeroGarden Harvest is the most popular indoor gardening system on the market, with its mid-sized, space-efficient design that can grow up to 6 plants simultaneously.
It comes with an automatic timer to turn the built-in LED lights on and off at the correct times. The backlit buttons efficiently remind you to add water and liquid plant food when needed so you won’t have to worry about that at all.
The built-in water pump continuously aerates the nutrient solution, ensuring that your plants always have the ideal root moisture they need to thrive.
AeroGarden sells seed pods, or you can use their Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit to use your own seeds in their system.
Since there is no soil involved, you can truly enjoy organic produce in the comfort of your own home, regardless of the weather outside, and without having to worry about pesticides or chemicals. This makes it one of the best hassle-free indoor garden systems on the market. No wonder it’s so popular!
Best Budget Indoor Garden System: Vivosun Hydroponic Grow Kit
If you’re looking for a cheap and efficient way to grow herbs and other small plants indoors, the Vivosun Hydroponic Growing Kit is your best bet.
The compact garden is simple to use and assemble, making it ideal for first-time gardeners. This indoor garden is made of food-grade PVC-U piping and has 90 growing spots for fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other types of plants.
It’s able to produce twice as much as a conventional soil-based garden in a lot less space because it uses hydroponics, a method of growing plants without soil.
According to Vivosun, it is especially effective for growing leafy vegetables such as lettuce, as well as beets and celery.
The built-in timer eliminates the need for guesswork by enabling you to program the device to activate the pump for a period of five minutes after every thirty minutes.
This allows your plants to receive optimal nutrients without requiring constant attention. In addition, you have the option of manually adjusting the pump’s settings in order to have more control over the growing process.
Even though this indoor garden is easy to set up, it does take some work to keep it clean.
In order to scrub and wipe down the interior piping in an effective manner, you will need to disassemble some of the components, which can be an inconvenient and time-consuming process when compared to other pricier systems on this list.
Best Overall Countertop Smart Garden: AeroGarden Bounty Elite
If you’re looking for one indoor garden system that does it all, then the AeroGarden Bounty Elite is definitely the top choice! This smart garden system fits conveniently on top of your kitchen counter while being able to grow up to 9 plants!
But what’s best is that the grow height is up to 24”, which means you can even grow taller plants easily with this system, which counteracts an issue most other countertop models face.
It even comes with handy smart features such as infinite dimmable lights, sunset/sunrise light settings, vacation mode, wi-fi, Alexa, and app compatibility, making it the best overall indoor garden system on the list.
By buying this model, you’ll have the freedom of growing just about anything you like, and the 75+ seed pod options by AeroGarden also definitely come in handy! But you’re still not limited to just those 75 options, you can even use your own seeds with this system.
This is, by far, the best countertop garden system on the market and you won’t be disappointed if you choose it.
Best Indoor Garden System for Leafy Greens: Click and Grow 25
This latest Click & Grow indoor garden system is the most innovative design that’s ideal for growing leafy greens such as lettuce at home. It comes with a great space-saving feature to give you continuous harvest with a 5-week growing cycle.
The secret to their success lies in the patented tray they use. It’s specifically designed to grow leafy greens in a continuous cycle for the best planting and harvesting results.
You just have to put plant pods in one end and harvest from the other. This means you can enjoy delicious, fresh, and organic salads in the comfort of your own home all year long.
You can grow up to 25 plants at once. There are five plants in each tray and five trays in each unit. The plants grow at different rates, so you can always pick leafy greens if you go with their easy-to-follow instructions.
Their membership plan is not only easy to use, but it also works well. You can choose up to 5 leafy plants at a time for a 4-month supply, and they deliver on time so you never run out of pods where you need them.
This is the best model available if you’ve always wanted to grow leafy greens at home.
Best Garden System for Microgreens: Ingarden Microgreens Indoor Growing Kit
If you’ve read our guide on microgreens, you probably already know just how nutrient-dense these little leafy greens are.
The new and compact Ingarden smart garden is designed to do just that and can be placed on a windowsill or bookshelf.
It does not require any soil at all but instead draws moisture up into three seed pads that are positioned above a reservoir. The microgreens continue to develop at a rapid rate thanks to the LED grow lights that are housed within the handle and are controlled by a timer. In just a few days, you’ll have sprouts, and in about a week, you’ll have fully mature microgreens like mustard, radish, and broccoli that you can sprinkle on salads and sandwiches, and more.
Our favorite feature of the Ingarden is its minimalistic design, which uses only metal and ceramic instead of plastic. It’s the ideal smart garden for someone just getting started with indoor gardening because it’s small, clean, and simple to use.
