“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”

- Robert Lynd

Do you love the sight of birds outside your window or in your garden?

You don’t always have to head out to the parks or the forest to experience a little bit of nature!

Do you have a windowsill, patio or balcony on a lower floor?

Here are a few flowering plants that you can try to grow at home to bring nature closer to you; and maybe, just maybe, you will make a flying friend or two!

Nectar-loving birds

Nectar-loving birds include Olive-Backed Sunbird and Crimson Sunbird, and fastmoving Flowerpeckers such as Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker.

Here are a few plants that you can grow to attract these birds. 

Malayan Ixora (Ixora congesta

The humble ixora is seen along our roadsides and in our parks since we were young. They are free-flowering and hardy plants. Just like us, birds love the sweet nectar of the ixora flowers! 

Fire Bush (Hamelia patens)

The Hamelia patens is pretty plant with clusters of red tube-like flowers that attract not only birds, but butterflies as well! 

Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis)

The weeping shrub with clusters of firecracker-like flowers is a free-flowering plant in full sun. The flowers come in a variety of colours from red, to pink, orange and yellow! 

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis cultivars)

A common sight in homes, the flowers of the hibiscus plant come in a variety of colours. With enough sun and care, it flowers beautifully and is a treat for both the birds and us!

Red Button Ginger (Costus woodsonii

Sunbirds love the nectar from the red button ginger! Did you know that you can also eat the flowers of this spiral ginger? The orange-yellow flowers have a crunchy texture and taste a bit like grapes.

Simpoh Ayer (Dillenia suffruticosa)

The simpoh ayer can be grown as a tall shrub or small tree. It has dark green leaves and bright yellow flowers that would be a nice addition to any balcony or garden. The little red seeds of the fruit are a favourite with sunbirds too!


Fruit-loving birds

Fruit-loving birds include the Yellow-Vented Bulbul, Pink-Necked Green Pigeon and Rock Dove, as well as other species including the Asian Glossy Starling and Olive-Backed Oriole. 

Here are a few plants that you can grow to attract these birds. 

Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum

The Melastoma malabathricum is an ornamental shrub that is suitable for container planting. Its fruits are eaten by birds, squirrels and monkeys in the wild; and its bark has been used medicinally to treat toothaches and dysentery too! 

Red Tree Shrub (Leea rubra)

This woody red tree shrub is visited by both butterflies and birds. It has fragrant flowers and little red berries, which make for a beautiful plant to have growing in your balcony or garden!

Peacock Flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

The tiered flower stalk of the peacock flower stands tall above its leaves, and can be red, yellow or pink in colour. Apart from attracting birds, this plant also attracts butterflies! 

Banana (Musa sp)

Both the fruits and flowers of the banana plant attract birds. If you are lucky, you can capture a special moment of a bird standing on the banana flower! You can also try growing other fruit trees such as the papaya, which the birds also love! 

This article is contributed by Gardens by the Bay's Design and Development Team