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Picking, chopping, and grinding freshly grown herbs can quickly improve the taste of a pasta dish, enhance the appeal of vegetables, or even bring out the flavor of seared salmon. However, in many locations, you cannot grow herbs outdoors all year, so starting an indoor herb garden is necessary to keep up with summer’s lavish seasonings. A kitchen-convenient “garden” isn’t as difficult to come by as it might seem because modern indoor herb garden kits typically come in bundles that include planters, seeds, soil, plant food, and more. For many culinary explorers, the best indoor herb garden is a set-it-and-forget-it hydroponic herb garden. These gardens come with many features, including automatic watering, an included grow light that provides ample light, and a self-tracker to regulate when the next watering or fertilization intervention is necessary. Consider the list of top choices below keep reading to find all the additional information you’ll need to help you select the best indoor herb garden for your home.

How we chose the best indoor herb gardens

As an indoor gardener, I used my experience and extensive product research into over 30 indoor herb garden kits to inform my selection of these top products. Key considerations included the material quality of the product, the number of plants the planter or pots hold, the type of herb garden, and the various herbs included with each product.

Any additional features, like a grow light or a built-in timer, were used as a basis for selecting between products that had similar base features and quality. If all product factors were essentially equal, the indoor herb garden that came with special features was given priority. Some users only want to grow a few types of herbs, while others are looking for full gardens with nine or more varieties. The selection of top products includes at least one of every herb garden type.

Growers can choose the more technological hydroponic setup, opt for a traditional indoor herb garden, or grow a windowsill herb garden to work with their space.

The best indoor herb gardens: Reviews & recommendations

Apartment life often comes with the loss of yard space for raised garden beds and storage sheds. To mitigate this loss, bringing the garden inside is often necessary. These gardens will help you keep your thumb green year-round, even if the weather outside is frightful for several months a year. They vary in technological sophistication, but all offer fresh herbs with a little elbow grease, making them great gifts for new plant parents.

Best overall: Click and Grow Smart Garden

Click and Grow


Why it made the cut: This impressive hydroponic indoor herb garden includes a built-in timer, grow light, and a water reservoir, through which the herbs are automatically watered as needed.


  • Type: Hydroponic herb garden
  • Herbs: Over 50 different herbs are available
  • Number of Plants: Three


  • Built-in timer and grow light
  • Automatic watering function
  • Over 50 different pre-seeded pods


  • Can only grow three plants at a time

Managing an indoor herb garden doesn’t need to be difficult, especially with the Click and Grow Smart Garden 3, which is specifically designed for users who prefer the set-it-and-forget-it lifestyle. To start growing the best indoor herb garden, simply add the pre-seeded plant pods, fill up the water reservoir, plug in the self-watering system, and turn on the grow light. The system automatically waters the plants as necessary, ensuring they are never underwatered or overwatered. Just make sure to set the built-in timer so that the alarm can notify you, as the light is not automatic and should be turned off and on at regular intervals for plant health.

This hydroponic herb garden can be used with over 50 different pre-seeded herb pods. Users who want more can also get seedless pods, allowing them to plant whatever they want. However, it should be noted that only three plants can be grown at the same time, so this garden may not be the best choice for users who want to grow four or more different herbs.

Best starter kit: Urban Leaf Herb Garden Starter Kit

Urban Leaf


Why it made the cut: Set up a robust timber planter box on your apartment windowsill with this windowsill herb garden kit, which includes rosemary, thyme, and chives.


  • Type: Windowsill indoor herb garden
  • Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, and chives
  • Number of Plants: Three


  • Ideal for beginners
  • Can be set up on a shelf or window sill
  • Herb selection is suited for Mediterranean meals


  • Relies on natural sunlight and regular watering
  • Only includes seeds for three herbs

New and aspiring growers will enjoy unboxing this best indoor herb garden kit. This kit includes everything you need for a thriving windowsill garden: three biodegradable pots, three nutrient-rich soil disks, three plant markers, a timber box to hold the pots, growing instructions, and three different seed packets, including rosemary, thyme, and chives. In Mediterranean cooking, this trifecta features in all sorts of dishes,  including rosemary-roasted chicken, pastas, and vegetables.

The Urban Leaf Herb Garden can be set up just inside the window or on an existing windowsill shelf. If there isn’t a windowsill shelf available, the Urban Leaf store does feature a compatible shelf that can be purchased separately. Keep in mind that this windowsill herb garden doesn’t come equipped with an automatic watering system or grow light, so users will need to make sure they are diligent about watering and that they properly set up the garden where it will get enough sunlight. If a compact window herb garden is what you want, then this setup could be for you, but for enthusiastic new growers who may want to branch out to more than just three herbs, this garden may be limiting.

