What Grows Best in Sandy Soil

There are some areas of the country that have sandy soil. If you live in a desert region or in a place near the coast, it is likely that the soil where your plants will grow is sandy. A sandy type of soil is not known to be a great choice for most plants as it can’t hold water or nutrients for long. It means that when plants grow in sandy soil, they will have a difficult time growing without regular water and fertilizer.

If your place has sandy soil, you will need to evaluate your options first before you jump into modifying your sandy soil with organic matter to be ready for gardening. Even though sandy soil has a less than stellar reputation among gardeners, it also has advantages. It can drain well, it is easy to dig, and it is less vulnerable to bacterial and fungal diseases in the garden. In addition to that, it also tends to warm up earlier in the spring compared to other soil types. Therefore, it means new plant life earlier in the season. 

Before you start planting, you should learn about the best plant options for the type of soil that you have first. To help you out, we are giving you a list of the plants that grow best in sandy soil.

Vegetables That Grow Best in Sandy Soil

If you are looking into planting vegetables in your garden, here are some of the best options that you have for sandy soil:


asparagus plant

Asparagus is grown best from the crowns in a sandy soil medium. It is well-suited to grow in trenches. You can utlize bone meal or rock phosphate to fertilize it twice a week when growing in sandy soils to achieve the highest yields.


a small watermelon plant

Watermelons need a longer growing season compared to other fruits of their type. However, it enjoys the warmth and well-draining environment that sandy soil gives. You just need to make sure that you will give enough space between plants for each watermelon to develop well. This is because they only thrive if they do not have to battle other plants for water and nutrients.


Beans do not actually do best in loose, well-draining soil, like a sandy one, but it may work. You just need to add lots of compost to the sandy soil before you plant them for maximum yield.


Cucumbers need fast-draining soil for them to thrive, which makes a sandy medium a great fit. However, you will need to give it lots of water and nutrients for them to stay happy. In addition to that, you also need to provide a trellis to give the cucumber vine support to attach itself and to grow upon.


Carrots can grow better when their root systems can easily penetrate the ground as they have taproots. Their need for depth makes sandy soil a great medium to grow them. Clods of soil, like those found in clay-based soil types, can obstruct and disrupt the development of carrot roots development. 


zucchini plant

Zucchini is an annual summer crop and a heavy feeder. It likes the warmth and excellent drainage of sandy soils. As long as its fertilizer needs are met when it is grown in sandy soil, it will yield fruit that can be harvested in abundance.


Potatoes are also root crops that can do well in sandy soil. It is mainly due to the acidic soil pH balance. This type of soil eliminates the possibility of scab, which is a disease that plagues potatoes, usually affecting the entire crops. 


Lettuce can tolerate the dryness of sandy soils as long as gardeners ensure that plants are watered daily and regularly. You should not allow the soil above the roots to dry out completely. They should be hydrated, especially on abnormally hot or windy days. 

Collard Greens

Collard greens, like lettuce, can tolerate the dry conditions of sandy soils better than other leafy greens. They also perform well in the early spring, making them more suited for sandy soils that warm up faster compared to clay-based or loam-based soil types. 


a corn field

Corn is also a heavy-feeding annual summer vegetable. It can thrive in sandy soils as long as it is provided with enough fertilizer. 


Radishes also have tap roots like carrots. This means that they also need to easily burrow into the ground. Sandy soils are absorbent and more supple compared to clay-based mediums, making them suited to be a habited for radishes and other root vegetables.


Tomatoes love sunshine. They also perform exceptionally well in the heat-retaining, a well-draining habitat that sandy soil gives. Even though there are sometimes grown as annuals in the summer, they are usually grown as perennials that are harvested throughout a long growing season.

Herbs That Grow Best in Sandy Soil

There are also herbs that you can grow in sandy soil. Here they are:


rosemary planted by the beach

Rosemary is an herb that loves sandy soil and full sunlight exposure. It also enjoys the excellent drainage and acidic nature of sandy soil.


thyme plant

Thyme also enjoys the slightly acidic content of sandy soils, and as well as its excellent drainage. It can also thrive in rocky to sandy soils with full sunlight exposure.


oregano plant

Like rosemary and thyme, oregano also likes the acidity and excellent drainage provided by sandy soil. Also, most varieties of oregano need to be planted in full sunlight. However, those that have golden or variegated foliage should be provided with some shade during the hottest hours of the day as they are more sensitive to direct sun.

Groundcovers and Perennials That Grow Best in Sandy Soil

Here are some of the groundcovers and perennials that you can plant and grow in sandy soil:


a field of lavender

Lavender plants can grow well in sandy soils and as well as drought-like conditions. It is resistant to rabbits and deer, and it can also attract butterflies and bees. 


This is a low-growing, ground-covering perennial that loves sandy soil. It is mainly grown for its beautiful and fragrant shrubbery. This does not flower, but if you brush its leaves gently, they emit a strange and pleasant aroma. 


This is a fragrant, flowering perennial that can also grow well in sandy soil. It features stunning blooms that attract butterflies, bees, and as well as cats. 

Oregon Stonecrop

This is a groundcover that thrives in a wide variety of growing conditions. Its drought resistance makes it great for sandy soils. It is also grown best in full sunlight to partial shade. It produces yellow star-shaped flowers that can attract pollinators like butterflies. 

Moss Phlox

moss phlox flowers

Moss phlox can grow in any poor soil conditions, but it thrives in sandy soils. It is a groundcover that can reach up to six inches in height. It produces purple, red, and white flowers that also attract butterflies. 


Like most succulents, this one is suited to dry and hot conditions, making it perfect for growing in sandy soils. It comes in many varieties. Most of them are tiny groundcovers that are best for rock gardens.

Flowering Shrubs That Grows Best in Sandy Soil

Here are some of the flowering shrubs that you can plant in sandy soil:

Flowering Quince

flowering quince plant

The flowering quince is a native plant in China. It produces spiny twigs and scarlet-red blooms. It can reach up to ten feet high, and it is grown in well-draining soil like sandy soil. 

Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bush is adaptable to almost any type of soil, including sandy soils. It is a beautiful flowering shrub that can catch the eye of passersby. It can add color to your garden with its purple, pink, or white towering flower cones. 

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon plant

The rose of Sharon is an easy-to-grow shrub. It produces hibiscus-like flowers in the late summer months. However, it needs lots of water when grown in sandy soil.

Siberian Pea Shrub

This plant is cold tolerant and adaptable to dry and sandy soils. It features bright yellow flowers that usually appear mid-summer. 

Red Chokeberry

The red chokeberry grows heartily in all soil conditions, including sandy soils. It can grow from 6 to 10 feet tall when mature. It has white flowers, ornamental berries, and dark green foliage that look really stunning.

Trees That Grow Best in Sandy Soil

Here are the trees that you can plant in sandy soil:


eucalyptus tree

The eucalyptus tree is native to Australia. It is popular for growing in sandy soil. There are many different varieties of the eucalyptus tree, but all of them are fast-growing shade trees that produce a nice minty scent.


Silk is also known as the mimosa tree. It may take about seven years for it to reach full maturity, and it can grow up to 30 feet high. It is a natural fit for sandy souls. It is also fast-growing and has a lot of personalities.

Black Locus

This tree features bare branches that sprout fragrant white clusters of flowers during early spring. This is followed by finely cut shrubbery and decorative seed pods. It can grow very quickly, even in sandy soils. 

These are some of the vegetables, herbs, plants, and trees that grow best in sandy soil. Even though it is not the best type of soil for most gardeners, there are still lots of options when it comes to what you can plant in it. We hope this post helped you learn more about what you can grow in sandy soil.