We spend a lot of time testing and reviewing different indoor hydroponic systems, but to say we were excited to try Rise Gardens is an understatement. This intuitive smart garden allows you to grow delicious produce year-round, including fresh herbs, microgreens, veggies, and more – no green thumb required.
It’s easily one of the best units in the indoor gardening space. That said, it also comes with a steep price tag. So let’s dive into this brand to see if the juice is worth the squeeze.
In this Rise Gardens review, we’re covering the following:
- What Is Rise Gardens
- Models Of Rise Gardens
- Pros and Cons
- What Comes Inside The Box?
- What Can You Grow?
- How Does Rise Gardens Compare To Other Hydroponics Systems?
- How Does Rise Compare To Outdoor Growing
- Final Thoughts
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What Is Rise Gardens?
Rise Gardens is a relatively new company in the indoor and countertop hydroponics space. Founder and CEO Hank Adams launched Rise Gardens in 2019. Their flagship product was a multi-shelf smart garden about the size of a bookshelf. In 2020, they launched a countertop version to bring fresh produce to those living in small spaces.
These smart indoor hydroponic gardens are simple to use and easy to set up. These systems come with all the supplies you need for success, as well as access to an advanced app to control the lights and give you tips along the way. There are four different Rise Gardens models currently, including the countertop garden, a single-level system, a double-level system, and a triple-level garden.
Since launching, the company has doubled its sales every month and experienced 750% growth each quarter. In early 2020, they reported that their gardeners had planted 6,000 tomatoes, herbs, veggies, and more in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
In May of 2020, Rise Gardens announced that they received a $2.6 million round of seed investment led by the San-Francisco-Based True Ventures and several Chicago leaders. We say this not to stroke Rise Gardens’ ego but to show that this is a legitimate indoor gardening brand taking the world by storm.
Also, in 2020, Rise Gardens received investment from the Amazon Alexa Fund, which could mean that there’s an Alexa integration on the way soon. This integration would put this brand on pace with AeroGarden (commonly considered the personal hydroponic space leader).
Grow Up to 12 Plants Per Garden with the Single-Family Garden. Modular System allows you to upgrade by adding a level or pod trays with extra capacity to yield up to 36 plants!
When researching Rise Gardens, we realized that their corporate office is in Skokie, IL, which is just a jump, hop, and a skip away from our Chicago condo. So it’s encouraging to support a company that’s not only American-made but also in our backyard!
Models Of Rise Gardens
There are currently four models of Rise Gardens available, with the smallest – the Personal Rise Garden – able to grow up to 12 plants, and the largest – the Triple Family Garden able to grow up to 108 plants at a single time. Here’s a quick table to illustrate the differences between each style of garden.
|Image||Rise Gardens Model||Price||Purchase||Growing Capacity||Max Plants||Dimensions||Weight|
|Personal Rise Garden||$279.00||See Deals||8||12||18 x 11 x 16 (L x D x H in inches)||10 lbs|
|Single Family Garden||$549.00||See Deals||12||36||36 x 16 x 39 (L x D x H in inches)||60 lbs|
|Double Family Garden||$749.00||See Deals||24||72||36 x 16 x 52 5/8 (L x D x H in inches)||83 lbs|
|Triple Family Garden||949.00||See Deals||36||108||36 x 16 x 66 1/4 (L x D x H in inches)||106 lbs|
The “Max Plants” column is only relevant if you purchase a pod tray with additional seed pod holes from Rise Garden’s accessories page. The “Growing Capacity” column indicates the number of plants you can grow out of the box. If you want to grow more, adding these pod trays can be a great way to take your planting to the next level.
We should note that just because you can plant 108 plants at once doesn’t mean you should. Rise Gardens is the only indoor gardening system we know that will tell you to produce fewer seed pods for specific plants. If a mature plant takes up a lot of space, like pepper plants or tomato plants, you don’t want to crowd many of them together. Instead, you want to leave room for these plants to thrive without unnecessary competition.
Rise Gardens: Pros and Cons
We think this system is one of the best on the market. But like all hydroponic units, there are some pros and cons when deciding if it’s right for you. Check out our Rise Gardens review below.
Simplicity Is Genius
The best part about Rise Gardens has got to be the simplicity. I’m busy – you’re busy – we’re all busy. I love a good indoor garden that tells me exactly what to do and when to do it, allowing my mind to focus on other things. With the help of the app, you don’t need to manage your plants constantly. In most cases, you add water and nutrients once a week. That’s far less of a commitment than most outdoor gardens. Rise Gardens has one of the best systems for people who don’t want to continually care for their plants – or people who have so many plants that they don’t have time to give them all the TLC they need.
