Best Hydroponic Herb Gardens


It is so nice to have access to fresh herbs year round to help add flavor to your cooking. An easy and convenient way to make sure you always have your favorite herbs on hand is to get yourself a hydroponic herb garden kit. Hydroponic herb gardens give you fresh, tasty, pesticide-free herbs all year round.  They are incredibly easy to get started and they don’t take up much space in your kitchen.

If you are just getting into hydroponics you may have found some of the terminology a bit confusing and are wondering about how to choose the best system for your needs. After analyzing expert and user reviews, we have found the four best Hydroponic Herb gardens that are currently on the market. We will take you through the features of our top rated models and what you need to know before purchasing any of these indoor herb gardens.

Best Overall

Most Unique

Best Vertical System for Small Spaces

Best Budget

Top Indoor Hydroponic Herb GardensMiracle-Gro AeroGardensBack to the Roots Water GardenGrow Up! Vertical Hydrogarden Deluxe Kit 

Click & Grow Smart Herb Garden Indoor Grow Kit

aerogardenwatergardengrowupclickandgrow
What makes this hydroponics herb garden a good buy?
  • Best selling hydroponics system
  • Comes in a number of different sizes
  • Adjustable lamp arm extendable up to 24 inches
  • Grows herbs 5 times faster than soil
  • Easy-to-use
  • Grow herbs, salad greens, vegetables, flowers, and more
  • Pre-seeded pods come with gaurentee
  • Some of the herbs you can grow are: Genovese Basil, Thai Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Curly Parsley, Dill and Mint
  • Has a silent, submersible water pump and 360° view
  • Self-cleaning fish tank that grows food
  • Fish waste feeds the plants; Plants clean the water
  • Kit comes with  water pump, organic seeds and a discount coupon for a Betta fish
  • Designed and manufactured in the USA
  • Lets you grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs, indoors or outdoors, year-round
  • Uses only 4 square feet of space
  • Easy to use
  • Uses 90% less water and plants grow twice as fast as growing in soil
  • Let’s you grow fresh herbs at home without having to know anything about growing herbs.
  • Kit comes with everything you need.
  • The herbs only take about 1-2 weeks to sprout and last for about  2-3 months
  • Comes with an energy-efficient LED grow light
  • Click & Grow will exchange the product within 12 months of purchase if it stops working.
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For those that don’t already know, hydroponics is a form of soilless agriculture where plant roots grow in nutrient-enriched water. There are six types of hydroponic systems: drip system, ebb & flow, nutrient film technique (NFT), water culture, aeroponics, and wick systems. What makes the six types of hydroponic systems different is basically how they deliver the water. oxygen and nutrients to the plants roots. People love using hydroponic systems to grow food small indoor spaces using these controlled systems. With a bit of research, experimentation and relatively small investment in some basic equipment you can make your own hydroponic herb garden or if you don’t have the time or the patience for that you can buy a system that includes everything to make growing your own herbs super easy

Buying a Hydroponic Herb Garden: Things to Consider

Will you eventually want to grow things other than herbs (flowers, lettuce etc.)?

Having a herb garden is fantastic but you may find that you want to try and grow other things that may require more room or a bigger capacity product. If know that you only want to grow herbs you will want to look at some of the smaller products like the AeroGarden 3 or the Click & Grow that caters to just growing herbs. If you think there is some chance you will want to grow flowers or vegetables at some point you should consider the AeroGarden Ultra or the Grow Up! .

How long will the herbs last?

The average life of herbs grown in these types of kits is around 4 months. They may last quite a bit longer or not grow well at all. Some of the companies guarantee the seed pods that come with the gardens so if they don’t grow you may be able to have them replaced for free.
Does the kit come with everything that you need?

There is nothing worse than getting a kit and realizing that you have to go and buy more things to actually start using the kit. The cool thing about these sets is that they generally include everything that you will need to get growing including the seeds, instructional booklet, and a bottle of nutrients. The Grow Up! doesn’t come with seeds or plants, you supply those yourself.

Will it add much to your electricity bill?

The cost of using an indoor hydroponic garden is going to vary quite a bit from system to system, but here is a breakdown that Aero Garden has on their website that gives an idea on how much energy you will be using.

