Changi Airport’s gardens are famous: beautiful, serene havens of greenery for travellers on the go. Why not take some quiet time out before your next flight to relax in the presence of nature?

Whether you arrive by taxi or train, the tree-lined road leading to Changi Airport that offers travellers and visitors a glimpse of greenery and nature, is hard to miss. Singapore’s vision of being a Garden City is evident all around.

However, this beauty does not end at the entrance to the airport. Once you enter the departure hall, you’ll be immersed in a place where nature continues to flourish. The gardens of Changi Airport have, combined, more than 500,000 thriving species of plants and flowers.

Penta flowers with a butterfly resting on top of them

Experience beauty at the gardens of Changi

One of the airport’s highlights can be found in Terminal 3, at the Butterfly Garden. Here, ferns, vines and shrubs provide a sanctuary for more than 1,000 delicate butterflies of many colourful, exotic varieties – so friendly that they will land in the palm of your hand if you stand still for long enough.

Orchids are plentiful in Singapore. The National Orchid Garden in the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a great place to visit if you are fascinated by this colourful flower. But if you don’t have the time, fret not, because you can also catch sight of these pretty florals at Changi Airport’s Terminal 2. The Orchid Garden, which is also home to more than 700 unique orchids, includes a special orchid hybrid named after Changi, the Dendrobium Changi Airport.

A haven for plant life

The airport has gardens in all the terminals, so no matter which one you’re departing from, you’ll be able to find somewhere special to enjoy. Whether it’s the Enchanted Garden or Sunflower Garden, or any of the other five unique gardens, you may be lucky enough to meet one of the 13 horticulturalists whose job it is to maintain these remarkable places.

Changi Airport’s professional team has a wealth of experience on helping plants to flourish indoors – besides the airport gardens, they also care for species at the airport’s own 3-hectare nursery – and they offer three simple recommendations to travellers who are inspired to recreate a green environment in their own homes.

1. Watering plants

Woman watering plants at the gardens of Changi

Watering plants is often tricky; knowing how much water a plant needs is crucial to plant health

Watering plants can be challenging for most of us. Sometimes we risk over-watering, while on the other hand, it’s easy to forget to water them at all for a few days.

The airport has its own sophisticated system to avoid this, and if you look closely when you next visit one of the gardens, you might notice staged and timed irrigation taking place there.

Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll have such a system at home. However, not to worry; Changi Airport’s horticultural team has some advice on this. They recommend ensuring that you water the plants just enough that the soil and roots are wet. They also suggest misting the leaves and flowers every day. If the plant is under-watered, its leaves will turn yellow. On the other hand, an over-watered plant will wilt because of rotted roots and waterlogged soil.

2. The right choice for indoor and outdoor spaces

Butterfly hanging from a leaf

Plants must be chosen according to the environment they will be living in

While the airport’s gardens have been professionally landscaped to include both indoor and outdoor space, if you’re planning a garden at home, you’ll have to carefully assess the environment that the plants are going to live in.

Indoor plants will thrive best in bright – but not direct – sunlight. Some great choices for apartment plants, therefore, include the “lipstick plant” (Aeschynanthus radicans), orchids and African violets.

For an outdoor garden, excellent choices include bougainvillea, ixora, or the iconic sunflower – all of which will enjoy direct sunlight.

The airport has gardens in all the terminals, so no matter which one you’re departing from, you’ll be able to find somewhere special to enjoy.

3. Ask your local gardener for help

The staff at Changi are on hand to help with the airport gardens, but tending to them at home can be challenging. After all, no one likes to see a plant dying through lack of care.

The Changi team stresses that different plants have different needs; if you buy your plants from a nursery, you’ll be able to ask for help from an expert – because they know what your plants need best. Rather than using the internet for information, go straight to the experts for help!

If you’re inspired by your up-close encounter with nature at the airport, take the next step and create your own sanctuary. These simple pointers will help set you on the way to greener living. And if you bump into Changi’s horticultural team at one of the gardens during your visit, don’t be afraid to say hello and ask for their advice!