For a long time, indoor gardening had fallen out of favor. The once passionately pursued pastime became a hobby of the select few. Indoor plants became single statement pots, perhaps a bundle of herbs, and nothing else.
But now the indoor garden is back, and there has never been a better time to get started. Indoor grow kits are a flourishing market, with technological innovations making growing your own food easier than ever.
Hydroponics have become commonplace in family homes, decorating kitchen shelves and bedroom windows. But although we might see them everywhere, many of us still don’t really know where to get started with hydroponics.
If you haven’t jumped on the trend yet, it might be because the sheer number of options feel off-putting. Hydroponics can seem intimidating when you don’t know what you’re getting into. That’s why we’ve researched the best indoor grow kits, so you can have the garden you deserve.
5 Best Indoor Grow Kits For Hydroponics
1. AeroGarden Harvest Indoors Hydroponic Herb Garden
They don’t come much easier to use than the AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden, which is one of the best countertop gardens around. The sleek finish of the design shows the simplicity of the function, allowing even novice gardeners to grow impressive herbs.
Within minutes, first time users will have the AeroGarden indoor grow kit out of the box, set up, and ready to go. All you need to do is fill the garden with water, add the included plant food, and insert the pre-seeded pods. And it’s done!
From there, things only get easier. The ultra slim and energy-efficient LED bulbs provide the light needed for growth, tuned to the needs of your plants. You don’t even need to worry about turning the lights on, because the AeroGarden does it for you.
The control panel looks simplistic, but it tells you everything you need to know. With reminders for when to add water and plant food, hands-off gardeners can relax in the knowledge their plants are getting what they need.
And you don’t even need to worry about what plants to grow. AeroGarden includes 6 non-GMO seed pods, as well as enough plant food to see them through a growing season. With a 12” extendable arm, there’s plenty of room for plants to flourish.
For year round herbs that don’t require year round effort, the AeroGarden indoor grow kit is fantastic.
6 pre-seeded pods – Grow dill, Thai basil, thyme, mint, curly parsley, and Genovese parsley. All included in the kit.
Streamlined control panel – Only 3 buttons, telling you when you need to feed or water the plants.
11 inches x 6 inches – A compact herb garden with room for growth.
Bright lights – The bulbs are energy efficient to run, but they give off a strong light.
2. Click And Grow Smart Indoor Herb Garden
Space can be limited in the modern household, which is why so many turn to indoor gardening. If you want a grow kit that gives big results from a small space, then the Click and Grow Indoor Herb Garden is a smart choice.
At roughly 12 x 5 inches, this indoor grow kit can fit comfortably into even the smallest kitchen. The 5-inch depth allows for the kit to be placed on window sills, or tucked onto shelves. With a thin upper arm providing light, it doesn’t take up room overhead.
The Click and Grow herb garden is so small you might even forget it’s there. Luckily, this is a smart garden, so it takes pretty good care of itself. The built-in light timer and self watering system allows you to take a step back. The seed pots come packed with nutrients, so you don’t even have to remember to feed the plants.
If you’re worried you’ll forget the garden, you’re sure to remember when your basil starts to flourish!
Another big advantage to buying Click and Grow is the range of products on offer. The Smart Indoor Herb Kit comes with basil plant pods, but you can purchase a variety of flowers, herbs, and edibles from the Click and Grow store. If basil doesn’t appeal, maybe try red bok choy. Or some stunning black pansy?
Growing your own herbs and vegetables can be tough when you’re struggling for space. With the compact Click and Grow planter, you get vibrant growth from a workable size.
12 inches x 5 inches – So easy to fit, it can be placed anywhere in the home.
Smart soil – No need for feeding, and it doesn’t make a mess.
Easy set up – Add water, insert the grow pods, and plug it in.
Starter kit – Eventually the herbs will outgrow the containers, and need to be potted on.
3. VegeBox Hydroponics Growing System
Hydroponics can be a great way to teach children about nutrition, produce, and sustainability. With an indoor grow kit like the VegeBox hydroponics system, your family can have a fantastic learning tool — and fresh vegetables, year round.