Best with grow light: AeroGarden Harvest Bounty

Brandt Ranj / Popular Science


Why it made the cut: Rely on the automatic watering system and built-in grow light to help produce fresh, homegrown herbs, including Genovese basil, parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, and mint.


  • Type: Hydroponic herb garden
  • Herbs: Genovese basil, parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, and mint
  • Number of Plants: Nine


  • Can accommodate up to nine plants
  • Good variety of herbs available
  • Vacation mode automatically manages the garden
  • Built-in grow light


  • Price

Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I garden if I have no skills or experience gardening?” AeroGraden’s Harvest Bounty is the solution. It’s more expensive than our other recommendations, but it’s a truly set-it-and-forget-it solution for growing a wide variety of herbs and other green goodies at home. It took about 15 minutes to fully assemble the garden, a process that included attaching the grow lights to its base, filling the tank with water, inserting the seed pods (more on them shortly) into their respective holes, and plugging the base into power.

Once the Bounty is set up, it’ll basically run itself. An automatic timer will turn the lights on and off, and each seedling pod will receive water so long as the base’s tank is full. The only thing you’ll need to do is feed the plants using a bottle of plant food that comes with the garden—even that step only requires half a minute of time every couple of weeks. Part of the AeroGarden Bounty Elite’s appeal is the wide assortment of pods, which allow you to use the garden to grow different things. A set of six or nine pods will run you about $15, and they come in various sets like heirloom salad and gourmet herb. Each set of pods comes with plant food, too.

The option to test different pod sets before settling on your go-tos is part of the fun, especially as AeroGarden adds more options. We have to admit watching these little plants grow is as much a serotonin boost as the eventual harvest. If you’re totally new to gardening, you’ll appreciate that each pod is labeled with the amount of time it’ll take your crop to grow. The plants in the photo above have been growing for roughly two weeks. Likewise, a screen on the base of the Bounty will let you know how much water is in its tank and whether the plants need food. You can even connect the Bounty to your WiFi network to receive alerts when the tank’s water level is running low or the next time your plants need to be fed.

As an all-in-one solution for growing a garden at home, it’s hard to fault the AeroGraden Bounty. You can grow a wide variety of plants without a lot of effort, which may give you the confidence to take on more ambitious gardening projects. It’s the modernization of the classic windowsill herb garden, except you’re not dependent on sunny days and daily watering to get the best results.

Best for kitchen: iDOO Hydroponics Growing System



Why it made the cut: Optimize growth and vitality with this hydroponic indoor herb garden that features a height-adjustable grow light and various light presets for different plants and herbs.


  • Type: Hydroponic indoor herb garden
  • Herbs: Does not come with seeds
  • Number of Plants: 12


  • Automatic watering system
  • Can accommodate up to 12 plants
  • Built-in grow light with customized modes for different plants


  • Indoor herb garden doesn’t come with seeds

Enhance indoor plant growth with the best kitchen herb garden, the iDOO Hydroponics Growing System. This herb garden has multiple preset light modes, allowing the built-in grow light to switch between blue light, red light, or a combination of blue, red, and white light. Herbs and vegetables tend to flourish with more blue light, while flowers and fruits do better with more red light. The hydroponic indoor herb garden doesn’t come with any seeds, so users will need to source their own seeds to get their garden started; however, this system allows up to 12 different plants to be grown at one time, making this an ideal setup for enthusiastic growers.

This hydroponic herb garden is equipped with a water reservoir, an automatic watering system, and a fan in the light panel to help with airflow and increase the rate of pollination. While the grow light is height-adjustable, it should be noted that the maximum height is about 11 inches. Any plants that grow beyond this height must be transplanted or harvested. 

Best budget: Garden Republic Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit

Gaden Republic


Why it made the cut: Equipped with four jute bags, plant markers, soil disks, seeds, shears, and a comprehensive planting guide, beginners will enjoy starting their first indoor herb garden with this affordable kit.


