The 9 Best Indoor Herb Gardens for Growing Fresh Ingredients Year Round

From simple pots to hydroponics, these easy-to-use systems will help you grow herbs in whatever space you have.

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Best Indoor Herb Gardens

Food & Wine / Kristin Kempa

If you have a favorite herb, chances are it's easy to grow, and the payoff is huge. Not only do you get fresh, delicious herbs through the seasons, but you also can’t beat the convenience. "With the appropriate lighting and consideration for nutrients, there is no reason why you can't grow herbs year-round," says Halley Beagle, the nursery manager at GardenHood in Atlanta. Not to mention, indoor herb gardens beautify your space, and today, you can choose from a number of options even for small apartments or homes without a bright, sunny window. We considered factors like setup and maintenance, automated features, and the differences between hydroponic and potted plants to pick the best indoor herb gardens for every home.

Best Overall

AeroGarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

4.2
AeroGarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Amazon

Pros: This convenient, easy-to-use garden is reasonably priced and packed with features.

Cons: Pod systems are more expensive to set up and maintain than soil and containers.

Growing a small selection of plants is easy (and fun) with this indoor herb garden kit. Grow lights make it a great choice for homes without strong, direct sunlight. Like many pod systems, this one comes with everything you need to plug and go, including the pods, which contain the seeds you'll germinate and grow, and liquid fertilizer. Customers rave about how easy it is to use, and love the delicious herbs they harvest. Best of all: It gives you reminders when your plants need water or nutrients, helping even the most forgetful gardener care for their plants with ease. 

Price at time of publish: $155

  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.5 x 6.25 inches
  • Number of plants: 6

Best Value

Spade to Fork Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit

spade-to-fork-indoor-herb-garden-starter-kit

Amazon

Pros: This affordable, no-frills kit lets you try your hand at indoor herb gardening without a huge investment.

Cons: These compostable pots require replacement over time.

If you're curious about indoor herb gardening but aren't ready to invest in a more expensive system quite yet, these little peat pots may be your perfect choice. We love that everything, from seeds to pots to soil, is organic, and the compostable pots mean you aren't adding plastics to the landfill when it's time to replace them. Plus, you get a variety of seeds: perfect for growing small amounts of herbs to support your culinary adventures. The system also comes with a growing guide to help ensure you can garden with success. 

Price at time of publish: $30

  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 6.75 inches
  • Number of plants: 5

Best for Beginners

Véritable Smart Indoor Garden

Veritable Indoor Vegetable Garden

Amazon

Pros: This energy-efficient smart garden requires very little hands-on work and maintenance.

Cons: It costs more than most options, and some users say the chives did not sprout.

We recommend this simple smart garden system to beginners and the chronically forgetful alike. Simply fill the water reservoir, pop your plant pods into their new homes, turn on the grow lights, and let the system do the rest. It uses less water than soil-based crops, and it can go up to four weeks without needing more. Like other pod-based systems, this one requires you to purchase the brand’s own seed pods when you're ready for a refill. But, thankfully, Veritable has over 70 varieties of pods to choose from. It's energy-efficient, too, as its LED grow lights turn off at night, and users say they don’t notice an increase in their bills when using this garden. 

Price at time of publish: $250

  • Dimensions:  14.5 x 7.2 x 6.4 inches
  • Number of plants: 4

Best Design

Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden Kit with Grow Light

Click and Grow Smart Garden

Amazon

Pros: This attractive, user-friendly system holds more plants than other options on our list.

Cons: Though you can grow nine plants with it, space is tight. It’s also on the pricier end of our list.

This attractive system catches our eyes, coming in multiple colors and boasting a sleek and beautiful design. It's larger than some other systems, making it a great choice for folks with a bit more space or who just want to grow more than a few plants. This garden makes growing easy with features like automatic watering and a bank of grow lights to ensure your plants are getting the UV light they need. 

Price at time of publish: $230

  • Dimensions 2 x 16 x 7 inches
  • Number of plants: 9

Best Small

Click & Grow The Smart Garden 3

Click & Grow The Smart Garden 3

Amazon

Pros: This attractive, compact design is perfect for apartments.

Cons: It only holds three plants.

