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The best indoor gardens you can buy

We rounded up the best smart gardens with built-in tech and sensors that help make growing herbs and vegetables indoors easier this spring.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer and  Sherin Shibu, Contributor
Reviewed by Amy Lieu
Gardyn Home Kit 4.0 | Best indoor garden overall
Gardyn Home Kit 4.0
Best indoor garden overall
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Ingarden | Best indoor garden for microgreens
Microgreens growing out of a small smart garden
Best indoor garden for microgreens
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iDOO Hydroponics Growing System | Best budget indoor garden
Leafy greens growing out the top of a black indoor garden device with a LED light above them
iDOO Hydroponics Growing System
Best budget indoor garden
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Aerogarden Harvest Elite 360 | Best customizable indoor garden
Leafy greens growing out the top of a stainless steel indoor garden device with a LED light above them
Aerogarden Harvest Elite 360
Best customizable indoor garden
View now View at Walmart
Click & Grow Indoor Smart Garden 3 | Best indoor garden for beginners
Herbs growing out of a smart garden device
Click & Grow Indoor Smart Garden 3
Best indoor garden for beginners
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Spring is here, and that means it's gardening time. However, not everyone has the space (or experience) to grow a decently-sized outdoor garden. For those who live in an urban environment, or just want to dip their toes into growing herbs and plants, indoor smart gardens are a great place to start. 

Also: Best plant subscription box

Indoor smart gardens do most of the work for you when it comes to growing herbs and vegetables, including reminding you to water and adjusting the lights to the appropriate setting. These smart gardens make it easy to grow herbs, vegetables, and more, even if you aren't gifted with a green thumb.

What is the best indoor garden right now?

We've rounded up the best indoor smart gardens that include features like vacation mode, autonomous watering, customizable seed pods, and more to get your garden growing in no time. Our top pick is the Gardyn Home Kit 4.0 thanks to its artificial intelligence technology, but we also included other options for all types of gardeners. 

The best indoor gardens of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • AI tech with cameras and sensors
  • Two-year warranty
  • Accompanying app
  • Most expensive option
  • Requires Wi-Fi
More Details

This vertical garden system was designed from the ground up to change indoor smart gardening. Instead of using timers to regulate light and water cycles, the Gardyn Home Kit uses a more powerful, precise system: built-in cameras that keep track of plant growth and create the best maintenance schedule for your garden. 

Review: I tried a massive, indoor smart garden in my tiny home and didn't regret it

The kit comes with an artificial intelligence-based assistant app that changes the game. Gardyn can grow up to 30 plants simultaneously using integrated LED lighting, sensors, and a six-gallon water reservoir that is fully autonomous for weeks without added water. The free app lets you see more details about your plants, including when a crop is ready to be harvested or your plants' temperature, humidity, and water levels.

Former ZDNET writer Greg Nichols tested the Gardyn Kit 3.0 in his home in 2023, calling it "an impressive and powerful home-growing system." He wrote, "The company's technology is first-rate, and while setup is a chore and water changes can be cumbersome, the proof is in the pudding--I'm getting garden fresh greens and veggies."

This indoor smart garden also has a vacation mode to preserve your plants when you are away, and you can even remotely check in on them in the app through Gardyn's embedded vision system. Verified customers noted that the system is easy to set up, but if you have any questions, the customer service is responsive and helpful.

Gardyn Home Kit 4.0 features: Up to 30 plants | Free accompanying app | 6-gallon water tank 

Pros & Cons
  • Sleek colors like mint and rose
  • No soil involved
  • Certified organic plants
  • Customers say sprouts grow slightly slower than traditional methods
  • Only grows microgreens
More Details

If you're strictly interested in the world of microgreens, the Ingarden is a great indoor smart garden option that also looks super sleek in your kitchen. This indoor smart garden uses autonomous watering complete with a ventilation system and wicking structure so you can easily grow microgreens. Simply place the included pads onto the growing beds, pour water over them, hold the light timer at the top for three seconds, and get fresh microgreens about a week later.

