Choosing Plants for Sandy Soil

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 21, 2017)


It doesn't matter what part of the world you live in, sandy soil can be a major pain when it comes to gardening. This type of soil can make gardening extremely difficult if you are not prepared for it, and it can also be pretty expensive to try and "fix" the problem by adding other kinds of soils to allow more water retention. Well instead of potentially spending huge amounts of money to fix this kind of a problem, why not turn it into a plus? There are plenty of plants out there that absolutely love sandy soil; all you really need to do is pick them out. Here are a few guidelines that you can follow when choosing plants for sandy soil.

  • Understand your zone. The first thing that you need to understand is that sandy soil can be found in every kind of growing zone. This means that you need to learn about what kinds of plants grow best in your growing zone, and not worry about plants that will grow only in other kinds of zones. By knowing what plants grow best in your particular zone, you will be able to narrow down your choices quite a bit.
  • Research annuals. Annuals are plants that will only blossom once after you have planted them, and then need to be replanted the following season. Just like with any other kind of soil, there are annuals that prefer to be planted in sandy soils. Some of these include things like Black-Eyed Susan's, phlox, geraniums, and cosmos. Annuals often require a little more care than perennials, so be sure that you know what you need to do to properly care for these plants before you plant them.
  • Research perennials. Some plants that love sandy soil only need to be planted once a year, and will survive for several growing seasons. These plants are known as perennials. Just as with the annuals, be sure that you know what the individual plant you choose will require for maintenance prior to planting. Some of the best perennials for sandy soils will be plants such as wild indigo, purple heart, sage, lily, and cone flower.
  • Research trees, shrubs, and bushes. It is possible for trees, shrubs, and bushes to survive in sandy soil just like other plants. Be sure that you consider these plants for your garden as well. Typically trees, shrubs, and bushes will require a little more maintenance (more regular watering) early on to ensure that they survive. However, once they have settled in, these plants are extremely hardy and will often require little care. Some of the best plants to consider are things like lavender, certain roses (such as the rugosa rose), and the amur maple.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 1 + 5?

2013-06-02 21:57:57


Hi gardeners

My yard was washed away in Sandy. I have finished putting the soil back in my yard (80 yrds of sandy bank run). Before Sandy my soil had been built up over the years with organic material. Now, since it will take be years to amend it again I am wondering If anyone can rec shrubs & flowers that do well in sandy soil, can take sun & salt spray & have a good root system to hold the soil? Also...what should I mulch with as I need to cover the sand so that it isn't blown away by wind but won't hold wetness for plants that prefer sandy soil? Thanks for your time & I look forward to your suggestions.


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