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Article updated on May 15, 2024 at 6:49 AM PDT

The 8 Best Indoor Smart Gardens for 2024

We tested the best indoor gardens to find the right model for any gardener. Whether you're growing microgreens or a whole salad, you'll find the perfect indoor gardening system.

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Written by 
David Watsky
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David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or the best way to cook bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
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Our Picks

$81 at Amazon
click-and-grow-smart-garden-3
Best indoor smart garden for most
Click & Grow Smart Garden 3
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$260 at Amazon
thumbnail-img-7766
Best smart garden for herbs and salad greens
AeroGarden Bounty Elite
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$150 at Amazon
header-ingarden
Best smart garden for microgreens
Ingarden
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$239 at Amazon
smart-growhouse
Most stylish indoor garden
Smart Growhouse
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$639 at Rise Gardens
rise-garden
Best smart garden that doubles as furniture
Rise Single Hydroponic Garden
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$973 at Lettuce Grow
lettuce-grow
Best vertical indoor smart garden
Lettuce Grow Farmstand
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$25 at Amazon
A hand cultivates herbs in a white Microgreens Grower pot on a marble countertop.
Another option for microgreens
Chef'n Microgreens Grower
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$849 at Gardyn
Gardyn
A big garden for small spaces
Gardyn
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As the weather warms up, it's time to get outside and start gardening. If you don't have the time, resources or space to tend to an outdoor garden, indoor plant pods are low-maintenance and apartment-friendly. These indoor garden systems generally require very little light -- some of them even have built-in LEDs -- and watering to grow your own herbs, veggies, flowers and more. Click & Grow makes the best indoor garden system that we've tested, but there are a plethora of other indoor garden systems to fit your space, style and budget.

Most pod gardens, including Aerogarden Bounty Elite and the Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 are extremely user-friendly. Plus, most models are small and light enough to be moved around the house. Bigger indoor garden units -- Lettuce Grow Farmstand and RiseGarden -- take up more space but can hold as many as 36 plants at once. You'll also find options for special indoor gardens for growing microgreens and others that emphasize style and simplicity over complex mechanisms and mobile app integrations. Many of these garden system options will even come with seeds.

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To find the best smart gardens for 2024, we put several indoor grow systems to the test.

Best indoor smart gardens for 2024

$81 at Amazon

Best indoor smart garden for most

Click & Grow Smart Garden 3

I've tried this very unit and it's a perfectly sized smart garden for growing tasty herbs like basil, mint and chives and salad greens. It couldn't be simpler to operate, with self-contained seed pods, LED grow lights and a water tank that needs filling only every two or three weeks. A perfect starter herb indoor garden for someone with a not-so-green thumb.

This Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 comes with three basil pods, but you can buy any number of salad greens, fruit and vegetable seed pods from the website for about $3 each. With room for just three plants, this particular indoor garden system is a little small to grow much in the way of vegetables, so best to stick to herbs and lettuce. There are loads of flower pods, however, if your gardening goals are more aesthetic.

There are several larger Click & Grow models, all of which function in the same manner. These include the Smart Garden 9, which can hold nine seed pods, and the multilevel Smart Garden 27 which holds, you guessed it, 27 seed pods.

$260 at Amazon

Best smart garden for herbs and salad greens

AeroGarden Bounty Elite

The AeroGarden Bounty Elite Artisan is a relatively compact indoor gardening system that, out of the box, manages to make room for nine plants of your choosing -- the options range widely from fresh herbs to tomatoes, peppers and flowers. 

As the plants grow, the adjustable LED light stand can grow with them, up to 24 inches in height. Plant food is included, as well as an optional trellis system, which is designed to accommodate tomatoes and other plants that need support as they grow.

I'm in the early stages of growing nine lavender plants right now in the indoor garden, but AeroGarden has made the process incredibly simple so far. The instructions walk you through the initial setup clearly, and the display alerts you when you need to add more plant food.

While the Click & Grow system has a reservoir and wicks water up into the soil pods, the AeroGarden uses a pump to circulate moisture. Fortunately, the pump sounds like gentle dripping rather than anything distracting.

$150 at Amazon

Best smart garden for microgreens

Ingarden

A nutritionist might tell you microgreens are a vastly underused source of nutrition. As a bonus: They're rather easy to grow at home. Ingarden is a new sleek smart garden designed to do just that and it's compact enough to fit on your windowsill (to help plants grow) or bookshelf.

The Ingarden is completely soil-free but wicks water up into three seed pads that sit above a reservoir. LED grow lights under the handle run on a timer and keep the microgreens growing -- and they grow fast. You'll have sprouts in a few days and full-grown microgreens like mustard, radish and broccoli in about a week to sprinkle on salads and sandwiches, and into sauces and soups. 