Ingarden offers various USDA-certified organic superfood microgreens such as arugula, cress, radish, etc. You can grow up to three pads of microgreens at a time.

Verified Amazon customers note that the system's timing is quick, ensuring fresh herbs in just a few days. 

Ingarden features: 3 plants at a time | Autonomous watering | USDA-certified organic greens 

Pros & Cons
  • Automatic height adjustment
  • Low-cost option
  • Different water and light modes
  • Light modes can be finicky
  • Very bright light, so don't put it near where you sleep
More Details

Those looking to get into indoor smart gardens but don't want to spend a lot should consider the iDOO Hydroponics Growing System. It's the cheapest option on this list, but it still has eight plant pods so that you can harvest many different plants at once.

Some of its features include 21W LED lights that simulate the sunlight spectrum, two water pump modes and a three-liter water tank, and two light modes depending on the stage of your plants' growth. It also has an adjustable light height of up to 15 inches so the light moves with your plants as they grow taller.

Reddit users note that it's best to grow smaller plant varieties in this device, and recommend not growing larger ones like lettuce. 

iDOO Hydroponics Growing System features: 8 plant pods | 3-liter water tank | 21W LED lights

Pros & Cons
  • Can plant any seeds you want
  • Quiet water pump
  • Vacation mode setting
  • Expensive seed kits
  • Water needs to be refilled fairly often
More Details

Perhaps one of the most recognizable brands in the indoor smart garden space, Aerogarden has plenty of smart garden planters to begin your indoor smart garden. The Harvest Elite 360 is a compact option that still allows six plants to grow. As your plants grow, its extendable lap arm gets up to 12 inches tall to allow more room.

The planter itself has automatic reminders for water and food, so you never have to guess when your plants need something. A big plus about Aerogarden is its Grow Anything Kits that allow you to put any seed you want into its seed pod, meaning you get more options with what you grow rather than only a specific selection of seeds to choose from.

Verified Amazon customers say the Harvest Elite 360 is easy to setup and maintain, but some customers note that parsley is the hardest to grow in this unit.

Aerogarden Harvest Elite 360 features: 6 plant spaces | Automatic reminders | Adjustable arm lamp

Pros & Cons
  • Compact
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Completely silent
  • Fill indicator could be better
  • Only three plant pod spaces
More Details

The Click & Grow indoor smart garden 3 is your best bet if you have a small space to work with. At 9 x 4.9 x 12.5 inches, it's the most compact option on our list but still holds three plants of your choosing. You can choose from more than 50 plant refill capsules, including peppers, chives, catnip, yellow tomatoes, and more. Click & Grow's plants contain a patented nano-material called Smart Soil that automatically releases oxygen and water to your plants and is inspired by NASA technology.

The device's lamp has a 16 hours on/8 hours off cycle to optimize your plants' growth. In addition, its water float indicator will let you know when it's time to refill the tank. And, since there is no water pump, the Click & Grow is completely silent, which verified Amazon customers say they appreciate.

Click & Grow Indoor Smart Garden 3 features: 3 plant spaces | Automatic lighting cycle | Smart Soil pods 

What is the best indoor smart garden?

The Gardyn Home Kit is our top pick, but here is your decision tree

To narrow down which of these indoor smart gardens is right for you, think about your physical space limitations and your expertise level in growing plants. For example, the Gardyn indoor smart garden saves space since it grows upwards, but its high-tech features are geared more toward people who have grown herbs and veggies before and who know the basics.

However, for true gardening beginners, an indoor smart garden like the Click & Grow or the Ingarden are great options since they are both easy to use and only hold three plants, so you don't have a lot of different crops to worry about at once.

Quick comparisonPriceNumber of plantsDimensions (L x W x H)
Gardyn Home Kit 4.0$8493024 x 12 x 60 inches
Ingarden$130315.35 x 5.9 x 7.88 inches
iDOO Hydroponics Growing System$60813.7 x 5.5 x 14.6 inches
Aerogarden Harvest Elite 360$130610.5 x 6.25 x 17.4 inches
Click & Grow Indoor Smart Garden 3$10039 x 4.9 x 12.5 inches

Which indoor garden is right for you?