AeroGarden ModelWattage Used (Average)Cost to Run Per Month at 11¢ Per kw/hour
Classic, Elite, and Pro 10042 watts
$2.43 per month
ULTRA,Extra, Extra Elite, Deluxe, Pro 200,
6 Elite +, Veggie Pro

62 watts

$3.51 per month  
Aerogarden 318 watts$1.04 per month
6, 6 Elite,   Space•Saver 6  42  watts $2.43 per month

Cleaning the system
Each system has slightly different requirement for keeping it clean, but overall the point of these gardens is that they shouldn’t be a huge burden to keep going. Although it is important to read the directions and follow cleaning instructions, as it will help reduce the risk of root pathogens that can destroy your crop.
Will there be much upkeep?

Again these gardens are meant to be easy to maintain so you can expect to have to do a minimal amount of cleaning as well as having to add water and nutrients every few weeks (the unit should have a light or a message to remind you ). You will also have to ensure that you are trimming the roots about every 4 weeks, and cutting back the herbs when needed.
Will the unit be loud when it is running?

There will be some noise, as most units generally have a water pump to circulate the water, although the noise is very quiet often described as a low hum or you may hear a water dripping sound. Sound is generally not a big issue with these devices.

How big is the herb garden?

If you are thinking about getting a deluxe model that you may be hoping to put on a kitchen counter, be aware of the size of the garden. You will want to ensure that it fits comfortably in your living space.

Where do you buy replacement seeds or pods?

If you purchase a system that required replacement pods they are available on the manufacturer website or you can purchase them through Amazon.

What types of herbs thrive in these kits?

Basil is the most popular hydroponic herb  Some of the most popular culinary herbs for hydroponic production include: basil (sweet basil, lettuce leaf basil, globe basil, Thai lemon basil, cinnamon basil, Siam Queen Basil, and purple/opal basils), rosemary, mint, lemon verbena, French tarragon, Italian flat-leafed parsley, baby dill, sage, oregano, thyme and cilantro.

What materials are these self-contained gardens made out of?

Since you are growing food, the type of material that the garden is using will be very important to some consumers, especially if you are investing in one of these systems as a means to eat healthy and reduce pesticide intake in your diet. Look for products that are made with food grade plastic (Miracle-Gro Aerograden, Grow Up!).

Do these types of gardens come with a light?

Some of these kits come with a LED light included, while others do not. If you get a system with an LED light you will have the light on for most of the day. If you get a system with no light, you may have to think about a grow light for the winter when there isn’t as much natural light to take advantage of.  There are a lot of great grow lights on the market you may need to research what type of light will work best for your climate.

How long will the LED lights last for?
If you purchase a system that uses LED lights you can expect to get about 3-5 years out of the lights. Some of the systems run for 17 hours per day. LED bulbs can range in lifespan estimates depending on manufacturer.

Price

A major consideration when choosing your system will be the cost. Many people will want to weight the cost of the garden with how useful it will be, how much they already spend on herbs and whether it is worth investing in this type of product, since the initial cost can be quite high.

Reviews and Recommendations

Best Hydroponics Herb Garden (Overall)

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden

PROS: The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden is your best choice if you are looking for an indoor hydroponics garden. It has excellent consumer reviews, a number of different sizes and features to choose from. Atheistically it looks great on a kitchen counter. It is incredible easy to use, the display basically tells you exactly what you need to do and when. Guaranteed to grow” if yours doesn’t they send you a free replacement with free shipping.

Cons: The refill seed kits and other accessories can get a little pricey.

Overview: The Miracle-Gro Aerogardens are hands down the leader in the indoor hydroponic systems, they are best sellers, very highly rated and users love them. They look fantastic, provide exceptional results and come in at three (very affordable) price-points to meet your needs. It even grows plants 5 times faster than soil. You can also use it to many different things including fresh herbs, vegetables, salad greens, flowers, etc.

There are a couple of different sizes you can get: the 3 SL, 3, 6, 7, the Extra and the Ultra. Any one of these models is a great option. The main difference between the various models is the number of pods each has as well as some of the functions on the display panel.

Depending on the system you choose they come with various items including growing lights, self-watering devices, and over 40 different seed pod kits ranging from chili peppers to salads.

The systems can be put together very easily, meaning that even if this is your first time growing, you won’t face any set up headaches. In fact, all the parts are manufactured so that it’s as easy as just clipping the pieces together.

What reviewers love

Users find the Aerogardens extremely easy to use, you just add water and mix in some nutrients that are provided and you are all set to go. The performance of the plants is also extraordinary; things grow quickly and effortlessly and if you do happen to get a pod that doesn’t grow it will be replaced free of charge.

