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What Shrubs & Plants Do Well in Sandy Soil?

Sandy-soil plants and shrubs have to be able to thrive in conditions where nutrients are few and the ability to hold water is reduced. Plants and shrubs for sandy soils are hardy in that respect; they don’t need the additional moisture. Picking plants that naturally grow in sandy locations can help your sandy area be a thriving garden plot.

Showy Sedum

Sedum spectabile, commonly known as showy sedum or the balloon plant, is part of the orpine family. It is a clump-forming perennial that attracts butterflies. The plant gets 2 feet tall and the same in width. Leaves are egg shaped and fleshy, about 3 feet long. Stems are pinkish green with flowers in summer with pink flowers. Plant a showy sedum in poor sandy soil in full sun. Propagate via stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or by division of roots.


Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as blackgum or tupelo, is part of the tupelo family. It is a bird-attracting tree with nice fall foliage. This tree gets 60 feet to 80 feet tall with deciduous green leaves 2 inches to 5 inches long. Oval drupes for fruits are less than an inch long. Plant a blackgum in full sun to partial shade in moist well-drained soils. Propagate via seed.

White Oak

Quercus alba, commonly known as white oak, is part of the beech family. It is a tree with good fall foliage. It can get 150 feet tall with a 6- to 8-foot trunk. However, heights of 60 feet to 80 feet is most common. Leaves are 5 inches to 9 inches long, pink in spring and dark green in summer, turning red in autumn. Acorns are an inch long. Plant a white oak in well-drained soil in full sun. Propagate by seed or grafting.

Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii, commonly known as butterfly bush or summer lilac, is from the butterfly bush family. It is a fragrant fast-growing shrub that is drought tolerant and a butterfly attractor. The shrub gets 6 feet to 12 feet tall and 4 feet to 15 feet wide. Leaves are gray green and 6 inches to 10 inches long. Flowers are tiny, growing in clusters that are 8 inches to 18 inches long. Flowers are white, pink, red or purple. Plant a butterfly bush in well-drained soil in full to partial sun. Propagate via warm-weather root cuttings.

Chinese Juniper

Juniperus chinensis, commonly known as Chinese juniper, is from the cypress family. It is an evergreen shrub that gets 50 feet to 70 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Leaves have an acrid scent with male and female cones. It can be a widely varied plant. Grow a Chinese juniper in any soil in full sun or light shade. Propagate via cuttings or grafting.

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