My favorite thing about the Ingarden is the simple sleek design made with only ceramic and metal and no plastic. Compact, clean and easy to use, it's the perfect smart garden for someone dipping their toe into the best indoor garden game.

$239 at Amazon

Most stylish indoor garden

Smart Growhouse

The Smart Growhouse is one of the more basic indoor gardens on this list but we love it for its stylish brass exterior. It doesn't hold seed pods or self-water like some of the others, so you'll have to manage that part on your own, but there are full-spectrum LED lights that operate on a timer for optimal growth. That means you can display the indoor gardens anywhere in the house and not just near a window.

Admittedly, the $239 price tag is hefty considering the low-tech nature of this indoor garden. If the classic copper finish could enhance your motif, it might be worth the extra money.

$639 at Rise Gardens

Best smart garden that doubles as furniture

Rise Single Hydroponic Garden

f you're looking for a stylish indoor garden that blends effortlessly into your living space, the Rise Single smart hydroponic garden is a good pick. This self-watering system is completely hydroponic, meaning there are no soil pods to handle. It comes with a 5-gallon water tank and LED grow lights, all of which are controlled and monitored through an integrated mobile app. The water levels, light settings and nutrient levels all have built-in sensors that report back information to keep things humming. 

The Single smart indoor garden houses up to 36 plants, and you can add levels to increase the shoot capacity for a steady supply of fresh herbs, greens, flowers and even tomatoes. Sprouted seedlings for this hydroponic system come in packs of four for $12. 

What separates Rise from others most, in my view, is the sturdy heavy-gauge steel and solid wood design that makes it look very much like a modern piece of furniture. The Rise Garden can be placed behind a couch or against a wall to serve as a chic bookshelf or end table as well as an indoor garden.

$973 at Lettuce Grow

Best vertical indoor smart garden

Lettuce Grow Farmstand

I've personally used this indoor/outdoor farmstand and can tell you it's well-designed and easy to operate. The Lettuce Grow Farmstand works by pumping water mixed with nutrients up from the base so that it cascades down over seed pods that are stuffed into the walls. I had this going for a few weeks indoors and without lights and while some shoots did fine, many died. Enter the LED ring lights, which make an enormous difference. (I've actually had to cut back on the grow lights because things are growing too quickly.) Both the water pump and LED light rings operate on timers so there's almost no weekly maintenance required.

It's worth mentioning that the watering system makes a moderate amount of noise -- akin to one of those Zen water fountains -- for about 15 minutes every few hours. It was mildly irritating at first but I quickly adjusted and now I find it relaxing. The frame is also heavy once you fill it with water, so it's not something to be moved often. It's bulky, too, but when the greenery starts to bloom it adds a ton of life and atmosphere to any room. It's still probably not great for a tiny home or apartment. 

Pricing starts at $973 for the small indoor Farmstand, which holds 18 shoots, but you can add levels and increase the capacity to as many as 36 shoots. The optional ring lights are $200 for the basic two-ring package and $100 for each additional ring. Starter seedlings are included, and it's recommended that you replace them every few months.

$25 at Amazon

Another option for microgreens

Chef'n Microgreens Grower

This little guy is designed especially for microgreens, which are great for garnishing soups, salads and other fancy recipes. It's always nice to have a pop of green on the kitchen counter, and this gadget doesn't take up much space at all. The microgreens garden kit consists of the planter, soil and seeds for your first round of plants, all for under $30.

Unlike the Ingarden, this model has no LED lights so you'll have to keep it in direct sunlight most of the time.

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$849 at Gardyn

A big garden for small spaces

Gardyn

This is another hydroponic system, but one that is decidedly better suited for small spaces. The Gardyn upright grow system houses as many as 30 plants but takes up just 2 square feet. Individual shoots are watered via the tank and pump, which circulates water on a timer. Built-in LED lights -- also on a timer -- trigger that sweet, sweet photosynthesis. The Gardyn system self-monitors with sensors and actual cameras so you don't have a ton of work to do other than cleaning and refilling the tank every month or so.

While it does carry a hefty price tag -- $849, plus shoots -- the Gardyn is very efficient. Just ask CNET's own Bridget Carey, who took the Gardyn for a lengthy test drive recently and had success growing fresh herbs, tomatoes and lots and lots of salad greens. Read her full review of the Gardyn smart hydroponic indoor garden for everything you could want to know.

Read more: The 10 Best Places to Buy Plants Online for 2024