Best Plants for Sandy Soil

Sandy soil can be challenging for gardeners. The coarse nature of sandy soils leads to the leaching of water and nutrients-hardly the best conditions for landscape plants. If you can't amend the soil, proper plant selection can provide you with an abundance of sand tolerant plants to choose from.

Annuals For Sandy Soil
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia grandiflora) - Zones 3-10. Gaillardia plants actually require excellent drainage, which makes them perfect for sandy soils. The bright, warm-colored blooms appear from mid-summer to early fall.

Portulaca/Purselane (Portulaca grandiflora) - Zones 4-11. This semi-succulent plant produces jewel-toned blooms on low growing foliage throughout the summer.

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) - Zones 3-10. 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') - Zones 3-9. 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 fall.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) -Zones 4-9. This dense, low growing ground cover is evergreen and responds well to sandy soils. Both the foliage and the tiny flowers are highly aromatic.

Stonecrop (genus Sedum) - Zones 3-10. The genus sedum includes a wide range of succulent plants that are well adapted to sandy soil. These fleshy leaved plants are available in a wide array of sizes and forms. Sedums can fill a variety of roles in the garden.

Shrubs For Sandy Soil
Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) - Zones 5-8. This thorny shrub produces yellow flowers and red berries. A prolific self-seeder, barberry is considered invasive in some areas.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) - Zones 6-9. A distinctive plant with tall, arching stems and long narrow leaves, Butterfly Bush is best known for its flowers, which attract butterflies from midsummer until first frost.

Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) - Zones 5-8. This upright, deciduous bush produces lots of yellow blooms in late spring. Scotch Broom is considered invasive in some areas.

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