Best Plants For Sandy Soils

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Do you live in an area with lots of sandy soil and you’re having problems growing with sandy soil? Then you should consider some of the best plants for sandy soils.

Most times, sandy soil might be difficult to work with, but don’t lose all hope. Rather than struggling with nature for plants that don’t wish to live where they’ve been planted, you can simply select the appropriate plants that suit that particular soil type.

The key to successfully working with sandy soil is to recognize and understand the properties of this soil type. Also, choosing the right plants that have adapted and flourished in sandy soil is another key to successfully planting in this soil.

So, let’s look into some of the best plants for sandy soils.

Sandy Soil Plants

A lot of plants tend to perform poorly in sandy soil conditions. This is mainly due to the excessive porous medium that doesn’t have good water and nutrient holding capacity for plants to thrive well.

Gardeners that tend to work with sandy soil often put in extra effort to amend their garden bed with organic materials. This is to try and create a more suitable environment for a wider variety of plants.

However, in spite of these less reputable features, sandy soil still have some of its advantages. We have advantages such as well draining capacities, ease to dig in, as well as less vulnerability to bacterial and fungal diseases. But just a few plant species are adapted to this soil compared to other soil types.

Sandy Soil Plants

Another nice advantage of sandy soil is that it’s liable to easily warm up during springtime compared to other soil. Now, this can encourage new plant life earlier in the season.

This soil is also pretty easy to amend compared to clay soil. Plants that end up thriving with sandy soil conditions are pretty attractive and don’t require so much maintenance.

Plants That Grow Well In Sandy Soil

If sandy soil is predominant in your area and you wish to plant on this soil, then you should get to know some of the best plants that will thrive in sandy soils.

In fact, you may only need to amend a few garden beds to accommodate and you may not require so much works on the rest of your garden. Alternatively, you can simply accept your sandy soil completely by making a low-maintenance garden and embrace the properties it offers.

You can find a wide range of plants that can flourish in sandy soil. But if you eventually choose to amend most of your garden, you can still find one or two plants on this list that you can benefit from growing in sandy soil.

So here are some best plants that tend to grow in sandy soils:

List Of Vegetables That Flourish In Sandy Soil

  1. Radishes

Radishes have tap roots that require easy penetration into the ground. Hence, the loose sandy soil is pretty workable compared to clay soil that tends to form balls or mass.

  1. Carrots

The tap roots carrot have requires for their roots to easily penetrate the ground for them grow well. This means carrots require good depth and this makes sandy soil an ideal medium for growing carrots. On the other hand, other soil such as clay soil that tends to form balls or mass of soil can slow down the growth of carrot root development.

  1. Potatoes

Potatoes will also do well in sandy soil. This is thanks to the acidic soil pH balance of sandy soil that favors potatoes. The acidic nature of sandy soil knocks out the likelihood of scab (a disease that is capable of infesting a whole crop of potatoes).

  1. Cucumber

Cucumber requires well-draining soil to flourish. Hence, sandy soil is ideal for cucumbers. However, you will need to put extra effort into supplying enough water and nutrients for your cucumber to grow well.

Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound

List Of Ground-covers That Flourish In Sandy Soil

  1. Sedum

Sedum plants are succulent tiny ground-covers that make an amazing garden plant. It is a hardy plant that can flourish with poor soil, less water, and intense sun or heat.

  1. Artemisia

Artemisia is a ground-cover crop and low-growing perennial that can flourish in sandy soil. Even though it doesn’t flower, its leaves are finely cut and amazingly soft to touch. An amazing feature is when you brush one of the leaves; it will softly release a delicious fragrance.

  1. Lavender

Lavender can also thrive in sandy soil and drought-like conditions. This plant requires high drainage which can be provided sandy soils.

List Of Flowering Shrubs That Flourish In Sandy Soil

  1. Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush is incredibly adaptable to any type of soil and this includes sandy soil. The butterfly bush is an attractive and excellent option for a flowering shrub.

Butterfly Bush
  1. Red Choke-berry

This flowering shrub is from the rose family and is also adaptable to any type of soil such as sandy soil. it is a multi-stemmed shrub that ranges from 6 to 10 feet when fully matured.

Annual & Bulb That Flourish In Sandy Soil

  1. Giant Allium

Giant allium also known as giant onion is a purple flower plant that will also do well in sandy soil. Their flower produces a showstopper large stalk tower of about three to four feet tall.

  1. Daylilies

Daylilies flowering plants will flourish in moist and yet well-draining soil such as sandy soil. If planted in the right spot, this flower can flower or bloom for years even with little care.

  1. Sweet Alyssum

The sweet alyssum plant can grow well in sandy soil. This plant generates a lovely pink, white, or purple bloom.

Sweet Alyssum


What plant grows best in sandy soil?

There are many different plants that do well on sand soil. The best plants to grow in this type of soil are grasses, succulents, and plants with shallow roots.

Why do most plants not grow well in sandy soil?

There are a number of reasons, but the two primary ones are: Sandy soil is light-permeable. If the soil is dry, or if it has a lot of air pockets, it's not going to hold water. Water will leach out of the soil. The soil is compacted. Sand particles are small and don't have much weight. They pack together tightly.

Soil that is compacted has very little pore space and can't hold water. If you put your finger in the top 6 inches of a sand bed, you won't be able to see your finger. You can feel the sand when you dig it up, but you can't see it.

How can sandy soil be improved?

Sandy soils are often very infertile and require the use of soil amendments. They are also often very dry and lacking in organic matter. 

This means that sand must be replaced with a more porous soil or amended to improve its fertility. Improving sandy soils is more difficult than improving clay soils because the latter contain much more organic matter.

A way to improve the quality of sandy soils is to add organic matter. This will improve the structure of the soil and increase its water-holding capacity. It will also help the soil to retain moisture and allow air to reach the roots of plants, which helps them to grow. Organic matter also makes the soil more friable, which means it becomes easier to work and dig. To amend sand, it is necessary to add organic matter. There are many types of organic matter that can be used, and they are listed below.   Animal manures Animal manure is a good source of organic matter and nutrients for sandy soils.

What is the pH of sandy soil?

In general, the pH will be between 5.8 and 6.3.

Does sandy soil retain water?

Sandy soil is a poor conductor of moisture. This means that the top layer of sand will not allow moisture to penetrate deep enough into the soil to be retained and used by plants.

Best Plants For Sandy Soils: Conclusion

Sandy soil may be a difficult plant to work with. But if you can study and understand the strength and weaknesses and properly choose the appropriate plants to fit your garden, your plants can live happily and you can always succeed in your garden.

It is crucial you identify and understand the best type of plants that will grow well in sandy soils. This way, you will reduce the stress of struggling with a plant that does not want to live there.

Getting to know the best plants for sandy soils will allow you to choose the right plants that will fit your soil type. Then you can relax and enjoy a great-looking garden with very little maintenance.

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