Best Vertical Tower Garden: Lettuce Grow Farmstand
The Farmstand is a self-watering, self-fertilizing unit that looks good, works well, and can be customized in many ways. You can use it either indoors or outdoors; however, if you intend to grow your plants inside, make sure to buy the Glow Rings lights as well.
The various sizes can accommodate anywhere between 12 and 36 plants. This vertical garden uses ocean-bound plastic and sells seedlings individually or in bundles.
There isn’t much daily maintenance, so don’t worry. All you need to do is adjust the water level and add the included fertilizer once per week and clean the system once per growing season. It also comes with an app that can teach you how and when to harvest.
Most Stylish Indoor Garden: Modern Sprout Smart Growhouse
There is no need to sacrifice interior design aesthetics in order to grow indoor plants and herbs.
The modern Sprout Smart Growhouse is a beautiful way to show off your favorite culinary herbs, leafy greens, and flowering plant varieties thanks to its stunning brass-plated stainless-steel design.
This chic indoor garden has a width of less than 6 inches and is designed to fit easily onto most kitchen countertops. And so, you won’t need to give up any of your valuable counter space to accommodate it.
The kit even includes the necessary hanging hardware, providing you with additional options for displaying your lovely greenery in various rooms in your home.
Like the other indoor gardens on our list, this one has full spectrum LED lighting that helps with starting seeds, growing vegetables, and even flowers. Since the lights run at low temperatures, your plants are less likely to get burned as they grow.
You will also have access to a helpful companion mobile app that gives you the ability to create individualized lighting schedules for your various plants, giving you the choice between full sun, partial sun, and a combination of the two.
This indoor garden, despite all of its helpful features, does not include a self-watering feature. For this reason, you will need to keep on top of its maintenance in order to ensure that your plants thrive.
Best Furniture Style Indoor Gardening Kits: Rise Gardens Single Family Garden
Rise Gardens Single Family Garden is a great option if you’re looking for a chic indoor garden to go with your contemporary decor.
Since this unit is entirely hydroponic and has a self-fertilizing and self-watering system, you won’t need to handle any soil pods when you receive it and there isn’t much day-to-day maintenance either.
It also includes LED lights and a water tank with a capacity of 5 gallons, both of which can be controlled and monitored using the company’s integrated app. The app monitors plant growth and alerts you when water, light, and nutrient levels need to be adjusted. You can even use Alexa to control this device!
For this unit to work, you’ll need a space of 36″ by 16″ and power. It can grow 12 plants at a time, but you can also add levels to increase the shoot capacity for a consistent supply of fresh herbs or greens.
This one is different from the others on the list because of its solid wood and heavy-gauge steel design, giving it the appearance of a sleek piece of contemporary furniture rather than a standard smart garden unit.
Best Indoor Hydroponic Growing System: Gardyn 3.0
If you’re looking for a great indoor hydroponics system that can go a large number of plants, then the Gardyn 3.0 is the one for you.
This innovative garden system was thoughtfully designed to grow up to thirty large plants in only two square feet of space while consuming 95% less water than other systems. Since the light bars and columns are plug-and-play, assembly is a breeze; no tools, screws, or a water line are required.
Arugula, kale, Swiss chard, basil, thyme, and mint are just a few of the gourmet seed pods that are pre-loaded into this indoor garden system for harvesting salad and cooking greens that you’ll absolutely love.
This system is also capable of growing vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers.
In order to properly care for your hydroponic indoor garden, you can link it to the accompanying app that employs AI to do the heavy lifting for you.
Since the garden has many sensors that keep track of the temperature, humidity, and water level, it can give you personalized advice based on how the plant is doing at any given moment in time. This eliminates the need for guesswork when it comes to taking care of your plants, which is a significant benefit for newbie gardeners.
You’ll need to consider an additional monthly cost to access all of the app’s features, as some of them are locked behind a paid subscription wall.
Most Versatile Indoor Gardening System: Garden Tower 2
If you’re looking for the most versatile indoor gardening system, then look no further than the Garden Tower 2!
This garden system is perfect to use both indoors and outdoors and is designed to replicate a natural ecosystem to allow plants to access nutrients recycled through organic composting processes.
The self-contained design includes a section for collecting kitchen scraps that turns the bits and pieces into compost and replenishes the soil with nutrients. This means you really don’t need to do much to care for your plants’ nutrient needs.
What’s incredible is that you can plant up to 50 plants of your choice in this towering garden container yet it only measures 43 x 24.5 inches.
The one thing to note is that since this is a dual-purpose, indoor and outdoor garden system, it doesn’t come with LED grow lights which you may need if the spot you pick for this system doesn’t get a lot of sunlight.