Plants for Dry, Infertile Soil Conditions

Sandy soil drains water away quickly and tends to be low in organic matter. Once established the following plants tolerate dry and infertile conditions better than many others.

WOODY PLANTS
Genus/species Common Name
Abies concolor / White Fir
Acanthopanax sieboldianus / Fiveleaf Aralia
Acer buergerianum / Trident Maple
Acer monspessulanum / Vine Maple
Acer ginnala / Amur Maple
Acer monspessulanum / Montpellier Maple
Acer negundo / Box Elder
Aesculus parviflora / Bottlebrush Buckeye
Aralia spinosa / Devil’s Walkingstick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi / Bearberry
Aronia / Chokeberry
Betula neoalaskana / Alaskan White Birch
Buddleia alternifolia / Fountain Buddleia
Buxus / Boxwood
Calluna vulgaris / Heather
Campsis radicans / Trumpet Creeper
Carpinus – some species / Hornbeam
Cephalotaxus harringtonia / Prostrate Japanese Plum Yew
Chaenomeles speciosa / Flowering Quince
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Weston Selection’ / Weston Selection Sawara Cypress
Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Hopkinton’ / Hopkinton Atlantic White Cedar
Chionanthus retusus / Chinese Fringetree
Comptonia peregrina / Sweetfern
Cornus baileyi / Red-twigged Dogwood
Cornus mas / Cornelian Cherry
Cornus racemosa / Gray Dogwood
Corylus colurna / Turkish Filbert
Cotinus coggygria / Smoke Tree
Cotoneaster – most / Cotoneaster
Cytisus / Broom
Daphne / Daphne
Diervilla sessifolia / Southern Bush Honeysuckle
Dioscorea batatas / Cinnamon Vine, Chinese Yam
Erica / Heath
Euonymus fortunei / Wintercreeper
Forsythia / Forsythia
Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Green Ash
Ginkgo biloba / Ginkgo
Gleditsia triacanthos inermis / Thornless Honeylocust
Hamamelis / Witchhazel
Hydrangea paniculata / Panicle Hydrangea
Hypericum / St. John’s Wort
Indigofera gerardiana / Himalayan Indigo
Juniperus – most species and cultivars / Juniper
Kalmia – most / Mountain Laurel
Kerria japonica / Japanese Kerria
Koelreuteria paniculata / Golden Rain Tree
Kolkwitzia amabilis / Beautybush
Lespedeza / Shrub Bushclover
Ligustrum / Privet
Lonicera – shrubs / Honeysuckle
Microbiota decussata / Siberian Carpet Cypress
Myrica pensylvanica / Northern Bayberry
Philadelphus / Mockorange
Physocarpus / Ninebark
Picea omorika / Serbian Spruce
Picea orientalis / Oriental Spruce
Picea pungens / Blue Spruce
Pinus aristata / Bristlecone Pine
Pinus banksiana / Jack Pine
Pinus cembra / Swiss Stone Pine
Pinus mugo mugo / Mugo Pine
Pinus nigra austriaca / Austrian Pine
Pinus parviflora / Japanese White Pine
Pinus resinosa / Red Pine
Pinus strobus / Eastern White Pine
Pinus sylvestris / Scots Pine
Pinus thunbergiana / Japanese Black Pine
Platanus x acerifolia / London Planetree
Polygonum aubertii / Chinese Fleece Vine
Potentilla fruticosa / Shrubby Cinquefoil
Prunus x cistena / Purpleleaf Sand Cherry
Prunus maackii / Amur Chokecherry
Prunus maritima / Beach Plum
Prunus pumila depressa / Sand Cherry
Pyrus calleryana / Callery Flowering Pear
Quercus – most / Oak
Rhamnus frangula / Tallhedge, Buckthorn
Rhus / Sumac
Ribes alpinum / Alpine Currant
Rosa rugosa / Rugosa Rose
Rosa wichuraiana / Variegated Memorial Rose
Rubus / Bramble
Salix – some shrub form species and hybrids / Willow
Sophora japonica / Scholar Tree
Sorbaria sorbifolia / Ural False Spirea
Sorbus alnifolia / Korean Mountain Ash
Spiraea x bumalda Anthony Waterer / Anthony Waterer Spirea
Spiraea x vanhouttei / Van Houtte Spirea
Symphoricarpos / Snowberry
Syringa reticulata / Japanese Tree Lilac
Tamarix ramosissima / Saltcedar
Taxodium distichum / Bald Cypress
Taxus / Yew
Tilia x euchlora / Crimean Linden
Ulmus – some species and cultivars / Elm
Vaccinium angustifolium / Lowbush Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum / Highbush Blueberry
Viburnum lantana / Wayfaringtree
Viburnum rufidulum / Rusty Blackhaw
Vinca minor / Periwinkle, Myrtle
Vitex agnus-castus / Chastetree
Vitex rotundifolia / Beach Vitex
Zelkova serrata

