Good Plants for Sandy Soil
I love flowers, but the soil around our lake home is very sandy. What are plants that do well in sand?
—Geneva Holt, Chesterton, Indiana
Melinda: Look for drought-tolerant plants. You'll need to water them several times a week to get them established. Once they're well-rooted, they'll tolerate the dry growing conditions associated with sandy soil. For sunny areas, try some of the following annuals: sunflower, zinnia, blanket flower, cosmos, cockscomb, gazania (treasure flower), portulaca, dusty miller, dahlberg daisy, verbena and Mexican sunflower. If you prefer perennials, try these sun-lovers: purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, gayfeather, thyme, artemesia, yucca, sedum, Russian sage, potentilla and ornamental grasses. It's more difficult to find shade plants that will tolerate dry soil. But you can try perennials like deadnettle (Lamium), variegated archangel (Lamiastrum), lily-of-the-valley and coral bells. Annuals such as periwinkle and the biennial Chinese forget-me-not are a couple of other options for dry partially shaded locations.