The BEST Indoor Garden in the market. Whether you’re tight on space or want to dress up your spacious living room, Rise Gardens has the perfect indoor garden for you!
The yield potential is another reason we love this system. The double-level family garden that we purchased can produce up to 72 small plants at a time. That’s just mind-blowing for a garden that takes up about three feet of floor space. We plan to record the weight of all our harvests to show the impact of the yields. Until we have enough data, though, there are some anecdotes from buyers saying that they can meet the salad green needs of 4-6 people (using the largest system). In other words, this system could put a serious dent in your grocery store budget!
Intended For Small, Indoor Spaces
Like all hydroponic systems we review, we appreciate that Rise Gardens can grow indoors – in small spaces – and without natural sunlight. Living in Chicago, there are at least six months of undesirable weather, so we’re always looking for ways to extend our season. And for the most part, people in the city don’t have massive homes with backyards, so the space-saving component is a must.
With hydroponics systems like Rise Gardens, we can plant and harvest in a small space all year long.
It’s Got Style
The aesthetic is also a fantastic perk to this system. It looks like a piece of art in your home, and it provides a pop of color that you and others will appreciate.
But more than anything else, we like that the plants grown in Rise Gardens have a fantastic taste, which is due to the right amounts of water, simulated sunlight, and nutrients. The food tastes like it came out of a farmers market – far better than something you’d get from a big grocery store.
The Less Good
We have few complaints about this system. It is an impressive indoor garden that we highly recommend. That said, here are a few things about this brand that need to be improved.
No Vacation Mode
Again, small complaint, but unlike competitors AeroGarden and Gardyn, Rise Gardens doesn’t have a vacation mode. On these other brands, you can set your gardens to use less light and water, meaning that the plants grow slower and need less tending. This feature allows you to go on a vacation or trip without having a plant sitter visit weekly. As Rise Gardens develops more, we’re hopeful that they will include this functionality in future systems.
Hefty Price Tag
The price of all hydroponics gardens is still a little steep. We keep thinking that, eventually, there will be enough competition in the space to lower the cost. After all, the actual hydroponics technology is pretty simple – it’s a tray, a grow light, some piping, a timer, and a pump. You’re paying for the convenience with these expensive systems.
Rise Gardens must be thinking about this too, which is likely why they developed the more affordable Personal Rise Garden. It’s still pricey at $279, but much less than the single-family garden – and comparable to systems by competitors like AeroGarden and Click and Grow.
Looking for more information on nutrients? Check out our guide on organic hydroponic nutrients today!
Even with its (minute) flaws, this is still one of the best hydroponic systems available. As a product, it has most of the same bells and whistles as systems from AeroGarden or Gardyn. And once you consider the yield opportunity, this system could potentially pay for itself if you grow the right greens and herbs. What’s more, this is a new company! It’s insane to think that this brand only came to the market in the last 2.5 years and is already one of the top three indoor gardening brands. We have mostly compliments for this brand – and high hopes for what it will become.
What Comes In A Rise Garden?
Depending on the garden system you purchase, you can expect slightly different components in your box. But all models have the following:
The nursery is where your seeds germinate and sprout until they’re about an inch tall. At this point, they can go into your hydroponic gardening system. Here’s a basic infographic you can use for a basic nursery setup:
Each model comes with plant food that you insert into your water tank. Rise Gardens plant food includes a high level of nutrients that can help either your greens, herbs, or fruit-bearing plants thrive. Here’s a video about how to apply nutrients to your garden:
Each system comes with biodegradable plant pods. The dark material, made from peat moss is called smart soil. Nutrient-rich water flows through the smart soil and into your plants. There are over 60 different seed pods offered by Rise Gardens, so there are several options for you to grow.
When you start growing, you’ll place your seed pods in the black plastic net cups. The gaps at the bottom of the net cups are where the roots will hang into the water below.
Depending on the model, you will either have a grow light or a set of grow lights for your plants. These lights connect to a smart timer and the phone app, so you have full control of when they are on and off. There’s also an automated component to this light schedule, so you don’t have to turn the system on and off continually. These custom state-of-the-art lights are practical and not overly distracting in a home.
Each system comes with a water tank. The water tank pump pushes nutrient-rich water via piping across the plants’ roots, giving them everything they need to thrive.
You can add water to your system through the service door on the lowest level. The single-level system holds five gallons of water, the double-level holds up to six gallons, and the triple-level garden holds up to seven gallons of water at a time.
When purchasing a unit from Rise Gardens, you also receive three containers of liquid nutrients that you add to your water tank. The three-part nutrient mixes aid growth in both seedlings and mature plants. The sprout mixture has nutrients that aid stem and leaf growth. The blossom mixture, on the other hand, has macronutrients that support flower and fruit growth. And the Thrive mixture supports your plants in all stages of life.
