The 7 Best Indoor Herb Gardens

Updated March 02, 2018 by Steven John

7 Best Indoor Herb Gardens
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If you are the type of cook who demands only the freshest ingredients in your meals, then you'll want to grab one of these indoor herb gardens. They can provide you with a free, endless supply of your favorite seasonings, with some models even coming with their own light sources. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best indoor herb garden on Amazon.

7. Back to the Roots

This unique Back to the Roots "Water Garden Fish Tank" is partially a planter for raising fresh herbs and veggies indoors, and partially a small aquarium suitable for a freshwater fish. Neither the plants nor the beta fish will likely live all that long, though.
  • creates self-contained eco system
  • good classroom teaching tool
  • prone to leaking issues
Brand Back to the Roots
Model 31000
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Living Whole Foods

This indoor garden kit from Living Whole Foods comes with a handsome planter box made from reclaimed wood. It will accentuate the decor of any interior space, from an office to a kitchen to a dorm room. Just note that it takes up more space than similar options.
  • made in the united states
  • uses reliable compressed soil discs
  • included seeds often fail to sprout
Brand Living Whole Foods
Model BP-CHK
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Window Garden Aquaphoric Planter

A Window Garden Aquaphoric Planter is both a decoration and a source of fresh herbs for cooking or flowers for cutting. These petite planters are modern looking and come in eight bright and playful colors to match any home's decor.
  • low-maintenance self-watering design
  • great low price tag
  • some units produce rotting odor
Brand Window Garden
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Pathonor Smart

A Pathonor Smart system is a great way to raise edible plants in a home that has minimal free space available. It occupies only a few square feet and can be tucked away on a counter, a desktop, or even in a cabinet or closet as needed.
  • energy efficient grow light
  • also works with flowering plants
  • slightly overpriced option
Brand SavvyGrow
Model pending
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. BackyardCedars Indoor Herb Garden Kit

The BackyardCedars Indoor Herb Garden Kit is a great choice for families. It's fun for kids and parents to assemble together. The kit comes with everything you need to raise up to three robust plants, and it includes seeds for parsley, basil, and cilantro.
  • fully reusable hardware
  • handsome wooden frame
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
Brand BackyardCedars
Model pending
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Miracle-Gro AeroGarden

The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden remains a favorite in many households many years after this product first hit the market. Its hydroponic irrigation system and full-spectrum lighting allow for robust growth of vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens every day of the year.
  • reservoir has a viewing window
  • quick tool-free setup
  • makes a great gift
Brand AeroGrow
Model 900813-1200
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Click & Grow Smart Garden

With the Click & Grow Smart Garden, it's difficult not to produce rich, lush herbs and spices right there in your own home. The unit requires nothing more than an insertion of preloaded seed capsules, a topped off water tank, and connection to an electrical outlet.
  • reusable planting material
  • sprouts commence in 1 - 2 weeks
  • backed by 1 year warranty
Brand Click and Grow
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Plants: Food From The Ground Up

Almost all of the food humans eat once grew from the soil. Fruits, vegetables, and grains all originally came from the ground, although now some are grown hydroponically. Even that medium-rare flatiron steak would never have made it to your plate if not for a cow peacefully chomping on grass or grain for months straight. Unfortunately, the idea that food comes from the grocery store is widely pervasive today — people have lost touch with where their food really comes from.

But it's not so hard to reconnect with our plant-based roots. Backyard gardening has experienced a renaissance, as more consumers realize they want to not only know exactly how their produce was produced, but also control most of the process. But there are reasons why some people have purchased their vegetables from vendors for generations.

Not every food can grow in every location. Soil conditions make it difficult to garden in much of Nevada, for example, without a lot of costly inputs. At high altitudes and northern latitudes, growing seasons are shortened by cold weather, and it's awfully tough to grow basil underneath a foot of snow. And the simple reality is that many people don't have the space or ability to care for an outdoor garden plot or especially a greenhouse. So, how does the average apartment-dweller get back in touch with their green thumb?

Simple: anyone can make a greenhouse out of their own home with an indoor herb garden.

A Plant In Every Window

The temperature and humidity in a home remain relatively constant over long periods of time. Even if there's snow and ice outside, the microclimate in many kitchens will still support plant life. This year-round reliability is what really makes indoor gardening so easy.

And focusing on small, flavorful herbs means only a small grow light is needed for the garden to flourish. On the other hand, there's no need for artificial lighting if you keep your houseplants near windows where they can take advantage of natural sunlight. The versatility of growing herbs in your home makes it a fun and productive hobby that's accessible to all.

Furthermore, indoor gardens can be a great tool for the home plant breeder. Small plots and effective lighting setups are a great way to test out multiple different hybridized seeds. An indoor plot provieds the controlled environment required to test the potential of different strains, and it keeps pests and disease from reaching the most vulnerable seedlings.

On top of the tangible uses of an herb garden in the living room, there are other subtle yet practical benefits. Studies show that the presence of plants in homes and workplaces can increase mental clarity and quality of work done. Even pictures of nature have been shown to improve mood, so one can safely assume that real plants will have a similar effect.

Of course, it's well-known that plants breathe by turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. This helps to recycle air, and when done right, it's so effective that even NASA has explored outer-space gardening to provide astronauts with the stuff they need to breathe.

Beyond that, many plants are great at filtering contaminants from the atmosphere. Different plants can tackle impurities like dust particles or even formaldehyde. While this applies more to slightly larger houseplants, there are many ferns and small flowers that will fit in an herb garden and effectively improve the quality of your indoor air.

Alright, I'm Ready To Grow... But How?

Botany is the science of growing plants, and gardening is the art. There are so many different plants to choose from that even a small, indoor garden plot is limited only by your imagination.

There are two main ways to plant herbs. Some, like chives, are as easy as pulling a clump from an existing plot and transplanting an inch beneath the surface of the topsoil. Planting seeds certainly isn't much more difficult, but there are two helpful tips to speed up the sometimes-slow germination. First, scarify the seeds. Scarification is a process wherein the protective hull of the seed is nicked or scratched, letting the seed intake moisture and nutrients fast and germinate more quickly. Also, before planting the seeds, they can be germinated in between two paper towels, greatly reducing the time you'll have to wait for your next harvest of cilantro.

One important distinction to remember while designing your garden is whether your herbs are annuals or perennials. Annuals last one season, requiring replanting when they expire. Perennials can survive for years, alternating growing and dormant seasons while requiring regular pruning.

Of course, for any herb to make it even to one full season, it requires the proper care. Sadly, some of us can't even seem to keep cacti alive indoors, and some herbs can prove finicky to grow. For best results, keep the temperature generally above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as some herbs are sensitive to cold. Pay special attention to windows, where even a light draft from outside could spell doom for some plants.

Moisture level in the growing medium is also of prime importance. Herbs require a fine balance of not too wet and not too dry soil. A quick poke underneath the surface should reveal some dampness just beneath a mostly dry surface layer. Almost as bad as under-watering is over-watering, which could easily drown some specimens.

Humidity in the air around the plants even plays a role in the herb's health. Softer herbs like basil, cilantro, and chives do well in humid or shadier locations, while tougher-stemmed varieties like rosemary and thyme are more suited to drier and brighter spots.

Above all, be patient and attentive to your plants. Check them every day and prune them regularly. If you have trouble keeping them alive, try out some hardier varieties — maybe parsley, which is pretty hard to kill. And remember to use those herbs in some delicious food.

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Last updated on March 02, 2018 by Steven John

When not writing or spending time with his family, Steven tries to squeeze in some mountain climbing. In addition to writing for several websites and journals, Steven has published multiple novels.

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