This affordable hydroponic growing system helps bring fresh herbs to even the smallest home, and it looks great while doing it. We love how easy it is to set up: Just like its larger counterpart, all you do is add pods, add water, plug it in, and let the gardening system do the rest. While it's not the best choice if you crave variety, as it only has space for three pods, it’s perfect for folks who want to keep things small or who want to try hydroponic gardening without a big upfront investment.

Price at time of publish: $88

  • Dimensions: 9 x 4.9 x 12.5 inches
  • Number of plants: 3

Best Large

iDOO 12 Pods Indoor Herb Garden Kit

idoo-hydroponics-growing-system

Amazon

Pros: You can grow up to a dozen plants with it, and it’s a good value for the number of pods it holds.

Cons: Its design is less sleek than some of our other top picks.

If you're looking for variety and have space to spare, this hydroponic system is a great choice. It includes a fan to help disperse pollen between plants, too, which means more fruit and vegetables. It includes two growing modes, too, offering different spectrums of light for different kinds of plants. We love that this system doesn’t rely on premade seed pods, as it allows you to really tailor your garden to your preferences.

Price at time of publish: $64

  • Dimensions 12.1 x 13.8 x 15.2 inches
  • Number of plants: 12

Best Vertical

Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Planter

 Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Planter

Amazon

Pros: This lightweight, versatile planting system will help you make the most of your space.

Cons: Plastic planters may not hold up as well over time as other materials.

If you're eager to grow herbs in containers but are short on space, consider growing up, not out! Vertical planters are perhaps best known for growing strawberries, but you can use them to grow any number of plants. We love that the Mr. Stacky system is made of lightweight material and is customizable. You can add extra tiers, for example, or add a tray with rollers for easy moving. It comes in a variety of colors, too, so it fits into your decor no matter the color scheme. 

Price at time of publish: $37

  • Dimensions 13 x 13 x 5.75 inches
  • Number of plants: 20

Best for Small Spaces

Modern Sprout Glass Jar Grow Kit

Modern Sprout Glass Jar Grow Kit

Amazon

Pros: Beautiful, reusable compact jars make growing herbs in tight spaces an attractive and easy proposition.

Cons: This system may not be best for those craving large yields or wide variety.

These kits bring together the beauty of vintage glass jars with the science of hydroponics to give you a passive watering system that takes up little space and costs practically nothing to maintain. The jars come in a range of striking colors and are designed to be reused, making these an eco-friendly choice as well as a space-saving one. 

Price at time of publish: $24

  • Dimensions 6 x 3.5 inches
  • Number of plants: 1 per jar

Best Splurge

Rise Gardens Personal Garden and Starter Kit

Rise Gardens Personal Garden and Starter Kit

Amazon

Pros: This simple-to-use smart garden is beautiful and durable.

Cons: It costs more than other systems on the list

This garden boasts a large capacity (12 plants) and an attractive design that will look at home in most kitchens. For the tech-savvy, it also includes a companion app to help you monitor and learn more about your garden. This self-watering system is convenient to use, especially for frequent travelers or the forgetful, and its LED lights turn on and off. It's easy to set up, too: Just pop in your starter plants, add water, and turn on the light. 

  • Dimensions 22 x 10 x 19 inches
  • Number of plants: 12

Our Favorite

The best indoor herb garden for you is one that fits your space and takes into consideration the environment your plants will be growing in, including sunlight and moisture. We love the Aerogarden Harvest Elite for its good value and user-friendly setup, including an automatic timer to give plants just the right amount of light.  

Factors to Consider

Growing Conditions 

“The number one consideration is going to be light. Most herbs need full sun to [partial sunlight] to grow. Indoor lighting conditions are usually much lower than outside, so supplemental lighting may be necessary if space doesn't allow for growing in a bright window,” says Beagle. Sunny, south-facing windows are perfect for setting up an herb garden using natural light. If you don't get a lot of sunlight, grow lights can help your plants thrive. 

“It is also very important to place your plants away from the direct line of a vent. Placing indoor plants too near a vent can dry them out very quickly and lead to other issues with disease and infestations. Providing additional humidity may be necessary as well, but can be easily done with a humidifier,” says Beagle. 

Hydroponic vs. Potted

Some people enjoy using hydroponic systems, while others prefer soil. Potted plants in soil tend to have lower startup costs and are cheaper to maintain and more earth-friendly, but hydroponics can be more convenient, especially those with automated watering and lighting. Choose an indoor herb garden that fits your lifestyle: If you're short on time, consider something that's easy to set up and requires minimal regular maintenance.

