Plants that will grow in sandy soil

  • The plants I have selected and listed here will grow and thrive in sandy soils which are their natural habitat. They are also more drought resistant and will survive longer periods of dry weather. They require less of the nutrients from the soil we would normally associate with nutrient rich loamy and clay soils like potash nitrogen and calcium to grow. These nutrients are easily washed out of sand.
  • All is not lost, even if sandy soil is short of nutrients. There are plusses, Sandy soils drain well and are easier to dig and also warm-up quicker in spring, so early sowing and planting can take place producing early crops. Root vegetables, especially Carrots, Radishes and Potatoes do well in sandy soil.
  • If, however, you want a greater choice of plants to grow in your garden. The sandy soil in your garden could be improved by adding plenty of nutrient rich organic matter and mulching the soil. Soil deficiencies common in sandy soils that are low in organic matter  can be corrected; adding organic matter from your compost heap.

Annuals, Perennials and Shrubs that can be grown in Sandy soil.

Annuals, Perennials and Shrubs that can be grown in Sandy soil.
Not all of these plants are readily available in the UK and some will need full sun, 


Cacti is the obvious one, but carrots, radishes, garlic, strawberries, blueberries, hostas, peppers, tomatoes, daylilies, iris, beetroot, parsnips, lettuce, potatoes, and certain bean varieties are all happy in sandy soil. Most herbs are also at home in sandy soil. I have listed a few on the herb page 

Changing or even trying to improve sandy soil is time-consuming so why not try growing plants that will grow in your type of soil. How to test your soil


Annuals For Sandy Soil.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia grandiflora),  Gaillardia plants  require good drainage, perfect for sandy soils.

Portulaca/Purselane (Portulaca grandiflora)  This semi-succulent plant produces jewel-toned blooms on low growing foliage throughout the summer.

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans), These quick growing natives of Mexico produce lots of daisy-like flowers during summer months. Zinnias will die after the first frost, but are readily self-sowing.


Perennials For Sandy Soil.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus')  These tall meadow natives produce large, daisy-like blooms from mid-summer to early fall. Purple coneflowers attract butterflies and bees, and if their cones are left on, they'll attract birds in the Autumn.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), This dense, low growing herb is evergreen and responds well to sandy soils. Both the foliage and the tiny flowers are highly aromatic.

Stonecrop (genus Sedum) , The genus sedum includes a wide range of succulent plants that grow naturally in sandy soil.


Shrubs For Sandy Soil
Barberry (Berberis thunbergii). This thorny shrub produces yellow flowers and red berries. A prolific self-seeder, can be invasive.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) A distinctive plant with tall, arching stems and long narrow leaves, Butterfly Bush is best known for its flowers, which attract butterflies .Seeds freely so can become invasive. 

Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius), This upright, deciduous bush produces lots of yellow blooms in late spring. Scotch Broom is again invasive.

10 plants that are easy to grow in full sun and sandy soil

10 Plants that can tolerate full sun and sandy soil

  1. Blanket flower. (Gaillardia x grandiflora). This beauty's brightly coloured blooms resemble those of Native American blanket patterns, thus the flower's name. Not only is blanket flower bright and cheery, its an excellent contribution to any sunny and sandy garden.
  2. California Poppy.   The tall nodding blooms are ideal in rock and cottage gardens, rather than in formal flowerbeds. Remove some of the spent flowers to limit reseeding so the plants don't take over.
  3. Cleome spider flower (Cleome hassleriana)  Native to the tropics, cleome is an easy-care annuals that's the perfect backdrop or centerpiece in a flowerbed. Cleome tolerates poor soils and freely self-seeds for the following year, making it easy to grow in sandy soil.
  4. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) This beautiful annual will attract birds and butterflies to your garden with its colourful, pinwheel-shaped blooms. Its feathery foliage is attractive and creates an airy appearance. Cosmos thrives in a variety of conditions, making it a sandy garden favourite. It is a tall plant and will need staking.
  5. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) Crape myrtle blooms resemble the delicate craft paper and they come in almost as many colours, Really do need full sunshine, so best planted in the sunny south. Anyone up North, past Newcastle please let us know if you have successfully grown Crape Myrtle in Sandy soil.
  6. Gazania, These daisy-like blooms thrive in sandy soil and need full sun. the flower-heads close if the Sun goes in.  
  7. Lavender, My favourite,  this herb is said to help people to sleep and attracts many butterflies. 
  8. Penstemon, You'll like this flower with its arching stems laden with spires of small tubular flowers that attract moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
  9. Rugosa rose, (Rosa rugosa) This fast-growing rose producing fragrant white, red or pink flowers, flourishes in sandy soil and full sun and produce bright rose hips that attract countless birds in the Autumn.
  10. Yarrow (Achillea)  This extremely tolerant plant offers lacy flat-topped clusters of tiny flowers attracting  butterflies. It also makes a nice cut flower, fresh or dried.

Essential minerals for healthy gardening Explained here 
minerals for healthy soil

Types of Soil and the wild meadow flowers that will grow and thrive in them I have listed a few species of wild flowers and the soil they thrive in best on this page, soil wildflowers grow in