Plants for Sandy Soils

Working with sandy soil can be difficult if you try to grow the wrong plants. Sandy soils are subject to leaching, don't retain moisture well, and tend to be particularly warm. This can spell trouble for many plants. The following list from Ornamental Plants for Subtropical Regions (published in 1958) specifies which plants grow happily in this medium. Though originally intended for Southwestern US gardens, many of these plants can tolerate the cooler northern climates. Some may need overwintering or treatment as tender perennials.

Trees, Plants, and Shrubs for Light, Sandy Soils

Trees Shrubs Vines Herbaceous Plants
Acacia (species)
Acrocomia totai
Aruacaria excelsa
Brachychiton (species)
Calodendrum capense
Casuarina (species)
Cinnamomum camphora
Cupressus (species)
Dracaena australis
Eucalyptus ficifolia
Grevillea robusta
Hymenosporum flavum
Jacaranda acutifolia
Juniperus silicicola
Lagunaria patersoni
Libocedrus decurrens
Melaleuca stypheliodes
Metrosideros tomentosa
Olea europaea
Parkinsonia aculeate
Pinus (species)
Pittosporum crassifolium
Pittosporum eugenioides
Pittosporum rhombifolium
Pistacia chinensis
Prunus amygdalus
Quercus agrifolia
Quercus lobata
Podocarpus (species)
Sapindus saponaria
Samanea saman
Tamarix aphylla
Thespesia populnea
ristania conferta
Virgilia capensis
Vitex lucens

Acacia (check species)
Acokantera spectabilis
Adenocarpus viscosus
Anthyllis barba-jovis
Arctostaphylos glauca
Atriplex (species
Azalea (species)
Berberis darwini
Breynia nivosa
Callistemon (species)
Carpenteria californica
Cassia artemisioides
Ceanothus (species)
Choisya ternate
Chrysobalanus icaco
Cistus (species)
Convoluvulus cneorum
Cornilla glauca
Correa (species)
Cytisus canariensis
Datura sanguinea
Daubentonia (species)
Elaeagnus pungens
Fatsia japonica
Feijoa sellowiana
Genista monosperma
Grevillea (species)
Greyia sutherlandi
Halimium ocymoides
Hebe hulkeana
Juniperus conferta
Laurus nobilis
Leptospermum (species)
Lycium (species)
Mahonia nevini
Murraea exotica
Pimelea ferruginia
Plumbago capensis
Poinciana gilliesi
Polygala dalmaisiana
Prunus (species)
Ribes viburnifolium
Romenya coulteri
Solanum rantonneti
Sollya heterophylla
Streptosolen jamesoni
Tamarix (species)
Templetonia retusa
Teucrium fruticans
Thryallis glauca
Zauschneria californica
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata
Antigonon leptopus
Asparagus (species)
Clematis (species)
Gloriosa superba
Hibbertia volubilis
Jaquemontia eastwoodiana
Jasminum (species)
Mandevilla suaveolens
Quamoclit (species)
Polygonum auberti
Senecio mikanioides
Solanum wendlandi
Stigmaphyllon ciliatum
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Vitis voineriana
Acaena microphylla
Albuca minor
Alstroemeria (species)
Alyssum maritimum
Anemone coronaria
Antirrhinum majus
Arctotis (species)
Arenaria balearica
Armeria martima
Asclepias surrassavica
Aster amellus
Babiana stricta
Befaria racemosa
Calendula officinalis
Callistephus chinensis
Campanula isophylla
Centaureum (species)
Clarkia (species)
Clianthus puniceus
Clitoria ternatea
Convolvulus (species)
Cooperia drummondi
Cosmos bipinnatus
Cynoglossum amabile
Dimorphotheca (species)
Eschscholtzia californica
Francoa ramose
Gaillardia aristata
Gerberia jamesoni
Gilia (species)
Heliophila pilosa
Heliotropium arborescens
Heuchera sanguinea
Ixia maculate
Lagurus ovatus
Layia elegans
Lilium (species)
Limonium (species)
Linum (species)
Lupinus (species)
Lycoria radiate
Mathiola incana
Nemophila menziesi
Nertera depressa
Nolana atriplicifolia
Oenothera (species)
Oliveranthus elegans
Ornithogalum (species)
Pancratium maritimum
Papaver (species)
Paronychia argentea
Portulaca grandiflora
Primula (species)
Sanvitalia procumbens
Satureja (species)
Sparaxis tricolor
Stokesia laevis
Streptanthera cuprea
Tagetes (species)
Thymophylla tenuiloba
Tritonia (species)
Ursinia anthemoides
Venidium decurrens
Wedelia trilobata
Xanthisma texanum
Zephyranthes rosea

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