Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Plants for Poor Soils

By Ariana Cherry-Shearer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Not all plants require nutrient-rich soil.

Gardeners who are stuck with poor soil quality or live in warm and dry environments can still have a robust plant and flower bed. Not all plants require nutrient-rich soil. In fact, some plants actually prefer to live in dry, loose or poor soil conditions. If you live in a warm and dry climate, your home can still be surrounded by a colorful display of plants and flowers.

Black Jack

The black jack plant is a type of sedum. The black jack's foliage is dark purple, which turns almost black towards the end of summer. It is simple to grow and has succulent leaves that enable it to store extra water during times of drought or to thrive in poor soil. It is best to grow black jack in full sun to partial shade, and it prefers well-drained, poor soil conditions. If it is planted in rich soil, the plant will grow lanky.

Gaillardia Fanfare

The gaillardia fanfare is a heat-tolerant perennial plant that does well in poor soil and should be planted in a sunny area. The soil must be well-drained and moist. If the fanfare is placed in a shady area, it will not thrive. The gaillardia fanfare has a dark center and yellow-tipped red petals. Fanfare can also be planted in containers or used as a border. It can grow from 1 to 2 feet high. A fanfare does not require much plant care, but you should deadhead after the blooms have been spent to encourage more blooming.

Grass Miscanthus Allegro

Beginning gardeners will find that grass miscanthus allegro is simple to grow, does not require much care and is a great starter plant. Grass miscanthus allegro is a perennial plant. It is an ornamental grass that produces red blooms in the months of August and September. It will grow quickly and adapts to soil conditions that are poor, loose or in clay. The plant also can be used for borders. The grass must be cut at least 8 inches from the ground each year.


About the Author


Ariana Cherry-Shearer began writing for the Web in 2006. Cherry-Shearer's work has appeared at websites such as GardenGuides, GolfLink and Trails. She also writes a weekly blog and has published collections of poetry. Cherry-Shearer earned a certificate in computer applications from Lakeland Community College.