Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil

Since water runs right through sandy soil, the growing conditions are rather dry, even if the area gets a lot of rain. These 10 plants for sandy soil don’t seem to mind.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Cleome
    Proven Winners, ProvenWinners.com

    Cleome

    Cleome hassleriana • annual

    Plant this tropical native in your garden and you’re sure to attract attention. The tall stems of these graceful plants are hard to miss, topped by wispy pink, purple or white blooms that look like a spider’s lanky legs.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Gazania
    Proven Winners, ProvenWinners.com

    Gazania

    Gazania • annual to Zone 8

    This popular daisy produces a stunning array of colors in less-than-ideal conditions. Gazania is drought-tolerant, but it doesn’t appreciate a lack of sun. In fact, the flower heads close if the weather is too cloudy or cold.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Yarrow
    PerennialResource.com

    Yarrow

    Achillea • Zones 3 to 9

    Lacy flower heads top each stem of yarrow. Varieties range from a short 6 inches to more than 4 feet tall. This hardy bloomer thrives in full sun and should be divided in spring for the optimal summer show.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Cosmos
    Proven Winners, ProvenWinners.com

    Cosmos

    Cosmos spp. • grown as an annual

    Cosmos thrives in a variety of conditions. With cultivars that range from 1 to 6 feet high, it blooms from summer to late fall in shades of orange, red, yellow, pink, purple and white. The frondlike foliage beautifully complements the flowers’ delicate petals.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Rugosa Rose
    Bailey Nurseries

    Rugosa Rose

    Rosa rugosa • Zones 2 to 9

    Love roses but hate the hassle? This fast-growing variety flourishes anywhere without much fuss. Rugosa roses easily handle poor soil conditions, from sandy to salty. They have cupped, fragrant flowers, which appear as singles, doubles or in small clusters.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: California Poppy
    Punch-Stock

    California Poppy

    Eschscholzia californica • grown as an annual

    The California poppy’s soft blooms almost seem to glow. Available in a rainbow of colors, these ardent self-seeders grow to just 15 inches high and wide.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Lavender
    Kieft Seeds

    Lavender

    Lavandula • Zones 5 to 10

    Known for its namesake purple flowers, no-nonsense lavender is also available in white and pink varieties. The mounding plants range from 1 to 4 feet in diameter, often a bit taller than they are wide, and grow best in full sun.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Crape Myrtle
    R. Todd Davis

    Crape Myrtle

    Lagerstroemia indica • Zones 7 to 9

    Crape myrtle is a year-round beauty in the South, where it thrives in the warmth and blooms from July to September. The flowers are spectacular, but the show isn’t over when summer ends: The elliptical foliage takes on brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. This tree is happiest if it’s planted in full sun.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Blanket Flower
    Proven Winners, ProvenWinners.com

    Blanket Flower

    Gaillardia spp. • Zones 3 to 10

    Not only is blanket flower bright and cheery, it’s one tough plant. Tolerant of drought and a variety of soil conditions, including those on the sandier side, this is a standout in any sunny summer garden.

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Penstemon
    PerennialResource.com

    Penstemon

    Penstemon spp. • Zones 3 to 10

    Plant penstemon, and you’ll be singing the praises of this sturdy beauty in no time. Its tall, arching stems are laden with small, trumpet-shaped blossoms in purple, white, yellow, orange, red and pink. The plants do well in full sun to light shade.

  • More From Birds & Blooms
  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Cleome

    Cleome

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Gazania

    Gazania

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Yarrow

    Yarrow

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Cosmos

    Cosmos

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Rugosa Rose

    Rugosa Rose

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: California Poppy

    California Poppy

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Lavender

    Lavender

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Crape Myrtle

    Crape Myrtle

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Blanket Flower

    Blanket Flower

  • Top 10 Plants for Sandy Soil: Penstemon

    Penstemon

        • Susan says

          Hi, Lynnde. As a lifelong Florida gardener, I can sympathize. I have learned that many “full sun” plants fail here due to our long hot season. I plant almost everything in morning sun only or limited periods of midday sun. Also, use good bagged ‘garden soil’ or compost to add more substance to your sandy soil. Again due to the intense heat, it’s imperative that we get our soil to hold more water for longer periods of time. Don’t give up!

  1. Karen says

    In MN. My all time favorite and the queen of my garden. Used to find the seeds for white but have been unable find them the last few yrs.

  2. Barbara says

    One of my favorites for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Even though we have rich loam soil in RI, I can grow these in pots and save the seeds for the following year.
    .

  3. carol says

    I’ll have to look out for this plant at the nursery. Would be perfect for the dry desert soil here in Mildura Australia and it’s my favourite colour and will go with all the other purple plants I’ll have in the garden shortly and the Jacarandas that line the street.

  4. susy says

    received rose i ordered today. real nice one so worth what i paid for a change. ive discovered ordering plants etc from everyday individuals seem to be 10 times more likely to make it than ones ive ordered from garden sites. im soooo over them. wasted alot of money and time with them. believe ive learned a lesson. anyway planted in sandy soil next to my creek. i think shes gonna really set off my yard. i cant wait!!!!! plus birds and butterflies makes it all worth it. definite plus. probably wont et blooms this year and pray no polar vortex gets it……

  5. Phil says

    I tried starting lavender from seed in small pots. It’s been six months and I only have two plants that made it. And they are only an inch tall. What am I doing wrong ?

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