The VegeBox is designed for veg growing, so it has a slightly larger build than other indoor kits. The base can hold 9 seed pods, so you can plant a real variety. It’s fun to watch these grow, and children can learn all about how plants develop.
But the VegeBox is much more than just a learning tool. With 21 LED bulbs on a smart control system, this is a planter designed to optimize growth.
The 4-in-1 technology protects the eyes and the skin from bright lights, but still provides the plants with the sunlight they need. An adjustable arm can be moved to different angles, giving strong light without burning delicate leaves.
Only needing to be watered every two weeks, the accelerated growth the VegeBox encourages is impressive. Children and adults alike will marvel as they watch the seedlings become real, fully-grown plants.
At 15 inches long and 6 inches wide, the VegeBox is a slightly larger indoor grow kit.
Bring the garden into the home with the VegeBox. Children will love watching as it grows, and you can all enjoy fresh produce all year long.
9 pods – Space to plant up to 9 seed pods.
Adjustable lights – Accommodate growth with a light that can be tilted easily.
Smart timings – Set the Eco-friendly full-spectrum LED lights to turn off when you go to sleep.
No seeds included – It’s nice to have the choice, but with 9 seed banks to fill, purchasing your own can get expensive.
4. iDOO Hydroponics Growing System
One of the reasons many of us have shied away from indoor gardening in the past is the potential for mess. Soil gets everywhere, it turns to mud when watered, and flies seem to flock. But you don’t have to worry about that any longer.
With the iDOO grow kit, indoor gardening becomes fuss free. The water based system is supported by two different feeds, which provide plants with all the nutrients they need. There’s no mess, no fuss, and absolutely no soil.
The iDOO hydroponics growing system is an indoor garden that’s a pleasure to look after. The sleek and simple design comes with clear controls for both the light and the pump, with timed settings giving an ease of use.
A height adjustable lamp can be moved as the plants grow, ensuring they have access to optimum light settings. Lights can be controlled with a press of a button, although the timing switches are slightly more complicated than other devices. It can take some practice getting used to the press and hold that’s needed to activate certain modes.
One downside to iDOO is that they don’t manufacture their own seed pods. The AeroGarden seed pods have been proven to fit, and they sell a good range. Still, it would be good if iDOO included even some basic choices.
The iDOO hydroponics kit is simple but spacious, with easy use switches and some clever modes. A good pick for a family home.
7 pods – Room for a good number of plants.
Sleep mode for pump – If background noises keep you awake, the sleep switch silences the pump at night.
3 smart modes – Choose between the longer GROW mode, the shorter ENJOY mode, and the NORMAL mode.
Build quality – Some users have found the lighting burns out after only a few months.
5. Back To The Roots Water Garden
If you’re only just getting started with hydroponics, the world of aquaponics can seem worryingly confusing. Most aquaponics kits require a fair amount of know-how and a complicated set-up, which is more than off-putting for the new gardener. But this kit allows you to dip your toe into the world of aquaponics, without needing to take the plunge.
A hybrid between a fish tank and a planter, the Back to the Roots water garden might not look like something special at first glance. But it’s actually an incredibly clever system that uses the natural habitat created by the fish to feed growing plants.
What happens is: fish produce waste. This is then absorbed by the plants, who filter out the nutrients. Clean and filtered water then drips back down into the tank, and the cycle starts again. It’s a sustainable and closed loop system — with delicious results.
Children will be excited to learn as they watch their plants grow and fish thrive. Let’s be honest, adults will probably learn something as well.
With the Back to the Roots aquaponics indoor grow kit, almost everything is included in the box. You even get a fish coupon, to get your tank started.
Back to the Roots have included radish and wheatgrass seeds, but don’t let your imagination hold you back. All kinds of plants can be grown this way, with as much diversity as the classic hydroponics system.
Introduce children to science – Watching the plants grow and the fish thrive is an exciting experience, young and old.