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS
Genus/species Common Name
Achillea / Yarrow
Agastache / Giant Hyssop
Arabis / Rock Cress
Armeria / Thrift
Artemisia / Wormwood
Asclepias tuberosa / Butterfly Milkweed
Aurinia saxatilis / Basket-of-Gold
BAMBOO Phyllostachys decora / Beautiful Bamboo
Baptisia / False Indigo
Cassia marilandica / Wild Senna
Centaurea montana / Mountain Bluet
Centranthus ruber / Red Valerian, Jupiter’s Beard
Cerastium tomentosum / Snow-in-Summer
Coreopsis / Tickseed
Crambe cordifolia / Giant Kale
Delosperma / Ice Plant
Echinacea paradoxa
Echinops / Globe Thistle
Epimedium / Bishop’s Cap, Barrenwort
Eryngium planum / Sea Holly
Euphorbia / Spurge
Gaillardia / Blanket Flower
Galium odoratum / Sweet Woodruff
Gaura / Wand Flower
Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’ / Ingwersen’s Cranesbill
Geranium renardii
GRASS Calamagrostis / Feather Reed Grass
GRASS Carex – some / Sedge
GRASS Chasmanthium latifolium / Wild Oats
GRASS Eragrostis spectabilis / Purple Love Grass
GRASS Helictotrichon sempervirens / Blue Oat Grass
GRASS Hystrix patula / Bottlebrush Grass
GRASS Leymus / European Dune Grass
GRASS Luzula sylvatica / Greater Wood Rush
GRASS Panicum virgatum / Switch Grass
GRASS Schizachyrium / Little Bluestem
Gypsophila repens / Creeping Baby’s Breath
Helianthus salicifolius / Willow Leaf Sunflower
Hemerocallis / Daylily
Hosta / Plantainlily
Iberis / Candytuft
Iris germanica / Bearded Iris, German Iris
Ixeris dentata stolonifera
Lamium maculatum / Spotted Dead Nettle
Lewisia cotyledon / Bitter Root
Liriope / Lilyturf
Lychnis coronaria ‘Atrosanguinea’ / Rose Campion
Nepeta x faassenii / Persian Catmint
Oenothera / Evening Primrose
Opuntia / Prickly Pear Cactus
Papaver orientale / Oriental Poppy
Perovskia atriplicifolia / Russian Sage
Rudbeckia / Coneflower
Salvia azurea / Sage
Santolina / Lavender Cotton
Saxifraga / Saxifrage
Sedum / Stonecrop
Sempervivum / Houseleek, Hens and Chicks
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata / Three-toothed Cinquefoil
Solidago / Goldenrod
Stachys byzantina / Lamb’s Ears
Tradescantia / Spiderwort
Veronica spicata / Spike Speedwell
Waldsteinia ternata / Siberian Barren Strawberry
Yucca / Adam’s Needle

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