Select readers love gardening, and gardening doesn’t have to be hard work. You can grow plenty of plants from the comfort of your home — you can even grow herbs to eat using herb gardening kits. And some kits even come with grow lights and don’t require direct sunlight. Experts previously helped us pick indoor gardening kits — with that in mind, we found highly rated indoor gardening kits we think are worth considering if you’ve got herbs on your mind. We also looked into which herbs are best to grow indoors to help you create the best herb-growing setup in your home.
SKIP AHEAD Indoor herb gardening kits in 2022
Choosing herbs and herb gardening kits to grow indoors
When experts helped us recommend indoor gardening kits, they told us that some fruits and vegetables don’t grow well indoors — broccoli and kale need colder temperatures, for example, while pumpkins and watermelons need more space. So before starting your herb garden, it’s important to know which herbs to pick. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, these are the best herbs to grow indoors: oregano, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, cilantro and parsley (the latter applicable when replanting an established plant).
The Almanac also says that herbs need roughly six to eight hours of bright light per day to grow well — different herbs may prefer south-facing windows or east- or west-facing windows, but north-facing windows won’t provide enough light. If using grow lights, the Almanac says to start by having them on for 12 to 16 hours for plants that like bright light.
When choosing a kit, you need to keep in mind your space needs — most indoor gardening kits aren’t too cumbersome, but if you don’t have much space, you’ll want to get a more compact kit. Speaking to us about gardening kits in general, experts recommended buying a smaller kit if you’re a beginner. There are also a few different types of growing systems you’ll likely come across while shopping
- Soil-based systems use pods of soil to help plants grow
- Hydroponic systems provide plants with a nutrient-rich solution rather than soil
- Aquaponic systems provide nutrients through fish waste — there are live fish in the water underneath the plants
- Aeroponic systems spray water and nutrients onto the roots of plants
Highly rated indoor herb gardening kits
The following herb gardening kits align with expert guidance and our previous reporting, and each one is highly rated — we also included a handful of specific recommendations from experts.
AeroGarden Harvest Elite
This kit uses a 20-watt LED grow light to help plants grow indoors, and can hold plants as tall as 12 inches. The base is made of stainless steel and uses a hydroponic system. According to the company, this grower can grow up to six plants five times faster than using soil can. Julie Bawden-Davis, a master gardener behind the site Healthy Houseplants and author of “Indoor Gardening the Organic Way,” told us that the AeroGarden “has the most advanced technology, especially in the area of lighting and hydroponics.” The kit has a 4.6-star average rating from over 5,300 Amazon reviews.
Click & Grow The Smart Garden 9
This kit features grow lights and automatic watering — the company says it can hold up to a month’s supply of water — to simplify plant growing. You can also purchase pre-seeded plant pods from the company’s selection of more than 75 pods. You can grow nine plants at a time using this kit. It has a 4.6-star average rating from over 600 Amazon reviews.
Rise Gardens Single Family Garden
This kit uses a hydroponic growing system and comes with a companion app to help you maintain your plants. It comes with a month’s supply of nutrients and 16 seed pods for various lettuces and seeds. The app tells you when you need to add nutrients and water to the machine — from there, the kit is self-watering and self-fertilizing, according to the company. It uses an LED panel of grow lights so it doesn’t need direct sunlight. It has a 4.4-star average rating from over 70 reviews on Rise Gardens.
Back to the Roots Water Garden
This aquaponic indoor gardening kit supplies the nutrients your plants need using fish waste — you can buy fish to live underneath your plants and help sustain the mini ecosystem. Conversely, the plants help clean the water for your fish. It comes with seeds and fish food to help you get started. It has a 4.3-star average rating from over 1,600 reviews on Amazon.
Public Goods Herb Trio Kit
This basic kit needs sunlight to grow, since it doesn’t come with grow lights, so you’ll need to put it near a window that gets the proper amount of light for your plants. This kit comes with cilantro, parsley and basil seeds, biodegradable pots and a wooden planter to hold everything. It has a 4.7-star average rating from 16 reviews on Public Goods.
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