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The difference between Click & Grow and hydroponic systems

The difference between Click & Grow and hydroponic systems

There are many significant differences between growing in a Click & Grow garden vs growing in a hydroponic system. We will examine the main differences by comparing our device to a hydroponic system by Aerogarden. 

Click & Grow’s Smart Garden 9 vs Aerogarden’s Bounty



An overview of each garden’s key specifications is given in the table below:


Click & Grow - Smart Garden 9 Aerogarden - Bounty
Irrigation capillary precision irrigation (CPI) hydroponic
Fertilization automatic liquid fertilizer needs to be added manually
Noise silent pump noise
App control care tips for every plant according to its stage of growth basic care info
Grow light LED LED
Number of plants 9 9
Number of different plants available to grow 61 83 (includes 7 cultivars for lettuce)
Weight 2.4kg 5.6kg
Material ABS plastic PET-free plastic

Stainless steel available with Bounty Elite model
Dimensions 39 x 59 x 18.5 cm 44 x 28 x 38 cm
Power consumption 13 W 48 W
Retail price $199.95 $399.95
Price per seed kit / plant pod pack $9.95 - 3 plant pod pack

$23.95 - 9 plant pod pack

Customisable subscriptions also available
Starting from:

$12.95 - 3 pod seed kit

Also available in packs of 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 24, 25, and 50

4 key differences between the two products:


Technology : Capillary Precision Irrigation (CPI) vs Hydroponic 

  • Smart Garden 9
  • Click & Grow makes use of Capillary Precision Irrigation (CPI). This type of system helps to control moisture in the soil, distributing water and nutrients in mediated amounts at specific times according to the needs of the plant. This is manifested in Click & Grow’s unique Smart Soil. Click & Grow’s gardening team carries out extensive lab analysis, ensuring produce is healthy and safe to consume.

    An example of their findings is that nitrate residuals in Click & Grow lettuce are 7.6 times lower than lettuce grown in hydroponic systems. Laboratory tests also indicate that antioxidative activity in fresh Click and Grow lettuce is 1.8 times higher than store bought lettuce in plastic boxes and 3 times higher than lettuce grown in a hydroponic system. This is only possible due to the way Smart Soil technology feeds plants. Click & Grow has a unique smart soil created for every plant species.  No need to manually add nutrients as they are already added to the Smart Soil. 

  • Bounty
  • Aerogarden’s Bounty is a hydroponic system. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using a water based solution that is rich in nutrients. No soil is used (there are small sponges where the seeds are attached). Nutrients are dissolved in the water surrounding the plants’ roots. The user has to add nutrients manually. Care must be taken to add just the right amount to avoid harming the plants. 


    Feeding Plants: Smart Soil vs Liquid Nutrients

  • Smart Garden 9
  • Click & Grow utilises patented Smart Soil technology. Smart Soil is a soil-like nano-tech growth medium that balances oxygen, water and nutrient levels. Smart Soil automatically releases minerals according to the temperature and how moist the soil is. At the same time it keeps the nutrient levels optimal for the plants to thrive. It does not contain pesticides, fungicides, hormones or any other harmful substances that could pose a threat to human health.

    The level of nutrients in Smart Soil is not necessarily as high as in hydroponic systems such as the Bounty. Smart Soil, however, does not require weekly calibration and you do not need to add additional fertilizers to grow healthy plants, which makes it a hassle free growing experience.

  • Bounty
  • Aerogarden utilises liquid plant food to nourish all of its plants. As already mentioned above, this plant food needs to be measured and added manually to the tank. It provides all the necessary nutrients which contribute to consistent, fast growth. The tank needs to be washed every time a new set of plants are planted. 


    Choosing what to grow: Plant Pods vs Seed Kits

  • Smart Garden 9
  • Click & Grow has a large selection of plant pods; herbs, flowers, salads, vegetables and experimental pods to add whatever plant seed you want to grow or experiment with. 

    Thanks to highly skilled gardening research done in advance, Click & Grow provides all the necessary instructions and information for each plant’s entire growing journey. Moreover, timed care tips are provided for every plant pod and the growing process can be easily followed by the app.

  • Bounty
  • Aerogarden has a vast selection of seed kits to choose from. These include herbs, flowers, salads, vegetables and self-starting kits. Not every species can be ordered separately as they are generally combined in various seed kits.


    Replacing Plants: Roots remaining in soil vs Roots growing into tank 

  • Smart Garden 9
  • Being a CPI system, Click & Grow’s roots grow in a unique way. Each Click & Grow plant pod is housed in a plant cup with a wick extending into a water tank. The roots of Click & Grow’s plants stay within the Smart Soil. 


    Click & Grow Smart Garden 9

    The benefit is that, with a Click & Grow garden, you can easily add or replace any single plant without it affecting the others. This also makes it possible to grow herbs or salads in rotation so there is always something to harvest. Any combination of plants can be grown together. It also means that Click & Grow gardens are typically easier to clean.

  • Bounty
  • Areogarden’s roots grow into the water tank, ensuring the outside of the garden looks clean and tidy. Within the tank, however, the roots become tangled which needs to be taken into consideration when cleaning the garden. 


    Aerogarden Bounty

    The tangling of roots in an Aerogarden system means that all plants need to be planted and changed at the same time. Aerogarden provides advice on which plants may be ideal to grow together in their systems, taking into account the range of growing heights each plant could reach.


    • The Smart Garden 9 is based on smart soil technology. It requires no manual calibration and individual plants can easily be replaced at any time.

    • With the Bounty, plants receive nutrients from a water based solution. Plant food needs to be measured and added manually. Plants need to be planted and changed together at the same time. 

    • Both have a large selection of plants, however Click & Grow has more specific instructions and gardener support for each plant.

    • Hydroponic systems in general require more attention from the end user to guarantee success. Hydroponic systems are great for users who already have some experience with growing plants. 


    Here at Click & Grow we believe indoor gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can ever take up. With that in mind, we strive to make indoor gardening as enjoyable and stress free as possible. To learn more about us, visit 

    Join our worldwide community of indoor gardeners who have found success growing their favourite plants. Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more inspiration and news about our latest products. You can also talk directly to our gardeners and fellow growers in the Gardeners Forum.

    Enjoy a stress-free way to grow beautiful, healthy plants at home 

    Shop Indoor Gardens

    Fully automated indoor gardens that grow plant pods for you while making sure they have enough water, light, oxygen and nutrients.
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