Inclusive kit – Almost everything you need can be found in the box.
Simple set up – In very little time, you can have the tank and planter ready to go.
Be sure to read up on fish care before purchasing. Depending on the fish you intend to house, additional features may need to be purchased for the tank.
Best Indoor Grow Kits Buyer’s Guide
Buying a hydroponics system for the first time can be confusing. It’s definitely hard, when you’re looking at a basic indoor grow kit, to understand where the plants grow from.
Don’t worry, you don’t really have to understand the mechanics to get it to work. All you need to know are the features that make up an indoor grow kit, and what to look out for.
Many of us choose indoor gardening because we don’t have an outside space. If space in the home is limited as well, then it’s important to check the size of the planter. Indoor grow kits tend to be small, as they’re designed specifically for use in the house.
Make sure to check the width and length, and pick out a place where the kit can go. Be aware of the height that the light can reach, in case of any shelving overhang.
The lights of the hydroponics system are part of what encourages the plants to grow. They tend to be LED bulbs, preferably energy efficient. They need to be on for long hours, so if money’s a concern, don’t forget the power costs.
Advanced systems tend to use white lights, but multicolored lights are also common. Lights should be moveable, to accommodate for the growth of the seedlings.
Novice growers are universally bonded by the experience of excitedly buying a plant, watering it once, and forgetting about it until it’s died. Good intentions are noble, but sometimes life gets in the way.
For that reason, a smart indoor grow kit includes automated features, which can turn lights on and off, water the plants, and even remind you when to add food.
Indoor grow kits often substitute soil with plant feed. This needs to be added to the water every couple of weeks. It’s often included in the kit, but may need to be bought separately.
How Many Seed Pods Can It Hold
The number of seed pods does relate to size, but the two aren’t always linked. How many spaces there are will determine how many plants you can grow.
The smallest indoor grow kits often only have room for three plants. Larger kits can be extensive, like a mini allotment in the home.
Are Seeds Included?
Whether seeds are included in the indoor grow kit or not can be a positive or negative depending on your view. On the one hand, it’s nice to have an easy starting point, especially if you’ve never grown anything before. But, it does limit your choices.
If you decide to buy something new, those included options feel like a waste. We like kits that come with at least one type of plant. It means you can get going right away.
Ease Of Use
Indoor grow kits don’t need to be complicated, but some brands add enough buttons and switches to confuse NASA.
A good hydroponics kit only needs simple controls, which can be operated with ease. An indoor grow kit is a great family gift, so ideally it should be child-friendly.
Best Indoor Grow Kits – FAQs
Are Hydroponics Worth The Money?
Hydroponics are definitely worth the money, particularly if you’re only buying a small starter kit. They give you access to fresh herbs and vegetables year round, even in the winter months.
A hydroponics kit can be a great learning tool for families, teaching children about both science and responsibility. Plus, having plants indoors is good for both air quality and mental health. Easy to use and fuss free, a hydroponics kit is a fantastic investment.
Is An Indoor Grow Kit Good For A New Gardener?
The beauty of an indoor grow kit is that it requires very little hands-on work. Once you’re through the set-up, often all the plants need are the occasional feed and the water to be topped up.
In return, you get fresh growth and vibrant planting.
What Should I Grow In An Indoor Grow Kit?
Herbs are a great starting point for an indoor grow kit. Many herbs are hardy, so even an inexperienced gardener can find success. They’re also incredibly useful. Having a herb garden at hand can liven up any kitchen.
Other good plants for an indoor grow kit include: tomatoes, spinach, and lettuce. You can also grow flowers.
Do Indoor Grow Kits Work?
Indoor grow kits do work, as they provide the plant with all the nutrients they need to live and thrive. Without the soil, the concentrated light and formulated feed can actually cause plants to grow faster.
However, that doesn’t mean every plant will turn out perfect. Even plants grown by hydroponics can die, and it might be caused by factors outside our control. If your plants fail the first time around, remember that these things happen, and the next lot will probably do better.