While home gardens used to be reserved for those with yards and ideal climates, hydroponic gardens make it easy for anyone to grow plants in their home. The best AeroGardens have automated systems for easy indoor gardening, and come with everything you need to get started — from grow lights to seed pods.
Hydroponic gardens, like the AeroGarden, are designed to grow plants without soil. Optimized to create the perfect environment, these gardens can grow plants with less water and up to 25% faster than other methods, because the plants don't need to use up energy growing large root systems. Hydroponic gardens are also clean and efficient for indoor home gardening, since they only need water and plant food.
AeroGardens use seed pods that can be purchased from the brand, and come in a wide variety of plant types including leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and even flowers. Smaller AeroGardens can grow six pods at a time, while some of the bigger models can grow more than 20 plants. Take into consideration how many vegetables and herbs you'll use, and how much space you have to dedicate, when deciding which option is right for you.
AeroGardens also come with full-spectrum LED lighting systems, which are more energy efficient and last longer than other types of bulbs, so you won't have to worry about replacing them too often. Real sunlight includes the full spectrum of light, so it's best to have a lighting system that closely mimics that. For the size of the bulb, a good rule of thumb is that you need 20 to 40 watts per square foot. That means for small countertop gardens, 20 watts is more than enough.
If you're excited to start growing a home garden, check out the best AeroGardens below.
1. The Best AeroGarden For Getting Started
- Number of plants: 6
- Growth height: 12 inches
A great introduction to hydroponic gardens, this Harvest AeroGarden can grow up to six plants, and has a full-spectrum 20-watt LED lighting system. The light system can be set to run automatically, or you can use the simple touch-control panel to turn it on and off. The control panel also uses lights to alert you when it's time to add water or nutrients to your garden. This kit comes with six herb seed pods: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, and mint, as well as a bottle of all-natural plant nutrients. Once you finish growing your first set of herbs, you can order a variety of other seed pod kits, like the brand's popular salad kit.
One fan raved: “I am very happy with my AeroGarden. I had purchased a similar one for my mother, and she had a nice time growing veggies and herbs in her kitchen, so I bought one for myself, and I am happy with how fast my seeds sprouted and how fast they grow. It's nice to have a gardening option even when it's cold outside or when you run out of garden space, and you just want to have some nice little herbs for cooking or salad greens. I like the timer, and the set up was simple. This is a particularly good idea for people who live in an apartment or people who have a constant itch to garden even when the weather is not conducive. I was able to save my garden space outside for fruits and veggies and plant my herbs with the Aerogarden. This is a worthy purchase.”
- Available colors: white, black
2. An Alexa-Enabled Smart AeroGarden
- Number of plants: 9
- Growth height: 24 inches
A step up from the Harvest Garden, the Bounty AeroGarden is a worthy pick for anyone who wants to grow a bit more, but still wants a countertop design. This garden comes with one bottle of plant food, a 6-inch trellis, and nine herb pods with seeds for Genovese basil, Thai basil, curly parsley, Italian parsley, thyme, chives, dill, and mint. The 40-watt LED grow lights are full-spectrum, and can be raised up to 24 inches. The touch control panel guides you through planting the pods, and can also be used to control the lights if you don't want to use the programmed settings.
Thanks to the Wi-Fi enabled design, you can also check in on the water and nutrient levels through an app on your phone, or with Amazon's Alexa. There's no need to call a plant sitter if you go out of town, because this smart garden has a vacation mode function, which lowers the lights to limit the amount of water the plants need.
One fan raved: “Love this new garden! It's my 4th AeroGarden and they just keep getting better. This one has a very sleek design and takes up less space than I thought it would without sacrificing grow space or water capacity. Set up was a breeze with the display walking me through the steps. I love that on their larger gardens you can set the time on the garden, plus this one is wifi enabled so I can keep track of my garden's needs on my phone! [...]”
- Available colors: white, black
3. An Extra-Large AeroGarden For Serious Growers
- Number of plants: 24
- Growth height: 36 inches
Great for veggie lovers and passionate gardeners, this extra-large AeroGarden can grow up to 24 plants at a time. It includes two bottles of all-natural plant nutrients and a 24-pod salad bar kit, which includes heirloom greens, herbs, and cherry tomato pods. Like the Bounty model, this garden has a vacation mode function and is Wi-Fi- and Alexa-enabled, so you can receive alerts on your phone when you need to add more water or nutrients. It has two full-spectrum 60-watt LED grow lights, and the right and left sides can be set with multiple lighting programs and heights, so you can grow different plants on each side.
One fan raved: “Love my new Farm. This is my fifth aerogarden, but my first one of this size. I love that each side can function individually so I can grow the small plants, like salad greens and some winter herbs for the upcoming holiday season and then still grow bigger plants like tomatoes and peppers that are tasty and useful all year round. The lights are also becoming more customizable so I can have them set for a default time, set it to vacation mode, or even set it to sunrise/sunset mode so it minimizes the impact of the bright lights in a living space. Set up was not complicated and only took about 30 minutes. I shouldn't have to wait too long to see my first sprouts and I can't wait!”
- Available sizes: Farm 24Basic, Farm 24Plus, Farm 24XL
Also Great: A Budget-Friendly Hydroponic Planter
- Number of plants: Not specified
- Growth height: 17 inches
An ideal size for nearly any countertop, this hydroponic garden by Mindful Design measures just 14 inches long and 8.2 inches wide. It also uses seeds instead of pods, so you can grow any small plants you want. The multi-mode, multi-spectrum LED bulbs have a 14-watt equivalent, and the adjustable light arm can be extended up to 17 inches. This garden also has a low-water light to alert you when it's time to refill.
One fan raved: “So while this little garden is small it’s very well made and worth the money. Plants grew without any issues. Planted basil and mint in it. My 5 year old loves this little garden and it was well worth the money.”