It really depends on your expert level of gardening, what type of plant and how much you'd like to grow, how much space you have for an indoor smart garden, and what price you're willing to spend.

Choose this indoor garden...

If you want...

Gardyn Home Kit

The best overall option that uses a free AI-based assistant app to help you track the growth of up to 30 plants simultaneously. It also has built-in cameras that link to vacation mode if you're ever away.


To grow microgreens in a super sleek indoor smart garden that fits perfectly on your kitchen countertop. You can get fresh microgreens as quickly as a week after planting.

iDOO Hydroponics Growing System

A budget-friendly indoor smart garden that still has plenty of options for you to try, with space for seven plant pods. It comes with 24W LED lights that simulate sunlight and are placed on an adjustable height post.

Aerogarden Harvest Elite

To fully customize the seeds you plant. You can put any seed you want into its seed pod and you get automatic reminders for water and food so your plants thrive.

Click & Grow indoor smart garden 3

An indoor smart garden for beginners that is completely silent. It has a nano-material called Smart Soil that automatically releases oxygen and water to your plants. 

Factors to consider when choosing an indoor smart garden:

Before making your purchase and starting a smart indoor garden, there are a few important features to look for. 

  • Number of plants: Smart gardens range in the number of plants you can grow -- anywhere from three to 30. If you're new at gardening, it's best to stick to fewer plants to take care of right off the bat. 
  • Water and lighting: Your plants won't grow without these two essential factors. Pay attention to what kind of lighting a smart garden has (and the wattage) as well as the water tank capacities, so you know how often to change out the water. 
  • Smart features: The great thing about smart gardens are the smart features like creating custom lighting schedules, watering reminders, automatic height adjustments, and more. 
  • Price: Prices for smart indoor gardens range from under $100 to up to $700. It all depends on your experience level with gardening, how many plants you want to grow, and what special features are most important to you. 

How did we choose these indoor gardens?

To compile this list, we examined top performers in the indoor smart garden space. We chose indoor smart gardens with essential features like built-in lighting and watering indicators. Plus, these smart gardens are easy to set up with instructions. We paid attention to customer reviews -- both good and bad -- to make our final decisions. If a ZDNET contributor had tested a product and written a review, we looked at that first to make sure that we were examining the possible downsides to these products through a user-driven lens. 

What are indoor smart gardens and how do they work?

These indoor smart gardens are considered "smart" because they have built-in tech and sensors that automatically turn on/off lighting, adjust the height as your plants grow taller, and notify you when to refill the water tank. In addition, indoor smart gardens take the guesswork out of growing your own herbs and vegetables since all you have to do is plant the seeds, and the device will let you know if something needs tending.

Most indoor smart gardens have companion apps that provide tips on caring for certain plants, allow you to turn on vacation mode, and track your plants' growth in real-time. Some indoor smart gardens have standout features, like the app on the Gardyn kit. These indoor smart gardens work in many different spaces and offer versatility in what they can grow, and the environments in which they can be placed.

What can you grow in an indoor smart garden?

Indoor smart gardens allow you to grow various plants inside your home or apartment. For example, you can grow herbs like basil, thyme, cilantro, lavender, and fruits and veggies like tomatoes and peppers. Each indoor smart garden brand usually sells refillable plant pods you can purchase with different types of herbs, vegetables, or flowers, but some also offer customizable pods to put whatever kind of seed you want into the pods.

What are the easiest plants to grow inside?

If you're just starting out your indoor garden journey, it's best to pick plants that can tolerate low humidity and cooler temperatures inside. Herbs are very easy to grow indoors, especially parsley, mint, chives, basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. 

Are there alternative indoor gardens to consider?

While all these indoor smart gardens are great options, here are a few others to consider looking into: 

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