Written By
Published Oct. 1, 2021

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 long, so in order to keep up with summer’s lavish seasonings, it’s necessary to start an indoor herb garden.

An indoor herb 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 them with ample light, and a self tracker to regulate when the next watering or fertilization intervention is necessary. Consider the list of top choices below, and if you feel like you would like to know more about how to find the best indoor herb garden for your home, keep reading to find all the additional information you’ll need to help you in your search.

How we picked the best indoor herb gardens

Methodology

Apartment life often comes with the loss of yard space. To mitigate this loss, it’s often necessary to bring the garden inside.  As an indoor gardener myself, I used my experience, as well as 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 that are included with each product.

  • Quality and features: 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.
  • Number of plants the planter holds: Some users only want to grow a few types of herbs, while others are looking for full gardens with nine or more varieties.
  • Type: 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 the space they have.
  • Included and compatible herbs: Various compatible herb types were noted,  and an effort was made to choose top products with varying plant space and herb types. Kits that included seeds were prioritized. 

Best indoor herb gardens: Reviews & recommendations

Best indoor herb garden overall: Click and Grow Smart Garden 3

Automatic Watering

Set up the pre-seeded plant pods, fill the water reservoir, and turn on the grow light, then allow the hydroponic herb garden to flourish on its own. Click and Grow

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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.

Specs: 

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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 that 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 that they are never under 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 that 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 that want to grow four or more different herbs.

Best value: Garden Republic Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit

Traditional Herb Garden

Add the taste of fresh herbs to family meals by growing some classic favorites with this traditional herb garden. Gaden Republic

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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.

Specs: 

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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • May need to purchase pots separately for continued growth

The Garden Republic Indoor Herb Garden is an affordable starter kit that’s 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 be used to 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, at which point the grower will need to get a set of pots and transplant the herbs for continued growth. 

Best indoor herb garden starter kit: Urban Leaf Herb Garden Starter Kit

Compact Windowsill Kit

Inexperienced growers get to enjoy their first indoor herb garden without worrying about space requirements with this windowsill herb garden starter kit. Urban Leaf

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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.

Specs: 

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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 indoor herb garden with grow light: AeroGarden Harvest Elite

Photosynthesize Faster

Don’t worry about the herbs getting enough sunlight with this hydroponic indoor herb garden that comes with a built-in grow light. AeroGarden

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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.

Specs: 

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

Pros:

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

Con:

  • High price
  • 12-inch height restriction

The AeroGarden Harvest Elite is our pick for the best indoor herb garden with grow light. One of the main benefits is that it is able to grow up to six different herbs at a time. With Genovese basil, parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, and mint included, this hydroponic indoor herb garden allows users to highlight flavors from all over the globe with fresh-grown herbs straight from their apartment. 

This hydroponic herb garden has six plant pod chambers, a water reservoir for automatic watering, a built-in grow light to simulate sunlight, and a digital display. The height of the built-in grow light does restrict plant growth to a maximum of 12 inches, by which point the herbs will need to be harvested or transplanted. Users that like to vacation won’t need to worry about the herb garden because it has a vacation mode that allows the hydroponic setup to maintain the garden for up to a week while the user is away. However, these impressive features do come at a higher cost than a traditional herb garden, though the investment may be worth it for users that love low-maintenance home-grown herbs.

Best kitchen herb garden: iDOO Hydroponics Growing System

Hands-Free Hydroponics

Grow a wide variety of different herbs to excite your meals with this hydroponic indoor herb garden. iDOO

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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.

Specs: 

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Indoor herb garden doesn’t come with seeds

Enhance indoor plant growth with the 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 does allow for 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 air flow 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 will need to be transplanted or harvested. 

Things to Consider Before Buying an Indoor Herb Garden

Don’t just settle for the first herb garden kit that 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 Garden

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 where there isn’t 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 that 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. 

Herbs

The type of herbs that are included with an indoor herb garden kit depend on the specific product you buy. Numerous herb varieties are available, and most grow year-round indoors without any issues so long as the right conditions are met.  With limitless culinary combinations of herbs out there, make sure you check that the indoor herb garden you purchase includes, (or is compatible with) the herbs that 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 shared nutrients are consumed by other plants. 

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. 

FAQs

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. The maintenance of an indoor herb garden is relatively cost-free unless you need to top up the soil or fertilizer. 

Final Thoughts

The outstanding Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 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.

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