However, sandy soils are typically low in nutrients. This is because the large pore space and fast drainage washes out any available nutrients.
Sandy soils also warm up and cool down relatively quickly from the air temperature changes, meaning growth in the spring will start quickly but cool nights in the autumn will make the perennials go into dormancy earlier as well.
In general, perennials that prefer sandy soils are happy being on the drier side and function well with little nutrients – a great recipe for a lower maintenance garden!
Here is a list of some of the most reliable perennials for your sandy soil garden. Whether you are looking for a specific color, height, or bloom time in your region, this list will help you identify what would be perfect for what you need!
The Easiest Plants to Grow in Sandy Soil
Bearded Iris (Iris germanica) – Zone 3-9
Coming in nearly every color you can imagine, bearded irises are a garden favorite! They require very little attention and have no problem competing for their place in the garden. The rhizomes multiply fairly quickly, so it is helpful to divide the plants every few years to avoid overcrowding and spread your iris collection! Many bearded irises are reblooming, so you can enjoy their color both in late spring and in early to mid-fall.
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) – Zone 4-9
Black Eyed Susans are a must have in your garden! They produce yellow daisy-like flowers with black centers topping off at 3’tall. ‘Goldsturm’ is a popular variety blooming profusely from mid-summer to early-fall.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) – Zone 4-9
This purple-blue colored bloom opens mid-late summer on a 3-4’ spikes. The easy maintenance and reliable color of Russian sage makes it a sandy soil favorite
Salvia (Salvia nemorosa) – Zone 4-9
‘Lyrical Silvertone’ is a 2’ tall purple salvia that blooms from late spring to early summer. As a member of the mint family, it is low maintenance and reliable. A more compact option that adds blue to the summer garden is ‘Blue Marvel.’Only getting 10-12” tall, ‘Blue Marvel’ is perfect for short border edges and constant color from late spring to fall.
Sedum (Sedum) – Zone 3-9
‘Autumn Joy’ produces a reliable pink clump about 2’ tall. Blooming mid-summer to mid-fall, you get this bright color as other perennials are starting to slow down. This is a very carefree plant, requiring little attention. Just plant it, sit back, and enjoy!