Hot climates and sandy soil seem to go together. Where you have one, you have the other, like in my neck of the south Georgia landscape, and that makes it doubly challenging for gardeners. Not impossible, but certainly challenging, and a true gardener will always rise to the challenge and find something they can grow in any environment in which they decide to put roots down. If home is located where the hot sun is above your head and sand under your feet, try planting and growing some of these drought-tolerant plants for hot climates and sandy soil.
Often seen growing on sand dunes, the beach sunflower (Helianthus debilis) can grow upright or lay down like a ground cover, reaching a mature height of about three feet. It’s self-seeding and requires no care.
The beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) grows best in sandy soil and light shade. The plant will reach a mature height of six feet, bearing clusters of purple berries from late summer through fall.
This tall growing bush (reaches 8-10 feet) bears nectar-rich red blooms all summer when planted in full sun and sandy soil. Firebush (Hamelia patens) is a favorite flower of hummingbirds and butterflies and the red-blooming bush will keep a steady stream of winged visitors flying around all summer.
Looks similar to a yellow daisy, the goldenaster (Pityopsis graminifolia) loves to be planted in sandy soil and full sun. Goldenaster produces long-lasting yellow blooms on two-feet tall plants.
Not a blooming plant, but an evergreen tree that produces long, graceful pine needles. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) loves full sun and lots of moisture.
Pink muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is a tall blooming grass that reaches a mature height of four feet and bears showy pink blooms in the fall. Pink muhly prefers full sun, but will grow well in light shade.
Low-growing ground cover that produces showy, pink powderpuff-like blooms. Powderpuff (Mimosa strigillosa) loves full sun, spreads quickly and reaches a mature height of three inches.
Silver Saw Palmetto
Tall and wide growing, the silver saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) reaches a mature size of 7 feet tall and equally as wide. Silver saw palmettos can take full sun or partial shade and are hardy in some colder climates.
Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) loves sandy soil, but grows equally well in sun or shade. Spiderwort has a long blooming season and comes in a variety of bloom colors.
This twining vine loves the sun and sand. Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) produces clusters of red, tube-shaped flowers in the spring that attract hummingbirds.