  • Type: Traditional herb garden
  • Herbs: Parsley, basil, cilantro, and thyme
  • Number of Plants: Four


  • Complete starter kit to grow up to four plants
  • Can be used for both indoor or outdoor gardens
  • Popular herb selection
  • Affordable, hands-on approach to gardening


  • May need to purchase pots separately for continued growth

The Garden Republic Indoor Herb Garden is an affordable starter kit ideal for beginners and hobbyist growers. It comes with all of the components and garden tools necessary to create a successful indoor herb garden. This product includes four jute bags for planting, four soil disks with high nutrient contents, four labeled plant markers, a set of shears for pruning, a comprehensive planting guide, and four different types of seeds. The herb types include parsley, basil, cilantro, and thyme, which are all commonly used in popular dishes like spaghetti bolognese.  

This kit can grow up to four plants, offering beginners a fun, hands-on approach to indoor gardening. However, it should be noted that as the plants grow, they can outgrow the jute bags, and, at this point, the grower will need to get a set of pots and transplant the herbs for continued growth. 

What to consider when shopping for the best indoor herb garden

Don’t just settle for the first herb garden kit you see when there are several important factors to consider, including the herbs that come with the kit, the type of indoor herb garden, and the number of plants that can be grown in each herb garden.

Types of indoor herb gardens

An indoor herb garden sounds like a pretty straightforward purchase, but there are actually three common types of indoor herb gardens. 

  • Windowsill indoor herb garden kits: Typically including germination bags, fiber soil, and a durable pot where the herbs can be planted, windowsill herb garden kits are made to sit on an empty window sill, making them ideal for compact apartments without a lot of space. 
  • Traditional planter indoor herb garden kits: These kits bring the fun of gardening indoors with traditional planters, seeds, and plant food. Set up the planter near a window or door for natural sunlight or use a grow light to provide the necessary energy to the plants. 
  • Hydroponic indoor herb garden kits: An excellent choice for anyone who likes fresh herbs from the garden but may not want to put as much time into maintaining their plants, these setups often come with features like automatic watering, built-in timers, and nutrient-packed soil pods that help facilitate the growth of herbs. It should be noted that hydroponic herb gardens are typically more expensive than either windowsill or traditional models. 


The type of herbs included with an indoor herb garden kit depends on the specific product you buy. Numerous herb varieties are available, and most grow year-round indoors without any issues as long as the conditions are met.  With limitless culinary combinations of herbs out there, ensure you check that the indoor herb garden you purchase includes (or is compatible with) the herbs you want to grow.

Number of plants

Another consideration to pay attention to when looking for a new indoor herb garden is the number of plants the garden can reasonably grow. Keep in mind that plants require space to spread out and thrive. Too many herb plants in one planter will often result in stunted growth, as other plants consume shared nutrients. 

If you are unsure of the number of plants a planter is designed to hold, then check the manufacturer’s directions before purchase. This information will help you take your herbs from seed to full bloom. It should be noted that most hydroponic herb gardens will strictly limit the number of plant spaces available, as each plant bed is designed to accommodate the size and shape of its individual pod. With these systems, there’s no wiggle room for cramming in even one extra plant. 


Q: What herbs can be grown year-round indoors?

There are many different herbs that can be grown year-round in an indoor herb garden, including chives, mint, parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, lemongrass, and oregano. Plants are photosensitive, meaning they sprout, grow, bloom, and produce fruit in accordance with seasonal changes in light. So, as long as they have an appropriate light source to facilitate photosynthesis, most herbs can be grown indoors.

Q: How long do herbs live indoors?

The length of its life cycle depends on the specifics of an herb’s species. For instance, a parsley plant can last for several years, while dill plants tend to grow for only one year. Choose herbs based on personal preference, or pair your new gardening projects with interesting new cooking directions to serve the family. 

Q: Are indoor herb gardens worth it?

Indoor herb gardens are a great hobby that regularly rewards growers with substantial green growths and sprouts, as well as fresh tasty herbs to use in the kitchen. They require minimal work and resources. Even the initial cost is mostly reasonable. In general, if you like to grow plants and you enjoy fresh herbs, then an indoor herb garden is certainly worth it.

Q: How much does an indoor herb garden cost?

The initial cost of an herb garden can range from just $10 up to $150 or more, depending on the type of indoor herb garden you are using. Maintaining an indoor herb garden is relatively cost-free unless you need to top up the soil or fertilizer. 

Related: The Personal Rise Garden is a simple solution for bad plant parents

Final thoughts on the best indoor herb gardens

The outstanding Click and Grow Smart Garden includes everything you need to start an automatic indoor herb garden, including a self-watering tank, a built-in timer, and an LED grow light. If you prefer to get your hands dirty, the affordable Garden Republic Indoor Herb Garden may be a more versatile option. Regardless, there are excellent indoor herb gardens available at a wide variety of prices for gardeners at all skill levels.

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Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.