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  • Writer's pictureAlex Frie

Our Favorite Plants for Sandy Soils

Updated: Mar 20

A common challenge homeowners run into when designing a landscape is selecting the correct plants that survive and thrive in the specific environment of your garden. One of the most important factors to consider when selecting plants is soil texture. We have had countless customers tell me that their soil is too sandy to plant anything, and whenever they try, the plants just wither and die. 

For those who are searching for plants that grow well in sandy soils, this is for you. We compiled a list of the five best plants to use for sandy soils. These are plants that can grow well in sandy soils that are often dry and nutrient poor, while requiring minimal maintenance. 

Coral honeysuckle

  1. The first plant we recommend for sandy soils is coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). With large, salmon colored blossoms that attract pollinators, honeysuckle is a staple in landscapes built on sandy soils. Due to its drought tolerance and need to be in full sun, honeysuckle can help bring life to even the trickiest parts of your yard. 

  1. One of the best growing plants in sandy soil is the Sedum species. For soils that drain too fast, or regions that receive minimal rain, sedum is the perfect choice. As a succulent, it has adapted to hold on to all the moisture available to it, letting very little go to waste or transpire off. More than that, breeders have taken sedum plants (also known as stonecrop), and bred them to achieve a variety of different sizes, growth habits, and colors, which allows for even more versatility. 

Grey Dogwood
  1. For those who want large plants for sandy soil, we suggest the grey dogwood, as it has evolved to maximize growth in nutrient and moisture deficient conditions. Getting up to 15’ in some instances, Cornus racemosa is one of the larger shrubs that can survive in sandy soils. Boasting a beautiful texture and bright white flowers in the spring, the grey dogwood is sure to be a notable addition to any landscape. 

  1. As for versatile flowers that grow well in sandy soil, look no further than the iconic coneflower. Whether it be classic purple, red, orange, or any other color, Echinacea purpurea is an excellent flower for gardens with sandy soil. Being native to the Midwest, coneflowers are perfectly adapted to grow and bloom in soils that would prevent other plants from doing the same.

Creeping juniper

  1. Lastly, my personal favorite plant that does well in sandy soils is the creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis). This low growing evergreen has a robust branching root system, which allows it to seek out nutrients and moisture in poor quality soil. On top of its adaptations to survive in sandy soils, creeping juniper is also just a beautiful plant that can add some interesting texture to any garden. It is especially useful as a tool to prevent erosion and protect established soil, helping other plants nearby.

Pine bush

Hopefully the list above helped shed some light on plants that can be used when you have sandy soil and can’t get anything to grow. While they are all adapted to handle low moisture conditions, it’s important to remember to regularly water newly transplanted plants in order to help them establish in the soil. For the examples above, we recommend watering every day for about a week. After that, sit back and enjoy the blooms and colors of your plants that thrive in sandy soils.

If you're having problems getting plants to do well in your soil, SunKissed can help you out. We assess each property to ensure that your landscape is given the special attention it deserves. To schedule a free consultation contact us through our website, or email us at

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