The Q&A Archives: What Flowers Grow Best In Sandy Soil

Question: I have a summer cottage on Cape Cod, Mass. The soil on this land is very sandy and I am within 800ft of the ocean. As such, it is quite windy and salty. I spend most, but not all, of my weekends there.

My questions are: What flowers work best in this area? Will they require high maintenance?

Answer: Your best bet with both annuals and perennials is to choose plants that will thrive in poor soil and need infrequent watering. They will require some more maintenance than when planted on regular garden soil, but if you choose accordingly, you can have a beautiful garden in spite of the sand and salt. First of all, before planting anything, add some organic matter to the soil to give you a bit of an advantage.

As for flower choice, here are a few sugestions. You might also contact your local county extension agent (ph# 508-362-2511 ext. 585) for listings of plants that do well in your conditions, especially native plants.
Achillea sp. - yarrow
Arabis caucasica - rockcress
Artemisia sp.
Baptisia australis - false indigo
Coreopsis sp.
Euphorbia sp.
Dianthus sp.
Geranium sp. - true geranium
Helianthemum sp. - false sunflower
Potentilla sp.
Saxifraga sp.
Sedum sp.

Gaillardia sp. - blanketflower
Amaranthus sp.
Lobularia maritima - sweet alyssum
Ipomoea purpurea - morning glory
Helianthus annuus - sunflower
Zinnia elegans - Zinnia

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