Choosing plants for sandy soil may initially feel somewhat limited, but gardeners can enhance their landscapes through the incorporation of hardy native plants. In general, plants that grow in the sand will require less maintenance from homeowners as they become established and naturalize in the landscape. Sandy soil has its advantages. It drains well, is easy to dig in and warms up faster in spring than clay soils, meaning that plants start growing earlier – but there are fewer species adapted to it compared to other soil types.
Here are just a few examples of flowers adapted to growth in sandy soil:
Succulents: Sedum is a hardy succulent that can be used as ground cover. It can grow without much water, in poor soil, and in intense sun and heat.
Salvia is a plant that can tolerate a lot of heat and dry soil while attracting butterflies and other pollinators. They prefer well-drained soil, which helps them thrive in sandy soil
Cosmos: this plant can easily handle harsh conditions including drought and poor soil, so if you need a flowering annual that can attract butterflies, birds, and bees, then this may be an option.
Russian Sage: This purple sage actually prefers dry conditions, so it will thrive in sandy soil in growing zones five through 10. It is also a plant that does not require a lot of water or sun. They do spread, so you may need to prune and separate the plant.
Cosmos: This plant can easily handle harsh conditions including drought and poor soil, so if you need a flowering annual that can attract butterflies, birds, and bees, then this may be an option. They tend to grow best in zones two through 11.
Larkspurs can grow anywhere from one to seven feet in height. These plants can tolerate dry soil, but you will want to combine it with mulch. This plant grows best in zones two through 10, and they prefer shady conditions.