What flowers and plants grow well in sandy soil

Written by cathryn whitehead
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What flowers and plants grow well in sandy soil
The day lily is a flowering plant that grows well in sandy soil. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of B Balaji)

Sandy soil is often found in warm climates. Plants that grow best in full sun grow well in this type of soil, but many plants do not. Water travels so fast through sandy soil that the top layers of soil dry too quickly, necessitating more frequent watering and removing nutrients from the soil.

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Sandy soil is easier to dig and work in than denser soil. Sand, being abrasive, tends to break down organic material to provide plant roots with nutrients. Root plants like potatoes, carrots, radishes, garlic and beets grow well in sandy soil.

Food plants

Other food plants that grow well in sandy soil include tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, peppers, lettuce and some kinds of beans.


Cacti often require sandy soil, being adapted to a readily drained substrate.

Flowering plants

Flowering plants that grow well in sandy soil include day lilies, irises, hostas, cosmos, bitter-root, red columbine, coreopsis, purple cone flower, lavender, yarrow, black-eyed Susan, evening primrose, downy phlox and spotted bee balm.

Soil composition

If you have sandy soil but want to grow plants that do better in other types of soil , you can change the composition of the soil by adding organic matter such as manure, compost, vegetable parings, loam and mouldy leaves. If the proportion of sand is very high, you may need to build raised beds to contain heavier soil.

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