Soil and Soil Amendments

Soil is a crucial building block to healthy plants. "Typically, using a regular or organic potting mix is ideal for most plants in containers. It is always a good idea to be mindful of your watering habits and choose a potting mix that works with you to maintain proper moisture levels.  Generally, organic potting mixes hold more moisture so that can be helpful for folks who struggle to stay on a schedule," says Beagle.  

Remember to think about fertilizing, too. "There are usually about three to four months of nutrients in potting mixes, so amending or fertilizing will be necessary at some point in the growing season,” says Beagle. “Worm castings are really nutrient-rich and can be added to the top of the soil to slow-release down into the potting mix and replenish nutrients. There are a lot of options for fertilizers, from liquid to granular to fertilizer sticks, so the most important thing is to make sure the fertilizers are appropriate for edible plants!"

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How much light does an indoor herb garden need? Does it need direct sunlight?

    Light is critical to your garden's health, and your herbs need as much light as possible! According to Beagle, "one of the biggest challenges for growing anything inside is being able to provide enough light for the plants to grow. Even in a bright window, a plant might not get all the light it needs to grow successfully. Most newer windows only allow for partial UV light to penetrate inside which cuts down significantly on how much 'useful light' an indoor plant receives. Supplemental lighting has come a long way over the past few years and there are a lot more options for indoor gardeners. Most plants want full-spectrum lighting, so it's important to choose a light source that is designed specifically for growing plants."

  • Can you grow herbs indoors year round?

    "The short answer is yes,” Beagle says. “Adjusting supplemental lighting might be necessary throughout the year as the length of the days changes with the seasons. Supplemental humidity should also be considered during times when the HVAC is running more consistently. It's just important to remember that all gardening, both indoor and outdoor, requires a lot of patience, persistence, and trial and error, so give yourself a lot of grace if the outcome isn't perfect on the first attempt. A plant did not die in vain if there was a lesson learned."

  • Which herbs grow best indoors?

    “In many cases with indoor gardening, space is at a premium, so growing plants that you will use regularly should be a top consideration,” says Beagle. "Generally, herbs with larger leaves or that prefer cooler weather or shadier light conditions do best inside. Parsley, cilantro, cutting celery, mint, and basil are much more likely to succeed indoors than Mediterranean plants, like rosemary and lavender, that prefer hot, dry growing conditions. It is also worth noting that a lot of herbs only live one or two years, so regular replacement should be expected and is not a sign of failure."

  • Which herbs grow best in containers?

    "Herbs typically perform beautifully in containers given the proper drainage. Most anything will grow in the appropriately-sized pot, so the biggest considerations here are going to be the light conditions and the space restrictions. Some herbs like rosemary can grow quite large and might not be a good option for smaller spaces, so be mindful during plant selection to think about the mature sizes of the plants,” says Beagle. “Choosing plants that will be regularly harvested is ideal.”

  • How can you move indoor herbs outdoors?

    "The best time to transition plants is when the outdoor and indoor temperatures are similar. In Atlanta, that is generally in April to May and October to November," says Beagle. "If plants have been living indoors during the winter, it's important to not transition them outside until we are safe from a late frost."


    There are benefits to letting your plants breathe outdoors in the summer, too: "Most of your indoor plants benefit from spending summers outdoors. Having a full growing season exposed to the heat, humidity, and the appropriate amount of direct sunlight will make them stronger and give them a better chance of survival during winters indoors. Our homes during the winter are not generally the most ideal growing conditions because of the hot, dry air we have blowing," she says. "Be mindful not to place plants in the direct line of a vent, or consider redirecting the airflow so it doesn't blow directly on the plant. If you notice the leaves moving while the air or heat is on, that is a good indicator that the plant is in the direct line of a vent and steps should be taken to correct that."

Our Expertise

Julia Skinner, PhD, is a writer, culinary educator, and avid gardener and outdoorsperson, and author of Our Fermented Lives. She writes about and teaches fermentation, cooking, wild foods, and food preservation through her business, Root and through her newsletter. 

Halley Beagle is the Nursery Manager for GardenHood, an independent plant nursery in Atlanta, which includes retail, classes, and gardening help.

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