Reviews have also noted the excellent customer service that Miracle-Gro provides. If you have any questions or get stuck they will happily help solve your issues.
$70-$350, aerogarden.com| Amazon

 

Most Unique Hydroponics(aquaponics) Herb Garden

Back to the Roots Water Garden

PROS: Looks great, and it is a fun introduction to aquaponics. Once you get the aquaculture and the hydroponics in sync, you will have a fish tank that requires little to no cleaning, that is producing fresh herbs for you to use.

CONS: You have to deal with trying to reach a “self-cleaning” state of the tank by getting the nitrogen cycle and the plant growth working together, this may be a little easier said than done for some users.  Some customers have trouble keeping the herbs growing if they don’t have enough light. It doesn’t come with a heater for the tank (you have to purchase that yourself). You will need to learn about your fish and fish care if this is new to you, as well as nitrogen cycling and the theory behind aquaponics.

Bottom Line: This isn’t really a hydroponics garden but an aquaponics garden, but it is pretty cool so we are including it anyway. Aquaponics just kind of means that you are adding fish into a type of hydroponics system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. This particular system comes with: wheatgrass, basil alfalfa, radish sprouts, parsley, cilantro, mint and arugula. If you end up purchasing the Back to the Roots Water Garden you will need to spend a bit of time reading the directions for use and making sure you understand each component of the system. Many users seem to find this product a little difficult to get everything right and working properly.
What reviewers love: It is a fun system for kids to learn. It is easy to install. Users love the concept of this garden and are fascinated by how it works together.  Once it is up and running properly there is little to no cleaning, which is definite plus for most people.

What could be improved: A few reviewers have had some trouble with the pump. Others have mentioned that they would have liked to have a heater for the fish included in the kit.
backtotheroots.com| Amazon

 

Best Vertical

Grow Up! Vertical Hydrogarden Deluxe Kit

PROS: Easy to assemble and easy to use. The pots are made of a thick, durable plastic and the assembly very easy. Since it is vertical you get more growing room.

CONS: Doesn’t come with enough perlite to fill all growing spaces. It also doesn’t come with any seeds or plants.

Overview: This is a great entry level hydro garden system for people who would like to grow a variety of plants, but have a limited amount of space to do so. You can use it indoor or outdoors and it is easy to maintain and uses as much as 90% less water than conventional planting and the plants grow twice as fast. You can grow a lot of different plants in the Grow Up! including eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, peppers, herbs and more

What reviewers love: Users love that the system is much cleaner and easier to use that growing with dirt and that it lets you grow a wide variety of organic, local produce with very little effort.  Users have also found the companies support and customer service to be very helpful in solving problems that customers have run into.
What could be improved: Many users have found that the kit does not provide enough perlite to fill all 5 levels.
growuphydrogarden.com| Amazon

 

Best Budget

Click & Grow Smart Herb Garden Indoor Grow Kit

PROS:  Extremely easy setup: put the pots in the device, add water, and plug in.  The simple ultra- modern design will fit nicely into most kitchens.

CONS: Some users find the refill cartridges to be pricey. There are a number of users complaining that one or more out of the three pods didn’t end up growing and had to be replaced.

Overview:  Using the Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden is easy. You can have it set up in just a few simple steps. Each set comes with three herbs. All you have to do is install the cartridges in the dome and add water to the tank.. Once it’s all set up, you plug in the LED light. Then you can just let it go. The lights and water do all the work for you. If the water needs to be replenished, the light starts blinking, so you don’t even need to worry about monitoring that.  This kit comes with Thyme, Basil, and Lemon Balm which is a nice starter herb selection. They also offer Chilli Pepper, Salad Rocket, and Mini Tomato for your consideration in replacement cartridges. Setup instructions were exceptionally clear and easy – including advice on positioning for adequate light and overall best practice options for a thriving garden. This system makes it easy and fun to grow your own herbs.
What reviewers love: Reviewers love the beautiful design of the Click and Grow, it is easy to use and the herbs last for a long time.

What could be improved: Some users have found pots are not growing, although this is easily resolved as Click & Grow will ship you a new cartridge if this happens.
clickandgrow.com| Amazon

 

 Bottom Line

If you’ve always wanted to grow a herb garden, but didn’t think you had the knowledge or the time, one of these self- contained, ultra-fun hydroponics herb gardens could be just what you’re looking for. You will be able to easily and quickly grow all the herbs you could ever want or need, all in the convenience of your own home.