An indoor hydroponic herb garden isn't just a fun undertaking for any new or seasoned green thumb, it's a great way to keep a steady stock of your favorite herbs.
And if you want to start your own, you've come to the right place. Whether in your kitchen, closet, garage, spare bedroom or any other location in your house, we can help you get it done.
Learning how to grow herbs hydroponically can be challenging, especially for a novice grower. But with us on your side, it'll be a breeze.
From basil to oregano, cilantro to thyme, just about any kind of herb can be grown in a DIY hydroponic herb garden. We're going to cover all the reasons you should consider growing your own herbs hydroponically.
Then, we'll cover everything you need to know to start your own garden, all from the comfort of your own home. From which herbs to choose, to which system to grow in - this complete guide will be the only resource you need.
Why Start An Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden?
There are no shortage of reasons to start a hydroponic herb garden indoors. For one, you'll save money in the long run.
You’ll have to pay some upfront costs on your hydroponic system, of course. But over time, growing hydroponic herbs will help you slash your grocery bill.
Keep in mind that a package of organic thyme at the grocery store or farmer’s market can cost well over $5. You can produce six or seven times (or more!) that amount in your own home for a fraction of the cost.
Growing your own hydroponic herbs is also eco-friendly. Just think of how far your favorite herbs were shipped to you. That’s a lot of fossil fuel wasted in the process!
When you grow your own herbs indoors, you can grow any kind of plant you want, even if it’s not native and acclimated to your local climate. That offers you convenience, versatility, and the option for customization in your garden.
What Herbs Grow Well In Hydroponics?
You can grow any kind of herb in a hydroponic setup. However, basil tends to be one of the most popular.
Some other options include rosemary, lemon verbena, mint, French tarragon, parsley, sage, baby dill, thyme, cilantro, and oregano.
Where Should I Put A Hydroponic Herb Garden Indoors?
The best spot for a hydroponic herb garden indoors is generally in front of a sunny windowsill, but if you’re going to be using grow lights, just about any location will do since you won’t be relying on the sun.
Keep the system in a location where it is held at temperatures of around 65 to 70 degrees during the day and where it will be out of the way of cold drafts.
Good ventilation is also important when you are selecting your location! This is why many choose the windowsill location - you can open the window to let a breeze in, which also brings fresh CO2 from outdoors for your plants.
But, if you plan on growing in a grow tent or another room in your house, a fan will work just fine!
Purchasing A Hydroponic Herb Garden vs DIY System
When it comes to creating your new hydroponic garden, you have a couple of options. You can either purchase a pre-built hydroponic herb garden or build a DIY system.
Of course, buying an all-in-one system will save you a ton of time. You don’t have to worry about spending the time to set up a system from scratch.
If you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of how hydroponics works, then buying a system outright might end up saving you money as it will prevent costly errors, too.
That said, DIY systems can sometimes result in a higher yield since you will be able to customize the system more to your unique needs and the amount of space you have available.
How Do I Make An Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden?
You can easily make your own indoor hydroponic herb garden, but for many growers, particularly beginners, it’s easier to purchase a hydroponic herb garden instead.
You can DIY a system by drilling and cutting holes in a painted plastic tote and then feeding in airline tubing.
You can use a suction cup to hold the airline in place and then connect the airstone inside the tote.
You will then add water and nutrients (after testing your pH, of course) before filling in your growing media and plants.
The Best Systems For Starting An Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden
Often, it is far easier to use a premade system to start your indoor hydroponic herb garden than it is to put the time and research into building one from scratch. Here are some of the best options to consider.
SunBlaster Grow Light Gardens
The SunBlaster Grow Light Gardens is perhaps the best option for beginning gardeners looking for easy-to-maintain herb gardens.
Your herb garden won’t be the largest on the block but it will be a cinch to care for. This all-in-one-kit comes already assembled and has an auto-watering capability via a patented “wicking system” design.
You can stash this herb garden anywhere you want, including on your work desktop, on a crowded kitchen countertop, or even in a tiny apartment. It can also be used for microgreens!
SuperCloset SuperPonics Hydroponic Grow System
The SuperCloset SuperPonics Hydroponic Grow System is a drip system that is slightly larger than the SunBlaster.
It doesn’t include a grow light, so you’ll want to check out our grow lights section to find the best ones for your needs.
Most herbs like fluorescent lighting, something we’ll address in more detail below. This system offers many benefits for gardeners, including three different variations of 8-site, 12-site, and 16-site so you can customize it to your needs.