You need to add nutrients to your garden once a week.
This is a basic water pump used to send oxygenated water from the reservoir to your plants.
The app is one of our favorite features of the Rise Garden systems. It’s simple to use and useful. It notifies you when water levels in your indoor garden are low, and it gives you tips for growing and harvesting your plants. The app also has a complex algorithm that calculates how much nutrients you need, which is handy for maximizing growth.
When Should You Clean Your System?
At minimum, you should clean your entire system out every six months using a natural cleaning solution. This should take no more than 45 minutes of work. For our hydroponic systems, we like to clean them between plantings.
What Can You Grow In A Rise Garden?
At this time, Rise Gardens offers 65 types of plant pods, including leafy greens, Thai basil, curly parsley, swiss chard, and a variety of other plants. More so, you can shop seedless pods that allow you to grow whatever you want.
Here’s a full list of the plants you can currently grow from Rise Garden:
|Plant Type||Plant Name||Purchase|
|Greens||Alfresco Mix Lettuce||Purchase|
|Greens||Bright Lights Swiss Chard||Purchase|
|Greens||Bronze Arrowhead Lettuce||Purchase|
|Greens||Butter Crunch Lettuce||Purchase|
|Edible Flower||Butterfly Friend Borage||Purchase|
|Greens||China King Cabbage||Purchase|
|Herbs||Classic Lemon Balm||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Dragon's Tongue Bean||Purchase|
|Herbs||Forest Green Parsley||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Fresh Bite Orange Pepper||Purchase|
|Herbs||Golden Frills Mustard||Purchase|
|Herbs||Holy (Kapoor Tulsi) Basil||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Hot Lemon Pepper||Purchase|
|Fruit||Kitchen Mini Siam Tomato||Purchase|
|Fruits||Little Bing Tomato||Purchase|
|Herbs||Mexican Mint Marigold Tarragon||Purchase|
|Greens||Parris Island Cos Lettuce||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Patio Baby Eggplant||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Patio Pride Pea||Purchase|
|Herbs||Red Baron Bunching Chives||Purchase|
|Greens||Red Cloud Tatsoi||Purchase|
|Greens||Red Pac Choi||Purchase|
|Greens||Red Veined Sorrel||Purchase|
|Herbs||Red-Streaked Mizuna Mustard||Purchase|
|Fruits||Salad Bush Cucumber||Purchase|
|Plant Anything||Seedless Pods||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Snackable Red Pepper||Purchase|
|Flowers||Sunny Smile Sunflower||Purchase|
|Herbs||Super Sweet Genevese Basil||Purchase|
|Herbs||Sweet Leaf Stevia||Purchase|
|Herbs||Sweet Thai Basil||Purchase|
|Greens||Top Bunch Collards||Purchase|
|Vegetables||Touchstone Gold Beet||Purchase|
|Greens||Toy Choy Pak Choi||Purchase|
|Herbs||Vicenza Blue Apex Lavender||Purchase|
|Greens||Wild Rocket Arugula||Purchase|
How Does Rise Gardens Compare To Other Hydroponic Systems?
As we’ve said, this is absolutely one of the best indoor smart garden brands out there. Its nutrient system seems superior to Click and Grow, its yields seem better than that of Veritable Smart Gardens, and it’s a more polished product than the iHarvest.
While the app and yields of Rise Gardens are similar to those of the Gardyn, we personally prefer Rise Gardens’ aesthetic.
Rise Gardens is most comparable to AeroGarden products. The AeroGarden Bounty, for instance, is similar in size to the Personal Rise Garden. While the Farm 24Basic is similar in size to the Double Family Garden. AeroGarden’s technology is slightly more complex, especially with its home screen and control panel, but it’s really very similar.
How Does Rise Gardens Compare To Outdoor Growing?
Without a doubt, we prefer Rise Gardens over traditional outdoor growing. Since it uses hydroponics, plants grow significantly faster than they do with conventional methods. But more than anything else, we like it because it can produce indoor and in small spaces. You no longer need a massive outdoor space to feed your family. It’s the perfect garden for those who are trying to grow in cooler climates.
Whether you’re growing indoors for the first time, a hobbyist grower, or you’re a pro at hydroponics, Rise Gardens is an excellent option. Between its ease of use, its aesthetic, and its high-yield potential, it’s absolutely a contender for the best personal hydroponic brand.
Have you grown with Rise Gardens yet? We want to see it! Send any pictures of videos you have to Devri@twopeasinacondo.com, and we might highlight them on our blog!