It combines deep water culture and a top feed drip system so that you’re covered even if one system malfunctions.
Not only that, but it is made out of thick, food-grade material that is custom-molded. It also comes fully assembled so it’s truly a “plug-and-play” kind of system.
Hydroponic Ebb & Flow Systems
Ebb and flow systems are some of the best for growing hydroponic herbs. Plants are held in plastic pots in a flood table and a reservoir for water and nutrients is underneath.
A timer sets the unit to flood three or four times per day before draining the water so oxygen can get to the roots. This method works well for herbs since it allows maximum oxygenation, is very cost-efficient, and is reliable for beginner growers.
We have more than two dozen different systems for you to choose from, including those that can be set up on layered racks, in buckets, or in closet-based systems.
We also have flood table kits for sale. No matter how elaborate or compact you want your ebb and flow system to be, chances are we sell an option that will suit your needs here at Hydrobuilder.
What Else Is Needed To Start An Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden?
Regardless of whether you choose to DIY your hydroponic herb garden or purchase one that has already been built, there are several other materials you will need to start your garden, too.
Items to purchase include pH testing equipment, hydroponic nutrients, and grow media. You may also consider a water filter, so you can give your plants clean water free of contaminants and harmful particles.
Some popular options include vermiculite, perlite, gravel, and coco coir, but the best type will likely vary depending on what kind of system you purchase and what plants you grow.
Of course, you’ll also have to buy the seeds or seedlings of the plants themselves. But once you have all your supplies, you're ready to get started growing!
Tips For Growing Herbs Hydroponically Indoors
Once you get your hydroponic herb garden setup, you're ready to start growing! There are just a few tips we want to share with you to help guarantee success on your endeavor.
These include optimizing the growing environment, keeping your herbs fed, & maintaining the reservoir, dialing in the light, and more.
Maintaining The Environment
Keep your hydroponic herb garden at daytime temperatures of around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
While they can sometimes also be grown in warmer conditions, this tends to be a good “average” that suits most kinds of herbs you might grow indoors.
You may want to drop temperatures by ten degrees at night to simulate outdoor conditions. Just remember that the hotter and dryer your herbs are, the more susceptible they might be to indoor pests like spider mites, aphids, or whiteflies.
Adding a fan is a good way to provide adequate airflow and ventilation for your plants.
Feeding Your Hydroponic Herbs & Maintaining The Reservoir
Keeping your hydroponic herbs well-fed is also important. Use a nutrient formulation designed specifically for herbs, typically one with a good amount of nitrogen and phosphorus.
Most herbs prefer low- to mid-electrical conductivity levels and total dissolvable salt levels of around 800 to 1200 ppm.
Keep the pH somewhat acidic, between 5.5 and 6.4 Of course, these levels may vary somewhat depending on what kind of herbs you are growing.
A general rule of thumb to follow with hydroponic nutrients is to swap the solution every two to three weeks.
This may vary depending on what you decide to grow and what kind of system you use.
Dialing In The Lighting
Finally, keep in mind that most herbs do best with full-spectrum light and plenty of light at the blue end of the spectrum.
Many of the hydroponic systems linked to above have their own lighting systems, but if you choose one without, use a metal halide light or T-5 high-output fluorescent fixture with 6500K tubes.
Keep the light about a foot above the growing tips and raise it as your plants grow.
Harvesting Your Hydroponic Herbs
Knowing when to harvest the specific type of herb you are growing is important. This will vary based on the species.
Basil, for example, germinates in just five to ten days and is ready for harvest in five weeks, after which point you can keep coming back for a continual harvest as long as you don’t cut more than a third of the plant at once.
Chives, however, can take up to 11 weeks to reach maturity, while marjoram only takes two to four weeks.
Harvest your herbs whenever you need them. If any of them start to bolt, or put out flowers, pinch off the blossoms and let the plants continue to grow.
Final Thoughts On Growing Herbs Hydroponically Indoors
Ready to get started with your indoor hydroponic herb garden? To start growing herbs hydroponically, you’re going to need to arm yourself with the right equipment.
Here at Hydrobuilder, we have everything you need to get off on the right foot. From LED grow lights to growing media, we can hook you up so that you can load up your kitchen with all the tasty culinary herbs you could ever dream of growing.
Shop today for the widest selection, the lowest prices, and the best customer service. When it comes to growing your own herbs, there’s no time to waste